Social media is a powerful tool for discovering new brands, connecting with people, and reaching your business goals. Almost everyone has some form of social media, which means there are millions of people online who could become your next customers or clients — that’s if you utilize social media in the right way, of course!
Increasing brand awareness isn’t about posting anything and everything about your business, though. Oversaturation of the wrong kind of content may gain traction, but it could also create the wrong impression about your brand, so creating a proper strategy is key.
If increasing brand exposure through social media is a big objective for your company, this piece can help. Let’s consider how you can use social media to your advantage.
Social media provides global outreach for users. For a business, this provides an amazing opportunity to get noticed and develop its standing within its industry niche. Even B2B companies can gain a lot from social media, as B2B marketing is still built on human relationships. Consider your LinkedIn content strategy and the role it has on increasing your brand awareness, of course (more on this later).
To put it simply, you're missing out on a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to reach nearly half of the world's population if you don't include social media in your digital marketing approach. If people don’t know about your business, they can’t become your customers. Overall, investing in social growth is a key tactic for expanding your audience.
Before you start utilizing social media to get your brand out there, you need to know which platforms are going to be the most effective. Believe it or not, not every platform is suited to each brand, and if you’re not careful then you could end up putting too much time into a channel that won’t give much in return.
Getting up to speed with social media trends will provide some insight. LinkedIn for instance is great for B2B marketing as you have company decision-makers at your fingertips, whereas TikTok (per Statista) has a relatively young audience that could be suited to eCommerce businesses. Think about whom you’re trying to reach and where they spend their time.
● LinkedIn: Great for reaching big corporations and industry leaders.
● Facebook: Highly versatile, suiting everything from informational and statistical content to special offers or even light-hearted posts.
● Twitter: Fits visual content and short and snappy posts. Creating your own hashtag or jumping on trending topics can help.
● Instagram: Reaches young people with engaging images and videos. As with Twitter, you can use hashtags to boost your discoverability.
Using a combination of different platforms may well be the most effective option, but you must pay close attention to what’s the most effective. Understanding demographic information, in particular, will help you target the right people and ensure that you’re putting your focus (and marketing budget) towards the right actions.
Brand awareness can be measured in different ways, so the KPIs you choose will determine how long it takes to develop. Nevertheless, like many other marketing targets, brand awareness usually grows slowly and organically — so if you aren’t seeing major leaps ahead in sales or engagement, it isn’t a compelling reason to worry.
If you’re unsure which KPIs to focus on, consider the following four:
● Website visits: An increase in website visits (particularly unique visits) is a sign that your brand awareness is improving — this shows that people are discovering your site via social media links or searches.
● Followers: People follow new brands that get them interested, so an increase (whether a spike or a gradual rise) in followers means you’re getting discovered.
● Reach: Because brand awareness is all about recognition, keeping track of your reach can help you figure out how many people are noticing your posts. If you're reaching a lot of people but getting little engagement, your hashtags may be amazing but your content isn't as engaging.
● Mentions: Being tagged in industry-related posts or referenced specifically means people know who you are! Track your brand mentions to see the level of conversation surrounding your brand on an ongoing basis.
Brand awareness campaigns don’t have hard conversion goals, such as increasing sales or getting registrations for a webinar. Base your KPIs on what you’re looking to get out of your efforts and it’ll be much easier to track your progress.
So, how exactly can social media buy-in increase brand awareness? Well, there are several different types of media posts that can do well (and many tactics to follow), but it may take a little bit of trial and error to find what works best.
Brand awareness is not something that happens overnight (usually) so it does require time and patience. However, with a good strategy in place, you can soon gain brand awareness and convert that into profitable leads.
Here are some top ways to increase brand awareness on social media:
If brand exposure is your goal, the type of material you provide is extremely important. Your main concern should be quality, not quantity.
For instance, while a lengthy text post in which you comment expertly on your industry may be worth producing, a short video in which you demonstrate your expertise through action will go much further to authenticate your skills.
And then there’s the degree to which you show originality. If you take a popular topic and put your own twist on it, you can really stand out. Too many managerial types worry far too much about being different, terrified that doing anything vaguely risky will inevitably result in disaster. You need to take risks, daring to be unusual. If you only ever do the same things that others do, people will see no reason to care about your brand specifically.
