As a business owner, by now you know about the sheer importance of social media when it comes to your brand. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2019 there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017. You know where your customers are; take advantage of that opportunity and market to them! This is knowing how to use social media marketing comes in and helps you drive massive brand awareness.
A strong online presence is what sells and keeps you relevant in today’s world. Not only does it help big businesses thrive, but especially small businesses! With social media, your company, no matter how small, is planted out there right next to your biggest competitors and in front of the eyes of your ever-scrolling audience.
Not quite sure how to use social media to drive your brand awareness? You’ve come to the right blog. Kick back, relax, and learn how to use social media to strengthen your brand’s awareness.
Deciding which social media platforms to use
When it comes to learning how to use social media marketing effectively, there’s a misconception that “more is better,” which isn’t necessarily true. Instead of an all or nothing approach, you need to start with the social media channels that will truly connect with your target audience the best. Focus on really strengthening and growing these few platforms before expanding to more.
For instance, even if your budget allows managing four different platforms, really hone in and focus on two. Learning how to use social media really well on a couple valuable platforms is much better than knowing little about how to use social media across several platforms. Grow exponentially on your favored platforms, because two strong social media presences are better than four moderate ones.
So, what kind of platforms should you focus on first?
This depends on what kind of company or business you are! Are you a skincare company? Get your products out, take some trendy flat lays, and boom: Instagram is your best friend. However, if you’re a business consulting firm, heavily image-based platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest aren’t really where you should start out. Instead, an article and business-focused platform like LinkedIn is where you’ll really connect with your audience.
However, as you decide what platforms are best for your company or business, keep in mind that you can’t ignore the biggest platform out there: Facebook. Despite what you may think with all of these new and popular platforms popping up, Facebook is still the most used platform. In fact, there are now 50 million small businesses using Facebook to connect with their customers. So whether you’re the skincare company or business consulting firm, Facebook will be successful and worth your time.
So this means if you’re the skincare company, maybe start out with Facebook and Instagram and really strengthen those platforms. For the business consulting firm, Facebook and LinkedIn is calling your name.
Want to learn even more about how to use social media for each specific platform? Be sure to check out our other blog post on the best social media platforms out there right now.
Setting up your accounts
Are you starting completely fresh? EXCITING! You have a totally blank space to work with, which is so fun!
First and foremost, consistency is key. Make sure all of your social accounts have the same or at least very similar handle (your name on the account.) This way, you’re building an instantly recognizable brand. It will also be that much easier for followers to find your account and follow if your accounts all look the same.
The same goes for your profile picture: be sure to use the same one for every platform, even down to the logo color! You can switch things up with banners and headers that are more suitable for each platform but keep the profile picture the same for consistency. Make sure these profile pictures are sized correctly for each platform, or they may appear blurry or morphed once uploaded. Also, upload on your computer as opposed to your phone. This will guarantee it’s the highest quality it can be. Once uploaded, check on your computer and mobile to make sure it looks crystal clear on both!
Second, make sure your bio is simple. Most profiles have a character limit for the bio, but don’t be afraid to go even shorter. Your followers should be able to tell exactly what your company or business is at first glance, so keep your bio short, sweet, and to the point. Save the lengthy paragraphs for your website! Social media platforms allow you to easily include a link to your website that users can click on if they want to learn even more about your amazing business.
Do you already have these accounts set up? No problem! Don’t be afraid to strengthen these already established platforms, even if they’re not performing as well as you’d like. You can delete these already established profiles and start new if you wish, but there’s nothing wrong with a good facelift for your five-year-old Instagram profile. Just change up the profile picture and logo as mentioned before, and you can always alter your handles if necessary.
Content creation is a large portion of learning how to use social media to develop your brand awareness. Depending on your time, budget, and brand, first determine how often you want to post. Some companies post 4 times a day every day, while others chose the more popular (and much more manageable) three or five times a week.
Regardless if you post twice or twenty times a week, be consistent with your method. Consistency is a recurring theme you’ll see as you learn how to use social media. Even out how often and when you post so that you’re not overwhelming your followers with multiple posts in one day, and then crickets for a week. You want to pop up on their newsfeed as often as possible, so even if you can only post twice a week, make sure it’s spaced out (i.e post on Tuesdays and Thursday, or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.)
Now comes the creative part: actual content creation. For social media, you want content that not only sells your brand, but also captures your audience so that they keep coming back for more. To achieve this, you should have an even mix of brand, sell, and share posts.
Very few followers will want to follow an account that posts essentially the same thing every day. Think of how you use social media on your own time! If you follow an account that constantly pushes their product on you, you’ll more than likely unfollow. You want to see relevant and engaging content that catches your eye and keeps it. Think of your content as a way to develop loyal, double tapping converters.
