Brand awareness is a measure of the chances that an prospect or customer will be able to recognise your brand within the sea of companies they interact with every day. Brand awareness is valuable, simply, because it will help you sell more of what you’re trying to sell.
Social media is now a ‘must have’ category for digital marketers among the channels they interact with. More than 25% of people’s time online is spent engaging with Social Media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Social is a great place to engage at an ‘eye to eye’ level with your customer base.
On the other hand, every brand in the world now uses Social Platforms for the same reasons you want to. So how to you break through? Here are our top 10 tips for increasing Brand Awareness through Social Media in 2018.
Here’s the top 10, starting with the most important thing you can do
1. Have a Clear Strategy:
Before you do anything else, do this. Generate and agree a strategy. There has never been a better time to use the analytics available through your website, social media channels and other digital platforms, to direct your goals. Your primary intents in undertaking brand awareness activity online are 1) So that customers recognise you and 2) So that they feel predisposed to you. When you’ve done all of that, do the most important thing – hire someone who loves social to execute your social media plan. Users can tell whether your staff is passionate (the users you’ll engage with through Social Channels are far more likely to be passionate – either about the platform or their own complaint.) If you’re not demonstrating passion for social in your posts, they’ll be able to tell.
2. Use Images more, Text Less:
Images are more likely to engage users than texts. That’s especially true in Social channels which favour pictures- you know which ones they are. Beware: images are also a trap for new players. There are legal ramifications for using others’ images without permission, especially in the name of the company you represent. Subscribe to a service (they’ll give you better quality pictures anyway) and stay on the right side of the law. One great solution to this problem of generating unique images to which you own the copyright is running your own survey, something comparison site WhatPhone has done. Their homepage content is rife with charts and graphs of use to their visitors, from surveys they’ve run online, ingrained in their content and which have been shared through their Social Channels.
3. Use the 80/20 Rule:
Almost any business activity can be broken down in to 80/20. 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort. Focus on the Social Media channels and messages that are giving you results and ruthlessly eliminate those which are not helping.
4. Go Mobile:
95% of Facebook users engage with the platform on smartphones. Only 32% go to the site on their laptopProviding content suitable for mobile devices is a must. Phones are used in ‘micro moments’ – short stretches of time, typically between 1 & 4 minutes in length. To garner the attention of mobile users in a stressed and time poor state like this takes forethought.
5. Know your Niche:
Each social platform has a different demographic –Don’t use all of them unless it fits your niche. Don’t put the same content on each pipe. Instagram has the most engaged users of social media platforms on the internet. Pinterest, the scrapbook social site sent more traffic to brands than Twitter in a recent survey. The channels you choose to act on depend on the brand message you’re trying to communicate and the channels that your target customers engage with. This is one activity you need to be especially clear on as part of your Social Media Strategy – otherwise you will be talking to people who don’t care.
6. Know the Trends:
As I write this, Facebook is under a great deal of pressure for sharing customer details with companies wishing to target users as part of a political campaign.This particular incident is just one of a never ending stream of content running through the media cycle. Use these incidents to your advantage, and authentically leverage the opportunities as they present themselves, to tie your brand in to the story in a way which will add value to your clients. Virgin Mobile in the UK ‘borrowed’ ‘success kid’ for a series of ads in the real world, driven by activity in Social channels. It was authentic, it was fun and it was in line with their brand (because they brand stands for those things)
7. Know the Numbers – Track Success:
Share the numbers with the management team and help them connect the dots on how you are adding value to the metrics they’re measured on. This can be a tricky game to get in to for many social media marketing managers. They forget that there will be at least some people in the senior management team who see social as a frivolous pursuit.
8. Add the Value they Want in the Platform:
You need to provide your users value – or they’ll keep scrolling. Get underneath what they tell you they want to what they really want. If you’re not sure – ask them! (you’re in just the right place to do that.) And when you know, give it to them regularly.
9. Engage with your Audience:
Every word you say through social media channels is your brand. The language a bank uses online is totally different to the language a ‘success kid’ brand would use. Language comes down to authenticity and users have a sixth sense for knowing when someone is not being true to the brand.
10. Let go of the Metrics:
Finally, a dichotomy. You need to know the goals you have and then put them to one side. (But don’t forget about them.) Social has to have measures to get funding but Social Channels are about users, not companies. Deal with the people ‘in the right way’ whatever metrics you’ve established for your campaign. Ultimately, it’s how you engaged which people will remember, not whether you hit target.
Bringing it all Together
The forecast is for nearly 3 billion people around the world to be engaging with Social Media by 2020. As a result, social Media has to be a part of any business plan.
Your social media plan and brand awareness ambitions should roll up to the overall digital strategy and that to the marketing strategy at the top of the hill. Ideally, retail placements will support what you’re doing online through social and vice versa.
There will be layers of execution to this plan. Initially, it’s cheaper to engage online with your customers, answering queries and posting fun stuff. As your experience grows, you’ll want to build up to more advanced Social activity online. The final goal is to have multiple campaign activities running over targeted social media channels, some free customer engagement through your business’ page, some paid business and advertising activities.
All of them will grow your brand awareness in a subtle way. Social media is a disarming platform. The reason it helps your brand cut through is because you’re dealing human to human, not company to advert target. With the steps we’ve outlined above, you’ll be able to do that in the most effective way possible.