You don’t really need us to tell you that your brand should be leveraging social media as a marketing tool. Social media offers a multitude of opportunities for businesses – from building relationships with customers to brand awareness and lead generation. While most brands are aware of the benefits of social media, keeping up with the various channels and their policies, generating content and interacting with followers, can seem daunting. Here are a few tips for establishing your brand on social media.
Choose the right social media networks
It’s no secret Americans are using social media, with 22% saying they check it multiple times a day. There are hundreds of social networks out there, but that does not mean your brand should be investing time and energy into every single one. One of the easiest ways to break social media down into a manageable project is to narrow down the networks you choose to put yourself on.
Here is a high-level look at 6 popular social media channels:
Facebook is the best platform for establishing brand awareness, with almost 75% of American adults using the site. It is a great platform for promoting any brand, due to its heterogeneous user base.
Twitter is a platform that allows brands to build relationships and awareness, but do so using shorter snippets of information. It also offers a way to build lists and follow along via hahshtags or Twitter chats to keep up with industry news or connect with your followers on personal levels.
Visual marketing is where it’s at. Instagram is great for brands that have a visual story to tell. From a strictly demographic perspective, it is also effective for reaching young adults, Hispanics and African Americans.
Everyone has their opinions about Google+. And while it’s not necessarily our favorite channel, it does provide a platform to build SEO and be found in search. It’s also a channel that has proved effective in reaching men in the technology industry. Two-thirds of the network’s users are men, most of whom work in engineering or other technical professions.
If your brand has products that can be used for other ideas (think clothing, furniture, paint colors, projects, etc.) Pinterest is a channel to consider. This platform is also great for reaching women (85% of its users are women).
LinkedIn is your online business card. And for companies, it’s a great way tho showcase your company to support recruitment efforts. Think about how your content here can affect corporate influencers, those in the job market, or partners that appeal to your business.
Provide great content
One of the most important aspects of building your brand on social media is the ability to provide useful, valuable and shareable content to your followers. Everything you are posting should represent your brand image and voice. Figure out which content gains the most visibility for your brand – often images are the most well received on social media platforms.
Think about your audiences: What pain points can you help solve? What information can you provide online that is relevant to them and helps them in some way?
Create online partnerships and grow your message and reach by leveraging partnerships in content curation. Build source lists of those that are influential in your industry or brands you want to partner with. Then mention, tag and like them in future posts. E-mail them where appropriate to let them know you have referenced them in your work and that you’re impressed by the content they are producing as well. Growing relationships with others in your industry creates exponential brand reach online and shows positive partnerships (and that you’re not just all about tooting your own horn).
Give and you will receive
Success on social media will come when followers see you as a useful resource and an authentic relationship builder. If you are just spending time promoting your brand, products and services, followers will quickly lose interest. Social media is a long-term strategy that delivers sustainable growth when thought and consistent participation. Apply the 80-20 rule to your social media efforts – 20% of your time should be spent participating in self-promotional conversation and activities, the other 80% should be non-self-promotional, dedicated to really engaging and interesting your audience with conversation. Remember: What are their pain points? How can you solve them?
Research shows that 71% of brands plan to invest more heavily in social media in the coming year to reach new followers and build brand reputation. A savvy use of social media will allow your brand to build awareness and relationships with customers.