Nothing is more important to a new brand than creating an identity, and social media is the right tool to do accomplish that goal. Social media can drive brand awareness, loyalty, and sales. A simple strategy can create game-changing results.
Try this out: Real fast, how many brands of potato chips do you know? There is a good chance your list maxed out at 5 brands or less. You can do this little experiment with anything: computers, automobiles, washing machines. While there may be some exceptions personally, most people with most products or services will only ever remember up to 5 brand names when asked. Doesn’t it make sense yours is one of those brands?
Today, we are going to create a plan you can use to develop your brand with a social media strategy.
Set Goals for Social Media
Answer the question, What does your organization need from social media? Are you looking to create awareness, sales, or loyalty? Use the answer from that question to guide how you will utilize social media for your brand, and develop a matrix for evaluating success.
- Awareness: Follower growth, engagement, and brand awareness
- Sales: Click rates, conversion rates, and sales from social campaigns.
- Loyalty: Overall engagement, attitudes, and online influence
Which Social Media Networks?
There are some social media experts who recommend creating accounts on every social media network that exists. They don’t tell you to use them all. Their idea is you never know when one of these lesser networks will takeoff.
However, unless you actually have the time, money, and resources to do this, all you are doing is creating inactive accounts, which could actually have a negative impact on your online reputation.
I do not recommend opening accounts across all social media networks. If you don’t have the ability to maintain a social media account, it gives the impression that your brand is inconsistent and not dedicated to customers and clients. It is almost better to overuse one account than let several be inactive for 8-10 months. Don’t you agree?
Build a Targeted Community
Who is your target audience? If you’re a pizza shop, the answer may be everyone within a 5 mile radius of your location. If you are a car dealership, the answer could be adults 24-45, with a gross annual income over $50,000, living within the tri-county area. You need all this information to decide how, what, when, where, and why for content and engagement.
A brand needs to build fans, followers and subscribers who are the most likely to use their product or service. Use original and curated content to attract the demographic you are seeking. Engage with the kind of users you are want to attract. Monitor select keywords and hashtags for activity. The more disciplined and focused your social activity is, the more targeted your community will become.
What to Post
There is no one size fits all here, and I don’t really recommend blindly chasing the latest social media marketing trend. You need to find what works for your brand, and the only way to do that is experimenting with photos, quotes, videos and text posts.
Use what works, and drop what doesn’t. However, social media is constantly evolving and changing. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Keep trying new things.
Give fans and followers a reason to connect and engage when they are not in the market for what you are selling. You want to be one of those 5 brands they always remember. Don’t you agree?
If you sell cogs and widgets, but end users only ever purchase or need to replace your product every 6-7 years, then you will need to find indirect content opportunities to create or increase brand awareness and loyalty.
A real estate agent, as an example, could have 80% of their created and curated content about homes, not specifically about buying and selling real estate. Content ideas can include sharing home design trends, decor idea, and DIY home improvement projects.
I can’t stress this enough, if you are only posting your marketing material then you are doing social media wrong. Social media marketing is not just about being on social networks. It is about being social. Your brand must interact with clients, customers, influencers, and other users. If you don’t, people will tune you out no matter the awesomeness of your product or service.
Social media can in some ways be described like being at a convention. If all you do is set up your booth, and stand there with a blank stare, no one is going to want to have anything to do with you. You need walk around, say hello, shake hands, talk up friends, make new friends, and smile. You need to be friendly and outgoing. Then, when they pass your booth, they are more interested in engaging with you about what you have to sell. Does that make sense?