Social media is frequently associated with teenage girls posting pictures of their food; however, most companies tend to overlook the value that it could add to their company. Creating brand awareness for your business today is easier than ever due to the instantaneous and global aspects of technology, so it is imperative for businesses to take advantage of everything that social media has to offer.
As a marketing intern, I used to underestimate the work that I was doing. However, this role involves strategic planning, posting, and targeting, far more than just sharing pictures on Instagram and Facebook. In order for a company to successfully utilize social media, one must focus on a few key aspects.
Identify Your Audience
This is incredibly important to determine because the audience’s age range will allow you to choose which platform(s) will be most effective. If you’re targeting 14-30 year olds, Instagram is your ideal social platform. For 20-40 year olds, Twitter or LinkedIn may be a better route. Lastly, Facebook is used by most age groups, but the 30-60 year olds respond best to this platform. You may use more than just one platform, depending on the message of your post, but these are generally the most popular social media source for each demographic.
Using data retrieved by Pew Research Center, the graph below illustrates the percentages of various age groups that are active on popular social platforms.
Age targeting is also important if your company is planning on running social media ads. When developing ads, you can pinpoint audiences by gender, age, location, language, and even interests! If you know who your company is trying to reach, it will make building a larger audience on social media even easier in the future.
Know What to Share on Each Platform
While there are numerous social media websites, they all have different primary uses. Let’s say, for instance, you are posting an article about your company or a job opening. Both of these would do well on LinkedIn due to their professional manner. If the main focus is an image with a caption or link, consider using Instagram or Twitter. Facebook, once again, is a versatile platform and can be used to post almost any kind of content. However, it is important to make sure the messages you are sharing on your pages are all consistent with your brand's image.
Don't overlook the additional ways to connect with your users on social media! Using live videos on Facebook and Instagram are a great resource that allows viewers an inside look into your every day business. Also, utilizing story features on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are easy ways to post 24-hour pictures or stories about daily events, such as sales, events, or even behind-the-scenes looks. These new platforms are a great way to make your users feel connected with your company, so definitely utilize them in your social media practices.
Always Respond to Your Followers
The biggest benefit of social media is being able to directly communicate with your audience. It is crucial to utilize this line of contact frequently and avoid overlooking questions and comments of your customers. Responding via social media is now a huge part of modern customer service, so try and check your direct messages, posts, and comments on all social media sites at least three times a day.
If your business requires elements of customer service, consider training social media handlers in the company's policies for external communication. Remember: social websites are not only great for businesses to reach out to their audiences, but also for the audience to connect directly with you.
Display Your Company's Personality
Every company has its own culture, so why not show what your company is about on social media? There are thousands of social media pages for companies just like yours, but you can easily stand out by showing what makes your business unique. Instead of just posting about the company and its successes, try creating more of a lifestyle brand in order to target a larger, but specific, audience. Some easy things to do are to find articles relating to your product or service, as well as tips for success in the industry, the city you are located in, or even how customers are using your product or service.
Users are attracted to lifestyle brands because they provide related information that connects to their company, rather than just focusing on their own products. By successfully marketing a lifestyle to potential customers, they will want to join that lifestyle and, therefore, purchase your products or services. This makes a company seem more trustworthy and less salesy, which will make building your brand awareness much easier.
Social media is here to stay, so if your company is not taking advantage of this free resource, I would recommend doing so immediately. Social media is currently being used by 2.4 billion users worldwide (Statistica) and it is expected to grow from there. There are many ways to build a presence for your company on social media; however, by following these tips, it should be a lot easier to develop a clear social media strategy for your business.