Social media didn’t only change the world of communication, but also the realm of marketing. Before its existence, brands only used print ads, radio and television commercials, and to a limited extent the Internet to promote themselves. What was originally meant simply as a means to connect people from different places soon evolved to become a whole new category of marketing. Nowadays, a marketing plan isn’t complete without proposed strategies for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.
Promoting on social media can be tricky and challenging. It’s a competitive field. According to Statista, 91.9% of U.S. marketers in companies with more than 100 employees were expected to use social media for marketing purposes in 2021. With big brands dominating, you may feel at a disadvantage. However, if done right, you can make social media marketing work for you even if you’re just starting out.
Using social media to spread brand awareness requires thorough planning and eagle-eyed focus because simply creating accounts and posting on them is not enough nowadays. Here’s a quick guide on how you can boost your brand profile with social media:
1. Identify who your target audience is.
A huge part of social media marketing involves research and the first thing you need to find out is who your target market is. You can’t make a wild guess about the social media platform your audience uses and what content they consume. If you know the group of people you should be targeting, you can easily connect and interact with them.
One of the most convenient ways to do this is, of course, by using social media itself. It can help you identify relevant hashtags, check out your competitors’ strategy, and connect with thought-leaders; they can provide you with the latest information and trends in your industry so that you can have a clear understanding of how your potential customers use social media.
2. Pick the right social media platforms.
There are many social media platforms out there and all can help you boost your brand profile. However, it doesn’t mean that you should use them all. You’ll risk stretching yourself too thin. So, use your time, energy, and budget wisely by focusing on the platforms that will work best for your brand as it’s more sustainable this way.
Intimate knowledge of your customer demographics is essential to help you determine the right platforms to use. What age group is most likely to want your product or service? What gender? Geographic location? Each social media platform has its pros and cons. Some are efficient at one thing and not so effective at another.
If you want to increase brand awareness and generate leads, Facebook is your best bet. On the other hand, influencers and professionals are more easily found on Twitter and LinkedIn. Meanwhile, you can make use of Instagram and TikTok to reach out to younger people.
3. Have a complete social media profile.
Your social media profile plays an important role in your branding. It’s what makes your brand easily and instantly recognizable. So, make sure that your profile picture shows your company logo so that people can easily spot you in search results – this is branding 101. Use the same image on all your platforms for the sake of uniformity.
Aside from your profile picture, you should also have a concise social media biography that describes your business in just 2-3 sentences. People’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter as time goes by, so you have to capture their interest and introduce yourself in a span of a few seconds.
Don’t forget to include your official website in all your profiles. This is the other thing that will connect your platforms aside from your logo. To keep the connection, share your website blog posts on your feeds and timelines. This will demonstrate how far your business reach is to your audience.
4. Post content that attracts attention.
If you don’t consistently create content that is interesting, engaging, and informative, potential customers will just scroll past your post every time they see you on their smartphones. As Bill Gates once famously said, “Content is king”.
Use images and videos to make your content eye-catching enough to grab the attention of increasingly hard-to-please social media users. Create vivid graphics or use relevant royalty-free stock photos. Accompany these with witty or thought-provoking captions.
What is important is that your content should always add value to your audience. People prefer useful content. The aim is not only to get their attention but also to encourage engagement. Some content ideas you can use are your brand’s story, community-centered activities, environmental issues, and news updates.
5. Use social media regularly.
When it comes to social media marketing, keep in mind the saying “out of sight, out of mind”. This virtual world is a fast-paced one. You can’t afford to drift away or else you’ll lose your audience to your competitors. You have to put out content regularly on all your social media accounts if you want to stay in the game.
Coming up with content in real-time can be nerve-wracking. You’ll be racing against time. So, to make things easier, plan your content ahead of time using a posting plan or social media calendar. This can help you determine the type of content you will post and when you will publish it.
Avoid wasting resources by conducting another round of research. Find out when your audience is most active on social media and schedule your posts for that exact time. Moreover, get to know the different social media rules when it comes to image sizes and word-count requirements.
In addition, use social media management tools, especially if you have multiple accounts. You can also repurpose your content across different platforms. However, make sure to avoid using the same content strategy for all of them as these platforms initiate different kinds of interactions from their users.
6. Don’t forget to talk to your audience.
One of the most common mistakes that brands make when using social media is that they forget to interact with their audience. We have to remember that before social media became the top tool for marketing, it was created to promote socialization and interaction. According to SproutSocial, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them – and a staggering 70% feel more connected to brands with CEOs who are active on social media.
So, reply to people’s comments on your posts. Try to make your responses creative and thoughtful. This is your chance to showcase your brand’s voice and personality. You can also share content created by your audience. If you have a lot of good quality interactions, people will be more likely to see your brand as credible and trustworthy.
7. Add hashtags to your posts.
Make it a habit to add relevant hashtags to your captions. This is because hashtags help people to find your content – it’s more likely that your posts will appear when users use these hashtags in searches.
However, don’t use hashtags carelessly or they won’t serve their purpose. Make sure they are directly relevant to your content and your audience. Research to discover which hashtags will work best for your brand. You can use generic ones and combine them with a unique or specific hashtag.
You can also create your own hashtags. If you use a more specific hashtag, your posts will have a higher chance of visibility and engagement. These unique hashtags can help you introduce yourself to specific communities.
It’s astonishing that in this day and age there are no businesses not actively marketing their brands on social media. But believe it or not, around 50% of small businesses are not practicing social media marketing. This is despite the fact that it is known to increase brand visibility, website traffic, business partnerships, leads, and sales. If you’re not already doing it, right now is the time to start.