It is a well known fact that social media presence is one of the pillars of the digital marketing activities of a brand. However, are we using it correctly? When there are so many social media channels to choose from, are we getting lost in the mess when it comes to strategizing or are we simply trying to exist in the most popular ones?
Granted, one might even argue that there is content pollution on social media. In a world where each and every individual has something to say, how can brands speak louder? With Gen-Z dynamically dominating their online presence through their selectiveness and creativity in creating content, brands sure have hardships to face. Here are 10 things to do to improve your brand’s social media presence. Remember, these 10 factors can be considered as a form of investment. You need time to acquire the desired results!
1) Channel Selection
Not that it should come as a surprise but your brand does not need to have an account on every social media platform. Selecting a channel determines where you as a brand will invest all of your efforts into content creation, so the effort should be worth it. First, determine the visual standing of your brand. Is it image oriented? Does it have more of an illustrative approach? Are you blessed with video assets? How applicable is your brand for aesthetic content creation? If you are a clothing brand for example, Instagram appears to be a must. However, that does not mean you should be overlooking Pinterest as Pinterest SEO is also crucial in reaching your target audience. Make sure you know your target audience and determine which platforms they exist in. Even if you are a well established brand with one high functioning social media account, you might question the need for existence on other social media platforms that are not doing as well.
2) Content Mix
According to the purpose of your brand, it is not a wrong move to exist on multiple social media channels. However, it is wrong to post the exact same content on each medium. Every channel has its own algorithm and not producing content in accordance with that may waste efforts in making the channel beneficial to your brand. Therefore, each brand should create a content mix for each related channel that they hope to exist in. Preparing a content mix is no more than simply deciding what kind of content is going to be shared on each channel. For example, an event agency may prefer to announce their events on Meta, post event pictures on Instagram and promote the events via TikTok live streaming. The purposes of these channels can of course be interchangeable according to the interactions they gain on each medium.
3) Post Frequency
The one thing that is common for all social media algorithms is that it boosts accounts that are higher in their frequency of posting. In summary, the more you post, the more people see your brand. This is one thing that is easier said than done of course, since content creation for brands requires care and construction. For each platform, there is a recommended frequency of posting. For channels such as Pinterest, this is much less complicated. However, for multi-purpose share channels such as Instagram, the frequency of stories, Reels and regular static posts all contribute differently to how much the algorithm will support your account. Contradictory to popular belief, there is not a fixed formula when it comes to frequency. However, if you are posting one static post and one story from your brand’s Instagram account each day, expecting high organic impressions is not very realistic.
4) Active Follower Times
One of the things that brands want to know about the most is when to post content on social media. There is not an exact formula for this particular topic either! The best thing to do here is to check out the analytics of the given social media platform and find out the active times of your followers. The channels determine a time gap for when your followers are most active, and that is when you should post. If you are a motivational account, you might find that your followers are most likely to engage with your content in the morning, as a kickstarter for the day. If you are again a clothing brand, you might find your account to be the last thing your followers check before going to bed. Of course the situation can be vice-versa just as well. If you are just starting off your account and do not have a fixed follower base, you can play around with different sharing times to see which one brings you the most interaction until your analytics has gathered enough of a base to make sensible remarks.
5) Emphasis on Video Content
Ever wondered why TikTok has become the most downloaded app of 2021? Is it Gen-Z and their inexhaustible desire for video content? Funny enough, although a large percentage of TikTok users are made up of the Gen-Z youth, about 35% of them are between the ages of 24-35. So what does this tell us? It is not just Gen-Z that cares about receiving video content anymore. People are more likely to engage in video content than they are in static content, and your brand should definitely stay on top of that! According to research, the first 3-4 seconds of a video is when your audience decides whether they are going to watch it further or not. Even YouTube, the largest video platform has come up with “YouTube Shorts” in order to serve the purposes of this development. Therefore, your message should relay in those first 3-4 seconds of the video. Sounds challenging enough, huh? Producing video content surely requires a lot more time, effort and sometimes even financial means than creating static content. Which is why most brands do not go forward with this option. Forming your strategy on the basis of video production might be the key that differentiates your brand after all.
