Welcome to the Jungle: Heavy Metal Social Media Marketing
Heavy metal music is powerful, aggressive, provocative, relentless, and epic. Those are all qualities I put into social media marketing.
Despite my diminutive size, I grew up in mosh pits from tiny underground punk shows to huge metal festivals. Half of my Spotify playlists are all about the metal. I also play roller derby, a full-contact sport on quad roller skates.
You might say I know a thing or two about being aggressive.
A lot of business owners have a weak social strategy, either because they’re resistant to technology or social media, or because they don’t think it will work.
The truth is, you need social media. Today’s word-of-mouth is almost entirely online. If your site is a hub for your products or services and you don’t tell anyone about it, where does that leave you?
Your digital marketing strategy needs a kick in the pants. Let’s look at the five most metal things you can do to turn your social media up to 11 and make it seriously rock.
Metal Tip #1: Power
— Forge and Smith (@forgeandsmith) November 23, 2015
A synonym for powerful is “strong”; that’s what your social posts should be. There are two ways you need to assert yourself.
1. Use strong words. Words like “think”, “feel”, and “very” are weak sauce, and weak words don’t inspire confidence. A wise journalism prof forbid my class to use the word “very”. Let your words be strong enough for themselves. It’s not “We feel these are very smart tips”, it’s “These are smart tips”. It’s either smart or it isn’t. If you say it with conviction, there will be no doubt.
2. Use strong sentences. Instead of saying “So you’re thinking that”, write “You think that”. Instead of “You might want to try this”, write “Try this”, or better yet “Use this” – because trying implies a chance of failure.
When you’ve written a post, tweet, or blog, re-read it and challenge yourself to find places to make it more powerful. Tweets in particular are too short for wishy-washy words. It’s not “The best of our tips”, it’s “Our best tips”. Period.
I went back over this blog after writing it and cut 150 powerless words. Boom.
Metal tip #2: Provocation
— Forge and Smith (@forgeandsmith) December 12, 2015
Don’t confuse being provocative with being controversial. Provocation is defined as eliciting a strong reaction. Your social media should provoke – move your audience to click, read, convert.
Do some research and learn what your target audience wants, find their pain point, then let them know you’ve got the answers.
Strong visuals on your website and in your social posts will provoke audiences to click through to read your content. Tempting headlines that let them know you have the solutions to their issues will also provoke them to click through.
Like the powerful artwork on a heavy metal album, your social posts should make them curious and a little bit afraid that if they don’t click through they’ll miss out.
Metal Tip #3: Aggression
— Forge and Smith (@forgeandsmith) December 2, 2015
You can sit around waiting to be discovered or you can get out there and make your brand known.
Use scheduling software to ensure you never miss a tweet or post, because more content means more opportunities to be discovered. Test times and days on all networks and use data to find the sweet spots. Check the daily trends, join the conversations, and keep a constant feed of fresh industry content by influencers and other sources to share so that you’re not reliant on your own ability to produce new content.
Aggressively pursue placing your brand in the forefront every single day, and you’ll see results.
Metal Tip #4: Relentlessness
— Forge and Smith (@forgeandsmith) December 11, 2015
— Pam KB (@JudgmentCat) December 11, 2015
The most important (and aggressive) things that I do are studying analytics and insights, and doing hashtag research. Look at how yesterday’s tweets performed, study the stats, and compete with yourself to do better each day, week, and month.
Use Google Analytics to analyze the heck out of your social referral traffic and identify successes and weaknesses. Likes and followers are fun, but they aren’t the best indicators of your awesomeness (as we explain in this blog).
Keep an eye on your audience, and look for additional ways to drive traffic to your site (ex. a link in your bio to a custom landing page or to your case studies).
I started using GIFs to enhance tweets about our blogs. They got awesome engagement, but the click-through rate didn’t immediately increase – people were just liking the GIFs. I then got hardcore about my headlines to get that clickthrough happening.
Successful hashtags are a combination of art and science. Keep lists, review your favourites, and always be looking for more. We have awesome tips on how to master hashtags.
Experiment using control groups: the same tweet with different hashtags, or the same content with different tones. Get creative (as illustrated in the two tweets above) and use your personal Twitter account to retweet using a different tone and tags.
Metal Tip #5: Being Epic
— Forge and Smith (@forgeandsmith) December 4, 2015
A truly great metal song throws down everything the musicians have and leaves you out of breath. Don’t half-ass your social media marketing. Give your audience everything you have every time you post, and throw yourself into becoming a master at your craft.
Bring people smart, quality writing that establishes your brand as a trusted resource. Read digital strategy blogs, take webinars, attend conferences, and do whatever it takes to take yourself from garage band to international phenomenon.
Legendary rock band Queen’s guitarist Brian May earned a PhD in astrophysics. There’s nothing more hardcore than being a subject matter master.
If all of that sounds awesome but entirely too exhausting, don’t fret; hired help is readily available. An experienced social media marketing strategist is like having a guitar hero in your pocket.