Social media marketing has been the biggest gift to the communication pros' toolbox in the last decade. But using these tools effectively requires a slightly different approach to each social media platform. This post covers current social media marketing strategies for marketing and PR teams, but the best secret to keeping ahead of the curve? Adopt an innovation mindset.
Social media has created an entirely new sub-genre of marketing and has become a digital publicity beast. If you’re a business owner developing a marketing strategy, including social media to boost your company’s brand awareness strategy is a no-brainer. But before you start creating social media profiles for your company, you need to determine which platforms would be best to increase brand awareness for your organization.
When choosing the right social media channels to drive your brand awareness strategy, you should consider the type of products and services you offer, as well as who your target audience is. Additionally, each social media platform has different groups of users characterized by certain demographics, so having a solid understanding of each channel’s reach is crucial to your overall social media marketing strategy and general brand awareness campaign.
Keep reading to learn who uses each social media channel and what type of content to post to increase the impact of your business’ brand awareness strategy.
Who Uses Each Social Media Platform?
Warren Knight provides great insight into the number and type of active users on each platform on Social Media Examiner. He reports:
- Facebook as having 1.86 billion active users
- Twitter is at 319 million active users
- Instagram has 600 million active users
- LinkedIn is at 500 million active users
While there’s no dominant age group for users on Facebook, 22.5% of Twitter’s user base is between 25-34.
Some of the more interesting demographics come from Instagram’s user base. As Salman Aslam from Omnicore reports:
- 80% of Instagram’s users are outside the U.S
- More than half are women
- 28% of all users are 18-29
The report also shares that out of LinkedIn’s 500 million users, 100 million of them are over the age of 50.
Based on these statistics, marketing teams who are looking to increase brand awareness amongst millennials should create profiles on Twitter and Instagram, while companies who want to implement a campaign targeting users of all ages or specifically, users over 35, should use Facebook.
Although LinkedIn is also a major social media platform, it’s a little different regarding calculating daily active users. LinkedIn targets industry professionals, such as businesses connecting with potential employees and vice versa. LinkedIn users are active on a more sporadic basis, meaning they use it most frequently when looking for jobs, or for businesses when they are looking to hire. If you’re in a B2B industry, your marketing team may want to focus more of their social media marketing efforts on LinkedIn, however, for most B2C companies, LinkedIn is a secondary platform following Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.
Types of Social Media Content
Now that we have a better understanding of each social media platform’s user base, let’s talk about how to boost brand awareness. How do you do that? Through sharing customized content.
How can you use content to increase your brand awareness? Ask yourself, “What does your business specialize in? What keywords are the best fit for your company?” As you create content for your brand awareness campaign– from blog posts to social media updates and everything in between – marketing teams should keep these elements of their business in mind so everything they create reinforces their brand to readers and followers.
As Disha Dinesh explains, there are basic content types for optimum engagement on social media:
- Organic written
Organic written content refers to content that is written by your marketing teams specifically for your audience, which includes blog posts or original images with captions; these double as informational content if you also provide facts or statistics.
Emotional content means it makes the consumer feel something, like a funny meme or inspiring commercial.
Storytelling content is self-explanatory in that your PR and marketing departments tell a story, but the story has to have a point. For example, you could write about the hard work it took to start your business, or create an open conversation with your followers by asking a question; the most important thing is to make the post interactive! When audiences engage, your brand will appeal in the timelines of their followers which has a positive impact on brand awareness.
Real-time social media posts are usually about celebrating holidays or acknowledging people on specific memorial days. For example, your marketing teams can share an image to celebrate holidays to boost brand awareness, engagement and SEO.
When sharing visual content on social, the most effective visuals are infographics, memes, gifs or other images in addition to video, which reigns supreme.
Social Media Marketing Content Tips by Platform
Here’s some advice your marketing team should keep in mind as they carefully craft updates for each of the relevant social channels.
To increase brand awareness through engagement on Facebook, it’s important to know that their algorithm is designed to expand the reach of your posts based on higher engagement rates. The more reactions, likes and comments a post gets, the higher the engagement. But, how do you get higher engagement, you ask? You need to post content that is proven to get reactions, likes and comments. For Facebook, photo and video content have the highest engagement rates, but more specifically, native and live video content. Humor is one of the most successful types of content on social because it’s positive, it breaks the monotony of professional posts, it helps us de-stress with a good laugh. Chris Pratt’s #WhatsMySnack Instagram series is a great example of funny video content that’s so wildly popular.
To boost engagement on Twitter, it’s important to use hashtags strategically. Whether you use trending hashtags or you create your own, consumers use hashtags when searching on Twitter to find relevant conversations. We recommend using up to three hashtags per Twitter update (more than that and the post can end up looking like spam to followers). Use a socia media analytics tool to understand which hashtag to use, for example, what are the trends around that specific hashtag? Is the hashtag use rising or declining?
Tweet frequency helps as well. The more you tweet, the more active your page is which natually helps increase brand awareness. Although there is no longer a 140-character limit in place, it's wise to act as if there still is as Twitter is about short burst of information. If you want to share a longer post, which includes providing a link to another site that has a longer description of the content you’re sharing, share the details in an image and tweet the image. You could also spread your message out among several tweets and number them, so when followers read them back-to-back they make up a complete post. Retweeting other tweets helps brand awareness too because you’re essentially helping boost engagement for the original poster in addition to yourself.
Your marketing teams can also boost engagement and awareness by asking questions or conducting polls. What was true for Facebook is true for Twitter regarding photos and videos as well.
Instagram as a social channel is a bit different than Facebook and Twitter in that you can only share images and videos. However, like Twitter, you can also use hashtags on Instagram. While you can use up to 30 hashtags, it’s best to only use a few in the post itself and then list out the rest as a comment, this makes for far better customer experience as it's easier on the eyes when consumers are scrolling through their feed. In terms of video, Instagram's Stories feature is an easy way to boost awareness. Also, don’t forget to engage with your followers as well as other brands or influencers in your industry or local community! Engaging with each other gives your profiles a boost and connects you with like-minded people. After all, it’s called social media for a reason.
While LinkedIn is a bit different than the other three social channels we discussed, there are some basic functions that are the same across the board, such as commenting on posts or milestones. When posting articles and other written content, your connections (as they’re called on the platform), can comment on them. Articles are one of the most shared types of content on LinkedIn. Studies showed that short content, such as blogs with less than 1,000 words, were the most popular, while long posts consisting of 3,000 words or more were the most shared. Don’t forget to include photos and videos, as articles with photos receive much higher click rates. One way to do this is to create custom images, such as infographics. Unlike other social media channels, posting only promotional or spammy content is not advised on LinkedIn. While it may raise brand awareness, it's not necessarily the positive awareness you're trying to generate. The idea is to connect to other users with quality and informational content. Joining and participating in relevant groups is also beneficial to your brand as it’s easier to find and connect with people in your community or industry.
Now that you have a better understanding of the social media user bases and what types of content to post, hopefully, it will help simplify the process of creating your social media marketing content and positively move the needle of your brand management efforts.
This article originally appeared on Three Girls Media, was written by Meenah Khosraw from Business2Community, and legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.