How to Plan Your Social Media Marketing Strategy to Boost Brand Awareness
Unless you’re a large company, you’re likely going to need more brand awareness for your company. But before we get into the 7 steps that will help you boost your brand’s awareness, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- The quickest way to fail is to try to please everybody, so don’t try to be all things to all people. Being everything to everyone is too much, so be clear about who your target audience is and tell your brand’s story in a concise, clear way that’s relevant to them & their needs.
- Stay in your lane – know what you excel at and constantly put that message out. Don’t worry with what other companies are doing, or think that other companies are doing xyz, so I need to also do xyz; your skills are different & unique to you and your company and the tactics the other company is taking probably isn’t a good fit for your skills! Don’t copy other brands or your brand will become a big jumble of several brands, and end up not having your own, unique voice.
- Your strategy should not just to build it once and forget it – always be tweaking it to adjust to changing needs in your industry.
- Be transparent and authentic when interacting with your community. If you choose to solely promote your business and sell your products/services, you’ll quickly fail because no one likes to be sold to; be community driven and inspire your followers to be brand ambassadors for you. Remember: It’s not about what your business gets out of social media… It’s about what your followers can get out of social media!
Here are 7 steps for a basic social media strategy to boost brand awareness:
- Identify who you are as a company & brand. What is your brand’s value proposition that sets you a part from everyone else? What’s your story? Then craft content that best tells your story in a way that your followers can relate to.
- Set up a content strategy. Think, “If our company is xyz, what are the different buckets I can divide content into”? This allows you to know ahead of time that you need so many images created, videos filmed, how much filler content you need, etc. Get organized and remove the stress of content planning! And remember: People interact with brands who don’t talk about themselves that much – get them to talk about their needs/problems/goals, to provide real value to your customers.
- how many product images or other graphics do you need
- videos – how many & what kind of videos do you need
- lifestyle posts that show you interacting with the world
- motivational quotes (if applicable to your brand!)
- inspirational stories your customers can relate to & apply to their lives
- user generated content – get permission to share pics & stories!!
- collaborate with industry influencers – be sure to develop a relationship first, don’t just ask for their endorsement
- press releases for the media about product launches, special events, etc.
- Community Management. This is a HUGE part of social media management. Develop a plan to manage online customer service – know who is going to respond to customer comments & direct messages and when. Will you use bots for auto-responders?
Develop a plan to reach out to new audiences by going into relevant brand’s followers and engaging with them in a non-selly way.
Use geo-tags for places around your business where your audience hangs out and interact there.
Follow hashtags. See who is talking about you & your industry and engage with them.
- Use social media ads to advertise your business to potential customers and reach a larger audience. A Best Practice is to use your daily content to draw people in, then use ads to sell your products/services & capture content info so you can market them off of social media.
- Know your end game. There is value in growing brand equity (the value perceived by customers who have had memorable, positive experiences with a company). A well-known brand name can generate more revenue; the brand can add significant value when it is well recognized and has positive associations in the mind of the consumer. So, think beyond just generating more sales and leads; grow and nurture your following and word of mouth marketing will spread faster than ever.
- Start thinking about implementing an influencer strategy. What kind of budget will you need for this? Remember: Influencers don’t hand out their endorsements lightly! You need to first make a connection with them personally so they can get to know you; then you can ask for their endorsement. But don’t offer it for free – they need to be compensated, so make it worth their while.
- Analyze. Develop a strategy to measure metrics that matter. Identify that a spike is likely because of a partnership or some other intended action. Sometimes, it’s not clear why but that’s fine!! Use common sense and allow yourself to make educated guesses!! Define what success means to you, not what other say is success. If you want more engagement, then seeing that there are more comments and back & forth conversations between your followers is success!
Allow these steps to develop and keep building off your successes – this won’t happen in 1 month, 6 months, or maybe even a year. Developing relationships on social media takes time, just like it does in real life. And just because you think you provide a good reason for people to do business with you doesn’t mean it’s a good reason in the mind of your customer – you are not your ideal customer, so don’t do things you think are good… think like your customer and authentically tell your brand’s story in a way that means something to them. That’s how you’ll succeed on social media today.