Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.
Do you want to create a successful social media strategy that communicates your brand? If yes, this blog is primarily written for you.
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well. – Jeff Bezos
The real power behind any digital media project is the number. Without the right traffic, your campaign will have failed from the onset, notwithstanding either the quality of the content or the amount of investment involved.
If you are planning a good return on investment (ROI) for your projects, you wouldn’t ignore the significant number of well-engaged audiences on social media. In other words, social media has a very large number of well-engaged audience members you can leverage for a massive brand communication campaign.
To begin with, there are over 7 billion people on the planet earth and approximately 3.5 billion of them are already on the internet. That means that nearly 70% of global internet audiences are ACTIVE on the social media.
More simply, over 2.5 of those 3.5 billion internet users are active members of one form of social media or another. For instance, Facebook commands over 1.7 billion active users. It has also been reported that social media networks earned about 8.3 billion dollars from advertising last year (2015) alone.
I doubt if anyone needs further proof that the social media is a massive business platform today. That’s simply where the power lies. Any wise business will strive to drive the power of this number toward its favor.
Let’s consider a few other statistics about social media:
According to adweek.com, the figures below show how Americans use the internet while also watching TV. You will notice that surfing the net has gradually turned a culture.
Furthermore, adweek.com also stated that Snapchat’s video views grew by more than 400% during the month of May 2016. More recently, Snapchat’s daily video views and “stories” are said to have hit about 8 billion! That places Snapchat ahead of Facebook with respect to the number of daily video views.
Lastly, let’s look at where the 2016 American presidential election hopefuls stood during the campaign, as determined by Intermarkets.net.
It doesn’t appear as I have anything more to say or add, as not too many people will fail to recall at the polls.
In a nutshell, social media is the way to go for any upward-looking business. The real question is how one can use this traffic and these activities to drive digital campaigns and enhance brand outlook? The following points should help:
1. Clearly, define your goal and target audience.
There are already a number of projections and propositions as to how digital media will work in the coming years. As expected, smart social media marketers have been reviewing these details and statistics in order to carefully set goals for the way s/he will use social media in the years ahead.
As a brand manager, you need to establish a clear goal for how you intend to use social media to communicate your brand with respect to the type and quality of content, the voice and outlook of the content, the color and layout of your social media platform and your current and long-term intentions. For example, you can plan to reach at least 1,000,000 new users every month and ensure a 50% conversion rate.
Goals are about the precision of your plans and strategies.
These suggestions will help you to put all of the needed tools and strategies in place in order for you to reach your goal; however, before you can set a clear social media goal for your brand, you’ll need to pinpoint your target audience. This means understanding their tastes and resources and making well-informed assumptions about their responses to your campaign strategies.
2. Build a strong social media community/presence
“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.” – Pam Moore
Another way to deploy social media to give your brand a massive boost is by building a strong social media presence. It gets even better after you’ve built a strong social media community.
Create highly engaging content that speaks directly to your target audience by addressing their needs. You’ll also need to ensure that you follow up by providing them with quality time on your platform.
Allow your visitors and audiences to intimately relate with you by allowing them to feel like they’ve received quality rewards and results for their time spent on your platform. Don’t explain that they are merely relating to a machine - engage them.
Check out the chart below between Oreo and one of her many followers:
Brian Solis seems to have perfectly summarized this point when he said, “Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.”
You need to understand that there are a large number of users on these platforms whose needs and wants can be leveraged to build massive communities that will rub off on your own brand. According to reports from brandwatch.com, aside from the massive figures given earlier about Facebook, as of the end of 2015, Twitter also commanded 500 million monthly visits with 1.3 billion accounts. These add up to 6,000 tweets produced every second.
Once you add up all of the activities, views and figures from the many social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and so forth, you can very easily automate and schedule your content effectively using just one platform - SocialPilot.
So much multimedia content can be designed and shared across these pages in order to make them a part of your community beyond just operating a platform. You need to know your audience, understand what they want, put them at the center of your strategy and, lastly, ensure you are unique and authentic in your approach.
3. Get inspiration from other social media/online marketers
So many ideas and inspirations can be deployed to provide your social media platform with a formidable outlook. Sharing and engaging, quality content across pages, using enthusiastic and vibrant brand advocates and sharing your work on other similar platforms with a strong following, among others. The ideas are simply endless.
However, it is advisable to follow and study other social media platforms and influencers first, especially those offering products similar to yours. You will be amazed by how many ideas and how much inspiration you can obtain from those places that will benefit your brand. You may also be able to use their links and platforms to the benefit of your own campaign.
Have you ever heard the statement, “No man is an island?” It doesn’t get any truer than this context.
4. Ensure you have a consistent outlook and uniform strategy
One way that many brands discover how social media can backfire is by communicating conflicting ideas.
This is mostly unintentional but happens often. It could be due to a lack of proper planning, poor information sharing within an organization, the lack of needed expertise or for many other reasons. This could negatively affect your brand’s outlook.
To ensure your communication strategies are consistent and uniform, you need to customize your social media platform in such a way that furthers your projects and promotes your brand. Then, the contents, voice, logo, market strategies, content outlook, and advertising materials should all speak the same language.
Nike is the perfect example. Its tagline has been ”Just do it” for the past 15 years. It is the most-recognized tagline. On the other hand, Reebok has changed its slogan more than 14 times since 1987. For Nike, consistency has paid off.
Guinness and airline operators usually use sophisticated, premium content and advertising materials. It would be conflicting for them to produce shabby and primitive content to accompany these materials and the effect on their brand would be devastating.
Communication content must be consistent and uniform. Every action must be driven towards fulfilling the main brand communication idea.
5. Produce quality, engaging, relevant and optimized content
As pointed out earlier, quality content is the power behind social and digital media campaigns. No matter how much money you spend, if you lack quality and target audience optimization, you will always end up at a dead-end in the long run.
According to brandwatch.com, Google processes 100 billion searches every month with an average of 40,000 search queries every second. These searches are performed by 1.17 billion unique users, a number which is growing.
Therefore, it is brave, economical, productive and financially prudent to produce outstanding, optimized content in order to drive traffic to your platform.
This is how it works: Optimization brings the guys and quality content keeps them, while the right engagement makes them loyal to your brand. Don’t play around the rule; instead, walk through carefully.
6. Create attractive content with pungent titles and headlines
Sometimes, the problem isn’t the content, it’s the outlook! I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s bad to judge a book by its cover; unfortunately, this is beyond your control when it comes to the internet. Most of your target audience is either attracted to or put off by the mere appearance of your work.
Though you may have the best content on the net, if your titles, headlines and visual displays aren’t sufficiently attractive, you will miss your target audience. Put in the extra effort to make your work look professional and attractive.
Visual aid//Source: marking insider group.
7. Draw a good promotional plan. Calendar when to do what.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of simply unleashing anything on your audience at any time. Plan out every detail of your campaign and note when and what is done as well as the intended results from the action.
- What are you sharing?
- When are you sharing it?
- What is the purpose of the work, comments, discussion and every action in relation to the focus of your campaign?
- Lastly, put a process in place to check the impact and result of the campaign.
To plan your schedule properly, there is n number of a software program on the net that you can deploy. SocialPilot.com is one example that is rich in depth and control. Get started and discover flexibility, freedom and a highly-organized schedule. You are guaranteed a well-organized campaign and help to focus on your plans.
There is no better time to take control of your social media platform. Use it to strongly boost your brand image now. Put on your thinking cap and watch your business soar.
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