Not everything can, or may, go according to plan. It’s great to lean into your social media presence for marketing and customer service. Every other brand is doing it, and you need to take a page out of the modern book in order to keep yourself on the radar.
Sticking to a well-organized and meticulously planned social media strategy is great, but if that’s all you’re doing, you might encounter some problems.
If every single one of your posts is planned, purposeful, and oriented around a call to action, your audience is going to notice. Following you will begin to feel like voluntarily watching or reading ads, and you might see your follower count dwindle as a result of that. Incorporating elements of surprise and spontaneity is the key to maintaining your audience’s interest and inspiring your followers to look forward to your daily posts. Fortunately, incorporating a little bit of spontaneity is easier than you may think.
Here’s how you can inculcate an element of spontaneity in your social media strategy-
1) Keep Your Spontaneity Structured
Structured or planned spontaneity almost seems like an oxymoron – is anything really spontaneous if you made time for it? When it comes to interacting with your audience, truly “off the rails” spontaneity is never a good idea. Set times for your planned posts. Meanwhile, also look for gaps in that time where a spontaneous post may fit.
You don’t necessarily need to know what you will post at that time. You just need to know what window of time you want to fill with something interesting. Even if you only re-share something you found cool or relevant (especially if you feel your followers would enjoy it as much as you did), you’re randomizing your posts and delivering something interesting that wasn’t necessarily planned.
2) Respond to Social Trends (But be Well Versed)
If everybody else is talking about something, it’s probably a good idea to put your two cents in. Social media statistics show that virtually everyone is online, and if you want to run a successful business, you can’t afford to be absent from the global conversation.
Fads, trends, and hot topics frequently take over the internet for at least a few weeks. People often expect to see everyone’s take on any given trending matter, whether it be an expression of sadness or a hilarious meme. So many conversations happen on the internet every day. Keeping track of what the audience is saying about your brand and staying on top of top social trends is important.
Get a grasp of social trends using a social listening tool. Access vital insights and intelligence about what your audience is saying. Try to capture the context of all the interactions that are happening on platforms.
Using this intelligence, jump into the conversation. Just be careful about what you say. Don’t share memes or jokes if you don’t know their origins. Brands (like Wendy’s) have accidentally misappropriated some things before, and that always requires a cleanup process. If you’re well informed, make your spontaneous posts about whatever has people talking. Do your best to avoid controversy or stay away from touchy and sensitive trending topics altogether.
3) Incorporate a Variety of “Insider” Content
If most of your planned content is texts, links, and product photos, bring in some spontaneity with other types of content. A funny video of everyone around the office, a hilarious misspelling on an employee’s coffee cup, or cute pictures from “bring your dog to work day” will definitely add variety to your content.
These things are spontaneous when they happen to you, and if your followers have the same sense of humor or the same love for dogs, they’re going to appreciate those moments as much as your business does. Most people will never say no to something that’s lighthearted and funny or simply scroll past a cute animal.
Content can be spontaneous, even if you planned a little bit ahead to create it. If you plan a joke or create a meme a few hours ahead of time, go ahead and call it spontaneous. It still will be, in the sense that it breaks the monotony of scheduled posts and allows you (and your audience) to focus on something unexpected for a little while.
4) Engage Directly with Customers or Competitors
Get an exchange going, publicly. If a customer decides to say something funny or witty, respectfully acknowledge them. Let your posts be the public conversation.
People love watching these exchanges – they often draw attention to brands on social media by personifying them through strong use of a brand voice. Don’t ignore Tweets or comments even when they don’t require an immediate customer service response. Becoming a part of the conversation can create beautiful spontaneity.
Know what your competitors are up to, what are they talking about, by employing a social media competition tracker. Throwing a little friendly shade at your competitors doesn’t hurt, either. Fast food brands have a tendency to go into humorous bouts of bickering with each other, and the internet seems to love it. A little playful jab can help to get a conversation going – it might even draw the attention of your competitor’s customers and inspire them to give you a try. As long as you keep it lighthearted, a little bragging is alright.
5) Maximize Your Peak Times
Take a look at your metrics and figure out when most of your followers seem to be online. Since over one third of all people have smartphones with them at all times, many people check social media during their lunch breaks or while on their commute.
Find out when your audience is most active with the help of a reliable social media analytics tool. Make an effort to be there more. Spontaneous posts are easier when you have an active, present audience to interact with. From that point, being spontaneous shifts into the art of “going with the flow.”
Spontaneous posts are an important part of your social media strategy. The more spontaneity you incorporate, the more opportunities you’ll have to engage with your audience. Incorporate a few methods to help get the conversation going.