Your company’s brand may be on social media. In fact, it should be on social media. However, that doesn’t mean your brand is a conversation starter.
Many brands struggle with social media marketing because their social media efforts don’t produce the fruit they expect. Business owners scratch their heads because they’re unable to gain traction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. It’s a big issue, because consumers are hanging out in the social media stratosphere; and if they’re not hearing of your brand, you’re losing market share (and share of mind) every single day.
How to Be a Social Media Conversationalist
So, every small business must think of their brand as a conversation starter and ultimately write social media posts that support that perspective. There are numerous proven methods to achieve this goal, including, but not limited to:
- Writing content that is more about what your audience wants than about your brand. Sure, you can slip a few pieces of information about the benefits and features of products and services, but first and foremost give customers what they want, not what you want to tell them. This means creating clickable, shareable, tweetable social media content that encourages them to find out more about your brand.
- Creating a brand image that goes beyond your logo. What does the brand really mean? How is someone who views your company logo supposed to feel? What does the logo represent? We all know the Golden Arches aims to communicate “fast, affordable food” that – despite an unhealthy reputation – we all love to eat. What does your brand’s logo say about your company? Develop a story around your company logo and share that story on social media platforms.
- Encouraging people to participate in social media events, such as contests and polls. Ask them questions, and actually answer them when they add their two cents to the conversation. This two-way street encourages engagement, and we all know that engagement begets exposure, which ultimately leads to sales. Make the old-school “cash register” cha-ching by fostering a social media environment where readers can speak back.
- Using social media as an opportunity for customer service and support. Yes, this can be extremely tricky. It is recommended that all employees (with access to social media accounts) be well-trained in the art and science of handling issues delicately and definitively. If you can make the most of solving problems in front of a very large audience on social media channels, you’ll become a social media hero and people will talk about your social media savvy… and your brand.
- Making sure all social media messaging is synergistic with consistent communication. For instance, the person writing your Twitter messaging should develop the content for your Facebook account. Social media can’t occur at cross-purposes. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to look at a few examples of smart social media in action, so let’s take a gander at companies who do a pretty good job of wooing customers and gaining interest in social media.
A Case for a Strong Social Media Brand
Case #1: Safer Brand
In the case of Safer Brand, their Pinterest campaigns are linked nicely with their blog. One feeds the other, which helps build brand recognition. This entices visitors to populate a social media channel, and hopefully add it to their favorite pages. Because Safer Brand sells gardening and landscape related products, the company has been wise to request pictures from contestants. These pictures can be used in the future on other social media forums.
Case #2: Falling Whistles
Falling Whistles is a company that uses the whistle in a symbolic way, and their Instagram page follows suit by representing “A campaign for peace in Congo. Wear your protest and be a whistleblower for peace.” On the page, they use the whistle in dynamic imagery, merging black and white, as well as muted color, pictures with minimalist writings. Their poignancy has attracted followers and made them a strong upstart.
Case #3: Empire Cat
Empire Cat has a different type of product: They sell heavy-duty manufacturing equipment. Rather than try for a “soft sell”, they go for the gusto from page one on their Facebook page. They have positioned their brand as dynamic, strong, and rugged. It’s what they know their audience wants to see, and the fact that they’ve gotten 4.5 out of 5 stars from customers speaks volumes without them saying a word.
Case #4: Leap Motion
When Leap Motion got involved in business, it did so in a social way. The American company manufactures and markets a computer hardware sensor device that supports hand and finger motions as input, analogous to a mouse, but requiring no hand contact or touching. Their product is innovative and so are their conversations. In fact, their Google+ page is incredibly dynamic. They know how to write relevant social media content, and their high number of followers and engagement illustrates that they are doing something right!
Case #5: Your Business!
Will this take a bit of time on your part to potentially change the way your business considers its social media branding? Sure. Is it worth it? Of course. In today’s hypersocial world, every company needs to brand itself in this manner. After all, that’s exactly what your competitors are doing.
Savannah Flynn is a public relations specialist for WebpageFX, a full-service Internet marketing, web design and web development agency offering integrated web solutions for medium to large sized businesses across the globe. She has a passion for online marketing and PR.
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