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April 20, 2017

5 ways to make your social media sizzle

Garnering attention and creating buzz online

No doubt you’re all familiar with the “You Never Lamb Alone” campaign released annually in the lead up to Australia Day. The videos commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) have evolved over the years from tongue-in-cheek tirades delivered by Sam Kekovich to a more subdued yet clever combo of gags and celebrity cameos in more recent times. In addition to the millions of views it has clocked up online, it has also received a lot of heat in the press debating its sensitivity or lack thereof to issues of diversity and cultural importance. (As a side note, they also attracted a huge amount of criticism for mocking vegans in 2016.)

Whether you love or loathe these ads, one thing we can all agree on is its enormous success in garnering attention and creating buzz online. Which begs the question – what makes us connect with some content on social media and not others? As café owners and operators, the major challenge posed to you is cutting through and making an impact in the highly competitive space that is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. So, what exactly is the secret sauce to this lamb campaign? Let’s take a look at what MLA do well and how you can adapt these elements to fit your own brand.

Be Relatable
MLA website says: “The campaign content taps into what makes Australia great and how our diversity and everything we each bring to the nation, regardless of who we are or when we came here, contributes to this.” We can learn something from this core message, that being “a united celebration of Australia”; much of the campaign’s success lies in its wide appeal. Take a moment to think about what unites your customers …? Crafting posts around their love of good food, great coffee and your local community is a terrific starting point. Be authentic, and try to steer away from posts that read more like a sales pitch. If people can identify with your posts, you’re creating a unique bond with them, and this in turn will help drive more likes, shares and comments.

Jumping on the bandwagon of an established campaign can also do wonders for your community approach. Large campaigns offer opportunities to broaden your audience by incorporating relevant campaign hashtags and handles into your social media marketing, promoting your campaign- relevant dish or celebration. For example, leveraging the in-market activity of MLA’s Australia Day campaign by offering a lamb dish on your January menu, or a chocolate beverage at Easter.

Keep It Short & Sweet
This year’s “You Never Lamb Alone” video was posted with a short intro, just nineteen words. That’s a mere two and a bit lines in your Facebook newsfeed. Next time you post on social media, take a leaf out of their book and keep your text to a minimum. Studies indicate that brevity is key, not just because your audience’s eyes will glaze over at the sight of a big block of text, but also given Facebook’s algorithms tend to favour posts with fewer characters.

Stay Relevant
For many, watching MLA’s ads have become somewhat of a tradition in the lead up to Australia Day. The takeaway here is to keep abreast of what is topical and on-trend then find a way to tie your brand to the conversation. Make posts relevant to your followers and start a dialogue about what’s going on in their lives.

Make People Smile
Laughter makes the world go ‘round and is a driving force behind the online currency of likes, shares and comments. Light-hearted content serves your audience as a break from their daily grind, and the power of positivity should not be underestimated. Memes that are inspirational or comical are absolute dynamite for social shares – helping you expand your reach, boost your brand awareness, connect with new audiences and ultimately drive more foot traffic through your doors.

Dazzle & Delight
Sure, you may not have the big bucks to replicate the sort of production value that MLA have become known for (not to mention the team of creatives and marketing gurus that make it happen!), but there are a few things you can do to achieve a polished and professional social media presence. Skilful food styling and artful composition will help you create desire; thoughtful framing and careful consideration to lighting to highlight your décor and ambience; use editing apps such as Snapseed or VSCO to take your photos from mediocre to magnificent. These simple guidelines are important not only to help you boost engagement levels on social media, but also in shaping your customer’s perception of the experience your café provides – both of which will have a direct effect on new, repeat and referral business.

Written by Elise McNeil





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