Social Media Secret Sauce: 5 Tips For Making Your Brand Stand Out

By: Aasha Collins, Social Media Manager at The Tylt

Within the past year, global social media users grew from 288
million to 3.48 billion, which means that nearly half (45 percent)
of the world’s population is now active on social media. As
people continue to flock to these platforms to experience and share
their favorite content, brands need to to find and connect with
their audiences effectively, otherwise, they risk being lost in the
shuffle.
Read on for five winning tips to make your brand stand out on
social media. 

Establish a Personalized Brand Voice One of
the key elements to creating a winning social media strategy is to
ensure that your brand’s voice shines through. A brand’s voice
on social should be an extension of the overall brand voice and
reflect its vibe and personality. Is the brand informative or
entertaining? Sarcastic or playful? Formal or informal? Now, that
all depends on your brand guidelines, what type of market you
operate in, and who the audiences are. If a brand sells fast food,
the brand’s tone may be more casual and light-hearted. If a brand
specializes in enterprise software, the voice may sound more
professional and informative. 

Before establishing what your brand’s tone is, it’s
important to understand how you want your audience to perceive your
business. The most successful brands on social media that captivate
and engage audiences all have one thing in common: they serve up
relatable content that their audiences look forward to viewing. If
your audience connects with your brand’s personality, it
increases your chances in building trust, and as a result, can lead
to increased advocacy from your followers. 

Social media content sharing is also a huge opportunity for
brands to gain exposure. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers
trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type
of advertising. WebFX notes that 72 percent of brand followers are
more likely to make a future purchase from a brand that they follow
and engage with on social.

The Power of Creativity There is an unlimited
amount of creative opportunities your brand can seize to create
long-lasting impressions and facilitate meaningful discussions on
social media. With Instagram’s recently enhanced Explore feature,
brands are expanding their social media strategies to get more
users to view and engage with their content. Taking advantage of
new features within platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
can have a positive impact on your social media strategy by
exposing the brand to different audiences and content
formats. 

With over 400 million active daily users on Instagram Stories,
brands are also experimenting with features like polling and
Q&As to engage followers and crowdsource for feedback. These
features help brands to be creative and spark conversation with
their followers. The Q&A feature, in particular, can be a
powerful tool for brands and influencers who want to communicate in
a more personalized way, gather feedback on a topic or product, and
further show a commitment to addressing the questions and concerns
of their communities. Try using Instagram Stories to drive interest
in a campaign or to generate discussion around topical events or
news. Another useful result of polling your audience on social is
that your brand may see an uptick in user-generated content as
followers weigh in on debates. This is beneficial because
user-generated content, like polling results, quotes or memes, can
help brands understand audiences better, improves engagement, and
generate content that can be used for future marketing campaigns.
Brands can also leverage Instagram Stories to create shareable
content and engage with new audiences. If your content is targeted
at the right audience, it can increase your chances in having
followers re-post your content on their Stories feed. As a result,
your brand can connect with new audiences it may not have
considered targeting before.

Instagram Stories can also further showcase your brand’s
personality. With features available such as moving graphics,
emojis and different text overlay options, brands can get creative
and test new approaches and styles before determining what
resonates best with their audience. Some brands may show off their
bright personalities by using colorful text overlay while others
may show off their playful personality by posting polls that ask
their audience humorous questions. 

Within Instagram Stories, several brands are using the highlight
feature because it allows their audience to quickly discover and
view their content over and over again. By using this feature, your
brand can extend the shelf life of existing content and categorize
it for better user experience. Some companies may categorize
different stories they have posted so users can quickly find the
content they are searching for. For example, highlight stories can
be separated by topics such as FAQ’s, new product launches, or
partner collaborations. 
With the increased desire to view video content, IGTV has become a
popular feature among brands. IGTV allows brands to create
personalized channels that their audiences can subscribe to.
According to Vimeo, 80% of consumers would rather watch live video
from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a
brand to social posts. This is why it is important to try different
video channels on social to engage and spark conversations with
your audience. 

The Live feature on Instagram and Facebook is another way to
increase engagement and interact with fans and followers. For
example, retailers may opt to host a Live stream to conduct live
FAQ ahead of, or after a product launch. Brands can also use Live
to share experiences at conferences, stream how-to tutorials, give
advice, show what the brand culture is like, or just to say hi to
the community.

