All of your social platforms should be branded in a way that is cohesive with your organization’s overall brand. In other words, when a customer goes from your website, to your Instagram, to your Twitter, all content should have the same look and feel and be easily recognizable. If you use bright colors, carry that color scheme over to your Instagram and Facebook feeds and incorporate that in to your posts as well. Use your brand’s logos and make sure they are highly visible. The more a customer comes to recognize your brand, the more they will come to trust you. People buy from names they trust.
Spend some time determining what feeling you want customers to have when they think of you. What message do you want to get across to your audience? This will then help determine the aesthetics of your brand.
Remember, people buy on emotion, so it’s vital that your ads and content have an emotional aspect to them. Well-designed graphics and photos are key when it comes to social media.
It’s no secret that strong visuals grab attention faster than anything else. A good image can drive engagement and elicit emotion, while a poor one can leave a negative mark in a potential customer’s mind about your company. Again, make sure your visuals are in line with your brand – consistent lighting, theme, colors, and fonts.
Take the time to thoroughly map out the mindset and lifestyle of your ideal client. This will help structure your marketing messages as well as the content you create and post. Think about their pain points – what problems or challenges do they face that your product or service can solve? Deliver value!
For example, if you own a cleaning company, who are your ideal clients? Do you target busy moms, or young, single professionals? Both of them may have similar pain points – neither has time to clean their homes themselves.
But your message will be crafted differently for each. If it’s the former, you might create content in the form of a blog post that exposes the dangers children face while living in a dirty home. This would target your audience of busy moms.
Or if the latter, you may post humorous photos on Instagram and Facebook about how a clean home is important for a successful dating life, or even professional life, to help target the busy, young professional. You target similar pain points, but in different ways based on your target demographic.
When you understand what matters to your ideal demographic, you’ll also find other interests they have and can begin targeting them there. In other words, find out where your clients “hang out,” and you can target your marketing efforts to those places. We’ll talk about how to do this on social media using hashtags in the next step.
Hashtags are how people can search and find posts on social media. They act as keywords and can help drive new followers to your accounts. After you have a good understanding of your target market and their interests, you can create a list of hashtags to use on your posts that will help them find you based on things they are searching for. Use the tips below when creating your company’s hashtag strategy.
On Instagram, make sure you post your hashtags in a comment on your post and not in the actual caption; posting a series of hashtags in your caption makes you appear salesy and is a subconscious red flag for followers.
On Facebook or Twitter, you’ll want to limit your hashtag use to 2-4 per post. Again, an overwhelming string of hashtags on a post can be a turn-off for your audience.
Keep your hashtags relevant to your company and to your content. Just because your demographic may be searching for a trending hashtag like “#dogsofinsta” doesn’t mean you should use that (unless of course, your brand has something to do with dogs and your post has something to do with dogs).
If you use hashtags that do not align with your brand’s messaging and values, you’ll find that you attract the wrong followers, and as a result your engagement and ROI will go down.
Use simple and short hashtags. They should be easy to spell and relatively short to make it easy for people to find and use.
Search the hashtags you plan on using and see what type of content populates. Does it fit your brand’s message and demographic? You can also search for trending hashtags. If there’s one that fits your branding and you have something of value to add to the conversation, this is a great way to increase brand visibility – trending hashtags have a much larger audience (but this also means more competition in terms of number of posts per hashtag).
Use niche hashtags – smaller, highly-relevant hashtags aimed at your niche will help you gain the right followers: those that share common interests with your brand and are more likely to become a customer.
Remember, the point of using hashtags is to drive conversation between you and your followers. If you don’t engage, comment, and respond with your audience, you’re missing a lot of the value of social media.
Use the 80/20 Rule when thinking about what to post.
Less than 20% of your social media posts should be self-promotional, while the other 80% of your content should be focused on giving your audience value.
