Is Outreach an Important Part of Social Media Marketing?

Outreach is not only an important part of social media marketing but is also an important part of all digital marketing activities. In marketing terms, "outreach" simply means to increase brand awareness or content engagement or build new relationships. It is a process through which the companies ensure that more and more consumers are aware of the existence of the product and the company selling it.

In this article, we will understand the importance of social media outreach and how a company can design an effective social media outreach campaign for its brand.

Social Media Outreach

Social media outreach, in simple terms, means using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and others to reach out to a wider potential target audience. The company may create humorous, witty, and sensual content to appeal to consumers and advertise their product in a subtle manner, ask consumers to share positive product reviews on their social media handles, ask consumers to share company social media posts on their social media pages or even seek out influencers with large fan bases for a promotion collaboration. The end goal of the company is to ensure that as many people know about the existence of the brand and its product. It is also very essential because companies today face immense competition from other brands offering the consumer similar and sometimes identical products.

How to Design a Social Media Outreach Program?

The company may reach out to influencers with a huge fan base in order to promote their products or might send unknown users’ messages regarding the product or service; in both cases, it will not be social media outreach but digital spamming. Companies have to understand the difference between the two, and hence we will be helping you with a step-by-step guide for an effective social media outreach campaign.

  • Set your social media outreach objective − Before deciding upon the way ahead for the outreach program, we need to have a clear understanding of what we are targeting through the program. Is it an increase in the number of followers, asking people to promote our content, or just increasing brand awareness? You should not set too high a goal at the start. Your goal should be:

  • S - Specific

  • M - Measurable

  • A - Attainable

  • R - Realistic

  • T - Time-bound or timely

If you set an unwise goal, it will not only lead to "no" in the present but will also hamper your future prospects. For example, if I am a small company with a social media account that has merely 1000 followers and I am planning to increase brand awareness, I have set up an unwise goal for myself, like asking Vidya Balan, the famous Bollywood film star, to do a brand collaboration with our product. The social media handler of Vidya’s account will probably restrict us for life.

  • Make a list of all the prospecting people you should connect with − Instead of blindly spamming the influencers and hoping for the best, the company should compile a list of all potential Instagram influencers or big celebs who might be interested in the company's product or willing to collaborate with the company. You can use applications like Buzzsumo. You can find a list of all prospective influencers working in the company’s area of expertise on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Get the list and carefully analyze the people that you are going to connect with. Since it is AI, you might see certain irrelevant search results; scrap them out and take the prospective ones ahead as per your business objective. Before approaching an influencer, consider not only the number of followers but also the engagement rate (number of likes on each post, number of comments, number of reshares, etc.), the type of content that the followers create, and the influencer's previous work with other brands.

  • Set up your profile − It is advisable to use the brand’s account to conduct all the social media campaigns and reach out to people. Some people use their personal accounts to reach out to potential influencers. In both cases, it is important for you to develop an outreach-ready or outreach-worthy profile. As most of the people that you are going to connect with are coming back to your account to verify if it is worth their interest and time, Some of the tips that you can take care of are:

    • Add a profile photo. The profile photo should be clear, without any blurry text or low-quality images. In the case of the company profile, it is advisable to add your company’s logo as the profile picture.

    • Add a brief introduction about what the company does. If you are contacting someone through your profile, please include your position within the company and a brief description of what the company does.

    • It is advisable to add your contact information so that the influencers can reach out in case of queries. It will make the influencer comfortable and make you seem like a genuine company.

    • Add your website link so that the influencers can learn more about your company and its products.

    • Make sure that there are some posts already done regarding the company details, the product that the company offers, customer feedback, the content that the company connects with, and others.

    • Most importantly, please make sure to add your essence, like what the company stands for, and a splash of its culture to make it seem interesting.

  • Build a relationship before asking for a favor − Where most marketers go wrong is that as soon as they have a list of prospective influencers, they start spamming their inboxes with requests for favors. If you meet someone for the first time in person, will you start your conversation with "Hi, I am Karen, I work here, and I would like to invite you..." You will not. You will take your time to get to know the person, understand the situation, and read the room before you ask for the favor. Social media is just like that. Follow all the people on your list and start liking their latest posts or previous posts that your company’s objectives align with. Do not make it too obvious. Also, comment on their latest posts. This allows you to build a relationship with them before asking for a favor, and it also allows them to become acquainted with you.

  • Time to cash the cow − When you have been actively involved with the influencer, it is time for you to ask for the favor. Be polite and humble while doing the same, and ask for something simple like sharing your post, a collaboration in which they would gain something as well, or for them to come to live on your show. Make sure to include in your message how their work and interests are in line with the company’s work.

  • Be prepared for no as an answer − If the answer is yes, things could not have been better, but do not be disheartened if the answer is no. Be prepared for it. When you receive "no" as an answer, do not start pressuring them or using angry words. Write a simple response like, "I understand your reasonings and I think as well that this might not be the right time; however, we can connect in the future in better situations." This will make sure that you can easily reach out to the person in the future.

Social media outreach is a very important part of digital marketing. The only thing that sells is what is visible. However, do not be pressurized and become desperate; things will happen at their pace. Keep doing your best and always try out new ways to increase interaction with your consumers and fan base.