When it comes to developing your brand online, social media has become an integral arena to not only engage with your target market, but also leverage this audience to market your products, services and causes.
Utilizing Google and Facebook Analytic tools, users can track and optimize content, campaigns and audiences. What types of content drive the most clicks back to your website? Learn how your audience members react on social media and optimize your efforts to cater to their habits.
Here’s everything you need to know about using social media to build your brand:
1. Choose 2-3 networks that support your brand, host your ideal clients and master these.
- Facebook is by the far the best platform for promoting brand awareness, as 75% of Americans use this site. Facebook is a great platform for promoting virtually any brand, due to its very heterogeneous user base.
- Instagram is a great option for brands that rely heavily on images, such as clothing companies and retailers. It’s also particularly effective for reaching young adults, Hispanics and African Americans.
- Use Google+, because getting your profile and creating great content will be rewarded. The Google search engine is one of the most powerful and your information will be placed ahead of organic searches within this platform.
- Pinterest is an excellent social network to reach women, especially for brands selling jewelry or clothing.
- Finally, if you operate a business-to-business company,
LinkedIn is a stronger choice for promoting business-related content and connecting with other corporate influencers.
- With video being the most consumed type of content, developing a YouTube channel can help to build trust and establish an organization as having authority. Moreover, it makes it easier to connect and engage customers.
2. Provide valuable and shareable content.
It should go without saying, but you’ll create a much stronger brand reputation if you focus on creating useful content that viewers will want to share.
Keep the following principles in mind as you craft content for social sharing:
- Quality over quantity. Every single piece of content you share should support your brand image, voice and mission.
- Track engagement and shares with your content. Review your data and continue to give your audience fresh information as well as what they engage with the most.
- Be sure to use visual content. Articles with images receive 94 percent more views. Twitter content with images receives nearly twice as many views as text posts, even though there are seven times more text posts on Twitter.
- Be interesting and memorable – mix in some company culture posts, alongside promotional offers. Deliver value to ensure you keep your followers engaged and interested.
To find relevant content pieces that are performing well in your industry, use tools such as BuzzSumo and sort based on past social engagement. To learn more about implementing this technique, check out the Backlinko blog’s guide on the subject.
Also, utilize the Google Adwords tool for keywords and phrases getting the most attention. Knowing your audience and the topics they want to learn more about helps you find the right words and phrases to use when creating content.
3. Leverage influencers.
Publishing killer content to your social profiles is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. If you have a relatively unknown brand, your voice is likely getting lost in the noise. While you can eventually build your own audience through the creation of great content, this strategy is going to take time. This is where the strategy for working with like-minded influencers comes in handy with joint ventures.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Mention their names or cite their websites in your content pieces. Influencers with Google Alerts or other notifications set up on their names will see your content after it’s published.
- Tag any influencers you’ve referenced when sharing content to your social media profiles.
- Email influencers after you’ve published your content to let them know they’ve been referenced in your work.
- Research any options for doing joint ventures with them (as in you interviewing them or them interviewing you OR if they are having an event, if you could speak, have a booth or somehow be a part of this event).
4. Use social campaigns to promote content.
Keep in mind that, in an age of diminishing organic reach, paid campaigns — especially those run through native advertising platforms — may be one of your better options for building your brand on social networks.
A growing number of brands use strategies such as contests and other social media campaigns to successfully gain visibility and generate leads.
To take advantage of this effect, provide your audience with valuable incentives that encourage user participation and make sure that your campaigns offer value to all participants.
While social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach new leads, it’s easy to waste time or alienate people if you don’t use it appropriately. That’s what makes having a sound social media strategy in place so important.
5. Use strategic advertising.
With a strategy around defining your ideal demographics, the right response copy and great imagery/video, do your A/B testing and find the right combination to drive traffic to your site and specifically your landing pages. It’s also highly scalable once you develop a winning campaign.
6. Address issues and/or complaints immediately.
Social media has become a customer-service portal — it’s rather easy for consumers to get the attention of a company on social media. Sending a tweet or Facebook post takes customers seconds, rather than having to track down a phone number, wait on hold or speak to what’s likely to be an outsourced call center.
So, you need to learn to respond, and quickly. If a consumer posts something on your social media feed, ask him or her to contact you ASAP to resolve the issue quickly and painlessly. Don’t delete or ignore it — that can set off a complete storm of you-know-what.
Want proof? Visit the social feeds of any major national brand, and you’ll see complaints and pissed-off consumers — read through some of them to see how those brands handle adversity.
7. Be consistent.
Nurturing your audience on a regular basis is key to staying top of mind, relevant, engaging and important in the minds of your customers. Creating and growing your audience can ultimately reap great benefits because if you do it right, you will not only grow your business but also attract advertisers, which may result in residual income.