_ SocialToaster CEO Brian Razzaque explains how to make your content more shareable, the best channels for promotion and more. _
As we've said time and time again, creating high quality content is just one piece of the puzzle -- promoting it is an equally important factor that should never go unnoticed as well. While surfacing your brand's most engaged customers on social media isn't exactly the easiest task, Brian Razzaque -- CEO and founder of SocialToaster -- knows exactly what to do. The Baltimore-native leads the social marketing company which helps nurture relationships with social media evangelists (known as "super fans") and provides them with new and engaging content to share. Scripted.com sat down with him to talk all about how brands can find their own super fans, how to successfully promote content on social media and why it's important to cater to your hyper-engaged audience.
Scripted: What exactly defines a super fan?
Brian : We classify super fans into one of two categories. At one end of the spectrum, we feel that every organization has people that are hyper-engaged. These are people that really are truly passionate about a brand, they share all the time, they participate in discussion forums, etc. That's typically what most people think of as super fan. The other class that we have are people who are highly-engaged. These are peoplewho like you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter and are passionate about your brand, but they tend to only engage if its really easy for them or if you spoon-feed them exactly what it is you want them to do. We believe that there is tremendous opportunity to be had in focusing on this class.
Scripted: How do you motivate this hyper-engaged audience?
Brian : The trick is that you need to create a structure where you're letting them know that there are opportunities to be had by engaging with your brand, and that they can be recognized for their efforts. Generally this is done by establishing this structure as a fan program that you will promote to your audience and fans. You need to have a clear call-to-action saying, "Sign up for this super fan program that we created just for you, and we're going to thank you and reward you for your participation and support."
See also: How to Discover What Your Audience Wants (Interview With Andy Smith)
Scripted: Are there any specific indicators to predict who the super fans are?
Brian : Super fans are generally people are already fans of yours. It's very challenging to go out and find someone not connected with your brand who could become a super fan. You don't have to look too far from home though to find those existing super fans. For example: who are your most active customers; who buys from you on a regular basis; who engages with you already in social media; who regularly opens up your email newsletters? Those are the types of things that you would look at to figure out who might be a super fan who would engage in a super fan program.
Scripted: Is there a way then to convert disengaged fans into super fans?
Brian : Highly engaged people can be converted, but it is very difficult to convert a disengaged fan into a super fan. However, there is a ton of opportunity in converting highly engaged fans into super fans. These are people that maybe are not as active as those hyper-engaged fans. Maybe they're not very active or participating on your social channels, but you see that they buy regularly from you. You want to look for those highly-engaged fans and you definitely reach out to them and make sure that your program is appealing to them. Examples might be discounts on products for participation, or early access to content.
Scripted: What advice can you give brands and publishers for making their content as shareable as possible on social media?
Brian : You need to be conscious of the fact that people don't want to always share amazing deals or amazing ads. Once in a while they will, but otherwise they like to sharing things that are funny or meaningful or otherwise interesting. They like sharing videos and pictures and things that are relevant to them as it relates to their lifestyle, or the lifestyle that they want to have.
Really understand your audience and what type of content resonates with them, and make sure that you stay focused on producing the majority of that type of content.
See also: How to Create Original Content with Scripted
Scripted: What social media networks have the most success for content distribution? Are there any specifically you can point to?
Brian: In general, our observation is that Twitter drives the most overall traffic. Facebook tends to get the most engagement, meaning you can get a lot of likes or a lot of visibility around the content, but that does not necessarily translate into the same volume of actual traffic that you might see with Twitter. Other networks perform well in certain circumstances: Instagram for pictures and YouTube for videos, for example. But, if your goal is to drive traffic, then Twitter is something to pay attention to.
Scripted: There's been a lot of talk about Facebook referrals lately, especially with their change in the algorithm. What advice you can give to companies and brands struggling to grow that Facebook audience?
Brian: There's so much competition for an individual's attention to like a page that you really need focus on figuring out why somebody would want to like you. Up until now brands could get by just sending an email out to their newsletter list asking people tolike them on Facebook. Going forward though, if there is not a compelling reason associated with the like, then I think you're really going to struggle.
Scripted: Are you anticipating any specific trends for 2014 in the social media space?
Brian: That's a good question. I think we're going to see a continued increase in how rich media is used relative to the social network, such as expanded video and interactive content. I think we'll also continue to see trends within the different social channels leverage tighter mobile integration, through geo-targeting and geo-fencing, for example.
What did you think about this interview? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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