Social media has, no doubt, solidified its place in the marketing communications mix, but knowing and applying that fact are two entirely different things. Within the larger omni-channel marketing mix, social media can seem trivial and even cursory. However, as short-lived as a post, Tweet, or Snapchat may appear, and effective social media branding strategy can leave lasting impressions on brand perceptions, engagement, and loyalty. After all, a single bad review today can be a crisis tomorrow. While a happy customer may tell nine people about a positive brand experience, an angry customer is likely to tell 16.
So, how do you effectively utilize and pick the right social media platforms that will enhance your brand image and generate positive customer experiences to grow your business?
Here are three things you should know, do, and consider when building a social media branding strategy for your business:
The cornerstone to any good social media branding strategy is your customer. Understanding your customer sets the foundation for your social media branding strategy and helps you establish your objectives for using social media.
So, before you start creating an account for every social media platform out there, ask yourself what your purpose is for being online – do you want to increase sales? Gain exposure? Generate more leads? Whatever your aim, it affects what social media channels are right for you and your business, and will help you ultimately reach that desired result. The demographics of your target market will also impact the makeup of your social media network. Take note of their age, gender, and other defining characteristics, to identify the social sites that have a user-base that matches your buyer personas.
Now that you’ve set a clear and concrete goal and have a solid understanding of your ideal consumer, it’s finally time to consider your options. Let’s take a look at a few of your choices, and how those platforms can be better suited to certain companies and business objectives. Below, are the top five most popular social media platforms in the United States, and insights into each to consider when designing a your omni-channel social media network.
Lastly, be realistic and recognize that finding the right social media mix will be a process of trial and error. Start small, monitor what’s working and what’s not, and respond accordingly to build a successful online presence that works for your business.