How the 6 'E's of Social Can Get More Traction to Your Tweets

Technology Tips

How the 6 'E's of Social Can Get More Traction to Your Tweets

By Anthony Shop     Nov 29, 2017

How the 6 'E's of Social Can Get More Traction to Your Tweets

Recently, the American College Application Campaign (ACAC) hit a home run as part of its social media marketing campaign to inspire students across the country to apply for college at college application events at schools throughout the nation.

To support the campaign, ACAC asked college access and success professionals to join them in sharing the reasons applying to college is important using the hashtag #WhyApply. The use of Twitter as a platform was a strategic decision, as about 52% of Gen Z-ers use Twitter.

During the course of about a week this September its #WhyApply hashtag garnered 2,367 uses, 625 unique users and 5.3 million impressions. For them, this was a big success, not only in terms of impression numbers, but in reaching the coveted Gen Z demographic—high schoolers and young adults who are in the process of making important college decisions.

In some ways, perhaps ACAC learned that all marketing these days is similar. Big consumer brands like fast food chains and tech companies pour tons of money into understanding the behaviors of Gen Z and using modern-day marketing techniques to reach them. While student-facing edtech companies, colleges and even educators looking to reach this group may know that appealing to Gen Z is essential, many don’t know where to start.

The most diverse generation in U.S. history, Gen Z currently owns about 25% of all consumer spending. This is projected to grow to 40% within the next ten years. As if this weren’t enough, Gen Z has a combined purchasing power of $43 billion, and upwards of $600 billion in additional family spending.

There’s no question that Gen Z is a financial powerhouse, or that educators and companies in the edtech space need to tap into technology to reach them. By driving engagement with social media and applying what I call the “six E’s of social engagement,” ACAC managed to engage young people and run an incredibly lucrative modern campaign.

Here’s how you can follow their lead using the six Es of social engagement.

1. Educate

The first step to engaging an audience on social media is to educate them. What is your target audience curious about? What are they searching for?

In ACAC’s case, they knew their target audience was curious about the college application process. As such, they came up with some unique ways to educate their #WhyApply audience.

Check out this example from ACAC’s Twitter campaign:

Here’s another example of how campaign partners educated their audience through social content:

2. Elevate

For many people, perception is critical.

We want to look good to our peers, and we like brands, campaigns and accomplishments that facilitate that for us. This is where the second E of the Six E’s comes in: Elevate.

What will make your target audience look and feel important to other people?

In ACAC’s case, the answer to this question was simple: a college degree or participation in a college program.

With this in mind, they tailored their social strategy around delivering that perception to their target audience. Here’s a post that showcases their approach:

3. Empower

In addition to looking good, people want to feel like they have control over their lives, and that they can shape them into what they want them to be. For your social content to work as well as possible, it needs to help people feel like they “got it right.”

Quizzes and polls work well for this, as do any posts that ask for your audience’s opinion or input, or reinforce a specific action.

Here’s a tweet that demonstrates how #WhyApply partners made the idea of Empowerment work for their target audience:

4. Ease

The most engaging social content helps your readers solve their problems. It addresses their concerns and helps them find creative solutions. “Easing” content typically includes step-by-step tutorials and real-time Q&As.

Consider this example from NCAN, which uses the #WhyApply hashtag:

5. Entice

Today it’s not enough for your social content to be helpful and user-focused. It also needs to be enticing.

Enticing content grabs user attention and helps people get to the point where they can interact with it and enjoy its full value.

Great examples of content that fulfills this “E” include headlines that require the reader to click to get the full answer, or time-based offers and discounts.

During the #WhyApply campaign, several partner brands and organizations constructed enticing Tweets designed to get would-be students excited about college life and the application process.

Here’s a great example:

6. Entertain

To create more engaging social content, you need to catch and keep your readers’ attention.

Make them smile. Make their experience of interacting with your content a positive one.

Posts that do this include visually appealing graphics, audience-related humor (memes are great) and similar posts.

Here’s an example from ACAC itself:

While the process of creating engaging social content can feel challenging, employing the “Six E’s” provides a roadmap for valuable, engaging content that benefits your brand, your cause, and your audience—both now and in the future.

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