3 Ways to Boost Your Company’s Branding Through Social Media
Leveraging the power of social media is an effective and low-cost way to build your company’s brand. Social engagement allows you to nurture new and existing relationships that in turn lead to increased brand awareness, preference, loyalty, and consumer advocacy.
While social media offers a host of marketing opportunities, the fact remains that despite doing everything that the social media gurus teach, many brands fail to make a meaningful connection with their audience. The problem is that the social media arena has become crowded with thousands of brands all competing for the attention of the same pool of consumers.
You’re not going to become a social media success story simply by showing up – you need to think beyond “good enough” social engagement and aim for the exceptional.
Is Your Audience Really Listening?
- Despite the fact that an estimated 72 percent of all American adults have at least one social media site profile, only 33 percent of them have ever followed a brand. Marketers clearly have room for improvement in connecting with their social media audience.
- The underlying issue that needs to be addressed is that the majority of consumers engage in social media to follow people, not brands. Social media users are there to be entertained, inspired, and informed – not to be sold something. This doesn’t mean that your brand can’t become part of the conversation as long as you save the blatant sales messages for another forum.
- In order to be accepted into social conversations, you need to develop a human persona for your brand.
Humanize Your Brand
The most effective content for social media is written in a light-hearted, conversational style. Forget everything you learned about advertising copywriting and pretend you’re writing to a friend. Inject humorous or interesting comments and ideas into existing conversations, or start a new thread based on popular current events.
Consider creating an eye-catching and memorable “character” to represent your brand. Or feature a “head shot” of the social team member responsible for the post. The idea is that the more closely the audience can identify with your brand as a person, the less likely they are to think of you as someone trying to sell them something.
Encourage Audience Participation
Part of humanizing your brand is encouraging genuine two-way conversations. Don’t use your social media platform as a megaphone to speak at people. You’ll be much more successful if you can get them to speak with you. Ask questions, run photo caption contests, conduct surveys, create fill-in-the-blank games – these are all proven ways to get a conversation started. According to Facebook, fill-in-the-blank posts typically receive 90 percent more engagement than other posts.
Content that captures the reader’s attention will help your social pages stand out from the crowd and generate the engagement necessary to build your brand’s awareness. Studies have shown that a business page that generates 1,000 Facebook likes will increase website traffic by approximately 1,400 visitors. The better you engage with your audience, the more traffic you stand to gain.
Many social media platforms are visually-oriented so be sure to use relevant graphics to help tell your story. Posts with photos are an extremely effective way to engage your audience, generating an average fan interaction rate of 87 percent versus 4 percent or less for other types of posts. Just remember that not all photos are equal in the eyes of your audience. Stick with high-quality photos that relate to your content. Mix up your visual content with a variety of photos, infographics, banners and memes.