For brand posts, include tips, tricks, or quotes about your product or service in general. If you’re the skincare company, post good practices for healthy and glowing skin or efficient beauty routines. These posts shouldn’t link out or mention your company in particular. This goes the same for share posts: share relevant articles with tips and tricks, updates in the skincare company or anything you deem relevant. Don’t worry that you’re not mentioning your company; these posts are meant to build trust with your followers! When they trust your brand, they’ll convert.
The other third is what you’ve been itching to do: sell posts. These should be a mix of selling your company in general and then sharing information about specific products and services so your followers know more about what you offer.
While content is key, don’t forget about the importance of media! For most platforms, your audience will see the image well before the text, so make it stand out! In general, only use photos that are high quality and clear. Definitely never use even a slightly blurry photo. Also, audiences respond better to lifestyle images. So if this works for brand, try to include fun lifestyle images. Videos also work very well as a medium. In fact, Facebook viewers watch eight billion videos a day! You don’t have to go overboard and post only videos, but find creative ways to include them when you can.
So you have killer content: but who’s reading it? Consistently building your followers is almost just as important as your posts in learning how to use social media. What’s even more important is that you’re gaining relevant followers.
For example, you may have noticed accounts that follow 10 people but have 1.2 thousand followers. The issue? Zero to no engagement. This is nothing to be jealous of: these are more than likely all bought followers, who are pointless to build brand awareness. They won’t engage, and they certainly won’t convert.
However, another account that has 200 followers and following 300 may not seem as brag-worthy, but you may notice all of the likes, shares, and genuine comments on each post. This is what you want to strive for. This kind of account is getting viewed by their target audience and building a trusting relationship.
You may have noticed that building followers is different for some platforms than others. To put it simply, it’s mostly Facebook vs. everything else.
For Facebook, you have to “pay to play.” This means unless you put money towards an ad campaign, you won’t gain many followers. To gain followers on Facebook, you need to set up a page-like campaign. These are ads that pop up on your targeted audience newsfeed that prompt the user to like the page. Lucky for you, these ads are very simple. They limit you to 90 characters, and you should use that or even less! Quite like setting up the bios for your accounts, the copy for these page-like ads should be short, sweet, and to the point. The viewer should be able to easily and instantly recognize what your company is and does, and how it’s relevant to them.
For instance, the skincare company would have a page-like ad that says, “You work overtime, but your skin shouldn’t give that away. Like us for revolutionary new skincare.” The image used for page-like ads should be simple but captivating. Use as little text as possible. This not only leads to less engagement, Facebook actually won’t approve images with too much text! If anything, just use a simple photo and add your logo. Don’t forget though that your profile picture will be right next to the ad image, so if you can’t fit your logo, don’t force it. When it comes to Facebook ads, the more simple, the better!
Run a few different variances of these ads until you see which resonates with your audience the best. Then, only run the more successful ones. Though this may take a few weeks, aim to have these ads under a dollar per like. Learn more about Facebook advertising here.
Next comes organic following. This is completely free, but a little more time-consuming. Facebook is the only major platform in which you can’t use this method of gaining followers. You can use organic following for platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Know your major competitors? Find them on your platform and start following their followers. If they have an overwhelming amount, go to the first few posts on their page and start following the handles that liked that post.
What does all of this do? This ensures you’re following relevant and engaging users. When they see you’ve followed them, they’ll check out your profile and either follow back or move on. This method may seem tedious, but it works (we promise!)
So that your follows to follower ratio is somewhat even, be sure to set aside some time to unfollow those who didn’t follow you back. There are many free and paid platforms out there that can do this for you if you would rather not take the time to do it yourself.
Sounding a bit overwhelming? Just space it out! Follow for a few minutes every day and then unfollow once a week to keep your follows-to-followers ratio even.
Pro tip: try to find followers that have a realistic amount of followers. An account with 300 followers include users that actually engage and will more likely follow you back, whereas a competitor with an account of ten thousand followers more than likely has robot or fake followers. These users won’t follow you back and if they do, they won’t engage and are pointless to grow brand awareness.
You just had a plethora of information thrown at you, but don’t get overwhelmed! Social media is fun, so remember to have fun with it! That’s what it was originally intended for, and should continue to be even from a business standpoint. Build your brand and voice and your audience will follow! (Literally)
If you want or need more help on how to use social media to drive massive brand awareness, or simply don’t have the time to manage your accounts, look into having a social media marketing agency do it for you! Not only will it take it off your plate, but you can rest easy knowing your accounts are growing and expanding in very capable hands.