Thriving on the Future of Digitalization: Social Media Marketing Essentials
How has your brand been spreading among its consumers? Brands have come a long way over the past few decades. Once merely products for consumption, brands have transformed in the eyes of discerning consumers to represent an extension of their own personalities — a symbol of who they are and what they stand for.
With consumers hungry for experiences, and traditional forms of media like posters and television advertisements becoming obsolete, many brands have turned to social media marketing to showcase various aspects of their brand, attract new customers, and expand their businesses.
Wondering how you can stay on top of this ever-evolving space to help your brand break through the clutter? We have put together this handy guide to walk you through the essentials — identifying your audience and best channels to reach them, building your authority in content, and measuring your impact with analytics.
Narrowing the Field
Determining which audience segments and corresponding platforms to focus on can help you to refine your objectives and maximise your time and resources.
Before you begin, consider who your target audience is and what channels they frequent. Depending on your product or service, your brand may or may not see success with a more targeted customer profile (e.g. based on demographic traits like age, or psychological traits like interest groups). If your brand already has an existing customer base, your current customers can serve as a good reference point for who your social media platforms should cater for. Alternatively, sending out a survey to current or potential customers can also help you to collect data for you to make a more informed decision.
Be realistic about how many channels you can effectively manage — if it’s your first time trying out any form of social media marketing, don’t be afraid to start small and gradually expand into other channels as you gain confidence.
On the other hand, if you’ve been on social media for a while, it might be time for you to prioritise your audiences and platforms while you engage in deeper conversations with your customers. Nurturing closer relationships with your customers can help to drive brand loyalty and increase brand love, building a strong foundation for your brand’s future growth. Exploring platforms based on brand fit, category fit, and functionality can help you determine which channel is best suited for helping you build your brand’s community.
Building Your Content Base
Now that you’ve decided which channels you want to focus on, it’s time we discuss your content strategy. What outcomes are you trying to drive through your social media channels, and what sort of content will you need to support them? Even if you have been working on content for a while, it’s worth taking a step back to reevaluate your objectives. Keeping an open mind will allow you to identify potential gaps in your current strategy to improve the quantity and quality of content produced.
While developing content to help you reach your objectives, it might be worth exploring trends that are currently dominating social media. Keeping pace with trends can help your brand stay culturally relevant to maximise its appeal to its brand audience. If you are willing to take a more active approach, platforms like LinkedIn have plenty of groups that businesses can join to stay in the know and connect with other enthusiasts. If you are looking for something more passive, setting Google Alerts is an excellent, fuss-free way of keeping major topics and influencers in your sights — simply determine which keywords you’d like to keep track of, and you’ll have first dibs on any breaking news in the industry! You can also adjust the frequency that you’d like to receive these alerts, but we recommend just once a day to avoid clogging your inbox.
Above: Duolingo uses its TikTok as a means to connect with its audience by tapping on trending tracks and playing into its “angry/unhinged owl” persona
Reminder: Don’t forget to be consistent! One of the primary reasons why brands struggle to attract or retain customers is a lack of brand salience. Having a distinctive personality and voice can help your brand be more memorable, especially at its point of sale, and consistency is key to letting your customers know what to expect. Set aside some time to carefully design your brand’s voice, and develop a unique style to make your posts instantly recognisable. Maintaining a regular posting schedule will also help social media algorithms identify that your business is active, and get your content in front of more people.
Need some inspiration? Check out our brands, JuJu and TSM, below for some great examples of how our in-house Branding team transformed their content!
Above: Screen captures of our brand, JuJu’s improvements to Branding after working with Una
Above: Screen captures of our brand, The Small Merchant (TSM)’s improvements to Branding after working with Una
Measure Your Performance
As with any long-term strategy, monitoring your performance will provide you with the insights you need to adjust and improve your strategy over time. As changes to your content may take time to bear fruit, it is important to focus on the big picture (e.g. through a monthly report) rather than get mired in micro analyses (e.g. hourly, daily, or even weekly reports). While reporting might seem like a chore, fortunately there are many tools that can help you consolidate insights across your various channels. To name a few examples, Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Buffer Analyze are social media analytics software that can help you track and visualise your performance across channels through a consolidated dashboard. As an added bonus, many of these software can also help you streamline your posting process by allowing post scheduling, and even suggesting the best timings for reaching your audience.
At the end of the day, always remember that a successful approach is built on flexibility. Although the aforementioned recommendations may be an excellent place to start, it is crucial to continually review and modify your social media content plan throughout the year to account for any alterations in your goals, resources, or schedules.