Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have become the new destinations where consumers gather to “hang out.” While they are visiting these sites and using them with staggering frequency for social purposes, they”re also in a prime position to make purchasing decisions, seek out reviews and recommendations, and ultimately purchase and consume.
In fact, Facebook recommendations have become a prime source of buying decisions by consumers. Even if it’s largely subconscious, they’re ready to absorb without much objection when they’re in their relaxed, social space.
To fully exist online, your brand must have an online presence and appear frequently on social media in a unique and interesting way that will encourage people to share and recommend your services or products. But your brand has to be ready to stand up to social scrutiny, and become a recognised and trusted part of your target customers’ lives.
Before you bring your brand fully to fruition on social media, make sure you’ve completed all the steps below to make sure your launch is a successful one for your business. Social media marketing is a strategy, it takes thoughtful planning, testing and implementation to reach your and connect with your target audience. It is a delicate balance between promotion and building relationships, with the latter being the key in improving your bottom line.
1. Do Your Research
Prior to picking a brand name and logo and putting it out into the social media channels, you need to do your research. Begin by understanding what people are already saying about your brand online, and also see what’s being said about your competitors as well.
You should also immerse yourself in social media, and see what kinds of content, information, reviews, products, or services your target audience is talking about, sharing, and recommending. If you align your posts, messaging, and promos with what people are sharing and posting about most in your field or industry, then you’ll make a bigger impact with your brand by immediately delivering things your social customers want and crave.
2. Validate Your Name And Logo
Having consistent and recognisable marketing messaging on all fronts begins with a brand name and corresponding logo that people will be drawn to, and remember. If you already have a name, logo, and existing customer base who are familiar with both, it’s a great move to ask what they think through a survey. Often times, you’ll be prone to get stuck in an idea or logo that just isn’t working, and one of the best ways to understand if you’re being remembered by the people you’re seeking to interest, is to ask them.
3. Make A Plan
Wandering into the land of social media with no plan or direction will likely cause you to get lost in the masses of information already abundantly infusing the online social scene. However, if you go in prepared with a solid plan identifying all the objectives you want to achieve, and how you’re aiming to accomplish them, you’ll avoid being swallowed up.
Writing your goals down is a great, and often under-utilised tactic for making a social marketing plan, so give it a try, and see if it helps manifest your success more quickly.
Additionally, testing conversions and results from all channels that you plan to use is important to avoid wasting time on venues that are not meeting pre-set goals. Not all social media sites will be effective in all industries and business models and testing allows you to weed out the winners.
4. Collaborate and Listen
As you’re brainstorming ideas, and making plans for a thriving brand on social media, remember that collaboration is essential. You should work within your team, or bounce ideas off a trusted and knowledgeable colleague or business partner to make sure you’ve covered all the vital aspects of your market research, and leverage the power of sharing ideas and solutions toward a common goal.
And don’t just throw your ideas out and hope they stick. Really listen to all the feedback, ideas, and objections you receive so you can make your brand and your message even stronger.
5. Test, Review, Improve, Repeat
If you’re unsure on a new logo design, or a marketing idea, sleep on it. But don’t take too much time tinkering or picking at unimportant details either. Social media evolves rapidly, and testing out your ideas, and improving and changing along with it will keep your brand fresh.