How To Grow Your Brand's Social Media Presence (15-Ways)
Growing your social media is vital in today's times. Lucky for you, BrandSnag is here to help! Here are 15 Ways to Grow Your Brand's Social Media Presence.
It doesn't matter if you're a small local shop or an international corporation; social media presence is crucial for your success. Social media platforms help connect your business to customers, increase leads and sales, and encourage your brand's awareness. Building a social media presence can increase your brand's credibility; most customers will search for a company online before purchasing (including social media profiles).
With over three billion people around the world currently using social media every month, engagement and interaction continue to increase. To put this number into perspective, nearly half of the entire global population uses at least one social platform.
Unfortunately, many businesses procrastinate in developing their social media strategy. Perhaps the thought of adding more requirements to the daily routine seems unachievable. Maybe you don't know how to grow your digital presence. Getting started is overwhelming, but it doesn't require a marketing degree to get started. Simply follow these simple tips to start increasing your social media presence overall.
Set your Goals Using SMART
The concept of SMART goals is nothing new for business, but applying these concepts to social media can help you stay on target. Brands should set and organize goals for social media interactions using the same principles. The SMART model implements goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When looking at the acronym, let's review what each step is asking us to define.
- Specific: These goals are clear, well-defined, and unambiguous.
- Measurable: You'll need to identify specific criteria that are impacted by the goal. They must be measurable and related to the progress of your plan.
- Achievable: The goal set must be something the company or individual can achieve within the timeframe. You can't achieve "grow our following." You can, however, achieve "increase our following by 25 users by the end of the month".
- Realistic: Any goals related to your social media account must be relevant to the business, practical, and within reach. Setting a goal well beyond your status isn't realistic; opt for smaller goals instead.
- Timely: Any goals set within the company should have a clearly defined timeframe. The plan should include a target date (to achieve the goal) and a starting date of the goal. Your timeframe should create urgency but not panic for attaining the goal.
Setting a SMART goal might include an actionable number for your social media accounts. For example, "our company will increase the Facebook response time by 50% by the end of the year."
This goal is ideal because it implements every step within the SMART model. It identifies the social media channel, as well as a metric to achieve. The response rate can be measured quantitatively through the business dashboard. The results ask the company to increase the response rate by a realistic and achievable amount. There is also a set timeline with a start and end date for the goal.
Identify and Know Your Audience
Your target audience is the group of people that are most likely to be interested in your product or service. While every customer is individual and unique, most will share common traits among them. For many businesses, the default answer is "everyone" when defining the audience.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with any company (yours is no exception). It's crucial to determine who the vast majority of your customers are going to be. Look at significant influencers within your region. Evaluate the ideal customer. The idea behind this step is to break down the audience to establish the best course of action with your social media.
Failing to define a target audience properly means a company will try and appeal to everyone instead. By catering to everyone, there is no specific person identified. The company stalls and efforts are minimal.
How can your audience help your social media strategy?
By defining your target audience, you'll establish which social media profiles will be most influential, how to build your brand's voice, how often to post to these platforms, and what type of content is going to be influential for your company. Without knowing the audience, you're likely missing critical pieces of social media strategy; you'll never have a comprehensive and consistent voice.
Provide Engaging and Fresh Content
Your social media account is only as good as the content you produce. If you're just sharing the same content repeatedly, you're missing the point of social media. When you're trying to establish a plan for your social accounts, the content is just as important as the frequency. You'll want to develop a cohesive strategy for everything you plan to do on social media to get started. This strategy will help establish your goals, help guide your actions, and give a solid plan for success.
It's essential to keep your plan-specific; the more detailed the plan, the more effective it will be. You don't want unattainable goals. You want simple, actionable steps that are easy to measure.
To create your social media marketing strategy, you'll want to consider your business objectives. Vanity goals (followers, likes, or shares) offer minimal value overall. Instead, focus on plans for click-through, conversions, or engagement.
Determine which social media channels you'd like to use and how they're going to complement your goals. Different types of content sit better for specific channels. For example, videos and tutorials do well on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. For detailed content, Facebook and LinkedIn might be appropriate. If you're looking for instantaneous communication, Twitter works well for customer service areas.
