A Guide To Brand Building Part Three: How To Do Social Media Marketing Correctly!
The saying that the number of followers you have reflects your success in social media is wrong. The size of your market can however determine how many followers you will get on social media. Well-known brands like Walmart and even Facebook and Twitter themselves are able to attract millions of fans because they are all worldwide brands. If you are a local business, you should not be looking to reach that number. Don’t expect to hit a home-run your first time at bat (although we are sure it has happened). Instead, start small, start local and work your way up!
Instead of looking at the number of followers you get, you should be checking your engagement with the followers and the leads or sales that result from your social media efforts. So, with that all said, how is social media marketing done correctly?
You need a comprehensive strategy for every social media network on which you are looking to engage with customers. Your strategy should include a content posting plan, rules of engagement, key success metrics to be measured, and so on.
When engaging online, make it about your customers rather than you. The best way to form a relationship with your prospects and to make them trust you is to help them. Find out what your prospects are saying about your brand and step in to complement or educate them. Communicate with your audience or you could lose them! You also need to engage with prospects for some time before asking for a sale.
Best Practices For Branding Your Business On Social Media!
The first thing to remember is that social media is all about “socializing.” This means interacting with, listening to, as well as giving feedback to your prospects. You need to engage with your customers. Below are some best practices of using social media to build your brand:
a) Share content that is educational or entertaining to your audience. Have your content reflect your company, but be about your audience.
b) Treat your customers like royalty. Listen and respond to them, check their complaints and ask for their feedback on various aspects of your business. People are more loyal to brands that listen to them. The old saying that the customer is always right reflects very strongly here. Make sure to always be professional with your responses. Do not resort to the path of name calling or making excuses if your business is in the wrong. How disgruntled customers are handled on social media can make or break your business.
c) Be available to your customers. Make it easy for them to reach you through the social media channels on which you are interacting. Answer queries fast; strive to answer emails within 12 hours of receiving them. Don’t wait multiple days or weeks to answer inquiries, this makes customers lose trust and interest in your brand. Being available to your customers inculcates brand loyalty among them.
In today’s competitive business environment, you need to find your customers wherever they are. Your competitors are already working hard to get the same customers. Get ahead of your competitors and utilize the wide variety of social media networks out there. You can reach your prospects and customers on social media by holding contests, offering giveaways, using paid advertisements, joining groups where your potential customers are and engaging with them, and so on.
Tracking Your Branding Campaign!
Any branding or marketing campaign should be tracked to gauge its impact. Implementing brilliant campaigns is just one part of the work. You also need to find out whether your message is being received and making an impact on your target customers. Some of the questions you should ask yourself include:
- Are customers identifying my company according to the brand proposition I am marketing?
- How do customers react when they come across my brand message?
- Which branding methods seem to be most effective? Which seem to be least effective?
- Are there branding techniques I am using that can be fine-tuned to offer more impact?
Tracking can enable you to determine the success of your branding campaign and optimize complementing strategies for improved results. You should track your campaign efforts whether you are a small business, large business or an individual business owner. Check out below a neat infographic that highlights the 4 C’s of Social Media that are sure to help boost your campaign!
By tracking, you can know which brand techniques work best and the type of content that your market likes more. Content that is well-received by your audience may not need to be changed, only some basic tuning along the way. Content that leads to a negative or unchanged response may require more time and evaluation of strategies being used. Either way, tracking your branding campaign will assist you in making sure that your efforts have the most positive impact among your audience as possible.
Be Innovative With Your Branding & Social Media Efforts!
If you are a small business, you may not have the large branding or marketing budgets of the big companies. However, this does not mean your branding efforts should be minimized. Be creative with your online branding and do something out of the ordinary to catch the eyes of others out there in the world!
The main point is to always put your customers first in any branding decisions. Don’t dilute your brand position with indiscriminate discounting to keep up with the competition. Instead of slashing prices, try offering something more that will differentiate your company. This is what branding is all about: standing out from the competition with a unique value proposition.