Offer a Healthy Mix of Content Brands that
have the highest engagement rates on social media tend to have a
healthy mix of content and don’t inundate their following with
promotional material. Solely posting promotional content is a sure
fire way to turn off your followers and can lead to a decrease in
engagement rates. 

So, how do you know when to post? And how do you know the type
of content that will produce the winning result?
Every social media expert has their own rule for when and how to
strike a balance in the content mix. Rather than drawing a strict
line between promotional and other content, brands should create a
content mix that varies between entertaining, educational, and
shareable – based on what their audience cares about.

While user behavior is always evolving, the best times to post
content that people engage with differs on each platform. Sprout
Social notes that the best times to post to Facebook is on
Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m, as these times produce the highest
level of engagement. For Instagram, the time people engage with
video content the most is Friday at 9 a.m. For Twitter, the highest
engagement periods are on Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9
a.m.

It isn’t enough to know when the best time to post content is.
It is also important to have a diverse content strategy in place to
help keep your followers interested and connected. Try adding
personality to your content mix so your audience can learn more
about your brand and its employees. For example, posting an
employee spotlight post across your brand’s social channels that
recognize the employee of the month, or an employee on their
birthday can humanize your brand.

Social media isn’t all about converting sales. It’s about
interacting with your brand’s audience and creating long-lasting
impressions. With that said, your brand should actively follow
social trends and identify how to be involved in a conversation.
Most importantly, your brand should also look to add value to
conversations with followers. If your brand can elevate the
conversation about a topic that appeals to your audience, followers
will pay attention. 

Create Content that is Highly Shareable. Have
you ever wondered how a brand created a specific piece of content
that went viral on social media? That brand tapped into its
audience interests and used that information to create highly
shareable content. Now, how can your brand do that?
People want to find the content they are interested in and relate
to. A few types of content that tend to be widely shared across
different social media channels include inspirational posts, quote
cards, GIFs, and memes. Posts that are informative, humorous or
emotionally uplifting also tend to be highly shareable. According
to Psychology Today, consumers use emotions vs. information, to
evaluate brands on social media. Positive and uplifting emotions
can have a particularly strong impact on consumer loyalty and
advocacy. 

After you tap into the topics your audience is interested in, it
is important that you make it easy for your audience to share the
content with their friends and family members. You can accomplish
this by encouraging followers to share content by providing an
incentive. For example, brands can bring out the competitive nature
in their followers by providing a free prize to the 100th or
1,000th follower to share a post by adding a specific hashtag. This
can result in an increase in followers and engaged audiences.
Brands can also create content that focuses on an individual
person. This level of personalization makes people feel like they
have been seen and heard by the brands they interact with. If your
brand can develop a piece of content that accurately appeals to a
specific audience, it is more likely to be shared. 

Developing a Successful Influencer Strategy.
Before hiring an influencer, it is critical to find the right
individual who is relevant to the brand and can forge a connection
with your audience back to your brand. If an influencer does not
have this type of connection to your brand, you may risk paying for
a strategy that will not produce the desired results. 
Influencer marketing campaigns can be a great strategy for brands
who want to release a new product, target a certain audience,
generate buzz or drive traffic to their site. Although there are
several benefits to running and managing influencer campaigns, the
ultimate challenge is making sure conversations and engagement with
your brand don’t fizzle out after the campaign ends. This is why
it is essential to work with an influencer who will create a
lasting impact for your brand.  

Well established brands like Adidas and Zara work with
influencers to drive traffic and increase sales through social
media. Over the past year, there has been a shift from consumer
interest in macro to micro-influencers — people who may have an
influence in a particular focused area, and have a highly targeted
following. Macro-influencers, which large name brands work with to
carry out specific campaigns, can come with a hefty price tag. The
rise of micro-influencers makes influencer strategy more accessible
for different size companies. According to HubSpot, on average,
micro-influencers, receive 0.10% higher engagement rates than macro
influencers. This suggests micro-influencers, while smaller are
potentially mightier for your brand because they have dedicated
followings that will gain exposure to your content.

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Social Media Secret Sauce: 5 Tips For Making Your Brand Stand
Out
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Social Media Secret Sauce: 5 Tips For Making Your Brand Stand Out