Creating brand awareness through social media takes strategy and creativity. Here are 10 tips to get you started.
1. Interact with your followers. This is crucial to boosting your social media footprint. I’m not just talking about responding to customer complaints and answering questions. That’s basic customer service and that won’t set you apart. To stand out, you need to engage with your followers on a deeper level. Like their comments, repost their Instagram photos, start a dialogue on Twitter and follow their accounts. This will help you build a real relationship with people, which is what social media is all about.
2. Don’t overdo it. Having a strong social media presence is a great tool to help strengthen your relationship with your clients and customers. But don’t overwhelm them with too much content— fans don’t want to feel like they’re getting spammed. As a general rule of thumb, try to stay in the range of three to seven posts per week on each platform. Or, if your strategy is to post daily, spread out your content and try not to post more than two to three times per day.
3. Boost Facebook posts. Try putting money behind a post and see how much new traffic it drives to your page. Boosted posts allow you to get your brand’s content out to people who don’t normally follow your page, and you can choose the target geographic location and age range. At first, try boosting one post a week, then adjust the price and frequency based on the results you get.
4. Create targeted Facebook posts. This is a great feature for organic posts, or normal posts you post for free that aren’t boosted. Select the groups you would like to target, whether a certain age, gender or geographic location. This feature will be especially useful if your brand is running promotions or sweepstakes. For instance, if you’re a restaurant franchise highlighting your summer discount program for recent college and high school graduates, target your post to those age groups in your area.
5. Be cautious about hash tags. To have success with hashtags on social media, you need to use them strategically. Using too many or making them too long can decrease engagement among fans and followers. When posting for your brand, you can consider creating one go-to hashtag that your brand will always use, like Ralph’s Italian Restaurant does on its Facebook and Twitter. Or, you can try incorporating one or two into each post that fits with the content.
6. Stay away from buzzwords. Although it makes sense to want to incorporate words like “like” “comment” and “share” into your Facebook posts, it’s better to leave them out. Adding those words can drive down engagement with fans. Instead, try using a phrase like, “Let us know, what is your favorite menu item at our restaurant?” With text like this, you still get the message across without using words that will harm the success of your posts.
7. Images are your friend. As we’ve seen in recent years with Instagram’s rise in popularity, people love pictures. So embrace them! You can use images from Google as long as you don’t add your brand’s logo, or you can download stock photos from Shutterstock. Better yet, consider taking your own photos. That’s the best way to give fans an authentic, natural view of your brand. A picture is worth a thousand words— so let your images do the talking for you.
8. So are videos. In our recent piece offering tips to help you boost local sales, we suggested creating video testimonials. Use these and other YouTube videos to make your content more dynamic and interesting.
9. Don’t underestimate the power of analytics. Facebook analytics are free, and they offer a lot of key insights that should be the basis for your social media strategy. Find out what types of posts are the most successful on your pages. Is it photos? Statuses? Videos? How much did your boosted posts this month help drive engagement? Has your page grown steadily over the past month? Numbers don’t lie, and they can help guide you toward strategies that will make your page better. For more detailed insights, consider using sites like Sprout Social or Hootsuite.
10. Choose the platforms that work for your business. Your business won’t be active on every social media platform people are using these days, and that’s okay. You don’t want to waste your effort on a platform that won’t benefit the brand. For instance, if you’re a data analytics firm, you probably don’t need a Pinterest account. You’d probably have more success on Twitter and LinkedIn. But, if you’re a landscaping company, you’ll want to create Pinterest and Instagram accounts so you can highlight your work with high-resolution images. Play around with LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and determine which ones are the best fit for you.
Social media is an opportunity for your brand to get creative and show fans and followers something about you they may not normally see. If you’re not on social media yet, you need to be. Have fun with it, stick to your brand’s key messages and watch your footprint grow!