Social media, when used effectively, can be a powerful tool for helping your target audience perceive your brand in a way that achieves your business’ goals. This may be a simple analogy for a complex digital world, but digital doesn’t have to be difficult.
Oftentimes, we have conversations with brands and find that they treat social media as just another vehicle for delivering the same message as their ads, rather than viewing it as a set of highly specialized tools for reaching their target audience. Social media can work as a tool to complement your brand message and enhance different aspects of it, which results in well-rounded brand awareness.
We’ve compiled a few tips on how to effectively use social media to round-out your marketing message, including specific advice on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
• Choose the right platform(s) for your brand. Some brand messages are a better fit on one platform versus another.
• It’s better to be excellent on one social platform than to be mediocre on all of them.
• Social media isn’t free anymore. It’s no different than placing an ad in a newspaper. Getting your brand into the medium that your audience consumes costs money. Period.
• It’s best to create original content that fits the style/feel of each platform than to create one piece that tries to fit a bunch of different social media platforms’ molds.
• The biggest benefit of social media is interacting with your audience. The audience expects brands to be interactive on social pages. If you don’t plan on responding to comments or being a part of the conversation, then don’t plan on having a well-received social media account.
• Organic (unpaid) Facebook posts for brands currently only reach about 2.6 percent of fans.
• It’s more effective to promote Facebook posts to reach a bigger audience than it is to promote posts to gain fans (unless you’re new to Facebook and don’t have any fans).
• Follow best practice guidelines set by Facebook to receive the biggest payoff in terms of reach. This means using embedded links in posts and publishing original content to Facebook.
• You should have a Twitter account if you’re interested in conversation, tweeting up-to-the-minute news announcements, and one-on-one audience engagement.
• Twitter is the best platform for social listening and prospecting — if your brand’s target audience use Twitter.
• Use relevant hashtags, but typically no more than three per tweet.
Follow best practice guidelines set by Twitter to receive the biggest payoff in terms of reach. This means using Twitter cards and relevant Twitter calls-to-action with the cards.
• Instagram feeds will soon run similarly to Facebook, showing users content that it deems high-quality and relevant instead of showing ALL content in reverse-chronological order.
• Instagram recently released 60-second video for verified brands and celebrities. Currently, 15-second video is available to all users.
• This is a platform for real, high-quality photos.
• Be authentic. It’s safe to assume that posts with low engagement will be penalized in the algorithm era. As with all social media content, follow the rule “quality over quantity.”
There are many more platforms to consider when planning your marketing strategy, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp, YouTube, Vine, etc., and we recommend having a strong presence on the platforms where your audience spends their time. If you want to find out more about the social media tools that your brand needs for the job, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.