As most marketers will happily confirm, social media can be the making of a brand. If used effectively it can boost sales, heighten positive engagement between a company and its customers, and provide a superb alternative channel of communication. Here are some useful guidelines for brands still yet to approach:
Steps to Utilise Social Media Correctly
1. Don’t do anything without a plan
Before creating a single profile, the business should know its social objectives – building a brand, strengthening brand loyalty, increasing revenue, learning what people really think of the brand; and who exactly it wants to reach (its entire customer base or certain segments), and where they are found online – for instance, Hidden Hearing knows that most people over the age of 60 develop hearing issues of some kind; they also know that the 55-64 age bracket is the fastest growing on Facebook, and therefore it makes perfect sense for them to maintain a Facebook page.
Without a clear understanding of its social media goals, a brand can’t effectively track whether they’re being met, and so can’t hope to understand the ROI of its activity.
2. Relevant content
Brands should place a real focus on content that people find interesting and which relates to their industry. That doesn’t mean they can’t post a picture of a cute baby or kitten stuck in a shoe every Friday afternoon, it just means that ought to be the exception rather than the rule. Brands want people to take an interest in what they’re saying, to share it, and come back for more. They should utilise diverse forms of content such as imagery, videos, infographics and text, and also link to or share content from other sources that aligns with their message. This may encourage links back also.
Any feedback from followers, comments on photos, queries posted on Twitter or Facebook, should be responded to immediately.
3. Consistent branding
It’s absolutely vital to keep the brand image consistent across all forms of interaction, from physical outlets, if they exist, to the corporate website, to social media pages. The imagery, such as logos, must be the same, and so must the values which make up the brand’s ‘story’ – by way of a simple example, if a brand’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are all about engaging customers with funny content, then it makes sense that the website, to which presumably they are wanting to drive traffic, is written in a similar vein.
4. Follow competitors
Creating a fake profile to follow competitors over social media is a good idea. Brands can see how their rivals do things, what they can improve on, and what types of content tend to get the best reception.
5. Choosing the right platform
A scattergun approach won’t work – it stretches resources too far. Brands need to assess which platforms are best suited to their needs and stick to two or three. A hairdressing salon has no need for LinkedIn, but they would be well advised to maintain profiles on Facebook and Instagram where they can showcase images of their styling successes and build up a customer base.
Blogging regularly, not necessarily at any great length, is a form of content that can be easily shared across all social channels simultaneously. It demonstrates the brand’s experience and knowledge, and it also serves a useful function in boosting SEO.
7. Use analytics
There are many analytics tools available, from the simplistic to the complex, that enable a brand to track how its social media activity is actually boosting revenue. Analytics can measure how many people a Tweet reaches, how many people have shared a blog post, what type of image tends to get the most shares or likes on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
It can demonstrate exactly what part a social channel played in an individual e-commerce sale, and it can indicate the level of positive or negative sentiment that people hold about a brand during online conversation. It can be used to justify the expenditure on social to a management team that may not fully grasp its value. In short, it’s indispensable.
Making social media work for you depends solely on your strategies which includes various tactics and techniques for effective results. You have the medium at your disposal, all you need do is to utilise social media to your business benefits.
Credits: PreviewNetworks, SageRealEstateThoughts, KreataGlobal