6) User Generated Content as an Inspiration
What is user generated content? Well, that would be an entire blog entry on its own. So we will just stick to why we need it. As we mentioned in the beginning, content creation has become so individually common that there are even higher expectations from big establishments such as brands. But are there, really? Since brands have local or global guidelines and have established visual standards, they might feel pressure into creating highly produced video content. However, since user generated content has become such a widespread phenomenon, naturally produced content can be just as well received as long as it follows trends! The best thing for brands to do in this case is to stay updated with the latest trends and look for ways to recreate them for their own purposes. While producing content like a regular user is a tip on its own, resharing already produced content from your followers is a definite must-have for your brand accounts. Believing products is one thing, but believing in the lifetsyle that the brand offers is a whole other story that increases user lifetime value. Giving your audience a voice in your own platform is something that definitely needs to be in your brand’s content strategy.
7) Influencer Marketing
Ready for one of the most misunderstood phenomenons of our day? Influencer marketing has become and still is one of the most commonly preferred methods of brand promotion there is. Even though it is relatively a new practice, there are still many changing dynamics of it. For example, collaborations that are based solely on link shares that are directed to conversion are not as effective as they used to be! Of course, these statements are interchangeable according to sectors and different geographies, however the general idea remains the same. Individuals are noticing that being an influencer has become a job title and influencers do not necessarily promote the products that they believe in. Therefore, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, it would be an unrealistic expectation to do a one time collaboration with an influencer and make sure it creates the desired outcome. There are many influencer collaboration models to choose from. These differ from channel to channel as well as within the channel as a whole. No matter what you choose to proceed with, you need to make sure that your content appears organic and sincere.
8) Visual and Written Communication
Another factor that is usually overlooked when it comes to social media appearances is surely the elements of visual design. Aesthetics are relative, and there is no way to reach a universally acceptable standard. There are brand guidelines though. Why is it important? Well, obviously it reflects the identity of the brand. Why should we pay attention to it in our social media channels? Imagine seeing a social media post about Coca Cola. Would you be able to tell that it is a Coca Cola post without seeing the actual product? The answer is yes. You are able to differentiate the brand through its colors and fonts, so without even seeing the product itself, you are able to recognize the brand. Therefore, your social media designs should stay within the limitations of your color palette and font selection. This way, your account is more likely to gain recognition in comparison to a baseless feed look. There should be repetitive assets in your designs whether this repetition is of the color, of the font or the illustrative touches you choose to embed.
Similarly, your brand should adapt a tone of voice that repeats itself through each means of communication. The captions of your social media posts should adapt either a formal or informal language, and stick to it. If the communicative texts are inconsistent throughout the accounts, the users are less likely to engage with the content. This aspect should not be limited to social media accounts and it should be mimicked on the brand’s website as well.
9) The Use of Hashtags
The more the merrier? Not so much. While hashtags prove to be beneficial for all social media channels, there is a limit to how much you should use them. Fake accounts and bot accounts are more likely to be using a ton of hashtags, so their density may cause your brand posts to become unreliable, as well as not really serving the needs of the algorithms. Choosing the correct hashtags is a bit of a challenge. Do you go for the most used ones? Not exactly. Using the most popular and most preferred hashtags may cause your posts to get lost within the crowd whereas unused hashtags make it impossible for your post to be found. You are looking for a density that is neither too high nor too low. Pick up to 10 hashtags that fit your brand the most and use them. Make sure that one of those hashtags is one that you created specifically for your brand. This way, you fairly create a collection of your posts under a certain hashtag which will be a reference point for your followers in the future, as well as another aspect that makes your brand recognizable.
10) Analytics & Social Media Monitoring Tools
Throughout this article, you have read a few times that most actions relating to social media do not come with a clear formula. Social media channels operate differently for individuals, brands, NGOs and they differ within each other as well. In order to find the formula that works best for you and your brand, you must constantly check the analytics of your social media accounts. There, you will get a clearer picture of the numeric outputs of your actions, what seems to be working and what is not. None of the ideas that are mentioned above are set in stone. The algorithms are constantly changing, there are new features within each channel that are constantly released, so coming up with one system that keeps everything on track forever is nearly impossible. We need to be constantly changing and adapting. If you need an even wider point of view of our accounts, you can also purchase membership packs of different social media monitoring tools which will automate your processes of reporting results and paint a clearer picture of what action needs to be taken. Tools such as Sociality, Brandwatch, Social Blade and Monday can be examples of these tools.
There you go! Here are the top 10 things you can do in order to improve your brand’s social media presence! If you are a beginner or cannot seem to find the hype that you once had on social media, remember to check out this guide every once in a while to identify your areas of improvement and carry your brand’s social media profiles to the next level!
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