Over the last decade, social networking sites have taken the world by storm. Needless to say, they’ve become an integral part of our everyday lives and have changed how we receive and share information – from the latest news and blog posts to memes and political views.
As channels grow and mature, businesses are beginning to understand the importance of social media branding. The thing is, social media is quite often done poorly. But when it’s done right, it can have a huge impact on how your business is perceived by the outside world.
Read on for a closer look at how social media affects company branding…
Lets you interact with your customer base 24/7
You want customers to feel like they can contact you whenever they have a question. Trust is key, so show people they’re in safe hands by having an active social media account.
Social media is ‘always-on’, meaning fast customer service has become an expectation. If a customer has a question or problem, solving their issues in a timely manner will strengthen the reputation of your brand while improving your overall customer experience. If you don’t, you may lose followers – and, potentially, sales.
But when you show the strength of your service on social media, customers are often more likely to recommend you to a friend or family member. Which brings us on to…
Can be used to share reviews and customer experiences
In today’s online world, many people rely heavily on ratings and reviews when deciding to buy a product or service. In fact, nearly nine out of ten consumers worldwide read a review before they commit to a purchase.
So when customers express brand loyalty – whether by word of mouth or a written review – people generally feel more inclined to purchase your products and follow you online. This is a great way to improve your brand’s online reputation and increase brand awareness, which is especially important for small businesses looking to expand their audience.
If you’ve ever bought a product that was recommended to you by someone else, you’ve been influenced by this social proof. Using social media to gather and share those reviews is a fantastic marketing tactic that relies on positive feedback, rather than promotional copy.
Provides a way to prove industry expertise
Besides posting gifs and memes, your brand might want to leverage these platforms to share industry expertise and insights. LinkedIn, by its nature, is a great place to publish thought leadership pieces from team members or spark a debate about the latest innovation to hit your market. But Twitter, Instagram and Facebook shouldn’t be overlooked either. After all, your business contacts are probably on these too.
It’s universally acknowledged that creating and sharing useful information on your website – such as how-tos and user manuals – can establish your business as an important resource for prospects in your industry. And one of the best ways to share it? Your social accounts. All of them.
When creating content, think about how it can be broken down into infographics for Insta. Pull out key takeaways or quotes to tweet throughout the week. Bullet-point your greatest tips and post them to Facebook with a few emojis for good measure. How you distribute this content is just as crucial, and providing interesting information in a few different formats is a sure-fire way to keep customers engaged.
Engaging content can go viral
Ah, going viral. Every brand wants it to happen, but not everyone knows what it takes to create content capable of gaining millions of impressions, likes and shares.
These days, it can seem as though going viral doesn’t take that much thought. Remember the world record egg? Or half of those stupidly dangerous TikTok challenges? We certainly do. But for most brands, it isn’t as simple as posting an image of an egg online.
Over the last few years, viral marketing has proven to be successful for many online brands. One perfect example is the duct-taped banana trend that Burger King jumped on back in 2019. They took the opportunity to create a topical ad from a subject that everyone was talking about, and they generated massive publicity for their brand.
To tell you the truth, there isn’t really a specific way to force your content to go viral, no matter how engaging it may be. Yet it isn’t impossible. Paying attention to current trends is a fundamental part of any social media marketing strategy and can ensure that your brand stays ahead of the game. By constantly monitoring trending topics and participating in viral challenges as early as possible, your brand can and will become much more relevant.
Gives you the ability to manage your brand’s online reputation
There’s no denying that social media can be daunting; bringing your brand into the public eye can certainly invite negative publicity. Having said that, it’s also a powerful tool that can be used to save the reputation of your brand following a PR crisis.
Take British Airways as an example: an unhappy customer tweeted about their ‘horrendous’ service and the airline took over eight hours to respond. If BA had responded in a more timely fashion, the customer may not have paid to promote the tweet, and it wouldn’t have reached over 76,000 people. What they should’ve done was monitor their social media sentiment, immediately let the customer know that they were looking into the issue, and then actually look into it.
Of course, if you judge the situation well, you can turn the negative into a positive with a well-timed, funny response. Netflix’s reaction to a comment about their TV show description is one of our favourites. Just remember that taking things too lightly can equally make matters worse. Humour can be very subjective!
Ready to review your social marketing strategies? Talk to Making You Content. Our team of social media managers are experienced in all of its forms and will help you discover which messages really resonate with your followers. Get in touch today to learn more.