As a busy entrepreneur or CEO, increasing brand awareness on social media may not be your number one priority. But if your business isn’t optimizing its social media presence, you are missing out on deep consumer insights, engagement opportunities, and sales.
Don’t fall for the misconception that only young people spend time online. 90.4 percent of Millennials, 77.5 percent of Gen X, and 48.2 percent of Boomers use social media. Regardless of who your target consumers are, a solid social media strategy can help you reach them.
While it’s important to pay attention to what other businesses are doing online, not all trends are worth following. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple formula that works for every company out there. To succeed on social media, you need to be aware of best practices, but also learn what will work best for your business through research and experimentation.
Sounds like a lot of work? Well, it is—but the rewards of social media marketing are worth the headache.
With a good strategy in place, social media will:
- Provide free exposure for your company
- Help you reach your target audience
- Encourage two-way communication with your audience
- Increase brand awareness
89.3 percent of marketers say that social media is an important part of their strategy. Don’t let your competitors get ahead! Keep reading to learn how you can implement an online strategy for brand awareness.
How you can use social media to increase brand awareness
1. Figure out where your audience is.
Maintaining an active social presence across all platforms can be overwhelming, especially if you are a small business owner.
Instead, look at your analytics and do some external research to see where you’re most likely to reach your audience. Pick one or two platforms to focus the majority of your strategy on. Your efforts will be better invested if you have a great strategy on one platform, as opposed to a not-so-good strategy across five platforms.
2. Learn best practices for each platform.
Your Twitter strategy should look very different from your Instagram strategy. Although there are tactics that work across the board, each platform has a unique algorithm that you will need to learn.
3. Treat each social network individually.
If you post an update on Facebook, your followers on Twitter and Instagram will not see it unless you share the info on multiple platforms. You must optimize your content for each platform and cross-post to maximize reach across your whole network.
4. Show the human side of your business.
Social media gives you the opportunity to share a lot of info with your followers. When you show you’re human, consumers are more likely to trust you and eventually buy your products.
5. Find your niche, and connect with others within it.
Social media is social, after all. To maximize brand awareness, try connecting with other industry professionals, influencers, or casual users who are interested in the types of products or services you provide.
6. Engage with other users. Start a conversation!
Some businesses forget the “social” aspect of social media. Especially on Instagram, liking and commenting on other users’ posts is a great way to get more exposure for your content. Of course, you’re super busy—but engagement is not something you want to skip out on.
Try setting a timer for 15 or 30 minutes every day, and dedicate that time to engaging with other users on Instagram, Twitter, or whichever platform you want to target.
If you really don’t have time, try outsourcing your engagement tasks to a virtual assistant (VA) or digital marketing agency. It’s important to spend at least a little time online every day so you seem available to your followers.
7. Tailor your social media presence to your audience’s needs.
You’ve heard it before—your business is not about you, it is about the consumer. Therefore, you should tailor your brand’s social media presence to the needs of your audience.
8. Make your contact information easily accessible.
Consider putting your email address, phone number, and physical address on your social media accounts. If you offer services, provide a booking link to your followers so they can easily schedule appointments online.
By making your contact info available, you will increase brand awareness and eliminate a lot of hassle from the consumer journey.
9. With every communication, try to leave a positive impression.
After all, you want users to remember your brand in a positive light. Try to give your social media presence its own personality. It could be funny, informative, or even a tad sarcastic.
In the oversaturated social media landscape, you want to stand out from other brands in a positive way.
10. Respond promptly to reviews, especially if they are negative.
People love when brands use social media to solve problems. 80 percent of companies online believe they provide excellent customer service on social media. Unfortunately, only 8 percent of customers agree.
Social media users who tweet businesses and receive replies are more likely to be future customers. So, it’s time to rethink your online customer service strategy!
11. Offer something valuable for free.
Free always wins! By offering a helpful ebook, mini-course, or digital download for free, you will increase loyalty among your existing followers, generate buzz about your business, and attract new potential customers.
If you decide to offer a freebie, be sure to link to it on your profile so your followers can find it. And make sure you use the freebie as an opportunity to increase brand awareness for your products or services!
12. Post high-quality, helpful photos and videos.
In 2020, visual media will become more important for product marketing. Photos and videos are more engaging than static text posts.
54 percent of consumers want marketers to put out more video content. Soon, video will become more dominant in social media marketing, especially with the popularity of platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
If you don’t have products that are particularly photogenic, you may want to create colorful, eye-catching graphics to post on social media. You only have 2.7 seconds to catch someone’s attention online, so it’s important to have visuals that stand out on the feed.
13. Be strategic with your captions.
Both long and short captions can perform well on social media. You can provide value with long captions, but short and witty copy can boost engagement on your posts, especially if it’s funny.
Think about your brand’s voice, how you want to come across to your followers, and the impact of the caption combined with the visual in your post. Great captions will humanize your brand and help you connect with your followers.
14. Provide as much value as possible.
When you provide a lot of value in your content, you will reach new followers. Information and entertainment are both valuable, but if you can use your content to solve problems for your followers, they will love your business and turn into customers.
Try to figure out your followers’ pain points. If you’re not sure, you could just ask them! Once you have identified a common problem, see if there’s a way you can solve it for them. When you ease the pain point, you can turn even the most skeptical followers into loyal customers!
15. Embed social media buttons on your website.
Make sure people know where to find you on social media. (And triple check to ensure all the links work!) Include CTAs on your site that prompt visitors to follow you on Facebook. Put social media buttons in your email signature. Sometimes, it takes a platform to grow a platform, so make sure to cross-promote your social accounts across your whole network.
16. Publish your content at optimal times.
There are plenty of statistics online that point to the best social media posting times, but you should focus on your analytics. Your followers might be active at different times than the “optimal posting hours” for other people.
Timeliness is also important to consider. Twitter’s research suggests that ads on the platform are more effective than TV ads during major events. If there’s something going on in your niche, Twitter is a great place to start a conversation about it.
17. Post consistently.
Every day, around 45 percent of the world’s population is active on social media. You cannot ignore social media as a business strategy, or you risk falling behind. If you want to increase brand awareness online, it’s crucial to post valuable content regularly.
In 2020, content is king. Social media networks are vessels that allow you to connect with people who are likely to be interested in your business, but you need great content on your website to make the sale. Blog posts and articles can provide value to your followers. They allow you to go in-depth on topics within your niche and share your expertise.
If you don’t have an in-house copywriter who can produce blogs for you, consider outsourcing it to a freelance writer. You will save yourself a lot of stress in the end, and you can focus on more pressing tasks for your business.