Aside from being number one tool to stay in touch with your friends, and the world around you, social media has provided a means for businesses big and small to gain much needed visibility, promote their values and show their uniqueness (almost) for free.
If fact, using popular social networks has become a requirement for modern businesses given that people increasingly expect companies to be available on these channels for customer support issues, product information and experience sharing. For example, Hootsuite found that “59% of Americans who have a social media account agree that customer service via social media has made it easier to get questions and concerns resolved.”
Apparently, social media users have grown accustomed to communicating with companies on social media and now find it as one of the most efficient ways to solve their product-related issues. In addition to this, social media can help you reach a number of other goals as it provides a platform for:
- monitoring target audience’s behavior and preferences
- staying connected with audience and customers
- raising brand awareness
- increasing website traffic
- increasing conversions
- staying in touch with the competition
That being said, staying on top of the game and competing with other brands for the seconds of your audience’s attention, can be quite a challenge, even with the growing number of social media platforms to choose from. Fortunately, there are some guidelines and tips to follow if you want to get noticed and recognized by your key audience. By observing the behavior of the most successful brands on social, you can get the idea of what works in your niche and you can apply some of the rules, without being the copycat, but by showing your authenticity and uniqueness though some of the social media best practices for businesses.
Let’s take a look at some of the best social media tips in action.
- Promoting values
One of the most efficient ways to engage your audience is to avoid being overly promotional and to promote values that your brand shares with your target audience. Think of the values your brand nurtures and how they resonate with your followers. Then, come up with an original way to emphasize and promote those values. One of the most brilliant examples of this tip in action is seen in Always’ campaign #LIkeAGirl that serves to empower girls and women to be brave, confident and to freely express their uniqueness.
- Partnering up
Another great way to reach more followers and gain more trust among audience is to build partnership with other brands. This will help you to tap into their followers’ base and gain more visibility. Make sure to do a research and find a brand with great authority that is complementary to yours in some aspects. One of the most effective partnerships with the most success on social media is that of Red Bull and GoPro. The collaboration makes perfect sense since both brands stand for values such as fearlessness, adventure, human potential and action, it is no wonder that their collaboration on the “Stratos” stunt was such a huge success. Aside from allowing Felix Baumgartner to set three world records that day, this collaboration affirmed both Red Bull and GoPro as leaders in promoting adventurous and explorative lifestyle.
- Getting into the festive spirit
Holidays are always a great chance to provide your followers with amazing content on social media. Unlike the regular days, use the opportunity to do something more unusual for the holidays. As it is the time when all of us tend to spend time surrounded by our close family members, eat and have fun together, engage your readers with funny holiday pictures with messages that reflect your brand. Even the vacuum cleaner company, like Bissel, can find a way to incorporate their brand message into the funny holiday spirit photos.
- Using different messages for different channels
Even though some brands tend to provide a consistent message for different social media channels, a much more efficient approach is in adapting your message for each channel, with keeping the tone and the overall brand image. Since audience on each social media channel have certain expectations for types of content and the ways of its delivery for that channel, make sure to provide them with the appropriate experience. Charmin is the toilet paper brand that has great success on social media, mainly due to their funny and original content that is created and structured according to the social media channel it is posted on.
For their #EnjoyTheGo campaign, Charmin cleverly chose messages and photos for each social media channel. On twitter, they posted a photo of La La Anthony leaving the Van-GO Charmin bathroom with a witty message.
On Instagram, the photo shows La La taking a selfie in front of a Charmin Van-GO, in order to reflect a more personal, selfie vibe of this social channel.
As for Facebook, Charmin opted for a review of its Van-GO experience in Mashable in order to announce a NYC #EnjoyTheGo event.
- Letting the audience choose
People like to be a part of something, and they most certainly enjoy giving their opinion about something. One of the best ways to utilize this human trait to gain followers and spread awareness about your brand is to engage your followers by asking them to help you choose between a couple of desings for a product, a book cover, or a feature. Or, as in the case of Frito-Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” campaign, followers can vote for and create a brand new flavor. The campaign proved to be a huge success earning nearly 14.5 million suggestions and helped them create a strong base of followers and brand ambassadors.
- Praising your employees
In order to show appreciation for your employees’ hard work and to showcase your brand as one that takes care of their most worthy assets, run the employee of the month program on your social media channels. As people like to see faces behind the brand, this will evoke greater trust among your audience. One of the great examples of brands letting their employees become brand ambassadors is the Adobe project “Adobe Life” – a blog with stories describing what’s it like to work for Adobe. Adobe’s employees are encouraged to share photos with #adobelife that show the people behind the brand and the work atmosphere.
- Rewarding loyalty
One of the most effective ways to retain followers and customers and turn them into brand advocates is to show appreciation by rewarding your loyal followers and customers with gifts. Miranda Kerr does this by rewarding a $25 gift card to members joining a VIP program for her cosmetics line KORA organics.
- Keeping live videos longer
Live videos are a powerful marketing tool for brands on social media as it is a preferred method of consuming content online. Furthermore, they provide users with a sense of immediateness and allow brands to receive instant feedback through increased engagement. Longer live videos further increase your reach since more people can tune in during it. One of the most successful examples of live video is most certainly the Valentine’s edition by Dunkin’ Donuts where they cleverly used the holiday most often linked with sweets and showcased the cake making process to 43K viewers.
- Being original on Instagram
Each brand has its unique value that can be presented in a clever, original and oftentimes funny way that appeals to users. Instagram is the best place to showcase it as it provides brands with great framework for showcasing their originality. Brands that have greatest engagement on Instagram aren’t necessarily the biggest brands you can think of, yet they have come up with ways to be authentic by posting original photos with a clever twist. Letterfolk is a small company that successfully engages followers on Instagram by posting original photos of their handcrafted letterboards that are perfectly suited for each occasion.
- Using social media as 24/7 customer service tool
Social media has provided brands with a chance to be a part of the conversation by tracking their consumers’ feedback, responding to questions and complaints in no time and create trust and brand awareness. Twitter allows for real-time customer service support, as shown by brands like Target which provides excellent and fast customer support on @AskTarget Twitter account.
- Using enticing cover photos
Your social media channels’ cover photos have great impact on how audience react to your brand on social. Enticing cover photo will emphasize your product, your values, inspire interest and promote events. Calvin Klein cleverly used their Facebook cover photo to promote a campaign hashtag and inspire engagement.
Leveraging the full potential of social media depends on your ability to develop a unique voice and a solid strategy that catches the attention and invites for conversations. The ideas presented above are just some of the ways you can achieve this and make your social media presence truly effective.
Do you know any other great examples of brands that are doing social media right? Share your answers in comments below?