Even if you haven’t put your business on social media yet, chances are you are at least using Facebook or Instagram on a personal basis. And if you’re one of the 42% of people not using social media, the majority of your current and potential client base will be.
Social media is an awesome tool for increasing awareness of your brand. And the best part? If you aren’t a digital native and don’t understand how it all works – or perhaps just don’t have the time to do it yourself – you can hire social media managers who will do it all for you (in fact, we might know someone who can help).
What are the benefits of social media marketing?
Brand awareness is only one peak of the social media mountain range.
It is the primary goal of 80% of social media marketers because recall and recognition is a powerful tool in capturing revenue. Top-of-mind awareness increases likelihood of having your business brought up in conversation, or leading to behaviours where consumers would naturally reach for your product without a second thought.
Stimulation of Engagement
It’s in the name, right? Social media is supposed to be social. It thrives on engagement and human connection.
Social media engagement refers to the way the audience interacts with your brand’s posts. This might include likes, comments, shares, tags, follows or subscriptions.
From a business perspective, social media engagement can be used as a key performance indicator with goals and targets attached to it.
Unless you use paid advertising, collab with an influencer, sign up for premium content schedulers or analytics programs, or hire a social media manager, social media is completely free to use.
When compared to costs involved in other forms of digital marketing channels, like email marketing or Google Ads, social media will always come out on top for ROI.
Easy Relationship Building
The more social media platforms you are active on, the more opportunity you have to interact with your followers. The more interaction, the more likely you are to build meaningful relationships.
Interaction can be in the form of responding to comments or user generated content that is relevant to your brand, captioning posts that encourage engagement, responding to direct messages, or even simply liking posts.
The interaction you participate in and the relationships you build also depend entirely on which social media network you are using.
For example, Instagram is perfect for relationship-building on a more personal level, whereas LinkedIn is more likely to cultivate professional connections.
There are several tactics you can use to help your brand generate leads on social media, and none of them are difficult.
- Optimise your profile by providing contact info and adding links or call-to-action buttons in your bio sections.
- Make the most of content by creating posts that require clicks or swipes, such as Instagram carousels or shoppable Pinterest posts that lead directly to your products and services.
- Design your website to be user-friendly and attractive to your audience.
- Create network-specific lead ads.
- Incentivise your audience through hosting contests and giveaways, or offering discounts to followers that tag a friend for word-of-mouth promotion.
- Make the most of the analytics tools offered to you by social media and Google.
Weave these into your social media strategy and get to converting!
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, aids in putting your website and content to the top of Google. This increases visibility of your brand and drives traffic to your website and social media pages.
Social shares are important for SEO as they attract more clicks and increase your website’s dwell time.
The most engaging and shareable content is usually in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, and infographics.
Access to Analytics and Insights
Social media-based and Google-based analytics tools give your brand real time access to digital key performance indicators such as number of clicks, website dwell time, page and post likes, follows, and profile or video views.
It can be difficult to wrap your head around at first, but it is a fantastic way to measure data and inform future business goals.
So how can you harness social media to boost your brand?
Understand your competitors and audience
Before embarking on any type of marketing journey, your brand needs to conduct an in-depth analysis on its competitors and target audience.
To really make the most of social media marketing, it is important to understand what your competitors are doing and where the gaps lie. Boosting brand awareness is easier when you offer something unique, a point of difference between you and your competitors. Conducting a well-researched competitive analysis will give your brand an idea of other brands’ strengths, weaknesses, and promotional activities.
Arguably the most vital part of social media marketing is really understanding your target audience – what they are seeking from your brand, what they care about, their demographics. For example, if your product or service is primarily being used by Gen Z and Millennials, you are able to be more casual and trendy in your approach to social media. However, if you were marketing to men over the age of 40 you may want to avoid using colloquialisms that ‘kids these days’ use and always get to the point efficiently.
Be consistent and strong with your brand personality
Your social media marketing plan should consistently show off your strong brand personality across all social media sites. Strong brand personalities aid in boosting brand awareness online as they make your brand more recognisable.
Creating a strong personality for your brand also provides you with a base to build upon for every social media channel. This makes consistency easier for your brand in terms of the visual and communication tactics used in between platforms, such as always using your brand logo for profile photos, or employing the same tone of voice between Facebook and Instagram.
Post aesthetically pleasing visuals
Speaking of visual communication tactics, it doesn’t hurt to retain a specific brand aesthetic. This, again, aids in boosting brand awareness through consistency and recognisability, but will also make your brand look more organised and professional.
Aesthetics can come from adhering to a specific colour palette like Kate Spade NY and Kikki.K, or it can come from using visuals to enhance a specific feeling. GoProANZ, for example, makes the audience feel a sense of adventure and wonder with their visual approach to social media, while Jameson Whiskey is all about warmth and celebration.