Whether selling clothing, kitchen appliances, or enterprise software, every brand has a story to tell. In today’s saturated marketplace, competition is high, but brands do excel – when they are able to tell their story in a way that resonates well with their audience.
Using social media to communicate your brand’s story in a way that stands out involves far more than simply churning out endless content in hope that something will strike it lucky. By adopting a simple, but effective strategy, any brand has the potential to win new leads, grow existing ones, improve brand reputation, and gain ground against their competition.
Using social media to amplify your brand
Whatever your business operations may be, your customers are on social media, and they’re ready and waiting to interact with your brand. In fact, more than 70 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on some form of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or Pinterest.
Creating a strong presence on the social media channels that your target audience is using, and painting a clear picture of what your brand stands for on these channels, makes it easy to seamlessly connect with customers in a way that suits them – so long as you remain consistent.
Identifying and measuring goals on social media
Social media provides a wealth of opportunity for consumers to shout about your brand through likes, shares, comments, or other means, which can all contribute toward wider marketing goals.
First, come up with some realistic objectives, for example:
- Increase your brand awareness
- Drive more traffic to your site
- Grow your customer base
- Get more content shares
- Reduce your marketing spend
Then, consider how you will measure progress, for example:
- Reach – how many people saw your post?
- Number of shares, likes, comments
- Number of brand mentions or followers
- Analysis of how these metrics stand against the competition
The what, why, and when of a social media strategy
To reap the rewards of social media, it’s vital to adopt a human-centred approach to avoid coming across like you are simply pushing for sales. This means investing time into planning what content to post, where to post it, and when to post it.
The audiences of Facebook and Twitter are seeking information and entertainment in equal doses, and are generally open to engaging with brands. Therefore, you’re well positioned to post timely, insightful responses to current news and trends, entertain people with interesting links, and share content that reflect your brand’s messaging.
Linkedin is a must for B2B companies seeking to showcase their industry expertise and publish longer-tailed content. If you’re using Instagram or Snapchat then let your audience see what’s going on behind-the-scenes at your offices, trade shows, product launches, and conferences.
Got a fresh t-shirt design to promote, a new team member, or a groundbreaking research paper? Don’t keep it to yourself!
Current affairs, TV shows and sporting events are great for sparking conversation. Check out trending topics and hashtags of the mo, and jump on the bandwagon.
Everyday is a day
Yorkshire pudding day, world kindness day, checklist day…. There’s an unofficial holiday for just about everything. At least one of those things can be worked into your social media calendar. Oh, and – #WisdomWednesday, you can easily cash in on days-of-the-week hashtags, too.
Get people talking – ask them their product preferences and feelings. Brucey bonus – use their answers to inspire future content. Facebook posts that ask a question have been shown to increase follower interactions by 162 percent.
Use a catchy hashtag to run a contest to invite followers to like or comment on your posts for a chance to win a prize. Just make sure you read the rules beforehand.
Offer inspiration and motivation with a famous quote or insight. Gold star if it’s a trending topic.
Educate and entertain with a “did you know” type post.
Thank you and g’night
Show followers that you appreciate their engagement and loyalty – thank them for their mentions, like their comments, share their content.
Consistency is key
Once you get going, be sure to dig into the data regularly – how many people are interacting with your posts? When do they interact? And with what? Do their interactions become site visits, or sales? Take these findings and use them to plan future posts. Revisit those objectives and refresh the content accordingly.
Studies show that 45 percent of a brand’s image is directly connected to what it says, and how it says it. This applies across all marketing collateral, including social media, so be sure to maintain wider brand guidelines and tone of voice when using these channels. Conflicting messages will tarnish the identity of your brand and confuse customers.