Promoting your brand on social media is a consistent exercise. One that you can do well, once you learn the ropes and understand that nothing happens overnight. So is there a method to promote your brand on social? Yes, of course! Sometimes it is a longer road to travel – but it is the only road. And travelling it is about sticking to a few basics.
Decide who your audience is
Your brand promotion efforts must be targeted at a defined audience – one that would find value in your brand. Get down to the details of your audience. Find out what interests them and what keeps them engaged. Know what brings them value. Then go all out to give them just that. If you are a brand of fishing tackle, maybe you could add value to your audience – hard-core anglers – by giving them global live updates of fishing hot spots, anglers and their catches and also about the off-trail fishing locations geography-wise.
Go the way of the publishing houses
Create an editorial calendar so that your conversations are decided in advance and checked against the interests of the audience. A calendar helps you plan your conversations/articles in advance and gives you time to shape them for maximum impact. Publishing houses have been doing this for years. If you are in the business of cotton wall hangings for instance, your calendar could cover display aesthetics, care tips for cotton wall hangings, things to look for while choosing cotton wall hangings, examples of cotton wall hangings from all over the world etc. Anything and everything that would broaden the experience of the brand while staying true to it.
Follow the 80/20 rule
Or better still make it 90/10. But make that 10 worth every penny. We are talking about the content spread, where 90% of your content should be value content and only 10% should be overtly about brand. And while on brand, make brand content as interesting as possible by going away from brochure-conversations to story-telling. If you are a pickle manufacturer, and want to talk about your hygiene practices – bring it out as a story that documents a day in the life of a pickle bottler or something similar. Your conversation/article immediately gets a human face and a great story angle that would get more eyeballs than a clinical “we follow stringent hygiene practices” kind of conversation.
Engage the audience, encourage participation
The simplest way is to give away a prize for the best answer that can be shared with a friend of the person answering, thereby giving a novel spin to refer-a-friend. Here the engagement is not just with the visitor, but with his/her friend as well who has the potential to turn into a customer. You would be surprised, but even today one of the best ways to encourage participation is to give away prizes however small, ask your audience to share picture captions, fill-in-the-blanks, share an event participation photograph etc. If you are a hiking shoe brand, you could keep people engaged by posting pictures and videos of people wearing your shoe to the most adventurous places on the planet. Such posts by themselves are gratification as they showcase the contributor in adventurous light and also spark conversations around it.
Have branded content created by influencers
An influencer would be anyone who has a sizeable following on their chosen social platform – be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Blog. It would be a great idea to zero in on such influencers who would fit your brand and who your audience trusts. The next step is to get the influencer to create content around your brand and then sharing it on your platform. Remember that influencers need not be the biggies alone who have a following. It could even be users of your products – let’s call them micro influencers – who have used your product as part of their conversation on social media. So if you are a bracelet manufacturer and your customer has posted a weekend beach trip photo featuring the bracelet you manufacture, that’s good enough for your brand story – provided you have already seeded the thought in your customers head that such product placement with a pre-defined hashtag (by which you can mine such posts) could win her/him goodies.
Promote your content for reach
Organic reach alone would not bring home the cows so to speak. Once you have created content, especially something you have poured your heart and soul into, it would be criminal to have it reach the barest minimum of your potential audience for want of effective promotion. You’ve created the piece for maximum reach, so help it along with targeted promotions for however small an amount you want to begin with. Better still, promote it for a week organically, using relevant hashtags. On gaining momentum, put some money behind it – giving attention to the targeting parameters. Once the results are in, you might want to put in more money. And maybe even package the content differently, now that you know it is a winner – maybe make a video out of it?