Once you've established the channels you will use, write a mission statement for each network. This should be one sentence to keep you focused on the goal. For example, "Our company will use Instagram for how-to videos to engage "customers."
Before posting randomly on social media, always look through similar businesses online. Take a look at the content they share, the frequency, and how they interact with their customers. While you don't have to copy their strategy, it can provide insight into the communication requirements for your industry. Set a specific posting frequency for each network, including the content type.
Social media accounts are meant for interaction, engagement, and communication (the network has the word "social" in the title). Commit to interacting with all comments or questions on the channel. If you're just getting started, consider setting an alarm to remind you to check your social media accounts. Alternatively, you can opt for notifications on your cell phone.
Once you've decided on the frequency of posts, set a social media calendar to stay on top of new posts and content. Each social media network can have a variety of posts (for instance, Facebook can have blog posts, imagery, videos, or eCommerce posts).
Provide a Human Touch
A business account doesn't mean you have to remain robotic online. Audiences are allowed to see a softer side, especially if you're interacting on social media account frequently. Interact with people on your page, answer questions authentically, promote your content, and interact with anyone that posts to the page. Show them the person behind the business in every piece of content you share.
You don't want to come across as a faceless corporation that has no personality. You're allowed to talk to your followers as you would friends. Sarcasm, humor, and cheeky responses are encouraged (just don't be disrespectful). In fact, many businesses dive into social media with jokes, quips, and gentle teasing of other establishments. Remember, no one enjoys talking to the automated systems on the phone; avoid sounding like a social media version of the robotic caller.
Connect Your Social Media Accounts
A follower is only as good as the account they've found, which means the more connected they are to your business, the more valuable they become. Make things easier for your viewers by creating a web of social media and digital accounts online. Every platform should have access to other social media channels for simplified access.
But how does this work in reality? Simple. Whenever you create a new account, connect it back to any other social media accounts you have established. If you're posting on Instagram, provide the link to your Facebook account. If you're using TikTok, your profile should contain Instagram. You want a follower to connect with you in all realms, not just one account. Why? The more frequently you're in front of a potential customer, the more likely they will interact, connect, and purchase from you.
If you have a website, encourage social media connections with accessible social links on your site. Social share buttons can promote sharing content, while your social media accounts (in the header, footer, or side menu) can build the relationship further. A spider web works with multiple strands working together to create a net for flies. The more strands you have working together, the more likely you'll "catch" visitors and convert them into customers.
Optimize your Social Media Profiles
You're probably already familiar with optimizing your website with on-page SEO, but social media accounts need optimizing too. Thankfully, social media profiles don't require strict SEO methods or a degree in marketing to optimize them.
To get started, clarify your brand's name. Keep it consistent across all platforms, including your company website. Search engines can't index your social content if it's under a different name. Stick with your brand name across all profiles instead to keep things consistent.
You'll also want to use a high-quality photo for every account. This can include a logo, persona, or real person within the company. Your followers need to recognize your company because they won't engage further if they can't identify your brand. Keep the image the same across all platforms so that users can recognize your profile instantly.
Ensure that your company profiles include relevant and current details, including what your business is and what it does. You'll want to include any keywords so your business shows during search results. Make sure that your brand personality shines through in the profile. You want to grab the audience's attention, intrigue them, and persuade them to stick around.
Explore Paid Social Media Marketing
With advertising hitting $47.9 billion in 2021, it's important to consider paid social media marketing when building your social media strategy. Paid marketing efforts can help you target audiences and increase sales while sending your efforts into hyperdrive. Your paid social media marketing keeps your business in front of target audiences while establishing authority and influence within the industry.
Popular social media traffic can take days (or weeks) to start gaining, especially if you're in a highly competitive industry. Paying for exposure can get your content in front of tons of people that organic posts can't touch. Tailor your paid campaigns to specific areas, regions, or zip codes if you're a local business. For businesses wanting to expand, post your content on a global scale.
New to paid social media campaigns? Don't panic. Always start by outlining the end goal of the campaign. Are you hoping to attract more followers? Want to improve your conversion rate? Clearly define the end goal of the campaign. After you've determined the goal of your campaign, outline the total budget you're willing to spend. This can be a total spent over the duration of the campaign or how much you're ready to spend per day. Most paid campaigns start as low as $1 and increase from there.
