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Is your brand getting the most out of social media?

The age of social media has been upon us for years now. Following the now comparatively short success and rapid decline of the likes of MySpace, MSN and Bebo (if you’re old enough to remember), we’ve seen the social media giants – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest seeping their way into our daily lives, and staying put.

It’s likely that social media is now ingrained in your daily life. Whether it’s an instinctive Instagram story binge in bed, tagging your friends in memes on Facebook, or checking Twitter as opposed to the news – the average person in the UK spends almost 2 hours per day scrolling, liking, tagging, super zooming and watching. It’s safe to say, social is here to stay, but the question is – ‘is your brand benefitting?’.

Take a look at our five questions to ask yourself about social media for your brand.

1. Are my target audience there?

The holy grail of social media marketing, are you speaking to the right people? You may still live and breathe Facebook, and so may your mum and 2.19 billion other people in the world, but if they’re not your target audience, why are you wasting your valuable time talking to them? If your demographic doesn’t actively use the platform, your brand won’t be a part of their daily life. Simple.

2. Will it add value?

Sure, you may manage to get some serious likes on Instagram by utilising some popular #’s, but is that really adding value to your business? Are these people helping to fulfil your business objective? Vanity metrics, as we refer to them, can in many cases be pretty worthless. The key to building any brand via social media is to focus on an overarching goal. This could be increasing web conversions, sales or enquiries, improving brand awareness, (which may mean you do want to focus on improving follower numbers) or simply finding your key audience in the first place.

3. Does it align with my brand?

This one’s pretty obvious – but you’d be surprised how often businesses forget they are representing their brand on social media, too. The content used on social media needs to align with your brand and business goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t be personal, fun and approachable, it just means you need to remember it isn’t ‘yours’ – unless of course, you are your brand.

4. Are you diluting your message?

There really is nothing worse than regurgitating posts. Posting content across loads of platforms in the hope you’ll make an impact is likely to leave you with nothing more than frustration and wasted time. The irony is, you’re actually diluting your message. Focus on creating posts that engage specifically with each platforms audience, use the platform-specific features and tailor your content to work for the platform and users.

For example, a high street beauty brand may post beautiful branded content over Facebook and Instagram, and regular Youtube tutorials to their channel, but use Linkedin purely to raise their profile from a business point of view, promote their CSR content and look for talented people to join their team. This doesn’t mean LinkedIn ‘isn’t right’ for the business, it means the content posted on LinkedIn needs to be right for the LinkedIn audience. The key here is to set platform-specific goals and focus content around those. Post the content that engages and informs in the right way, on the right platform.

5. Am I over promoting the business?

Users want social media to feel inclusive, personal and all in all – about them. In a selfish world, nobody cares about your business, unless you can help them in some way. Promoting your ‘excellent amenities and 25-year reputation’ is very unlikely to engage anyone alongside another 50 posts that all in all mean the same thing. Focusing on engaging users in the first place, with an emphasis on driving their journey towards your brand goals with quality content, calls to action and landing pages will have a much bigger impact than talking about your brand 24/7 with no follow-up or journey to follow.

To summarise…

I’m sorry to say, there is no foolproof rule when it comes to social media, but – the key is to establish your audience, focus on engagement and find out what works for your brand. Trial and error may feel as though you don’t know what you’re doing, but one of the biggest fails when it comes to social is sticking to what you think you know. Find your audience, see how they engage, test the waters, trial new features and be brave – after all, bold content is the stuff that puts your brand on the map.

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