In a digital world, use of social media is no longer optional for your brand to thrive. When approached with a strategic lens, it can boost your brand and expand your market, but that doesn’t all happen overnight. Before diving into a new social media platform, take some time to prepare. Be intentional with your efforts to give your brand its best chance at success.
Identify Your Goals for Growth on Social Media
What are you expecting to gain from social media for your brand? If driving awareness makes your list, research your competitors or target audience and listen to the conversations currently circulating within your industry. After identifying trends and consumer priorities, begin to create relevant content to engage a new audience.
If your goal is to increase brand loyalty and build relationships with your customer base, develop a social strategy that authentically conveys your brand’s values and impact. Share the story behind the brand and ask questions that give your customers a reason to participate in a dialogue. Communication fosters trust, and as a result, your audience will know your brand values their voices.
Also, be sure to set realistic goals in terms of follower growth, email subscribers, etc. By setting a specific percentage growth goal versus a random number, you can adjust your plan so you can see the steady advancement of your new social media account.
Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Audience
Evaluate your target audience by their age range, gender and priorities to help you determine which platforms your audience frequents. You wouldn’t want to pour your time and resources into a platform that isn’t optimal for supporting your brand and reaching your goals. For example, if your audience is the retirement-aged community, TikTok wouldn’t be the most advantageous way to achieve growth.
It’s also important to analyze which platform would provide you with the best form of messaging to promote your brand. What works for one platform may not work for all, so it is prudent to customize your content for the platform based upon the goals you wish to achieve. Be mindful of your company’s capacity for content generation, and create pages only on platforms for which you can maintain quality output for your brand.
Instagram is popular among younger generations and lends itself well to expanding the reach of visual-based businesses. If your goal is to increase brand loyalty, a Facebook Page or Group may prove most valuable. Engage with your fans and focus on customer service to generate positive reviews. Facebook’s content sharing feature can help expand your audience and drive traffic back to your brand’s website.
Twitter is an excellent resource to identify your audience’s pain points and its structure promotes feedback. While your messaging is limited to 280 characters, you can develop succinct, creative content for your brand that adds to an existing conversation.
Alternatively, LinkedIn could best serve your brand by increasing your network connections within your industry and its related fields. This platform is primarily utilized for recruiting potential employees and generating business leads.
Create a Recognizable Brand with Relevant Social Content
Since social media offers an inexpensive way to get in front of a large crowd, new social media platforms quickly become saturated with sales pitches. Prior to launching your brand, identify its tone and use it to speak to the people who will benefit the most, as though you are face-to-face. Relatable experiences generate a mutual sense of understanding. Your brand will cut through the noise when you stick to a set of core values and generate quality content that addresses your audience’s pain points.
To learn what people are saying and how they are responding to new developments, research trending topics and hashtags that fit within your industry’s scope. Look to your competitors to identify your audience’s biggest issues and create content that shows how your brand could resolve them. Convey how your company improves people’s quality of life in a relatable and memorable manner to positively influence your viewers to choose you.
When developing your visual components, adhering to a defined color palette and set of fonts – along with consistency in terminology and design – will align your brand’s identity across platforms and present it in a professional manner. Employ this unified aesthetic to formulate a variety of templates for graphics that will accompany your written content. Cultivating brand recognition involves consistency in voice, language, values, design and post frequency.
Plan Ahead to Grow Your Social Media Audience
Social media users can identify patterns, so a steady post frequency of relevant information breeds reliability and trust. Steady doesn’t necessarily mean constant. Too many posts can even turn off loyal customers.
Identify timeframes of peak activity on social platforms, and look to your competitors to find out what type of content generates the most engagement. Strategically scheduling your posts and implementing proper social listening practices have the potential to turn customers into advocates.
With tools like Sprout and Sprinklr, you can generate weeks of social media content and schedule posts in advance. These tools also offer analytics, so you can understand how your audience is receiving and responding to the content you share.
Evaluate the posts with low engagement to identify opportunities for strategic adjustments. In addition to monitoring clicks and likes, employ social listening practices to determine your audience’s direction and cater to their needs more directly. When done consistently, this practice could push your brand to the forefront of the industry.
Prepare for Launch on a New Social Media Platform
Now that you have your platform selected, your customized content scheduled, your visual elements refreshed and your plan in place, it’s time to design your latest space. Select your profile and cover photos and add a condensed version of the company’s About paragraph from your website to keep your online presence cohesive. Include links to your website and any other places your brand exists, to maximize the number of resources for your audience.
Aim to captivate your audience with a few introductory posts before you officially launch the platform; greet the new folks and welcome current fans to this exciting, new forum. Finally, tell the world where to find you! Add your social media handle to your existing pages and any correspondence you already have with your audience: emails, newsletters, blog posts, etc. Share the details with your existing network and friends, so you have promotion in place. You could even tease the news a few days to a week before launching, to build anticipation and generate buzz around your brand.
If you’d like to take brand promotion one step further and you have the time and resources, expand your reach by working with micro influencers who have an established following within your target market. Micro influencers offer a relatable take on products and services, and they could significantly boost your brand.
Before your momentum whisks you away, take time to develop a social media strategy that will best serve your brand and its audiences. Expanding onto every platform isn’t sustainable and won’t be a valuable use of company resources. It is far better to have a strong following of fewer customers than to be white noise in front of a crowd. The only reason your brand exists is to serve your community in some way. Hold onto your values, listen to the conversations within your industry, measure your efforts and interact with your audiences. Show them they matter and your connections will grow