Social media is an essential tool that, when used correctly, can exponentially increase the visibility of your brand within an arena where many simply get lost in the crowd.
It can be hard knowing where to begin when it comes to using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to increase awareness of your brand or company. Social media marketing raises your profile, so a strong online presence is a must for businesses. But with the majority of companies in your industry already using Twitter and Facebook, creating an online presence that pushes your brand above the parapet has become even more essential. For this reason, we look at just some of the ways that social media can help your company stand out.
Where are your customers?
First of all, you need to know where the people that you want to see your brand are. Identify the platforms they use and focus solely on those – by making your social media manageable you can ensure that you are able to effectively target and communicate with the right people, at the right time and in the right place.
Be appealing and informative
Now you’ve found them, you need to attract them. Brand your accounts clearly – you’re fighting to get noticed amongst millions, so to avoid getting lost in the abyss you need to stand out from the get-go. Use appealing header images and profile photos, and write an informative and engaging bio that not only explains who you are and what you do, but also gives an idea of what they can expect from your channel.
You’ve got their attention, so use this opportunity wisely – engage them! A huge benefit of social media is that it gives you the chance to humanise your brand and connect with your customers on a more emotional level. This allows you to foster the meaningful relationships that lead to more engagements and interactions with pages – in turn generating organically driven traffic and leads.
Giving your brand a personality helps; a unique identity inspires people to converse with you, and a fun tone and cheeky sense of humour can go a long way on social channels (with appropriate adjustments to suit each platform – LinkedIn calls for a more formal tone than Twitter, for example). Making interactions interesting compels others to join the discussion, meaning you get mentioned more and therefore seen by a greater number of people.
Don’t just speak – listen too
Social platforms are an exceptionally powerful listening tool, and should be used as such. Listen to what your customers are saying about you and in general – paying attention to what your target market are talking about helps you keep aware of what your audience is interested in, and presents you with even more opportunities to get your brand out there. You can then use this knowledge to offer opinions in online interactions, get involved on appropriate hashtags, research local customers and it may even help inspire your next big campaign idea.
That’s not to say that everything should be about you and your brand – it’s also important to get involved in other conversations, share other people’s content, and generally engage across platforms. This presents you as an account that isn’t constantly self-promoting, and once again helps build those all-important relationships with customers and businesses.
Make your feeds irresistible – unfollowing a Twitter account or un-liking a Facebook page requires no effort, so give people a reason to stick around and listen to what you have to say. Avoid bombarding your followers with endless streams of promotional posts. Instead mention users, leverage influencers and post news and fun content to present yourself as a worthwhile account and invaluable industry resource.
Images are everything
Visuals are vital if you want your content to be seen, ensuring that your social posts are as engaging as possible. According to a 2015 study by Microsoft (no longer available online), the average human attention span is just eight seconds – so use visuals instead of text wherever possible to draw people in. Gorgeous, valuable and memorable content and attractive post images are a proven way to up engagement across social media regardless of platform. In fact, tweets with images receive 150 per cent more retweets, according to Buffer, so ensure you are using them as much as possible.
Has it made a difference?
You’ve been posting regularly across relevant social channels, sharing news, interacting with customers and building excellent relationships with influencers – now you need to analyse the data. Mentions, retweets, increased followers, link clicks and reach are metrics that can be used to see the effects of social media on your brand awareness, but how you gauge success depends on what you set out to achieve. Chapter 4 of our guide to boosting brand awareness gives great insight into how you could measure this.
Things to remember:
- Use your social media channels to present yourself as a reliable industry resource
- Visual content is imperative
- Track everything!
Bonus tips for increasing your brand awareness through social media marketing:
- Capitalise on the social presence of your staff – brand awareness should be seen as a team goal, and getting all of your employees on board opens you up to whole new audiences that may never have seen your content otherwise. Promote the idea that sharing statuses, retweeting content and sharing blog posts across their social media accounts is a part of their job, and encourage them to build up great accounts of their own as part of the company’s wider social strategy.
- Raise your profile and create excellent social media opportunities by sponsoring local teams or hosting events in your community – live blogging, sharing images and writing event round-ups encourages likes and shares, increasing the reach and visibility of your brand.
- Run contests on your social platforms that incentivise people not only to enter but also to share and promote their entry to friends and family. For example, run a Facebook photo competition whereby the submission with the most ‘likes’ wins a prize – this encourages people to rally their own social contacts to get behind them and help seal that victory, as you celebrate your own brand awareness triumph behind the scenes