When it comes to effectively promoting your brand, not including a social media strategy is no longer an option. However, social media changes rapidly, making it hard to keep up with the latest features, guidelines, and standards.
So, without a few social media tips it can be overwhelming to stay up-to-date with every platform along with the ever-changing needs of consumers. Plus, consumers are busier than ever, making it even more difficult to create messaging that encourages them to engage with your brand.
Most consumers - and especially millennials - are wary of advertising and marketing practices. Younger consumers grew up around marketing and often grow skeptical of selling practices. So, how can brands enact effective social media strategies without creating distrust? The key is to add an ingredient that’s missing from many of today’s social strategies: respect.
Power of Social Media
In today’s technology-driven world, social media is the king of communication. Twenty-nine percent of all internet users with college degrees currently have Twitter accounts, while Facebook is used by a staggering 79 percent of American internet users. Additionally, most users check in with their favorite sites daily.
If your business doesn't already use social media when communicating with potential customers, it’s time to get started. Even if your organization is already creating content for these platforms, it’s still possible to fine-tune your digital strategy. This guide to social media will show you how to use social media’s ever-growing presence to your advantage.
Creating meaningful, honest social campaigns can have a dramatic impact on brand awareness and lead generation. Here are social media marketing tips that can help you build respect and brand awareness:
1. Have Respect for Your Audience
While treating your audience with respect may seem obvious, most brands miss the mark with building respectful social strategies. A successful social strategy will respect your audience’s real-life needs and won’t expect them to make large mental leaps to understand your message. Have respect for your audience’s time and interests - be straightforward about your intention, which is to sell your product or service.
Of course, respecting your audience’s time doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t devote time to examining their needs and interests. When you know what makes your audience tick, you can deliver content that genuinely interests and motivates them.
Don't be shy, use a catchy headline to really grab their attention. Then you can provide your audience with value lifestyle content, use eye-catching photos, and even entertain them in their news feed. Knowing what content is valuable to your audience is one of the best ways to practice respect. Ask yourself:
- How can I quickly and easily show my brand’s value to my audience?
- What does my target market care about most?
2. Have Respect for Your Brand
Respecting your audience doesn't mean purchasing followers - it means building your social media branding organically. For those in the early stages of developing a social media strategy, this can be tedious and even be discouraging. However, steadily building followers will have far greater returns over the long term.
Your brand's social media strategy should focus first on those that you know are interested in your brand. Creating interesting targeted content is a great way to kick off your social media efforts.
It’s also important to be transparent about your brand's goal: to make a sale. Many brands will sneak in a call-to-action about their products or services at the end of their blog posts. Unfortunately, this approach can be detrimental to your sales strategy, as posts that feature products at the center are 30 percent more effective. Don’t be afraid to showcase your products and services - again, the key is, to be honest about your purpose.
Think about the things that your brand truly cares about and share those values with others. When you respect your brand by showcasing its strengths, others will come to respect it.
3. Have Respect for Social Media
Even in today’s digital age, many marketers continue to think of social media as an afterthought to their overall marketing strategy. If your goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement, you must respect social media by building a plan devoted to the channel. This doesn’t mean that your social media plan is a standalone effort; with proper planning, social media should amplify your other media efforts.
Keep in mind that each channel has different needs - for example, a Facebook campaign shouldn’t be run the same way as a Twitter or Instagram campaigns. Besides working with each channel individually, also use real-time feedback to ensure your promotional efforts are working properly. Think about the benefits of each social media channel and how you can leverage them to build your business.
4. Create Unique, Engaging Content
With multiple brands marketing their services across social platforms, it’s obvious that creating excellent content is essential. Organizations must focus on keeping the audience interested while avoiding over-posting. Posts should engage and inform the audience while encouraging interaction. Instead of simply telling the user about the benefits of your product or service, try telling a story that illustrates what your brand is truly about.
One of the best ways to tell your brand’s story is by using video. Video is a low-cost yet effective way to share information with users. While it may seem overwhelming to create a video-focused campaign, creating an editorial calendar can make the process easier. Digital media managers can use the calendar to determine what content should be released throughout the year.
5. Boost Your Content
In the marketing world, even the best and most interesting content on the internet is useless if no one sees it. While most social networking platforms are free to use, their services aren’t actually “free” for brands. Facebook only displays content that is relevant to its members, making it more difficult for marketers to grow their audiences organically.
If your brand currently has an active Facebook page, using a mix of organic and paid strategies can help you increase your posts’ exposure. To do this, supplement your posts with a pay-to-play plan, allowing each post to grow organically before paying to boost it. In addition to boosting posts, marketers can maximize their Facebook reach by utilizing conversion ads and acquisition ads.
6. Focus on the Metrics
Measurements are essential when it comes to determining an organization’s success. Using specific identifiers and custom links are a great way to track conversions. This allows you to understand which campaigns have been effective – and which ones should be tweaked or even eliminated. Looking at follower acquisition and list building are other ways to improve your social networking efforts.
When analyzing social networking metrics, it’s important to find key performance times to post the most essential information. You also should monitor post engagement, which reveals which topics and types of posts resonate most with users. This information allows you to grow your following by providing the content that your audience enjoys most.
Tip: Facebook offers many ways for your company to interact with customers by creating groups, pages, or streaming live video.
7. Build Relationships with Content Partners
Whether it’s reaching out to similar businesses or enlisting the help of an influencer, creating partnerships is essential when building a strong presence across social platforms. When you connect with your audience through brands or individuals they trust, they are more likely to engage with your company. With peer-to-peer campaigns, fans can share your brand’s message with friends, exposing your brand to an even wider audience.
Creating media toolkits for your partners can help them stay on-brand when posting about your services. These kits contain suggested messaging, custom-made URLs, and other promotional materials they can use on social platforms.
8. Implement Targeted Campaigns
While targeted campaigns play an important role in both traditional marketing and SEO and social media marketing, there is one key difference to consider: A targeted social strategy can go viral, which can greatly increase your company’s online visibility. In fact, targeted social campaigns can be especially effective when driving online initiatives.
Using hashtags is one way to engage the audience about a specific cause or promotion. Encourage fans to use the hashtag when posting a photo or other media relevant to your brand. Besides hashtags, Twitter Q&As, Facebook Live video, and Instagram takeovers are all great ways to encourage interaction among fans.
Over to you
Respect for your audience, brand, and social media channels are all essential to your marketing plan’s success. When you deliver content that respects your audience’s needs and remain honest about your brand’s intentions, you’ll be able to build a trusting, lasting relationship with your target market.
It’s never too late to harness the power of social media to grow your business. Refer to this guide to social media when creating your company’s strategy, and you’ll be able to create targeted, engaging campaigns that increase your online visibility.