Social media is essential for any brand to create an impact. A well-developed social media strategy helps you build brand awareness, engage the audience, generate leads, and leverage business opportunities.
Social media has tremendous brand benefits. But a wrong approach to growing your social media presence can damage brand reputation, cause missed opportunities, and badly impact your business’ revenue-making potential.
Building social media engagement through positive techniques is equally important. Having thousands of followers does not translate into brand impact. You need real followers that engage with your brand. These are people that read your posts, participate in social media discussions, and give you honest feedback.
Building such an active and engaged community takes work. But only such an audience can help you grow your brand influence on social media and become your loyal customers.
Given here are some ways to win an audience on social media – a targeted audience that matters in the long run:
Make your Social Media Posts about your Audience, not You
When your aim is to improve brand influence on social media, it can be easy to keep on talking about your brand, company, and products/ services. But your audience is not interested in how wonderful your products/ services are. They are more interested in knowing how your products/ services can help them.
Show your audience how you can help them. Use posts, which can be text, videos, or images, to explain how you can solve their problems. Talk to them about recent developments in your company or industry and how it changes things for them.
Post videos about your work culture and how your employees go about a typical day at the office. Give details about future sales offers that they can take advantage of.
Give your audience value, and watch them become engaged.
Posts accompanied by visuals such as images increase audience engagement by 180%
Include Visual Content
Consider these statistics to understand the importance of visuals:
- The human brain processes visual content faster than text by 60, 000 times
- Posts accompanied by visuals such as images increase audience engagement by 180%
- If your product posts are accompanied by videos, then your customers are 85% more likely to buy the products after watching the videos
Customize your Content to your Audience’ Needs
Customizing your posts to address your audiences’ specific needs gives them a reason to engage with you consistently. If you are on multiple social media platforms, then understand your target audience on each of these platforms. Use the strengths of each of these platforms to send customized content.
Blogs, for example, are a great platform to share stories about your customers and how your products/ services have helped them. Social networking platforms are great for real-time brand alerts, addressing grievances, and holding brand engagement programs such as contests.
Take time to research social media channels and your target audience on each channel. Create a customized content strategy based on these findings.
Choose only those social media platforms that can benefit your products/ services and your customers as well. For example, if you are in the jewelry business, then social platforms that are highly visual in content such as Pinterest and Instagram would be great.
(Source: Poll Everywhere)
Given these stats, it is understandable why visual content performs so well on social media. Include relevant and quality visual content such as images, videos, graphics, or infographics, along with your posts.
Be Consistent, But Avoid Going Overboard with Content
Posting content regularly is good and necessary to keep your brand fresh in the minds of your audience. But bombarding followers with promotional posts can turn overwhelming.
If you are using automation for managing your social media content calendar, then keep it to a minimum. Automating your content feeder to post content as frequently as say, every hour is too much.
Such strategies will lead to your audience disengaging from your brand.
Customers are 85% more likely to buy the products after watching the videos
Update your Profile and Company Pages Regularly
Profile photos and banner sections are some great areas to project your brand. Customers visiting your social media pages form an opinion about you by viewing these visual elements.
Update these sections regularly. For example, you can change your profile photo once a month.
Ensure that a great caption accompanies the photo as this combination increases the chances of making an instant impact. Banners are a great way to showcase your company’s featured works.
Conduct Interesting Contests
Contests are one of the best ways to engage new as well as existing audiences. There are many forms of contests. Caption contests, best comment contests, trivia Q & A, and photo contests are some popular examples. Choose the one that best fits your brand and target audience.
You can increase the reach and engagement of your contest through:
Use your email list, websites, social media pages, and other online avenues to promote your content. This approach encourages wider participation.
Brand-Related Contest Prizes
The purpose of contests is to increase audience engagement while also building your brand awareness. Giving away prizes that do not involve your brand does not fulfill this purpose.
Use attire, gift cards, tea/ coffee mugs, or photo frames, carrying your brand name or logo. If you are using other brands, then include your brand by way of packaging or by customization. For example, if you are giving away movie tickets, then you could include them on stationery customized to your brand.
Thank You Notes for all Contest Participants
Send a thank you post to all participants, including non-winners. Thank them for their participation and send them your brand-related work such as a featured image, graphic, or a small online brochure about your company.
Respond to Customer Grievances Instantly
Customers are increasingly opting to air their grievances on social media. They find the platform instant in reach than traditional avenues. With social media, customers do not have to search for our customer service phone numbers or wait for your technician to respond.
A prudent approach to addressing customer complaints would be to attend to them instantly. Delaying your response or totally ignoring the grievance post can cause irreversible damage to your brand reputation.
Consider Investing in Paid Advertising Strategies
Organic social media exposure is good. But if you are looking to create faster brand exposure, then paid social media can benefit you. Paid advertising need not be expensive. You can invest moderately in social advertising and achieve efficient content promotion, brand awareness, and improved conversions.
When considering paid strategies, choose social media platforms that matter to your business and customers.
Avoid Paying for Followers
Getting people to follow your brand by paying them may seem a faster way to gain followers. But this approach causes more issues in the long run, the worst of them being damage to brand trust. When you lose your brand credibility, you may never regain it.
Buying followers is not financially prudent too. When you pay for your followers, you are paying for robots that are programmed to comment on your social page regularly. This is not real engagement.
Your real audiences are bound to take note of the irrelevant comments and the lack of a human touch to the responses. When they understand that you are paying for followers, you lose their respect and trust. These aspects are crucial to building strong customer relationships and brand trust.
Invest time and effort in engaging with a targeted audience instead.
Winning a relevant audience on social media is a crucial branding aspect. Effective audience engagement on social media increases brand awareness and builds strong brand trust. The above strategies when ably planned and executed can deliver stellar results.