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Craig Greenup 24/06/19, 11:18
In the early days, social media was used as a means for people to speak to each other and so it became hugely popular with younger generations very quickly. It wasn’t until a few years had passed that brands and businesses began to see the commercial value in using social media to engage with their audiences and sell products. You could think of this as a commercial revolution which has changed the way we do business online forever.
It’s not uncommon to see new brands appear and shoot to superstar status in a matter of months, and influencer culture has a lot to do with this. If you can get the right people to ‘stan’ your brand online then it opens a lot of possibilities for you in terms of exposure, reviews and collaborations. There are a few things which help determine how well your brand is received on social media by both influencers and customers.
Firstly, in order to be a social media success your brand needs to offer a great product or service. Once you have a product or service that you’re proud of, you will then need to market it properly. The very nature of social media is highly visual and facilitates storytelling, so it is effective use of digital assets and an authentic which sets your brand apart from the competition.
With 45% of the global population and 80% of major brands being active on social media, it’s quite a saturated environment. The majority of us, over time, have become desensitised by this saturation; unfortunately this does mean it’s becoming harder and harder to grab our attention. Fortunately, there’s a well-known and relatively simple way to help you get around this: make sure your images are absolutely on point.
The best way to do this is to employ a professional photographer who do an awesome job of photographing your products, premises and even your staff portraits. Having said this, modern phones and a few online tutorials can have you taking decent shots in no time at all – great if you’re on a tighter budget. You should aim to create a ‘feast for the eyes’ which catches the attention of new and returning customers.
It can definitely help to see what kind of images your market competitors are using, but remember that the idea isn’t to copy their style. You should try and inject personality into the images you choose, it can help to draw inspiration directly from the style of your product packaging and your website. For example, if your product packaging is minimalist then look at minimalist photography styles to use on social media.
One of the most important tools you can bring to your social media game is authenticity. More than anything these days, customers want to see that there are real people behind their favourite brands and social media is exactly the place where you will want to be yourselves. This means you should not only caption your images and posts in a personal, conversational way, but you should also respond to comments and messages in a similar tone of voice.
At some point during your brand development you should have determined the kind of persona your company has. Use this persona to interact with followers and fans online and don’t be afraid to try a tongue-in-cheek approach when appropriate. Remember, some of the most successful social media campaigns of all time revolve around a little friendly banter! If you want to inject a bit of back and forth into your social media interactions just remember that less is more – it can be tempting to overdo it, but you must resist the urge.
When paired with gorgeous, characterful photography an authentic voice can help you to craft a story about your brand on social media which plays on people’s natural curiosity. With time and some careful cultivation you might find that social media becomes a vital channel for your brand.
Putting yourself out there makes it a lot easier to connect with your loyal customers as well as helping you find new ones. It is a fairly standard practise to include links to your social media profiles from your website. These can be built in to pages and are especially helpful when placed in your blog section where they encourage users to explore more of your brand.
As a rule of thumb, try to limit social media posts to one per channel per day while your follower count is on the smaller side. Larger accounts with 10,000+ followers can get away with posting more frequently without your audience feeling like you’re filling up their timeline with marketing posts.
Perhaps most importantly though, remember that social media is a dynamic landscape and change can happen quickly. It can really help to keep an ear to the ground and keep on top of the latest trends as they emerge, that way you can adapt your strategy as and when it is needed.