Memes, GIFs, pouty selfies, political rants, and your former coworker’s fall harvest family photo shoot. For some, it can seem like this is all that goes on on any given social media platform today.
The truth is, social media has permeated our existence. Much of our lives are lived parallel to, if not through, a preferred social media platform.
According to Hootsuite, the average American spends just over two hours per day on social media.
Like it or not, that makes social media an obvious place for B2C brands to showcase their values and highlight their appeal in front of the right consumer audience.
But there's a way for every brand—including those that fall into the B2B category—to gain undeniable traction using a social media presence. (Don't worry...it doesn't involve oversharing, using an off-brand voice, or close-up pics of what you're having for lunch.)
All joking aside, social media has become part of a bonafide marketing strategy.
Many brands and marketers already execute a successful social media strategy that works for them.
The trick is to figure out a social media strategy that serves your unique brand. Your audience is almost definitely on a specific social media platform, and what sets them apart will also differentiate your strategy.
As you figure out where social media fits into your content and overall marketing strategy, consider these five basic social media resolutions every brand can make to improve recognition and support their marketing goals.
1. Find Your People
Find your people, your tribe, your ideal followers—this is as important in social media as it is in life.
The thing is, you don't need to be everywhere to take advantage of social media. Determine where you should have active accounts before diving in.
Pick one to three platforms to focus on, considering two things:
- Pick the platform your audience prefers, instead of the platform you prefer to use
- Certain industries lend themselves to certain platforms depending on the nature of your product or service
Find the intersection of the two considerations above to find the platform that will offer the most value to your business and brand goals, and use them to connect with your audience. Not only will you bring the most value to your business, but also potential customers.
2. Reach Out
Develop your social media presence by carefully choosing who your brand account follows and engages with. Every like, follow, comment, and share should be an on-brand engagement that demonstrates your business's values and reflects your audience's interests.
Set up tools that allow you to monitor certain hashtags, or topics, and any mentions of your brand or other relevant accounts. Every conversation you enter is a miniature campaign that should serve your audience.
👍 We're very excited to be a part of this incredibly valuable collaboration!— IBM (@IBM) April 16, 2018
3. Share a Targeted Content Mix
Successful posts on any platform are the ones that are entertaining and undeniably interesting to your audience. That means that promotional posts should only take up 20% of your content mix.
Other types of content include original content, educational content, and curated content.
Curating content includes sharing interesting or entertaining articles and media from 3rd party sources. Keep a running list of sources that provide good curated content and add an original comment, observation, or pull-quote directly from the piece you're sharing.
Decide what the purpose of the account will be, and make it a resource for your audience to learn about your brand and your industry. Give them a place to stay in touch with a community that interests them.
Our #AI OpenScale trust and transparency capabilities give businesses the confidence that the decisions their AI is making are fair and understood: https://t.co/AriG7GpATt #wef19 pic.twitter.com/6cmOgO4Rbc— IBM (@IBM) January 22, 2019
Next, your content mix should be shared at a specific frequency that matches how often your followers are engaged online.
Research your competitors and industry common practices to find a place to start. Experiment in the beginning and keep track of the days and times that get the most impressions to get a sense of when to post in the future.
4. Showcase Your Values
Showcase your brand and the values you stand for. Like your blog, your social media presence is where you express your tone of voice and brand personality.
Ensure that your posts, interactions, and design elements—photos, media, logos, and other visuals—are perfectly aligned. Take GE's Facebook video strategy:
5. Promote Your Efforts to Gain Followers
Once you've established your company online, promote your social media efforts on your website and in marketing emails as a way to stay up to date on company and industry news.
If it fits into your marketing budget and strategy, consider putting money behind promoting your account. Other ways to grow your follower community:
- Use hashtags to get seen in relevant discussions
- Update social icons on your emails and website
- Encourage the people you already know to follow you and engage with your content
- Encourage your team to participate and share
- Work on entertaining the followers you do have
✅ Insider Tip: Envious of a competitor's fat follower number? An extremely high follower count combined with little engagement on individual posts usually means that an account’s followers were purchased. Buying followers does little for your business if your goal is to increase qualified leads and get the attention of an audience that's relevant to your business's success in the long run.
Your presence can be big or basic, entirely depending on your industry, audience, resources, and goals. As you calculate the sessions, contacts, and other metrics that add quantifiable value to your business goals from social media, you'll learn to adjust your strategy based on what works for you and your audience.
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