Social Media. It’s a term which is becoming a part of many marketers’ daily vocabulary. With the number of worldwide social media users projected to grow from 2.1 billion in 2015 to 2.5 billion by 2018, it’s easy to understand why many are making it part of their marketing strategy. However, many marketers using social media have no real understanding of the benefits it can bring to their organisation. Lucky for you, we’ve decided to list the reasons why social media plays (or should play) an essential part in modern brand marketing.
Show off your personality
Social media can be a clear way to show off your company’s personality to the rest of the world. The easiest way to do this is to establish a tone of voice for your brand and share (relevant) opinions. New fashion campaign released? Let your followers know what you think! Not only will this make your social media feed sound interesting, it also lets potential clients know that they’re dealing with humans rather than just a company. Who knows, you may spark an interesting conversation with a potential prospect.
Another way to show off your personality on social media is to vary your post formats. What do you want your brand to be known for on social media?
- 360 videos – one of the newest video formats to the social-sphere. If you’re focussing on Facebook and have a 360 camera, then these can be extremely effective in grabbing your audience’s attention.
- Go-Pro style videos – action-packed, fast-paced and great for helping your audience immerse themselves in your content; what’s not to love about this style of video?
- Cinemagraphs – wanting a change from a flat image? Cinemagraphs are perfect for focussing on one aspect of a piece of footage and are extremely eye-catching to look at.
- Carousel posts – these are perfect if you want to include different links in one post. Perhaps you have several destinations that you want to show off, or even fashion items?
- GIFs – this format is great for standing out on your Twitter feed, as it offers something different to look at in comparison to a flat image.
- Collages – displaying more than one image has never been so easy! From food to colour typologies, these can work great on social media.
Top tip: Remember, each social media platform has a different audience. You wouldn’t share off-topic posts on LinkedIn (keep it strictly professional here). Write with your audience in mind.
Taking the time to research which social media platforms your target audience are on can be extremely beneficial when it comes to developing relevant relationships. If you’re targeting the right people, it gives you the opportunity to provide them with a great customer service experience. A good experience = brand loyalty!
- Facebook: 93% of users aged 16-24 use at least one Facebook product (Facebook,WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram) Source: GlobalWebIndex
- Twitter: 29% of users are between the ages of 16-24. Source: Twitter
- LinkedIn: People aged between 25-34 years are the most active on this platform. This probably wouldn’t be the best choice if you’re trying to target the younger generation! Source: GlobalWebIndex
- Google+: 27% of users are aged 16-24. Source: GlobalWebIndex
- Instagram: 56% of active users on this platform are aged between 16-24. Source: GlobalWebIndex
Additionally, social media can also be used to find out what consumers really think about your brand, as well learn about their interests. This can be found by either actively searching for your brand’s name in the search facility, engaging in direct conversation with your audience, or even checking your audience’s profiles regularly to find out information about them. Using this feedback, you can then start to adjust your marketing strategy so that it’s in line with what your consumers want.
Monitor your competition
It’s always important to keep an eye on your competitors and what they are doing. Get ahead of the game and make yourself stand out amongst the crowd – another great benefit of adding social media to your marketing plan. As they say, the early bird catches the worm! Competitor analysis tools are available (Crimson Hexagon, Sysomos & Rival IQ to name a few) which allow you to actively track how your competitors are doing on social media in comparison to your own. This is useful, as you can see which posts are getting the most engagement (or which aren’t), as well as see what they’re doing differently. You can use this information to your advantage by either adapting their ideas to suit your brand, or take a complete U-turn to stand out against their content. It’s important to keep monitoring how well posts are performing – you don’t want to keep posting if it’s not getting the reception it deserves!
Share your expertise
Sharing content is an excellent way to get your brand noticed on social media. People are always looking for content, therefore it’s important to create and share your own. Not only is it great for SEO purposes on your website, but it also presents yourself as a thought leader within your industry. You can maximise the potential reach of these posts on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using relevant hashtags. However, make sure that you are producing content that they would actually want to read; otherwise they are not likely to share it.
All major companies are on social media, from Coca Cola to Apple. It’s imperative that you give your brand some kind of presence on social media if you want the chance to expose yourself to more consumers than ever before. Social media can be a great way to encourage new consumers to try your product or service. What’s stopping you from ‘@’ing a few of your consumers and telling them about what you have to offer? However, be careful not to sound like a selling machine, as social networks are a chance for consumers to interact with the things they love – not get a hard sell on why they should be buying your product or service. Try to aim for an 80:20 ratio for a good balance.
To allow your organic content to reach an audience beyond your fans and followers you should use paid social to promote your content. Utilising paid social to compliment your organic content will give you the power to place your message in front of an audience that you define as important to your business. Paid–for content should feature as a key consideration when planning your organic social strategy to add longevity to the campaign and unlock incremental reach, engagement and return of investment.
Driving website traffic
One of the great benefits of being on social media is the opportunity to drive traffic towards your website by distributing content to your network. The more engagement that your posts get, the more exposure they have; meaning it’s more likely that it will result in clicks to your website. Your website traffic generated from social media can be found out using tools such as Google Analytics, which will help you to see which posts have been key traffic drivers. This information can also be used to indicate how social media is generating return on investment, using goals such as ‘Buy now’ conversions.
Overall, it’s clear to see that social media can have such a positive impact when it comes to marketing your brand. The social-sphere has no signs of slowing down; therefore it’s important that you begin to build up your own social media presence and start making it work for you.