With 3.48 billion people on social media globally and 4.6 million on social media in Singapore, the power to reach out to your target audience and its branding and marketing potential is immense. Yet, with the multitude of social media platforms available – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube – which platform(s) should you focus on for the best engagement?
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
1. Increase Brand Awareness
While having a good, organised and updated corporate website is important for any business, online brand awareness nowadays goes way beyond that. Most brands use one or more social media platforms to set up a corporate page but not all know how to use social media as an extension of the corporate PR: to be where the customers are, share your brand story and engage customers with a variety of content, be it captivating images, viral videos, engaging podcasts or informative blogs.
2. Maximise Customer and Audience Engagement
Engaging your existing and potential customers should be different at various brand engagement stages – awareness, consideration, purchase, loyalty and advocacy. Social media are good channels to interact with and communicate with customers at different brand engagement stages.
At this stage, a customer is first introduced to your brand, what you stand for and your product or service offerings. Creating and promoting content that relates to your brand values is important. Brands may wish to share visually captivating content, and create contests for potential customers to better understand your brand.
As the name implies, customers are considering to purchase from you but are not completely convinced yet. Research has shown that customers will actively seek and read reviews posted by other customers, as a benchmark of the product quality or service experience. You may wish to proactively share or repost some good reviews by existing customers to share positive experiences with your brand.
At the active purchase seeking stage, how can a brand win a potential customer over? Many times, brands will offer various options, from free trials, guaranteed purchase return, discounts or gift with purchase, to entice customers who are still deciding. Remarketing efforts to consumers who are following your page or previously engaged with your posts will be a good way to engage these interested customers.
Upon the first purchase, customers enter the loyalty stage. For higher customer retention, you may wish to engage in proactive customer product or service review. Such feedback will be invaluable for your brand to strive for continuous product or service improvements. Loyalty programmes and incentives will encourage customers to proactively share good review posts on their personal social media accounts. This is definitely a good start to word-of-mouth marketing.
Converting loyal customers into brand advocates naturally. Let your customers refer friends and family to you. There is no better catalyst than a good endorsement from trusted friends and family. Referral perks are a great way for your customers to spread the good word about your brand and allows continued word-of-mouth marketing.
3. Can’t Do without Good Social Media Content and Plan
Producing good content on your social media is the key determinant on what makes someone click that “follow” button or what makes your followers stay! Investing in creating quality content like visually pleasing images, and captivating videos will result in higher brand and follower engagement.
Over time, brands need to evaluate and understand what type of content your target audience is interested in, so as to engage them continuously and stay top-of-mind.
Having a social media plan serves many purposes and provides many benefits. Planning your social media content in advance allows you to create and curate better content that will result in higher engagement among your followers. It also improves efficiency and ensures that you are posting regularly without fretting about what to post on a daily basis! Use social media planning tools to schedule your content and posts.
4. Create Profiles on Multiple Platforms
The next question that comes to mind is which social media platform or platforms should your brand select to engage the right target audience? Well, every platform has its uniqueness and strengths.
I know it, you know it. The predominant group of people that are active on Facebook are older – so if that’s the audience that you’re targeting, Facebook will be effective in increasing awareness for your brand. Don’t forget that the predominant group has also the income and spending power.
Instagram is visual, simple and does the best job in increasing brand awareness among the younger generation more so than any other platform. Remember, your content will need to be visually-captivating to be Insta-worthy.
LinkedIn is a professional platform where businesses and professionals connect. It is the right platform to build strong brand awareness, especially to attract the right talent to join your company in the future. It’s also great for lead generation and for building reputations for your company’s thought leaders.
Let’s be real, viral videos never fail to reach a wide group of audience. Viral videos have proven to deliver a higher ROI for businesses. YouTube has the highest potential for your videos to reach a wide audience. Your YouTube videos are easily linked and sharable on your business Facebook or Instagram pages.
It seems apparent that B2C businesses work best on Facebook and Instagram while B2B businesses should opt for LinkedIn and Facebook. Yet many businesses create profiles across the various platforms to share different content to reach different target audiences.
5. Paid Engagement
Truth be told, having great content on social media platforms nowadays is not enough. Brands need to invest in paid advertisements to reach active users on social media. But brands can start small in advertising investments and select a very specific target audience to test the effectiveness of different messages and content.
6. Engage Relevant Influencers
Research has shown that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing strategy for customer acquisition on social media platforms. Engaging an influencer who has a large audience that overlaps with your target audience allows your brand to receive more awareness from the right people.
The other school of thought is moving away from influencers with a large number of followers to micro-influencers with authentic, focused content and genuine followers. Micro-influencers have a much more compact and targeted audience, allowing them to have better engagement with their followers. Plus, they are perceived to be more authentic which would make their followers more inclined to trust their reviews and try your products.
We’re living in an era where the best businesses are the ones that thrive on social media. Once you find the best way to present your brand across the various social media platforms, you are on your way to achieving brand awareness and engagement for your business.