In the end, publishing content that people don’t care about won’t get you anywhere. Your aim with every post should be to make people stop, take notice, and engage somehow (whether by replying or simply visiting your website). You can quantify your results through the performance dashboards of services like Buffer or Flickr, or simply look at the in-platform analytics. Either way, get into the habit of gauging success and making improvements.
Leaning on employee advocacy is a great way to reach a wider audience. Tools like GaggleAMP can prompt your employees to share posts about your business via their own social media accounts. How will this help? Well, one of the most significant benefits of post-sharing is that it can vastly increase your visibility by reaching new audiences.
Something as easy as sharing a post on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, can catch the attention of many relevant people. Those in your industry will be eager to learn more, and you can even get support (and reshares) from former colleagues and associates. Ideally, you should have a set of brand guidelines to ensure that your work stays consistently on tone, but also gives your employees some leeway to get creative: this will show that your brand has a core identity and earn you credit for not zapping your staff members of their individuality.
There’s something fundamentally rewarding about backing laudable causes. We’re all driven to help others in myriad ways, after all: helping charities, for instance, just feels good. And provided your brand does something genuinely worthwhile (if it doesn’t, reconsider your business model), you can take advantage of that to assemble communities capable of fighting the good fight and building your brand reputation in the process.
This is particularly worthwhile if you’re representing a nascent industry niche, as you need to grow that niche before you can grow your brand. Employer of record service provider Remote offered a perfect example of how to do this when it launched various measures while the COVID-19 pandemic was peaking. Seeking remote working aficionados to help draw upon the momentum of lockdown-induced remote policies, it did each of the following:
● Form a dedicated advocacy group to bring enthusiasts together.
● Feature passionate outsiders through podcasts and interviews.
● Created LinkedIn groups for employees and employers alike.
Why is this worth highlighting? Because while nothing the company did was directly about brand growth, with the focus near-exclusively being on the possibilities of remote work as opposed to specific brand services, it achieved three things in one fell swoop:
● Raising awareness of remote working arrangements it could help with.
● Gathering professionals who could use or endorse its services.
● Earning cross-industry plaudits for championing a popular cause.
Your business doesn’t need to be centrally concerned with some great cause, of course. It’s enough to have a suitable commitment as part of your company culture. If you try to run sustainably, for instance, you could create some lightly-branded communities with the goal of collating tips for green operations and arranging fundraising events. The more you show that your brand is about something more than just profit, the more it will stick in people’s minds.
A consistent posting schedule can make a big difference in how aware people are of your business. After all, posting the odd post here and there is not enough for substantial growth. It may take numerous impressions for someone to take notice, so you need to commit to consistent messaging to make an impact. At the same time, you mustn’t overdo it. It’s better to post one high-quality and engaging post each week than seven poor-quality attempts.
It’s a good idea to create content in bulk, lining up posts weeks or even months in advance: that way, you can get on with your regular tasks without needing to worry about having enough social posts to go out. Get your scheduling right and your target audience will slowly but surely become more familiar with your brand, eventually resulting in enough curiosity to prompt them to more closely investigate what you do.
When someone new comes across your post, they’re very likely to click onto your main profile, so it needs to be well optimized. Using Instagram as an example, your bio should be fully optimized not just for SEO purposes but also so people can understand exactly who you are and what you’re offering without needing to look elsewhere.
If branding your business site, your logo should be the profile photo but for B2C, a representation of your personal brand makes sense on each social media site. Your bio should include a few lines explaining what you sell or provide. People may become confused without this information and simply click away, knowing little more about you than when they initially arrived at your profile.
Remember that social media isn’t a game, and you don’t get unlimited opportunities to get noticed. Take it seriously and get to the point.
The social media world offers rich opportunities for brand development, so if you’re not taking full advantage of it then it’s time to make some changes. If you can start implementing the above tips today, you can soon improve your reach. Good luck!
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce platform specialist and online business consultant. You can get his advice for free by visiting EcommercePlatforms.io and reading his detailed reviews. For more tips and advice, reach out to Rodney on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.
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