Social media is a powerful tool that has multiple action points: to entertain, educate, inform and sell. Whether your brand fits into one category or all four the brand strategy needs to be strong and consistent to survive and maintain growing channels. To maintain an effective strategy your business identity attributes, need to be reflected and represent your core brand values and voice. Social media is a fast-paced culture, that is constantly evolving with channels and technology constantly advancing and challenging trends – Channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube allow brands to connect with a unique demographic and provide new consumers.
There are a few leading factors that need to be considered across social media channels in order to keep your followers happy and engaged:
Know your audience
Understanding the audience is one of the most important aspects of success when connecting with people and gaining followers. The aim is to understand what content your audience would be interested in viewing and interacting with, and why they would want to follow a brand on social media; knowing and investigating these points will shape the content that is created and published across brand channels. An important factor to remember is that each channel has a varied audience and therefore different ways to connect. Social media is about people, content creates conversations and aims to develop relationships.
Consistency gains followers and interaction – posting sporadically will negatively affect your following so it’s all about scheduling and being prepared. Are you selling products, a service or a vision? Knowing this will influence the choice of content and brand voice. Aim to take high-quality visuals and copyright your own posts. Choosing the right colours and a content theme that represents the core brand voice creates synergy across channels – ultimately the social media channels should be easily recognised as one cohesive brand to customers. Consistency also requires consistent posting habits. It’s very easy to neglect channels and ultimately lose interaction – posting frequently allows a consumer to believe the brand is still ‘active’. One way to keep up with regular posts is to invest in a content management tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer, and have a strict and structured schedule for each week. Figure out a ratio between how much curated content, promotion and engagement you’d like to go out, and stick to it.
Consumers are bombarded by content daily across social media, print and email – therefore understanding the consumer, personally connecting to them is essential. Customers are wise, you need to evoke emotions to warrant a response. Look at the brand voice across other platforms (eg. your website, emails or products) and follow the same tone across social media. You can use analytics to monitor which of your email campaigns or which pages on your website had the most engagement, and therefore determine what kind of content resonates with your customers the most. Nearly 3 billion people in the world use social media, so to connect and utilise as big of an audience as possible, and ensure it’ the right audience for you, your brand voice should represent the brand but also the consumer. When establishing social media guidelines, there are some questions you might want to ask yourself: Will you remain professional? Or do you want to be humorous? Will you use I, We or Us? This decision should be made from the onset and be then consistent across all communication via your brand channels.
Creativity comes in all shapes of forms, keeping up with brand voice and exporting consistent content shapes individual social media channels; keep in mind that social media channels are there to capture the consumers’ interests through innovative campaigns and insights. There’s always new trends and updates on social media, be creative – trial what works. Whether that’s a behind the scenes office Instagram story, or an inspiring, informative video. Don’t be afraid to trial updates and be creative with content, in doing so you can monitor what the audience favours and what brings the most interaction.