Brand awareness is a company’s cornerstone.
Today, brand building and social media go hand in hand. According to SproutSocial, 7 out of 10 Gen Xers are more likely to purchase products from brands they follow on social media—and the truth is, if your brand doesn’t have a strong online presence, chances are you’re missing out on a ton of business. For example, research shows that half of all millennials will research a product online before buying it.
But all that said, when it comes to effective social media marketing, one size does not fit all.
There are so many platforms for a brand to conquer. And time and time again, brands fail because they spread themselves too thin. Do you want to be an influencer on LinkedIn, or on Instagram? Are you trying to make a video go viral on Facebook, or are you trying to build a loyal following on Snapchat? These are just a handful of the questions (and obstacles) brands face when investing resources in trying to build a social presence worth following. And sometimes, it serves you to focus on one platform instead of trying to be everywhere at once.
What’s most important is that you choose the platform that aligns most with your brand. So, if you are having trouble choosing a platform to focus on, ask yourself: where does my core audience live? For example: you don’t want to end up investing resources in building a Twitter page when your target audience is on LinkedIn—or vice versa.
If you want to skip the mistakes most people make, here’s how you can build a powerful brand on social media:
1. Focus on Your Niche.
Any marketing expert will tell you to cater to your most loyal customers. The same goes for your social media network. There are two sides to this coin. One is creating a particular and prominent brand identity. The other is discovering your space in the marketplace.
During a recent conversation I had with Graham Kramer, he said:
“A huge aspect that is often neglected when it comes to establishing your brand on social media is finding your audience. Taking the time to create a more polished brand identity is crucial—and is the first step in helping you distinguish your niche in the marketplace. From here, you can find a loyal audience to engage with, and begin to scale your business by growing your network, which can ultimately create a new stream of revenue for your business.”
Kramer is the founder and CEO of Artemis Venture Capital, a company focused on brand development and social media management. They connect their network of over 250 million followers to companies, with the aim of giving them the ability to expand their business through social media.
2. Advertise With the Network’s Algorithm in Mind.
Each network has an algorithm, and just because you pay for ads doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be seen. It’s vital that you know how the platform you’re using works, so that you avoid overspending and underachieving your brand awareness goals.
For example, when it comes to Facebook ads, you need to be patient and collect data to inform future campaigns. Running your first ad is a major learning process. You can’t just run your ad for a day and assume it failed because it wasn’t an instant and massive success. You need let the ad run its course, and go through its different challenges and then adjust accordingly.
3. Create Incentives to Build an Audience Around Your Brand.
Building a loyal audience for your brand starts with giving them a reason to follow you.
One impactful way of jumpstarting your growth is by providing promotions to your fans and followers. For example, give your audience the chance to win something small if they follow you and tag 3 friends. This might sound like a simple tactic, but it will generate activity on your page by encouraging people to let others know they should participate in your giveaway.
Another great tactic is to reward users for taking highly selective actions, like sending a direct message answer to a question, or even messaging their email in exchange for a branded reward. These are big asks for users, so the rewards should be well worth their efforts.
All in all, your brand should represent all the things your target audience wants to embody.
For Graham Kramer and his business partner, David Mendelsohn, this means using your brand voice to lead people from being a passive follower to a loyal customer. “Building a brand on social media is about more than just messaging,” he said. “It’s about giving your audience something they can relate to, in a way they can’t find anywhere else. Maybe that comes through in the text you write, or the videos you share. Regardless, give them something to hold on to, and over time, they’ll become your biggest advocates.”Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.