By now you’ve probably heard of Pokémon GO. It’s the Pokémon mobile gaming app that has skyrocketed in popularity, currently available in the US, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and now Germany. It has now surpassed Tinder’s active userbase, taking only took two days after it launched to be downloaded on 5% of all US Android devices (more than double the number of Tinder installs). Pokémon GO is now on pace to surpass Twitter for active users.
Heck, maybe you’re even playing it now… I know am! I just hit level 14 and earned a bunch of extra experience points by evolving Pokémon while using a Lucky Egg. (If you play, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)
Amidst all the buzz and awesome fun to be had exploring your neighborhood collecting Pokémon with friends (eyes up before you cross the street), there are also some great reminders for social media marketers about how to build an online following.
1. Fill Your Backpack with Valuable Items
Just like in the original game, where you can stuff your digital backpack full of items like Pokeballs, razz berries, and incense, social media marketers needs to equip themselves with the tools to succeed. Some of these important social media marketing management tools include:
- Buffer – Buffer is a great tool for scheduling your social media posts, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and now Instagram. Scheduling your social posts is a great way to stay on top of your social media content while not having to interrupt your day every few hours to publish something. Trying to reach an international audience? Schedule your tweets to publish during the night, that’s what we do – and have found it be great for boosting engagement numbers.
- Sprout Social – Sprout Social is another solid tool for scheduling and a one-stop shop for your analytics, an important asset for social media marketers. Of course, most platforms have their own native analytics — but having them all in one place makes it much easier, and more convenient, to monitor. Sprout Social also has a great social feed integration.
- TweetDeck – TweetDeck is helpful for social media monitoring. If you’re not tracking conversations happening about your brand online, you’ll miss opportunities to interact with customers – existing and potential, happy and upset. Social media monitoring is a vital asset for customer support teams, advocacy outreach, and general awareness about what people are saying about you online.
- Stocksnap – You can boost your social engagement by including images your posts. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have design time, pulling from some of the many free stock photography sites can be a lifesaver. We love Stocksnap.io by Snappa. There are also others, like Death to Stock Photography, Pexels, and more.
2. Catching Pokemon is Kind of Like Getting New Followers
For Pokémon trainers, catching Pokémon is no small task. It takes hard work to build your Pokedex, even more so when trying to capture higher level Pokémon. It’s no different for the social media marketer: building an online following takes hard work, persistence, and time.
In the game, you can set up lures or use incense to help get more Pokemon. In the real world, if you want to grow your followers, there are some basics you need to cover, like using follow buttons on your site. Exploring new places like Snapchat? We now have a Snapchat follow button.
In addition to these tactical approaches, you can also be:
- Publishing lots of content
- Promoting your content externally
- Including calls-to-action
- Hosting giveaways or contest
- Always using photos
- Guest blogging
Check out 10 Tips to Get More Followers for Your Site to dive deeper into each of these areas.
3. You Have to Train to Get Better
I’m not sure comparisons can be drawn between social media marketing and trying to take over Pokémon gyms (leave a comment below if you can think of one), but there is something to be said for doing training to improve your skills.
How can you train to become a better social media marketer? Increase your experience points, just like in the game. Social media changes constantly, which allows for a ton of room to experiment, try new campaigns, tactics, and channels. This is one place where the more you push yourself to grow an engaged community, the better you’ll become at your job.
Last we year we tried a lot of different tactics, mainly on Twitter, and learned:
- 12am to 2am ET is an awesome time to tweet
- Saturday and Sunday mornings also get great results
- Repeating yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing
- Create attractive images that tell what your post about is really helpful
Social media marketers and community managers are also very team oriented. There are some great communities out there you can join and learn from. And even if you don’t have time to participate, there’s still lots of great content you can read to up your game. At AddThis, we’re big fans of content from folks like Hubspot, Buffer, Hootsuite, QuickSprout, Influence & Co.
Have other recommendations to share? Please let us know, below!