Why use Social Media for Marketing?
Why should you use Social Media to market your brand?
Here are a few tips and tricks that can improve your presence:
Why use Social Media?
Social Media is where the audience is, and where they engage with brands, purchase online and show brand loyalty by recommending to friends online. You can also track how well your social media is doing by using the different analytics available on each platform, to figure out what kind of content is working for your brand and what isn’t.
Work smarter, not harder, by targeting the content that works best for your social media.
Social Media is one of the simplest and most effective ways of appealing to a new audience and reaching new customers. You can engage with your followers by asking questions about what kind of products or services they want and consider that when coming up with new products.
You can use social media to increase sales, drive traffic, boost your SEO, increase conversion rates and provide social proof that your brand is worthy and authentic.
PROS & CONS
Each platform has its own pro’s and con’s that will dictate what kind of content succeeds, here is a quick breakdown of the most common platforms:
Instagram- Made for sharing photos and videos:
- Visual centric approach, great for brands that rely on aesthetics and visual content
- Fast and Efficient
- Has the best engagement rates as a platform
- Continuously growing user base
- Younger Audience
- Visual Based – if you have a story to tell, it has to be more visual than a text post
- Mobile Based
- Can’t embed links into posts and converting users to web-traffic through the profile link is low
- Lots of spambots
- Over 2.4 billion active users FB is the world’s largest social network, friends and family – immediate network support
- Can embed links
- Allows for app plugins (Shopify)
- Can be the all-in-one location for all of the info on your brand
- Constant algorithm changes and FB prefers paid content over organic content, B2B does poorly, B2C works best as you are targeting individual users on this platform
- Negative Feedback is very visible for everyone to see
Twitter- is a constant stream of live updates throughout the day in short, up to 280 character messages:
- Short & Sweet, fast & straightforward content
- Very easy to open a dialogue with another user or brand with the reply functions
- Quick responses are expected because of the direct format
- You can retweet other users content
- With over 600 tweets every second, it is very easy for your content to get lost in the mix
- 280 character limit means that longer posts are out unless you create a tweet thread
Pinterest- the online pinboard, users create online boards of different visuals:
- All content links back to the original website where the content was pinned
- It’s the number one platform for users buying products, as they know what they want and will buy it when they find it
- Lots of referral traffic through the content as it has a lot longer lifespan, the halflife of a pin is 3.5months vs a tweet half-life of 20minutes
- Visual content
- Niche audience
- Fewer users
- Content limited to those with a Pinterest account
- Female-dominated user base (71%)
- Cannot create a post without an image
- Takes time to build up your Pinterest page
- Requires heavily on audience interaction to share pins to a wider group
Linkedin- the professional/work social media platform.
- High Character limit (1300 characters)
- Professional centric
- Less Personal content
- Increases Business Visibility
- Easy to research competitors.
- Less Personal Content, means you’re less likely to make a quick post about what you’re doing that day
- Less interaction types, no questionnaires, games or stories
- Hidden cost, to make the most of all the features on Linkedin you need to use a paid account. Otherwise, the platform is completely free
- Time Consuming, to make the most of it, you need to be posting and updating daily
- Include your brand name within the first line of the bio.
- Should be short & sweet introducing the brand and what you do.
- Use keywords in your bio as users are only there to get a snapshot of who/what you are.
- Include a CTA.
The profile picture:
You can use a few different types of image here depending on what you want your brand to be; you can use a headshot/portrait, image of work or a logo.
The Logo; if you want to appear like an authentic and legitimate brand, use a logo as it solidifies that you want to be known for that brand instead of you as a person,
The Headshot; If you want you to be at the forefront of your brand and be the recognisable face of the brand, then use a headshot or portrait as the profile photo.
The product photo; this is usually used in the creative/artist space if you are well known for a specific art style, then giving your audience an easily recognisable snapshot can work well. It can also boost sales of that particular product, so using it to highlight specific products may have positive results.
Similar to the product photo profile pic, using the cover photo to highlight products and announcements is a great way to spread awareness. It allows you to embed a link into the caption on Facebook, to drive website traffic or link directly to a new product.
Always include a way for your customers to be able to contact you within your profile like an email address.
Link to your website on each platform and for those that only allow one link (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) change that out, depending on what your main goal is for that time, whether to drive traffic or increase new product sales.
Creating content to increase sales of your product or services is a great way to do that but don’t fill your social media with it.
Doing this will turn off your audience as they will see it as spamming them with advertising-like content, limit yourself to a maximum of a third of your content as being sales driven.
Showcasing new aspects of your brand, new work, BTS and other related content.
Any new content from an external source like your website or blog, or if you are attending any upcoming events and want people to know.
Questions and Contests:
Asking your audience questions related to your brand is a great way to boost the engagement of your socials and get feedback from them. Using contests and giveaways is another excellent way to do this but has the downside of having an extra cost, like a free product giveaway.
Optimising for each platform
Each platform has a character count sweet spot for grabbing the audience’s attention.
Facebook– 40-80 characters is the ideal length not to be too short to get overlooked or too long as to get cut off.
Twitter– 280 is the max; being short and sweet is how you will succeed on twitter and remember to leave extra room for if you are aiming for your audience to quote or retweet your content.
Instagram– captions that are limited at 150 characters get maximum engagement, use these for your “every day” content and using a longer caption now and again can work well to break from your regular content.
Pinterest– 300 characters for the pin description and use keywords as the search algorithm will pick up on these and show your pins in searches.
Always use a link shortener if you are looking to save on space in your content and services like bit.ly can give you the analytics of each link you shorten and a free version is available!
Posts that use images will get a higher engagement a majority of the time compared to standard text posts even though Facebook and Twitter don’t mandate images all the time they still get higher engagement. A tweet with an image is likely to get 150% more retweets than a tweet without.
Make sure that each image you use is high quality and doesn’t get overly compressed on each platform.
When using images on Pinterest, don’t include faces, pins without faces get shared 20% more frequently!
Growing your followers:
Social proof is real!
When users see an account with lots of follows, they see them as professional, trustworthy and worthy of following.
Provide an incentive for users to follow you. The content you produce should be high quality and authentic; users don’t want to follow a brand that is trying to mislead them, or that’s too far away from the real brand image.
Across all your content, you should keep a consistent voice.
Whether that’s the same filter across all of your photos or the subject, you need to keep it similar.
The text you post should follow the same voice, match your content and don’t constantly switch between formal and casual.
Follow Relevant Accounts:
Follow brands and accounts that are similar to yours; they may give you ideas on how to improve how you interact with your audience or the content you are posting.
Following similar accounts can also lead to audience crossover if you cover the same topics and use the same hashtags you will be shown in the same searches, meaning audience members can switch from one brand to another.
It’s simple but engages with your audience’s content when it is relevant to you.
Your content should showcase your brand’s personality across each post that you create. This gives the audience an insight into who is behind the brand and makes it seem more approachable compared to a purely sales-driven account.
How often to post:
Depending on your brand and what type of content best suits you, the amount of each content type you post will change, but it’s best to keep your presence up to date on each platform with meaningful content.
If you’re a more visual brand that wants to sell products, then Instagram and Pinterest should be the main focus of your content calendar with 1-2 posts a day on Instagram and up to 20 pins on Pinterest.
If your brand is more text-post focused then using platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn may work best for you, though they have very different content types and optimal post amounts, Twitter works best up to 13 tweets a day for a heavy user and Linkedin can work with a few longer posts a week at most.
Facebook is a bit of an anomaly in the way that oversaturating your page can work negatively for your engagement but creating one meaningful post a day that is relevant to your brand works well.