Keep a Watch Out for Trends
Whether it's the newest meme, popular television shows, or breaking news, trending content is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to stand out. Trends bring current content to social media platforms and give businesses the chance to show off their personality in the process. Try to stay on top of trending topics with relevant content. These keywords or phrases shouldn't be used to spam content (trust me, no one wants an article on fiscal responsibility if the trend is apple pie).
As trends can vary substantially, it's essential to set limits on the content you're willing to discuss as a company. It's always a wise idea to avoid politics, religion, or other sensitive topics that might exclude a portion of your following. Make the most of trends by joining in the conversations around popular events or conferences. Ask questions. Suggest opinions. Share content. Rinse and repeat.
Treat Each Social Media Platform Differently
Just as every snowflake is different, so too are the social media networks. That means posting the same content across all platforms simply won't work (well, it will post to the account, it just won't engage your audience). As you're building a social media strategy, consider the following platforms and formats:
Disappearing content platforms
This content is designed to disappear shortly after viewing, often within 24 hours. These platforms are ideal for limited edition items, live events, funny clips, or announcements within your company. Snapchat, Stories (Instagram and Facebook), and LinkedIn stories follow the same format.
Video social media platforms
These profiles should build attention and brand awareness by capturing attention. Video content should educate, entertain, or inspire – the goal isn't promotional content. Audiences use platforms like Instagram stories, TikTok, and YouTube for watching videos. These can be short or long formats, but shorter clips (under three minutes) work well for engagement purposes.
Business social media platforms
If you're looking to connect with other professionals in your industry (or if you're targeting potential clients), business platforms are fantastic options. These channels are ideal for B2B purposes, including networking or recruiting. LinkedIn and Twitter are suitable for business connections.
Visual social media platforms
Platforms catering to visual components work well to provide small snippets of a business in imagery. These platforms include Instagram and Pinterest; they work well for companies wanting to share visual or photographic items that aren't directly connected to outside content. The focus of these posts is the aesthetic appeal, attracting audiences with the artistic nature of the post. Both platforms allow hashtags to localize content based on subject, topic, or keyword.
The only thing worse than a company without a social media presence is a company with a dead social media presence. Interested clients or customers will search your business online, likely finding your brand through social media. When a company isn't regular with its content, mixed messages are going to form. Viewers are going to question whether you're still in business, whether you support your products through customer service, or if you've simply fallen off the face of the planet.
Your business should be something you talk about regularly to friends, family, and the entire social network you've joined. It may seem ridiculous to share content when your numbers aren't growing continuously, but it's the only way to show your potential clients that you care about their experience.
Consider this, during the holiday season; you're browsing online for a few products. You come across an account with the item available, but all the posts are a few years old. You know that the time-frame for delivery won't allow reordering from another vendor if this one falls through. Are you likely to order or keep searching for another company?
To prevent these periods of inactivity, invest in automation tools that take the guesswork out of your posting habits. Most tracking tools can schedule posts to multiple social media platforms, often for months in advance. You can spend a few days preparing your posts, frequency, and content, without having to worry about it in the future. Simply set a few days every quarter to establish your social media content and let the rest take care of itself.
Don't Fixate on Numbers
It doesn't matter if you consider follower counts a critical metric for your marketing or you believe it's an irrelevant statistic. Your brand needs more than followers; they need a community. Connecting with your following is a crucial first step in building your brand. Spend some time every day interacting with your followers.
Relationship building doesn't have to be complicated. It starts with mentioning people in social media posts (replying or @mention them directly). Interact with comments. Answer questions or concerns. Show your customers that you hear and see them in everything you do online.
How many times have you contacted a business online to have it completely ignored? It's not a good feeling. Relationships are the critical component to any business, don't miss the opportunity by not responding.
Understand How Hashtags Work
Hashtags are any word or phrase preceded by the pound symbol. They're an indication that a piece of content relates to a specific topic or category. They make your content discoverable on social media and help companies increase their reach.
Critical tips to remember:
Don't string too many words
The best hashtags are short and straightforward to remember. Too many words are confusing and cluttered.
