Let’s face it: we live in an on-the-go online fact-checking world. Can’t remember an actor’s name during a conversation? Ask Google. Wanna check all of the ingredients for your cheesecake while at the store? Google it. You get the idea. Heck, even the world-renowned television game show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ had to remove the ‘to call a friend’ card from the show as you could literally hear people Googling on the other end of the line. It’s the same thing with brands. Upon entering a store, or before making a purchase, people tend to look up brands on the internet, with the first stop being social media. Likewise, if your brand isn’t actually present on social media, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t even exist. Yet, simply opening a social media account is not enough to give your brand a genuine online presence. So, here’s what you gotta do:
Humanize Your Brand
It’s no coincidence that brands such as Wendy’s, KFC, and MoonPie are so popular on social media. Moreover, their success cannot be measured by the mere number of likes and followers, but by the way they stand out from the crowd. Unlike other brands who are content with throwing a few bland posts here and there and calling it a day, these brands truly ‘get’ social media. They know that people primarily visit social media platforms to interact with other human beings, and not to be drowned in constant advertisements. This is why all of their posts have a certain human ‘flavour’ to them. Just take a look at Wendy’s Twitter for example and you’ll see what I mean. The constant sassy and sarcastic comments are consistent with the brands whacky persona. What’s more, KFC and MoonPie are also no strangers to crisp and crunchy remarks, with KFC’s consistency going as far as to follow only 11 people on their Twitter account: The Spice Girls and six guys named Herb.
Implement Data-driven Strategies
Not being the C3PO of social media is one thing, but there’s more to social media branding than sharing spontaneous content. For one, every brand is its own separate case and what may work so well for some may have a completely different effect for others. In essence, social media marketing campaigns work on the principle of trial and error. Yet, we need to make a clear distinction between the successful and the unsuccessful ones in order to know which strategies to implement into our marketing efforts. This is where extensive social mention monitoring, tracking of bounce rates, click-through rates, engagement and other metrics come into play. By keeping an eye on these we completely remove the guesswork out of the equation, thus allowing us to focus only on the most proven strategies that worked so well for us in the past.
Share a Compelling Story
Story-driven and human-centric content generally outperforms your average promo and link posts. Why is that so? Well, one of the reasons is the simple fact that storytelling was the way we humans have communicated with one another, passed down knowledge, and wisdom for millennia. No matter what country, race, and culture you stem from, we all have one thing in common: the need to share our stories with others. That’s what makes us human after all. As a result, the Instagram profile of Humans of New York is a prime example of this. Their posts are primarily story-based, seeking to warm the hearts of their most frigid of followers. Take a look at their page and take notes. What stories can you share about your brand or its followers?
Engage with Your Audience
If you wish for your brand to get noticed, then you need to make the first move. Tagging others is just one of the ways you can achieve this feat in record time. It’s not only great for directly involving others with your brand, but it’s also an excellent way of breaking the ice and starting conversations with your followers. Hashtags are yet another neat tool for engaging with your audience if you know how to use them. The biscuit giant Oreo demonstrated this in their #OreoHorrorStories hashtag where they posted hilarious vines for Halloween, parodying cult horror scenes with Oreo as the main antagonist. Needless to say, they were trending for the rest of the holiday season, adding many new followers into their hold.
Provide rewards and competitions for your followers
Speaking of the holiday seasons, rewards and competitions are yet another brilliant way of sharing your brand with others in times of joy and merrymaking. It can be anything ranging from a simple photo contest to a random selection. One of the reasons these are so popular is the fact that everyone looks forward to the prospect of getting free stuff. The beauty chain Sephora used this to their advantage by offering an all-inclusive 5-day trip to Costa Rica to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary with their loyal followers. This luxuriously exotic location is the ideal gift for the fashion-conscious consumers associated with Sephora’s stores, which did wonders for their brand awareness due to its consistency.
All in all, whatever you choose, don’t just stand idly by. Social media demands constant engagement and new content for it to work. Set up a posting schedule to remain consistent with your branding and don’t forget to act natural.