5 Social Media Tips From PromoKitchen’s Charity Gibson
Your brand is likely already on social media, but are you getting the full value of these platforms? Experts in the industry say that, although social definitely has a place in your marketing mix, it’s changing — and brands need to keep up.
Boundless sat down for a chat with Charity Gibson, the owner of Green Banana Social as well as an OG Chef and former Social Media Director of PromoKitchen. She shared her insights about paid content, content creation, and everything in between. Follow Charity’s five tips to truly build a standout brand on social media.
Tip #1: Build your own niche audience
Instead of targeting everyone and their mother, Charity recommends brands niche down. “Niches are easier because I’m speaking to or educating a niche audience. That helps because it’s a smaller pond.”
If you feel like you’ve been shouting into the void, it’s likely because you are. But with a niche audience, you change venues to a smaller stadium where the sound from your metaphorical megaphone goes further.
This means you need to find the niches your customers are in, as well as spots where these niches gather online. That might mean connecting with more people via:
- Niche Instagram hashtags
- Facebook groups
- Trade shows
Instead of blanketing the world with a generic message, you can find dedicated customers who will actually listen when you share content on social media. It all starts with settling on a niche.
Tip #2: Paid content isn’t always worth it
You don’t need a gigantic budget to do social media marketing successfully. As Charity points out, “We don’t run ads. We’re just us.”
Although platforms like Facebook and Instagram are definitely guilty of creating a pay-to-play environment, paid content isn’t always worthwhile.
Charity encourages brands to dig deeper. What’s your end goal? If you’re just trying to beat the algorithm, paid content isn’t the answer. Even if you pay to bump up poorly performing content, it will still not do well. That’s because paid ads are better used as gasoline to get more traction from content already doing well.
So, if you have content that went viral, feel free to get more out of it with paid ads. But if you don’t have high-performing content that you can support with ads, focus on organic content first.
Tip #3: Stand out with the right influencer partnerships
Charity believes influencer marketing will continue to be a must-have for branded social media — but it’s going to change.
We’re at an inflection point with influencer marketing because it’s become inauthentic and spammy. To do influencer marketing right, brands need to be less overt about it.
Charity urges people to inject a jolt of realness into their influencer partnerships so people will listen. “If you’re full of crap, you’re not going to have a place on social media,” she adds.
But if you’re trying to reach specific people via social media, influencer marketing is still a must. To do it right, you’ll need to find influencers with an engaged audience that fits your target demographic. “When you pay for a micro-influencer, you’re really paying for their audience,” Charity says. Remember to go for authentic influencers — if you partner with someone who’s too corny, your customers won’t believe them.
Tip #4: Follow the Golden Rule to create better content
Viral content goes viral because it’s already good, not because brands paid for ads that force-feed the content to users. Your customers are human, and that means they want to engage with content that:
- Makes them laugh
- Helps them save money
- Educates them
They also want to be engaged with content valuable to them in some other way.
Don’t disappoint your audience with subpar content. “If you wouldn’t want to see it on your own Instagram feed, then don’t freaking post it. We shouldn’t waste people’s time like that,” Charity says.
No one sets out to make low-quality content, but it keeps happening. It’s time for brands to take a good, hard look at their social media content.
If you’re short on content ideas, Charity recommends:
- Day in the life videos: Make these super exciting! Do fast-motion videos of things that are interesting, funny, or relatable.
- Quote graphics: Have you used Canva before? Slap together a few free templates, pick your fave quotes, and share them on social media. It’s a good, quick way to add visuals to your feed without hiring a graphic designer.
- Questions: Asking a question naturally invites engagement and creates dialogue. For example, ask your followers, “What’s the best piece of branded merch you've ever received and why?”
- Behind-the-scenes: Pull back the curtain and give away a few trade secrets. Show people exactly how they can do what you do — but be sure to sprinkle in a few case studies to show your brand is legit, too.
- Funny hot takes: Avoid anything political or topics that hit too close to home. But if you have a funny, hot take like, “August is way too early for pumpkin spice,” it can start a good-natured debate in the comments.
Remember, followers and revenue are nice, but they aren’t the real goal of social media. Its true purpose is to create an authentic personality around your business. When people are interested in who you are, they’ll be curious enough to learn about your products. So, create awesome content that gets people interested!
Tip #5: Spend time on the right social channels
Which social media channels are you on? Keep in mind that different channels attract different types of users, which means you have to be thoughtful about where you spend your time.
Are you promoting yourself with ads on Instagram? Charity loves Instagram as a user but hates seeing ads on the platform. “I hate being marketed to on Instagram,” she says. This is why authentic influencer partnerships are so important for this platform. Since users are on Instagram to escape and have fun, they aren’t always in the right headspace to hear about your solutions.
For example, if you want to sell clothes on Pinterest because you know your audience is on that platform, you might want to rethink your approach. Are your shoppers actually on Pinterest looking at clothes? Or are they on the platform for other purposes, like planning a wedding?
Context matters a lot, but the social platforms you choose can have an impact, too. In Charity’s experience, brands can get more mileage out of these social channels:
- LinkedIn: People love LinkedIn, but brands are way too buttoned-up on the platform. “If you do what everybody else is doing, you’re going to blend right in,” Charity says. That’s why brands should open up and be personable on LinkedIn. Show your latest projects or ask your followers what merch they want to receive at your next trade show.
- Facebook Groups: Sure, Facebook has an older demographic, but this audience has a lot of buying power. If you want to drill down and target folks with organic content, create a Facebook Group. This will help you access a ready-made community with a proven interest in your brand.
- YouTube: If people want a full demo or presentation that won’t fit on other platforms, upload them to YouTube. Treat TikTok as a way to tease people and get them interested before you funnel them over to YouTube. With this approach, Charity says you can use social media as a funnel with a structured hierarchy, making it easier to do omnichannel marketing.
Be the future of social media
Remember when we used social media to stay in touch with friends and family? The space has become so saturated with promoted content that users are craving something real again. Charity Gibson argues that brands must keep up with consumer expectations, which means it’s time to raise the bar. “Let’s do more and be more — because we’re capable of it,” Charity concludes.
Want to see what we’re up to? Let’s get social on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook!