Savvy business leaders recognize the impact a well-maintained social media presence can have on their bottom lines. To remain competitive in their markets and relevant to target audiences, brands need to be present on the channels that consumers favor. Whether you’re an established brand or just starting out, an optimized social media strategy can significantly boost your brand’s visibility and growth efforts.
Discover your voice
The first step in creating an effective social media strategy for your business is determining which social channels your customers are using. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram all require different types of posts, and, therefore, can have very different results. Depending on the message you’re trying to deliver and who comprises your target audience, it’s important to understand what kinds of posts your customers are most interested in and how you can use each platform for the biggest impact.
Once you’ve established your preferred platforms, each account should reflect a consistent brand persona followers can recognize and associate with your company. A consistent tone and aesthetic across all social platforms keeps your social media presence authentic to your brand. Colors, graphics, style, language and posting routine should remain as uniform as possible. This sort of cohesion makes your brand easily recognizable and lets people know what to expect, which can help foster a loyal following.
Identify your goals
Starting out a new social media marketing strategy without clear-cut goals can be frustrating and end up leaving your team without any way to measure success. It’s important to set clear identifiers for your goals in order to generate the desired impact of your social media efforts,. Having a vision for your social media presence and the impact you want it to have can help to determine your goals and the necessary steps to reach them.
Here are a few successful examples of brands using social media for varying goals:
Create personal profiles
CEOs can establish themselves as thought leaders within their industries by sharing their knowledge in a relatable and easily digestible format, such as Facebook. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s Facebook is a great example of this strategy. Personal profiles allow business leaders to share projects they’re currently involved in, what they’re reading and what’s happening with their company to a broader audience in a more personal format.
Humanize your brand
Social media is a great way to show-off the fun, relatable and engaging side of your company. Sharing personal anecdotes and thoughts on social accounts humanizes businesses and business leaders. For example, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet’s Twitter, though it only lasted a few tweets, demonstrates how his sense of humor and taste in TV attracted millions of followers. Fast food companies like Taco Bell and Wendy’s are also extremely popular on social media for the way they portray their brands’ voices. Adding a sense of humor to tweets, engaging with followers, and making announcements are fun ways to make the fast food chains more relatable and creates a personality for the brands.
Focus on customer engagement
The most common use of social media for businesses is for customer engagement and brand publicity. Using social media to share product promotions, user-generated content, lifestyle or industry related posts, humorous content (depending on your tone), and special offers and announcements keeps customers engaged and informed on the latest happenings with your brand.
Shake Shack, for example, uses Instagram to share their community engagement, collaborations, and Shake Shack team and company events. This is an excellent example of using social media to boost customer engagement, as followers can feel connected to the brand and the value Shake Shack feels toward their customers.
Implement your strategy
Social media postings should be thought out and purposeful for business accounts. Followers can see right through disingenuous activity, so don’t just post for the sake of posting. Aside from in-the-moment story shares or responses to mentions, posts should be relevant and meaningful to your brand and campaign goals. To determine the most effective posting patterns and frequency, look at the engagement your previous posts receive.
Utilize efficiency tools
There are numerous social media management tools available to help you stay on top of your posting schedule. Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Spring Metrics can help organize your social content calendar and delegate responsibility among your team to ensure all of your social accounts are properly maintained and reciprocating the engagement they receive.
Insert yourself into current conversations
Chances are, there are already conversations happening about your brand on social media. Seek them out and join in on appropriate opportunities to better present your brand and build relationships with customers. Google Alerts for business is the ideal solution to staying on top of any and all brand mentions. The free tool offers companies an easy way to monitor their online presence and any possible opportunities for engagement or interactions with customers.
Like anything in business, developing a strong social media presence takes time and often, some trial and error. With proper management and dedication, social media can offer substantial benefits to improving your brand visibility and overall growth.