8 Tips on How to Treat Your Social Media like a White Stag
It’s no secret that social media can be a valuable tool in an adventure brand owner’s toolbox. We’re in the business of experience, and social media is the best platform to share those.
But the online marketing world is a loud place, and we sometimes find ourselves swept up in all the things we should be doing for our business profiles. Things like gaining more followers, and seeing our posts pull more likes. We also want to know, beyond a doubt, that the time and effort we invest into managing our social media is bringing sales in.
So what happens? We start approaching the idea of social media as hunters in a highly competitive arena. Slowly but surely, we begin to shift our messaging from social to sales-driven—and we not-so-slowly see a drop in engagement, reach, and followers.
And of course, our interest in social is soured because it’s just not working.
Robert Baden-Powell, who is the founder of the Scouting movement, delivered a speech to the Scouts at the 1933 World Jamboree in Gödöllő, Hungary, and said this:
“Hunters of old pursued the miraculous white stag of Hungarian mythology, not because they expected to kill it, but because it led them in the joy of the chase to new and fresh adventures, and so to capture happiness.”
What would happen if we stopped hunting on social media, and started thinking of it as our white stag?
Social media should be a tool you use to lead your adventure brand’s followers and fans to the joy of new adventures, rather than hunting grounds for new customers.
Seeing a return on what you invest in social media advertising is a result of good social media management practices; a result of treating social media like your white stag.
Here are 8 tips on how to treat your social media like the white stag that it is:
We’ve put together ten tips for you to re-energize your approach to social media so you can do away with that hunter mentality.
1. Establish clear strategies and goals for each social media platform you use. (And no, you don’t have to use them all.)
When you have clear strategies and goals about what you’re hoping to accomplish on each of your social media accounts, it makes it easy to see—at a glance—whether or not the content you’re posting, and the engagement you’re generating, are on point.
For example: let’s say you are an eco-friendly camping supply store who chooses to use Instagram. Because Instagram is a visual platform, a goal would be to encourage an on-going conversation about leaving no trace when you’re enjoying the outdoors. These means you’ll be looking at the engagement your posts get. Then, you’d develop a strategy around that goal that involves visual storytelling: share inspiring shots of the outdoors to attract outdoor enthusiasts, and share tips and stories about minimal impact camping, encouraging comments along the way.
This attracts potential new customers in an organic way. They are customers who are interested in eco-conscious and sustainable camping practices who will build a relationship with your brand through education and interaction. This is supportive of their goal, while also supporting yours.
2. Take care not push too hard on sales or product posts in your feed.
Nothing is a bigger turn off than a social media feed that feels like the people behind it are only interested in pushing their own products or sales. Not to mention the fact that all major social media platforms now offer a robust paid advertising venue, which means that they want you to pay to play; any organic posts that push the sale (“free” promotional posts in Facebook’s assessment) typically don’t get the same reach, no matter how sneakily your organic post tries to sell.
The general rule of thumb is 80/20: 80% of your posts should be entertaining and helpful, while 20% can be sales-driven.
3. Post content that serves your ideal customer: content that is interesting, educational, entertaining.
When you aim to show up in a genuinely helpful and interesting way for your customers, your customers recognize that. They trust what you say, they enjoy hearing from you, and when the time comes to enter the consideration process for a purchase decision, you will be top of mind.
Social media is not a hot spark. It’s a slow burn. You use it to nurture your relationship with your audience so that when the time comes to ask for the buy, they’re more likely to jump on the bandwagon.
4. Stay consistent with regular updates.
Consistency builds legitimacy. By showing up on a social media platform regularly, you attract new interest while building trust with your current audience. Don’t underestimate it! In fact, one of the first things to suffer when the to-do list gets long are social media accounts, so set yourself up for success by scheduling your account management into your daily/weekly tasks as a priority.
5. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Take your time getting creative and strategic with your social media content. As we mentioned in tip number 3, you want to serve your customers. This encourages better engagement… and guess what? When it comes time to advertise, posts with high engagement are the ones you want to boost and reuse as ad creative because they already have the social proof needed to kick off with better reach.
6. Take time to get involved in the community with engaging comments, and recognition too!
You likely see the standard, “This is great!” and “Thanks for sharing!” comments all the time. But the comments that people take more of an interest in (that lead them to you and your business) are the comments that dig a little deeper into a real connection. Start a conversation online with other people: explore their content, ask questions, tell them why you loved their article, etc.
You’ll also want to repost/call out content that is in line with your adventure brand’s values; the key is to tag the original creator so that you not only follow basic social media courtesy, but you also get on their radar. Everyone likes acknowledgment, and you may just build a relationship with the person you’re reposting.
And if people take the time to comment on your posts, take the time to reply. This might seem obvious, but people often overlook the power of taking a minute to say, “I appreciate your comment.”
7. If you’re going to hunt for something, hunt for engagement over follower numbers!
“We need more followers!” you may think when you look at what your adventure brand’s follower count compared to somebody else’s in your industry. But in the grand scheme of things, follower count holds almost no value.
Case in point: when you boost a post or use a post as ad creative, you want to use the post that performed the best; the post that had the most likes and comments and shares.
So while you absolutely want to use social media to widen your audience, your primary concern should be using social media to deepen your relationship with the audience you already have.
And last but not least…
Have fun with it! Fall in love with engaging with the people who are hungry for the adventure you share, and get curious about others in—and outside of—your industry. Make connections experiment with ideas you may have for your brand (your audience will let you know what they think, don’t you worry about that!), and you’ll see that treating social media as your white stag brings with it a great reward.
As Mr. Baden-Powell put it… it may even capture happiness.