Social media can be a powerful marketing tool for raising brand awareness, but it's often overlooked by small business owners because it can be tricky to measure the return on investment, particularly without doing some form of paid advertising.
A focused social media strategy can also be time intensive and require dedicated internal resources to monitor, maintain and optimize a brand's presence across various platforms. However, if managed correctly, social media can be invaluable in helping a brand connect with customers on an emotional level as well as reaching out to untapped markets. In turn, this can drive traffic to designated landing pages or websites and ultimately generate leads.
Another reason why you should assess your social media efforts is because a good social presence can help drive links to your website - provided you're sharing valuable and unique content through your channels. Shareable content is also likely to be link-worthy - this is important because when quality website's link to your website, it helps you rank better in Google searches.
Here are 4 tips to help boost your social media footprint and improve brand awareness:
1. Be strategic
A common mistake many businesses make is choosing a social platform simply because it's popular. With so many platforms available, it's important to look strategically at your product or service offering and consider your customer demographic and where they're most likely to be interacting online.
For example, the social photo-sharing site Pinterest would be the perfect platform for a luxury holiday cottage website because it's a very visual offering, but the platform may not be as relevant for a business selling plumbing supplies. It's important to do your research here because there is no one size fits all approach in social media. Choosing the right platform for your business and target market will ensure your social media efforts are effectively optimized.
2. Engage with your followers
Brands should use social media platforms to connect with customers and actively interact with them by asking questions, joining conversations and offering help and advice where possible. This helps to humanize a brand, which is important since it's real people you're trying to connect with.
Think of positive ways you can make your brand stand out online. A good way of doing this is to create a relevant and memorable mascot as a brand amplifier and then using social media to craft exciting backstories and adventures. Popular franchise estate-agents, EweMove, have done this well by adopting a friendly green sheep called 'Ewenice'. This makes the brand warmer and helps it stand out from a sea of other estate agents in the market - however, it's important to remember that this approach doesn't work for all companies and you should assess your demographic and product offering before making any decisions.
4. Balance content
Nobody likes the hard-sell - using social media channels purely to promote your products and services is guaranteed to push your customers towards the unfollow button. It's necessary to plug your business to an extent, but make sure that this is balanced with valuable content from other relevant sources. This will position your brand as trustworthy, reliable and unbiased. Go for quality posts over quantity since customers will not appreciate having their news feeds filled with too much of your content.