You might think of social media as just another passing fad. But the numbers are here to tell you otherwise:
That means 2.3 billion people are social media users.
And this proportion is rising, especially as Internet users are becoming increasingly mobile – read more about that here. So, if the majority of the Internet is now active on social networks, why wouldn’t you aim to communicate your brand message to more people?
The fact is, social media isn’t a fad at all: it’s a meeting of lifestyles, and a means of self-expression – for individuals and brands.
If you carefully plan your social media strategy and engagement, your brand profiles aren’t just made up of selfies, memes or GIFs either. They can be carefully curated, highly visible platforms, becoming powerful tools in their own right. But only if you’re serious about amplifying your brand’s voice online; to do this well, you’re going to need a strategy.
So let’s say your brand is now on social media: you’ve got your verified Facebook Page, and your Twitter profile is all filled out and complete. You also just set up an Instagram profile. So far, all good!
But despite your investment of time and resource into these new mediums, don’t assume that you can now relentlessly promote and embellish your brand and its interests, non-stop.
Speak And Listen
Why shouldn’t you use your social media profiles exclusively how you want? Of course, you’re more than justified in promoting your products and services, alongside conveying your company culture, your values, insider info and team achievements. But, as with everything else in life, moderation is what matters.
Without any moderation, in constantly pushing your company agenda, your followers and community will see right through the purpose of your presence. Social media users are savvy and sophisticated: if they witness too much messaging that comes across as self promotion, that’s it. They won’t be making time for what you have to say.
As another example, whenever you receive customer feedback, acknowledge it. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s also there for the whole world to see. And if you’re proactive, you give yourself options.
Try responding constructively and helpfully to any negative feedback. By trying to fix the problem, that speaks far louder than trying to ignore the complaint, and hoping it will simply disappear. This is what every social media strategy should strive to be: both interactive and engaging. Because effective use of social media depends on conversations and two-way flows of information.
Another major building block of your strategy is balance: you need to strike the ideal sweet spot between curation and self-promotion. What you choose to curate can be anything as long as it's relevant to your vertical, and ideally related to whichever USP you're communicating – but more about that later. Conventional wisdom suggests a 70:30 ratio. That is, seventy percent of what you share needs to be valuable and useful for your audience – things they can take away. Examples include:
- DIY/How-to wisdom
- Money-saving ideas
- Time-saving tips
- Free samples or competitions
- Simple life hacks
The remaining thirty percent can then be earmarked for promoting your business and services. Once you strike this balance, it can make all the difference, in inspiring your audience to return for more of what you have to say.
Show Off Your
Unique Selling Points
Just in case you haven’t yet heard of these, Unique Selling Points are a serious catalyst for any brand marketing strategy. They’re also used everywhere, by scrappy start-up names and global powerhouse brands alike, for a very good reason. USPs are how you encapsulate the core, differentiating features of your product or service, in bitesize, easily memorable characteristics. Most brands have between three to five.
The mediums and methods for communicating USPs may vary, according to your own needs. What doesn’t vary about them, is that for their efficacy, they need to be presented regularly to your audience, to be digested over time.
With the right amount of planning – ideally via an Editorial Calendar – you can strategically cycle through messaging that reflects upon, alludes to, or – occasionally – shouts out loud about each of your brand’s unique offerings.
And that’s the beauty of social media, for communicating your brand USPs. By planning a cycling rotation of USP optimised messaging, the majority of your social updates subtly reinforce the very best your brand has to offer.
If you’ve been trying to market your brand without USPs, you’ll be wondering why you never got started with them sooner. The best part is, it’s never too late to implement them into your social media strategy. Just remember: one USP per post – don’t try and pack several of them into one!
Above all, social media strategy doesn’t have to be overly-complicated. All that’s required is some forward thinking and planning: we’re confident the points above will help your brand’s voice online, as opposed to hurting it.
Get in touch with the Dauntless crew if smart social strategy is what your brand presence really needs.
- Source – We Are Social: 'Digital in 2016'