Hashtags don't use spaces
If you're trying to use a phrase as a hashtag, use capital letters to indicate a new word. A space will end the hashtag you're currently using. For example, #ThisIsAHashtag will include all words. #This Is A Hashtag will only have the first word.
Private accounts won't appear in results
Make sure your company accounts are set to public visibility. Hashtags only appear for shared accounts and will simply hide private content.
Don't look spammy
Stick with one or two hashtags in your posts. Anything more than that can come across as spam, which will hurt your marketing efforts.
Hashtags are currently available on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. While Facebook does allow hashtag functionality, it is not as popular as other social media networks. Using hashtags on social media can improve engagement with your followers, connecting you to conversations happening online. Choosing popular hashtags can improve discoverability online, bringing your company in front of anyone looking for those topics at that time.
Add Social Icons to Your Emails
One of the easiest ways to build your social media following is by sharing the handles whenever possible. This means social media buttons that connect to your company profiles should be included in every email you send.
Add any icons to the footer of your email (or after your digital signature) with an invitation to connect online. These icons will provide instant access to your digital footprint without having to spend extra on marketing. It's a subtle way to build your social media marketing without having to come across as demanding. To encourage social media connections, consider adding a promotional coupon for social media subscriptions.
Don't Be Afraid to Share
Building your social media is overwhelming. It seems virtually impossible to grow your page initially, especially when you're first starting out. So, how do you get started? Reach out. Yes, it really is that simple. When creating a company profile, reach out to friends, family, and personal contacts about your page. Ask them to join your page and encourage them to share the page with their connections, followers, and contacts. If every contact has 100 personal contacts, five shares put your content in front of 500 new people.
While this doesn't seem like much, those five hundred people can check out your account, look through your products and services, and share the content with their contact lists. It's a snowball effect to growing your company profile. Many social media networks allow sharing your profile with contacts automatically. Attach your social media handles to emails, social media profiles, and business cards. Spread the word online and in-person—the more you promote your business, the larger your following will become.
Learn as Much as You Can
While this article has been an introduction to building your social media presence, learning about each individual platform can increase your chances of successfully developing a following online. Every channel is unique in the approach, challenges, and best methods of building connections to your business. Some social media networks thrive with continuous content (like Twitter, for example), while others rely on algorithms to have your content appear (like TikTok's infamous "For You Page"). Developing a solid understanding of each social media network is the best way to optimize your profile and interactions with your followers.
Before jumping into social media with both feet, spend a few moments educating yourself on the best practices for each channel. Get to know the platform personally before bringing your company page online. Look for similar business profiles and see how they post, interact, comment, and share online. How many followers do they have? How often do they publish content? Is it the same type of content, or does it change periodically?
Research trending content before posting to see if you can incorporate the hashtags or topics into your content for that day (without sounding robotic or spammy). Quick searches online can help answer any immediate questions you might have about individual platforms. YouTube is home to thousands of how-to videos, tutorials, and walk-throughs of standard marketing practices.
Understanding every social media network isn't going to happen right away. The internet is home to a plethora of helpful information, tips, tricks, and techniques to improve your performance online. Spend a few minutes every day to learn something new about social media marketing.
Building your social media marketing is a vital step for anyone wanting to expand their business. With over half of the global population currently using a social media network monthly, these channels are becoming an integrated component of the commercial realm. Consumers will constantly look for online company profiles when choosing a business, especially when reviewing products—as such, establishing your company's brand needs to remain in focus with everything you do. Regular, targeted content helps build credibility online. Selecting the best platform to promote your business is essential; you need to determine what networks are likely to attract your target audience and how to interact with your audience once you've found them.
Remember that regular content keeps followers interested and engaged with your company. A business that doesn't use social media (or has social media but doesn't share it) can be more detrimental to a company than one that hasn't joined. Don't be afraid to bring your company's personality to the front and center of your social media accounts. Long gone are the days of super stuffy, formal, and robotic responses. Show you care, engage with customers, and interact with every comment made to the page.
As you continue with your company's social media marketing, commit to learning everything you can about the platforms. Find tips and techniques to improve engagement. Establish a content calendar (even if you set up an automated system) to ensure regular content distribution. You don't need to share the same content across all social media networks; diversify the content you're posting to the networks that target the content type. By making minor changes to your social media efforts, you'll notice considerable growth overall.