Social Media and the Rule of 7
Social media marketing, like all marketing, requires repeat viewings to enter the consciousness and equally important the subconscious of the audience. This is why there is the “Rule of 7” - the long-held belief that a potential customer needs to see your ad at least seven times before they are willing to commit to an action. Yes, there are impulse buyers, but they are the exception, not the rule. Most people take some time before they commit to a course of action and successful marketing demands you ‘touch’ them multiple times to reinforce your message.
The problem is that in the age of Web 2.0, there is an infinite number of distractions and other businesses trying to get their attention too. It’s not unreasonable to question how you can break through all the noise and competition just once, let alone seven or more times.
The answer is to use social media as a means to reach out to potential customers; in fact, an effective social media campaign can easily touch a customer seven times a day! The question is: how to keep them engaged long enough to reach the commitment stage?
Here are some methods to increase the effectiveness of social media:
- Let Your Audience Know They’re Special - Answer posts with substantial and personalized responses that go beyond just saying “thanks’. This makes people feel validated and validated people will keep returning to your content for more validation. People who return to your content are more likely to convert into sales.
- Utilize Variable Rewards - You need to provide users content of varying importance (If I keep checking, maybe I will find something I like). This doesn’t mean provide low-quality content now and then, but rather content of differing focus. So for example, one post could be about industry standards, the next about a popular technology trend, but they must both be of a consistently high quality. The goal is to attract different audiences who enjoy your content, but perhaps not that topic and each will visit again in hopes of hitting the jackpot.
- Take Advantage of the Audience’s FOMO Factor (Fear Of Missing Out) - No one wants to be outside the loop. By providing high quality and, most importantly, unique content no one else has, you create a hard-to-find commodity...a commodity your audience doesn’t want to miss out on due to its valuable insights.
- Engage the Senses - Multimedia content is incredibly easy to implement, so there’s no excuse not to change it up by adding videos or images to your posts. We all take in information differently and by providing as many opportunities for people to learn, you will only increase your social footprint.
- Be Part of a Community - Social media is a tool of communication and engagement. If your business isn’t part of other organizations, you are significantly reducing, not only your reach, but also your relevance. Join a group, add value to the group, then use the group to network or otherwise expand your base.
- Develop a Relationship with Your Audience - Strive to create multithreaded posts with substantial and valuable information. An audience which has invested considerable time, shared wisdom, and acquired insights, will be less inclined to unsubscribe. Once again make sure the conversation is of value.
- Offer Some Type of Reward - Always try to offer a deliverable, an immediate reward of something of value which encourages your audience to make an effort, and it is an effort to engage with you. This reward can be anything from a whitepaper, gift card or a free audit. Further, the majority of social media platforms have templates for contests, sweepstakes and other types of promotions to get you up and running quickly.
In the age of Web 2.0 and social media, it’s easier than ever to establish the Rule of 7, but only if you can break through the noise of your competition. These seven steps will help your business develop an authentic voice and relationship with your audience, keeping them engaged.
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