For many creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses, social media played a pivotal role throughout their path to success by helping drive awareness and traffic to their brand or self-image. With the rapid growth of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Twitter, the market has become saturated, making it difficult to stand out. In a sea of others trying to stay relevant, the modern digital era requires building a strong online presence that is shared and heard in multiple places just to remain afloat.
Every digital marketing strategy should incorporate an omni-channel approach. That is, providing a seamless customer experience across all touch points. From your website, in-app experience, in-store experience all the way to social channels. Every touch point should flow into the next. In fact, you should know what stage the consumer is at no matter which channel you interact with them. Think of digital marketing as the umbrella term and social media as a tactic or avenue within that digital strategy. It’s not only important to leverage social platforms and the data they generate to inform your digital marketing strategy, but it’s also necessary for your business to survive.
Share of Voice
To stay relevant and top of mind in today’s digital world, a brand needs to be active on social media. Share of voice is important. If you’re not promoting yourself/product/service, the next company will, and they’ll drown out yours.
Social Platforms Drive Brand Awareness
A brand’s social platform is a glimpse into what they represent and value. For younger generations (i.e., Gen Z), a brand’s social media platforms are often the first point of contact. To put it in other terms, social platforms are their first impression of that brand and if they like what they see, they may end up on the website or, better yet, converting.
Community-Turned Brand Advocates
Responding to comments and interacting with your followers helps establish a sense of community and positions your brand as an engaging space that people are excited to associate with. Social media has the power to form bonds and turn interested prospects into brand advocates. These loyal advocates can help refer others to your brand, highlight your brand’s best features, and often even create User Generated Content, etc.
Social media is a great place to tune in and listen to what people are saying about your brand. Keep an eye on posts that your company is tagged or mentioned in. Are they generally positive? If not, this provides the perfect opportunity to collect that feedback or suggestions and take it back to your team/company to address it. The only way to enhance your service/product is to tailor it to your customers needs, and what better way to find out about their needs than on social media?
To put this concept into perspective, I once had a concern with a product from the brand Blume, so I Direct Messaged them on Instagram. Not only did they respond to my inquiry very quickly, but they resolved my issue and provided me with alternative solutions for the future. I felt heard, and as a result, I still advocate for this brand all the time. A few quick replies from this company resulted in my year’s worth of word-of-mouth advocacy. A prime example of the profound impact that social media has.
Use social media to keep a close eye on competitors and determine what is working for them. It’s not to say that the same strategy will work for you, but noticing what their target audience is engaging with (provided yours is similar) is usually a good indicator of what people may want to see from your brand too.
Utilize the Data
Using the analytics tools on socials can help inform your decision-making. Depending on the demographics of your audience, you can determine what trends or topics to post about. Be sure to track and measure performance on your content to effectively reach your target audience and learn what content is and isn’t working.
Managing Multiple Social Accounts
While it can be difficult to keep up with messages across multiple social platforms, there are social media management tools such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite, which merge all social channels onto one platform so you can easily access all channels and messages in one central place.
The bottom line is that your brand needs a consistent message and visual identity, and social media is the ultimate place to reinforce it.
Jackie Marson | Contributing Writer