A dairy farmer friend recently reached out after receiving a communication challenge from a leadership program they are involved with.
It was a game of social media bingo where you earn points for completing different social media outreach challenges. To give you an example: If you got 10 or more Instagram followers, you could score 25 points.
While I love to gamify tasks, I initially thought it to be kind of insulting to those of us who take social media engagement as serious communication and marketing. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others) to other areas of activity.
But then I thought this isn’t a bad idea. Social media can be fun, and you do get the same kind of rush seeing your influence or followers grow as you would if you had won a game of bingo.
So, I dug in to the different challenges and suggested some tips that have helped me to gain followers, get others to engage in my posts or tweets, and potentially gain trust and influence.
Here are a few of mine:
Get a reporter, politician or influencer to retweet or share your post.
- Use a video or image and say something supportive of this person, like how smart they are for their tweets, stories, positions, or body of work.
- Make sure to tag their profile or page in the post. If you know who their boss/audience is, tag them, too. Give it a day for them to respond.
- If they don’t, you can send them a DM of the post and ask for their opinion on it.
- It’s better to tag reporters, politicians, and influencers who are very active in engaging others vs. just posting their own content. I would check the Tweets/Replies section on Twitter and/or the comment section on Instagram and Facebook.
Get one of your videos to have 20 or more shares.
- Make a funny video that your friends would laugh at.
- If you can’t tell a joke or do something funny, then make a video of your animals.
- After you post, direct message at least 20 or more friends and ask them to share.
- If it’s funny or cute and you are seeing lots of shares, then direct message it to viral video companies such as Viral Hog, LTD Life, Barstool Sports, etc.
Get 20+ followers on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Page, etc.
There are a couple of different ways to do this:
- Post amazing content, which can be difficult. Video is going to be your best choice. Make people laugh, cry, or think.
- Ask your friends and family to share it via direct message.
- Select a popular hashtag with the audience you want to influence.
- As you scroll through the posts, start following people. Follow at least a hundred new people a day. Look for people who are posting good content but also seem to be following the same amount of people who are following them. These people are more apt to follow you back vs. some influencers who only follow a small portion of people.
- You can always ask people to follow you back, but this can backfire and get you into trouble with the social media networks. Many social networks don’t like it when you just ask for followers.
While you can see that social media influence can be played like a game, it’s also a direct engagement tool to the media and consumers. Please don’t say anything that you would not say to someone’s face or that you would not want to see end up as a newspaper headline.
My golden rule for social media is to deliver more value to the other person — go above and beyond as much as you can and you will gain trust and a following.
If you need help handling social media for your farm, your local and national dairy checkoff can assist. Reach out to them at dairy.org or me at [email protected]. If you would like to learn more about your national dairy checkoff, you can join our Facebook group or visit dairy.org.