The 80/20 rule is key to ensure that you’re properly leveraging the power of social media. People feel assaulted when they are bombarded with self-promotion. The majority of your posts should focus on education (tips, tricks, information, studies, etc.) and lifestyle – don’t be afraid to show your brand’s voice! Use humor, inspiration, or show community involvement that your company participates in.
if you’re looking to reach a millennial audience, they want to see how you have an impact on the bigger picture – what causes do you support? How are you going to make the world better?
PRO TIP: if you’re looking to reach a millennial audience, they want to see how you have an impact on the bigger picture – what causes do you support? How are you going to make the world better?
Video is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your audience and tell your brand story. Whether it’s a video highlighting your products or features, or testimonials from previous clients, include these in your email marketing, social media posts, website, and advertisements.
Keep them short! Videos up to 2 minutes in length get the most views and engagement.
Even better, use live video.According to Facebook Newsroom, people are 3 times more likely to watch and 10 times more likely to comment on live videos. Utilize Facebook Live and Instagram Stories as much as possible.Raw videos are perfectly fine for this medium as well – they don ‘t have to be professionally produced!
PRO TIP: Host a free webinar on a certain pain-point your target market has, and give away your best information. For example, if you are a fitness studio, you might share your best tips for creating a workout routine and nutrition plan to reach a weight loss goal. Create a sense of urgency for these webinars, such as having a limited number of spots available, and providing it only at a certain time (you can provide the recordings to those that signed up, but didn’t make the live broadcast after the live showing has passed via email). You can use social media to market this sense of urgency by using posts that promote your webinar and the benefits, and that you only have X amount of spots left!
Infographics are shared 3 times more on social than any other type of content. Create branded infographics (make sure your color scheme and logos are visible!) to highlight the results and benefits of your service or product.
Again, people buy from companies they trust. Nothing is more powerful for building trust than social proof. Tell the stories of previous clients you’ve helped and focus on their transformation; in other words, before they found your company, they struggled with [insert pain point here], but now they’ve seen [insert results they’ve experienced].
Furthermore, encourage clients to share their experience on social media – referrals are often the strongest source for new business. When people see social proof of your company and the results you can provide from someone they already trust (a friend or family member on their newsfeeds), you become top-of-mind and are immediately trusted.
If you’re noticing great engagement (in the form of likes, shares, and comments) on a post, that’s a sign that you’re providing something of value to your audience. Boost those posts to increase the amount of people that see it, and then take note of what the post consisted of. What elements led to increased engagement? Was it funny, was it extremely useful, did it provide great information, or was it a beautiful photo? Those are the types of posts you’ll want more of – your audience will talk back on social media and tell you what they want in the form of engagement. It’s your job to listen.
If you’re a local business or focus on a specific area, boost your posts to your local markets. Facebook allows you to build custom audiences and even re-target those prospective customers that may have seen your ad but didn’t convert.
For example, if you’re a restaurant, post your daily specials or happy hour using an eye-catching photo, and boost that within a certain mile radius of your location.
Be sure that any ads you post lead to a landing page that is set up to capture information, such as an email address. Also make sure you have a strong “ad scent”, meaning that the landing page follows the content of your ad and has a strong call to action (customers should know exactly what you want them to do next when they get to the landing page).
For example, if you are a local magazine and your ad is for a free guide to the top date night ideas in your area, once clicked, that ad should lead to a page specifically designed to capture the email address of your prospect in exchange for the guide. You don’t want that ad to lead to your website homepage, where there is no information on the date-night guide or it’s not easy to find, and takes more than one or two clicks to get to.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when developing your social media for your brand. All of this information does you no good unless you put it into action and are consistent.
Start by scheduling 30 minutes a day to focus on your social media. While that’s not nearly enough time to create a full presence online, it’s a great start and can help you create a boost in your bottom line.
At Upperhand Creative, we can help you create, manage, and execute a social and online strategy that’s right for your business. If you’ve been searching for help with online marketing or branding, contact us today and a team member will reach out