Social media presence is what makes a company stand above the competition. Utilizing social media can increase brand awareness, broaden your audience, and possibly raise your revenue. Different platforms will reach different audiences, and different media will appeal to certain demographics. The key is to build a strong brand voice, making sure your company stands out in its niche, and utilizing multiple formats to maximize engagement. Here’s how:
Your first order of business is determining what your key performance indicators are for social media marketing and engagement. Generally, you are looking at increasing your customer base and your revenue.
Social media provides something businesses of yesterday did not have: a direct interface with customers. This means your company has a larger reach than it once might have — but so do all other companies. Your company needs to stand out from the crowd. Consider Arby’s using social media to post photos with geeky mascots, like Sonic the Hedgehog, to reach a target demographic.
This leads to brand name recognition. The key here is constantly interacting with customers on social media. This could come in the form of sharing interesting industry news, conducting giveaways, posting fun videos, and more. Active, fun brands catch the collective internet’s eye.
When a customer searches for a key term, sees your brand name, and recognizes you from your social media engagement, they are more likely to click on your site. This extra click can convert into a sale. Social media influenced 40 percent of respondents according to a 2014 survey — only 3 percent less than television. In 4 years, that number has undoubtedly increased.
To do any of this, you first need a brand voice. The right tone can make all the difference. Wendy’s Twitter account is snarky, sassing other brands like McDonald’s. Red Bull’s Instagram is filled with extreme stunts. They’ve carved out niches, targeted demographics, and stuck with certain brand voices. This will draw in potential customers and in turn increase revenue potential.
Audience Content Research
Now you need to create content with your brand voice. You need a piece of media such as an infographic, blog post, or video. Remember, the goal is that it will engage readers and draw them in. You need to determine what type of content to create and then integrate your brand voice.
SEO expert Rand Fishkin, formerly of Moz, suggests using existing social media to research customer profiles or their needs. This can provide trends and patterns among your demographic, in turn sparking content inspiration. Are there certain trends or media outlets they follow? Do they use similar products or services?
Leverage this information to create content, which will have a higher chance of organically being shared. The more the content is shared, the more your company’s name and content will spread.
Determine the Type of Media
With audience research done, you should have a good idea what type of content engages your target audience. It’s now time to produce content. For longer videos, use YouTube. For shorter videos or images, try Instagram or Facebook. Don’t skimp on production for the videos, unless you are intentionally going for a super low-budget look, like some animal rescues get away with. Otherwise, you want a proper lighting setup, good framing, a script that has gone through editing, good equipment, and more. Don’t discount Facebook Live, either, as it can provide real-time engagement, allowing your company to answer questions and more.
While Pinterest is perfect for infographics, it’s also great for step-by-step instructions on how to use a product, especially if it involves modifications to your product. For a widely known example, people will buy an IKEA product to “hack” it into a slightly different use. If you repin a customer’s pin, it gives exposure to both your company and the customer, which shows them they are valued as a customer.
Don’t discount the Buzzfeed quiz method, either. Quizzes can not only provide free information about your demographic, but people love to take quizzes. In 2014, Buzzfeed reached 170 million people in a month using quizzes. A New York Times dialect quiz went viral, with 2.7 million people taking the quiz. It is one of their highest-viewed pieces of content. While the quiz itself can live on your site, linking to it through Facebook and Twitter.
If you are unsure what platforms to use, look at what your competitors are doing. If they can be successful on a platform, so can you.
Implement Your Content Strategy
Finally, it’s time to put it all in action. Your content strategy is everything listed above, as well as analytics and SEO. Once the content is published, use analytics to track what does well. Are videos resonating with your audience? Or do they prefer livestreams? This will help give you a good idea for what your next piece of content should be and what medium to use. Rinse and repeat, and your brand awareness will increase — and in turn, your revenue.