Strategising with a new client about their new digital strategy, we always get asked one question; “which social media platform should I use?’’ The answer is simply that your ideal digital strategy will be completely bespoke to your brand. We have clients that use quite a few as a multifaceted digital strategy using a combination of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to build their brand online. Others focus on one or two channels; Twitter works well for B2B for instance. Instagram is a visual platform that works great for products and reaching the consumer.
To discover which channel(s) would work best for you, let’s first take an in depth look at each social channel and what it works well for. Think of your digital strategy as a lego block. Each block is a different strategy which work together as a cohesive strategy with one brand message. Ultimately these work together to build your brand online. Your website, email marketing, blog, social media presence, customer service and your offline presence with branded material for starters. These all work together to build that tower of lego blocks which result as a well known and well established brand.
A channel that’s been creating a huge buzz is Instagram. A visual platform, brands feed are curated to best show their product or service to their audience, littered with quirky and clever captions and high quality photography – ideally, professionally taken. That’s the main thing about Instagram; it can really work to build your brand online with a wide audience. But, it’s all about the images, so they need to be high quality and well taken and you need to have a strong brand voice.
Celebrity endorsement on advertisements used to be king in getting sales. Nowadays, there’s been a shift towards the online social media influencer.
The main reason for this is pretty simple; they’re relatable in a way a celebrity can never be. When we see a celebrity advertising a new mascara for instance, as a consumer we’re aware of the production behind it. Complex lighting rigs, expensive cameras, the team of hair and makeup artists working on the campaign and the huge budgets that sit behind the shoot. Not to mention the backlash we’ve seen against photoshopping campaigns when it was revealed to the public how much photoshop does take place on campaigns.
Take away all of this and add an influencer and it’s as if the user can trust it more without all the smoke and mirrors. An authentic influencer reviewing the very same mascara at home sat at their dressing table talking about why they like the product has been proven to be a much more successful campaign. That’s in terms of sales of the product as a direct result.
Think of it as the girl next door effect. Because we can see the girl using it in her home, we naturally expect a more honest review. Even if it’s not always the case. Our perceptions have changed. Celebrities will always be able to sell products on advertisements. However, 86% of women turn to social media for opinions and reviews before making a purchase. Plus, on average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. A powerhouse on their own, influencers plan, shoot, edit and post content all on their own.
Instagram is one of the main platforms that influencers dominate, though Twitter also has lots of bloggers. The platform also works well for brands because users are willing to follow brands with great content. Tagging into the locations if it’s a physical location or tagging brands into their content when they’re enjoying photographing the product or service. It’s the effect influencers have trickled down to the everyday customer – even outfits are tagged now so that everyone can see where their top or skirt is from. This not only grows their audience but the brand who designed that top or that skirt.
Twitter holds multiple benefits, a great tool for B2B, it’s less curated than Instagram in terms of it not all being perfectly posed photos. Lots of the engagement on here (alongside photos) remains to be engagement with other users and brands. Funny Tweets go viral and, you can’t mention Twitter without talking about all the cute dog videos!
The benefit of Twitter is that it’s really encouraged to reply to Tweets and begin conversations. Not only does it give the customer trust of your brand as they can learn more about you but is also ideal for you to be able to learn what your customers are saying. The stats are great on Twitter, allowing you to listen to customer feedback and collate it all together.
To benefit your online presence further, tweets are indexed by Google. They’re picked up to be showing you’re an active online presence and are linking to your website which is seen to be adding value by Google and is therefore great for your SEO.
Numbers wise, according to a survey by Constant Contact, 60% of a brand’s followers are more likely to purchase or recommend products if they follow a brand on Twitter. 50% of the followers of a brand are more likely to buy or sign up for services from the brands they follow. Great stats and worth thinking about if you’re considering your digital strategy. Keep in mind also that all Tweets with images are 34% more likely to get retweeted than tweets with no images. Tweets with only one hashtags are 69% more likely to be retweeted than those with two hashtags.
Facebook is one of the social media channels we have the biggest love-hate relationship with. With established channels, it’s a great way to engage with fans of the brand. The issues lie with the fact that if you consider how you personally use Facebook, it revolves heavily around the users themselves. Their newsfeeds are more family and friends orientated than brand led. It’s a channel to stay in touch more than anything. Whilst they won’t mind one or two interruptions in their feed with brands content, it’s mainly posts from people they know and one or two meme accounts. It’s tough to build a channel on here with a new channel.
Having said that, there’s some uses of Facebook that are unparalleled on other platforms. Posts can be boosted so that they reach a larger audience, reaching more people who would never have heard of your brand. This is useful, and far cheaper than PPC advertising. These campaigns can be really focused. Users tend to add in their profile where they’re from, their job and perhaps their phase in life – engaged, married, children, retired and so on. All great insights to successfully target your marketing campaigns.
We also use Facebook on behalf of our clients for recruitment purposes. Job boards on Facebook promote the listings and then applicants can send their CVs straight through the platform. This is great for ease of recruiting – especially if the company is regularly heavily recruiting.
The benefits of Facebook are vast so it’s unfair for us to be negative about the platform. It’s just worth knowing when you set up channels that some are easier than others to be seen on. Once you accept that and just enjoy posting rather than focusing on the numbers of followers… the number will come.
So there you have it – we don’t want to give you rose tinted specs as to social media. Building a brand online is a process that takes time and energy. You need to curate a cohesive strategy that shows the world who your brand is and what it represents and sells.
Fancy some help in considering how to build your brand online? We’d love to hear from you!
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