You probably read the title of this article and thought: “If I’m on social media, isn’t that already building brand awareness?” And yes, you are correct with that to some extent, but just because you’re on social media doesn’t mean you are using it effectively. If you aren’t getting your content and brand in front of the right people, you’re almost better off to not even bother.
When done the right way, social does have the power to really benefit you and your business. It can give your customers a way to connect with your company, it helps drive traffic to your website, it can help you gather insights on your consumers, and it helps strengthen your brand. So how do you get your social media presence to the point that it’s doing all these things and more?
Be a human
Social media gives you the ability to really humanize your brand, which an in-person store or website may not do on their own. Social media helps you connect with your consumers on an emotional level and puts you in the place where your consumers are having conversations. But despite this huge benefit social media holds, many businesses still are on broadcast mode on their social networks.
Stop talking at people, and instead, talk with people and open up the conversation. This can be a great opportunity for you to not only talk with your customers on a more personal level and in a more natural way, but it can also help give your brand a personality of its own. People want to talk to humans, not what feels like a robot or sales pitch.
It’s all about balance
Successful brands online tend to find a balance in the content they are delivering to their audience. They realize that yes, they have to try and sell their products and services, but also having conversations and humanizing their brand is just as important.
Brands usually follow a variation of the 70/20/10 rule when posting on social media, which essentially is adding value and brand building 70% of the time, sharing others posts and ideas 20% of the time, and promoting yourself or your business only 10%. By doing this you begin to establish yourself as a thought leader, and naturally attract people back to your brand, because you’re giving them a reason to keep coming back.
Focus on the right channels
It’s unlikely that you are going to have the time or the manpower to tackle having your brand everywhere on social media, and to be honest, being everywhere isn’t necessarily what is going to guarantee you success. Focusing your efforts and being on the channels where your audience is, plus not biting off more than you can chew is what will bring you success.
Focus on the channels that can get you in front of your largest audience. For example, since Snapchat’s user base is primarily the younger generations, if you’re audience is usually an older generation, you may have better luck on a more mature platform like Facebook. The beauty of social is that there are so many stats and examples out there online for you to use to help build out a plan that makes sense for you.
Don’t be afraid to spend
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media as a marketing tool is that it’s free. And yes, it is free to some extent, but to really amplify your presence and brand awareness, you are going to want to budget some of your marketing dollars towards social media. This likely won’t happen your first day in business but once you’ve built up a solid social media plan and have a grip of what you’re doing, social advertising campaigns can bring a lot of value to your brand.
In fact, social media platforms favour paid content, which means it’s likely that your Facebook post may not reach even half of the people that follow your page, but with a bit of money and a plan behind it, you can make that post reach a larger portion of your audience.
Social media can be one of your most valuable weapons to generate brand awareness in 2016. So make sure to build yourself up for success and follow these helpful tips.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.