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7 Ways That Brands Can Leverage Social Media

 

Brands: if you are not leveraging social media, good luck with marketing in the years ahead.

Facebook has close to 2 billion active users worldwide, and studies show that 97% of adults aged 16-64 have logged into a social media site within the last month. But aside from the potential for audience reach, your direct competitors are likely to be among the 50 million brands present on sites like Facebook.

You need to make sure that you’re maximizing brand engagement on social media —  this post will offer you seven ways to leverage social media as a brand marketing channel.

 

Analytics For Audience Research

Social media analytics are powerful audience research tools that can help you improve your content marketing, retargeting, and even website design.

Though Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram have their own data — Facebook is really the audience data powerhouse.

Create lookalike audiences on Facebook to deepen your understanding of your core target demographic, and generate potential new leads for your business.The audience data graphs look at demographics, location, gender, and more. Use the tools to build audiences that rival your competitors, or create detailed client personas with the data.

Pay special attention to the Insights dashboard. The more descriptors you type in, the more suggestions for characteristics it will uncover for you. For instance, under the Purchase Behaviour tab, you’ll discover other products your customers may be interested in. If it’s a new car, for instance, you can suggest related products from your collection in the form of a sponsored ad campaign.

Harness Powerful Social Media Influencers

You need to find your industry’s most favored and up & coming thought leaders and influencers to help promote your brand.

Whether the social media influencer in question has 100,000 followers or 2,000, there is an influencer account that’s ideal for your brand and fanbase.

Social media influencers can be sourced from many marketplace websites for an affordable fee. To make the best choices, do some background research before handing over any money.

In the past, Instagram users have been able to grow their followings using ‘black hat’ tactics. For instance, some users may have paid for followers from spam accounts. Look at the number of likes per image and make sure followers are genuinely engaging with their content.

Most importantly, make sure their pictures are original and high-quality. Avoid accounts that use a lot of screen grabs from other people’s content. Also, check for consistency and style in post aesthetics.

Generate User Reviews For Social Proof

Social proof helps build trust with customers — and where better to make the most of it than social media?

Make sure you enable reviews on your business pages on Facebook. Many users are now trained to check out your company’s credentials before making a purchase. Ask customers to post their comments on your social media profiles. Be open to both praise and criticism.

You should always make an effort to respond to every review you get, as doing this will encourage other users to share their thoughts. You will come across as a brand who cares, and people will respond positively.

Collect User-Generated Content

If you need an audience to talk up your products, ask your fans to contribute through social media and share their own images and stories.

Start a user-generated content campaign on social media to bring in some free crowd sourced content. Featuring user content on your website is easy with the help of apps and plugins, and they also make great social media ad fodder. What’s a better way of promoting your company on social than other happy social media users?

If you’re an ecommerce business, you can also post the best UGC images to your product pages, adding another layer of reassurance for customers before they buy. To make the best use of user-generated content, come up with unique hashtags for each product. Then, remind customers in post-purchase emails to share their pictures online.

Show Fans The Real You

In 2018, if you want to appear credible, you must be prepared to offer your social media followers a glimpse of life behind the scenes at your business. 100% promotional posts or samey marketing messages turn people off. And once you’ve been unfollowed, you’re unlikely to draw the user back in again.

Use Stories on Instagram and Facebook to show off your workspace, your sketch pad, your meeting space, your team, and so on.

In truth, any story can be told compellingly through your use of captions and imagery – so have fun getting creative with filters and emojis.

Some more quick tips: try posting ten labeled pictures in sequence, counting down to a new product launch, or set up a ‘how to’ tutorial sequence demonstrating your product’s benefits.

Craft Effective Calls To Action

Consumers on social media are active participants. They can be signaled to sign up to your page, like a post, share it, or find out more. Depending on your ultimate goal, you should craft your CTA messages with one action or command in mind. Any more than one goal will confuse the viewer and lead them to click away.

As explained previously, you do not need to encourage users to ‘Shop Now’ with every call to action. When you’re setting up your ad budgets and content plans, use social media as the hook’ to another activity, not the last stage of the buying cycle.

Use a short phrase, no more than four words long, that outlines exactly how the customer can find out more. The rest of your ad should outline the reasons why the reader should click – it really is that simple with social media.

You are fighting for your audience’s attention, so make your calls to action as easy to perform as possible.

Make Direct Social Media Sales

Social commerce is growing — and the best platforms and sales channels are investing in direct social media sales. As we devote more and more time to shopping on our smartphones — social commerce is a no-brainer for brands.

Get the tech right so that your store and website are properly ready for social sales. If you built your store on Shopify you can hook your shop up directly with your branded Instagram and Facebook accounts. This feature allows customers to click and buy without even leaving the social media site — a real time saver and sales-driver in the right context.

Within Instagram’s Stories platform, you can also seed swipe-up links to products – two chances to make a sale directly from one platform.

Leveraging social media for brand publicity is the only way businesses will keep up with the competition in 2018. To counteract ever-evolving demands, make your content about serving customers, building social proof and coming across as a business that cares about excellent customer service.

Victoria Greene

About Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene is a writer and branding expert. She runs a blog called Victoria Ecommerce. Here she explores the many ways brands can make the most of their social media marketing campaigns.

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