Five ways to make your brand shine through social media
You’ve put in the groundwork. You’ve got a passionate and talented team working alongside you every step of the way.
You’ve carved out a niche in the market and have invested in creating a strong brand that reflects your values.
You’ve built a business you’re proud of because of all the blood, sweat and tears, not despite them. There’s no doubt that you’ve earned the right to shout about your brand and achieve the recognition it deserves.
So, where do you start? With worldwide advertising spending predicted to surpass 560 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 (a four percent increase from 2018), it seems as though everyone is jostling to get a slice of the action.
As overwhelming as this may be, there’s never been a more crucial time to work towards differentiating yourself and ensuring that your brand stands out in the crowded global marketplace.
It’s time to seize the opportunity to let your brand shine and embrace one of the most powerful – but surprisingly underutilised – marketing tools for small businesses: social media.
Social media: The cold, hard stats
There are an estimated 3.48 billion social media users worldwide, with the total growing by 288 million (9 percent) since this time last year.
This translates to a colossal global penetration rate (meaning the estimated percentage of the global population that one can reach via social media usage) of 45%.
This figure won’t come as a shock to most people. Social media has an undeniable influence on the way we live our lives, from keeping in touch with family and friends (Adding acquaintances as a friend on Facebook has fast overtaken the ritual of swapping phone numbers) to engaging with wider communities through online discussions, groups and events.
Nowadays, admitting in a social gathering that you don’t engage with social media would be more likely to be met with a raised eyebrow than claiming you don’t own a landline phone or don’t have a television.
Brands and social media: What’s the low-down?
Despite social media becoming an indispensable part of modern society, many small businesses seem to be unaware about the advantages of using social media to market your brand.
The vast majority of us, from eight-year-olds to eighty-eight-year-olds, are pros at navigating our own social media feeds. We can Facebook our achievements, Instagram our fancy coffees and Tweet our opinions on the latest primetime whodunnit drama without a second thought.
And while 90% of brands say they utilise social media as part of their marketing strategy to increase brand awareness, how many can clearly state the benefits of social media over other marketing tools?
The most obvious advantage of social media is that it’s instant. Simply put, you can be in control of your brand’s voice every second of the day (and night!). Social media may be something today’s business owners take for granted, but it has created branding opportunities that would have been unthinkable ten or twenty years ago.
It’s important to keep in mind that the key to an effective social media strategy is being intentional – whether that’s in your content, engaging your audience or sharing your brand story.
Read on to discover 5 easy and effective ways to let your brand shine through social media.
1. Short and sweet is the solution
The simple fact is that nobody wants to read an 800-word Facebook post or Instagram caption – save your nuanced takes for your content marketing strategy.
The beauty of social media is that it’s all about creating an immediate impact. But how do you make this work for your brand?
Start by brainstorming the adjectives that you want people to associate with your brand. Then, tailor your content to social media by creating concise and simple posts that convey your brand story.
Don’t be tempted to overload your social media posts with too much information that could overwhelm your audience – short and sweet is the solution.
2. The marvel of multimedia content
When people hear information, it has been claimed that they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people are said to retain 65% of the information three days later.
This proves the importance of using visual aids in your brand marketing, and social media is perfectly adapted to integrate infographics, images and GIFs in your posts.
What’s more, a 2018 HubSpot survey found that 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support, so don’t forget to leverage videos and audio content in your social media strategy too.
3. Real-time rapport building
As has been previously mentioned, the instantaneous nature of social media is what truly sets it apart from other, more traditional marketing tools.
Take advantage of this by ensuring you interact with your audience in real-time, allowing you to build a rapport with current and future customers.
After all, according to HubSpot:
85% of customers on Facebook expect a response from companies within six hours.
64% of customers on Twitter expect a response from companies within one hour.
79% of customers prefer live chat over email or social media due to its immediacy.
Make it a priority to maintain a great response rate. This will lead to you to achieving the coveted “Very responsive to messages” badge on your Facebook page and will cement your reputation as a customer-focused brand.
4. Shout about your achievements
Social media should be used as a tool to demonstrate exactly why you stand above your competition and prove you’re an industry leader.
This isn’t the place to be modest! Remember to regularly shout about your achievements, whether that means bragging about your business scooping the top prize at an industry awards night or simply sharing a happy customer’s review.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt
One of the biggest pitfalls of a small business’ social media strategy can be the lack of understanding about different social media platforms and their distinct audiences.
It’s crucial to adapt your brand content across social media channels and learn about the capabilities (and limitations) of each platform.
What’s more, it’s tempting to want your brand to have a presence on every single social media platform – but this could be a waste of your time and money.
Discovering how to streamline your social media resources can be as simple as experimenting with a range of different content across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and measuring engagement rates.
It all depends on what behaviour you want to drive to meet your business goals.