The marketing world has, of course, changed drastically over the last decade alone. Practices that used to be viewed as necessary to reach an audience, such as television commercials and cold calling, have become somewhat obsolete when you compare them to the reach of social media. There are over 3 billion people
who actively use social media - that's pushing on almost half of the world's population. Imagine the probabilities of success if you or your brand were able to optimize social media, improve your online presence, and quickly begin building valuable relationships with your audience.
If you can create a strong social media strategy and a profound connection with your audience, you can expect to reek rewards such as:
Developing keen brand awareness and brand loyalty;
Growing a broader audience who is more engaged with the content you provide;
Increase leads, conversions, and sales to your business;
Notice higher web traffic;
Reach essential goals elsewhere across your business.
In this article, we will provide you with a guide to building brand awareness through our tried and true social media marketing tips and best practices. Print it out, keep it on your desk, and allow us to be your resource for your next social media strategy - we promise you, you'll be glad you did.
Always Have Clear Goals in Mind
Before you should even begin throwing social media posts into the abyss, we urge you to write down two goals - something that is both in reach and a little ambitious. Your first goal should be something that is fleeting and within reach inside the span of a month; your second goal is your ultimate goal. The ultimate goal should be substantial but attainable within the next year, or two, or even three (everything takes time).
For example, your short-term goal could be to reach 2000 Instagram followers through active engagement and content marketing. Awesome! Audience growth is something you can work towards and measure success monthly. Your ultimate goal needs to be somewhat more systematic, such as developing a consistent strategy that will increase your companies ROI (return on investment) by 10% and drive 25% more leads to the website from social media sources. Set goals with a numerical value and deadlines. For example, increase site registration by 10%. Having clear, measurable goals allows you to monitor and track whether or not you are hitting your marks. Having "SMART" (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals allows you to determine your success and tweak your tactics accordingly.
Discover Where Your Audience is and Direct Your Energy There
Discovering your audience and building buyer personas involve performing the necessary research until you can comfortably create a bio on a fictional person that represents your ideal customer. Once you can identify your perfect customer, you can look to establish a connection with all the customers that fit that profile. Having the data on the audiences you are looking to target aids you in creating content that's optimized for them and distributed on the platforms they use regularly.
Back in 2005, when Facebook was still in its infancy stages, approximately 5% of American adults used social media. Now, you can expect more than 70% of the world's population to use at least one platform. And the odds are that your target customers are using more than one social media platform. When you assume that your audience is everywhere, that's when you'll get nowhere with your social media strategy. Instead, please take the necessary steps to understand how your audience behaves online, the content they engage with, and the platforms they frequent.
Surveys, conversations, feedback discussions, and data analytics techniques (such as reviewing your posts' insights for demographics, etc.) are all helpful in establishing a better connection with your audience.
Again creating fictional personas (name, age, gender, professions, dislikes, and social media uses) of one of your customers or target audience members is also highly useful for getting "into the mind" of your audience.
Researching social media platforms and statistics themselves can significantly improve your chances of finding your customers. You may discover that your failed attempts at finding your audience on Twitter are in direct result of having an audience in the under 25 age bracket, and concluding that Instagram is the social network of preference. Each platform carries with it a unique demographic, and Twitter is no exception on twitter; you're probable to find affluent millennials making more than $50k a year). If your audience isn't on Twitter - don't waste your time producing content for the platform, at times, no presence can be superior to having a half-finished profile and posting ineffective content once every two weeks. In other words, avoid diminishing the perception of your brand, so go all-in only were its advantageous to do so.
Ignite Excitement By Offering Something of Value
Successful digital marketing depends on generating conversations and online relationships with an audience as opposed to ramming your products and services at every chance you get. It would be best if you considered giving before you ask to take, and there are many ways to contribute value. Whether its building blog content that presents entertaining or informative articles or how-to videos that solve specific pain points for your audience. Everything you share needs to pass the value test.
What is the value test? Before posting content on social media, ask yourself these simple questions:
Is the posting entertaining?
Is the posting informative?
Is the posting misleading? Click-bait has become a significant phenomenon on social media, but it has also left many angry people in its wake. People want to know what they're going to read before they click on it, and if it's not what the title suggested, they have a right to get mad.
Is the posting educational?
Is the posting in alignment with my brand goals and purpose? If your content isn't aligned consistently with your goals and mission, then you may need to go back and rework it.
Is the posting discriminatory or politically-biased? This is a huge one that many brands and their representatives tend to forget. If you, for any reason, believe that someone could get offended or what you're posting is politically incorrect, don't post it.
Consistency and Predictability are Crucial
Brand consistency is critical across your social media platforms to continue building your thought leadership, dependability, and stronger relationships with customers. Whether it's the posts you share, the theme of your design, or the response rate in which your employees respond to customer reviews and comments, your brand should always behave the same while carrying the same look and feel across every platform.
Here are a few methods you can utilize to help keep consistency across all your social media platforms:
Using the same username and logo (if possible) on every platform
Using logo watermarks on all your organic images. On that note, stop using stock images all together. Trust us; your audience can tell when an image isn't your own. Having your own branded images will help solidify your brand as trustworthy.
Keeping your brand message, tone, and personality (your voice) consistent on every social media platform.
If you're posting on Instagram on Mondays and Wednesdays and Facebook on Tuesdays and Thursdays - schedule it and stay dedicated. The frequency in which you post, both too often and not enough, can significantly impact your ability to engage appropriately with your audience online. If you're on a platform, such as Snapchat, but you don't feel like you're able to keep up with posting consistently, it might be better to delete the profile all together than leave it sitting idle.
Keep Your Sales Department and Marketing Department in Kahoots
The ultimate goal of developing your social media marketing in the first place is to improve cashflow. Even if your focus is building relationships, at some point, you expect those prospects to convert and become customers. If your sales department has no communication with your marketing, how can you expect one to contribute to the other?
Communicate with your sales team so both departments understand the buyer's journey guaranteeing the implementation of content at every stage of the sales funnel. Nudging the customer to follow through and complete a sale may come down to merely answering any concern they may have with your offering. Only data can provide the answer. For example, If your sales department is struggling with leads that won't commit - build content that provides support and advice to help potential customers decide if your brand is right for their needs.
Engage Through Video
More than 50% of consumers prefer to see social media content with video rather than written content. And, thankfully, with incredible software, smartphones, and dedicated agencies, video content is accessible to most, if not all.
Here are a few tips to get you started on creating more compelling video content:
Although you may have been taught to turn your phone sideways during video capture, data shows square videos are much more engaging. Who knew?
62% of people become more interested in a product after seeing it on their Facebook or Instagram stories. Instagram has also recently allowed longer videos on the platform.
Use captions for those who prefer not to have the volume up on their phones - especially for those of us who catch up on social media during small intervals at their work desk.
The optimal length for videos? You can probably capture your audience's attention for about 30 to 60 seconds. Instagram videos get the most engagement at about 26 seconds.
To learn more techniques to help you develop a more successful social media marketing plan or if you're interested in finding out more about how we can help build your audience through video, feel free to reach out to a member of our team today.
Reyfilm is a Miami based video agency specializing in the production of videos optimized explicitly for social engagement, boosting conversions, improving SEO, generating leads, and improving the overall marketing efforts of your company.