You know you have an audience using social media. You know social media is a relatively inexpensive way to reach a targeted group of people. But you don’t know how to choose the right platform, or how to make it the right platform.
You have a journey ahead of you. Here are the first steps:
1. Know your brand voice, and stick to it
2. Know your audience, and stay relevant
3. Set your goals, and measure to them
4. Build credibility
5. Understand your brand within specific platforms
That’s right—the first steps are about your business profile, not about a post or a tweet. A well-built business profile can do wonders for your brand, because your social media accounts are basically landing pages for each platform. In that way, you should consider your social accounts as extensions of your store front.
Don’t take Rogue’s word for it: Social Media Examiner stated that 87% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses.That’s huge.
Your social media platforms draw people in with relatable or intriguing content, and then funnel that audience towards a specific goal.
1. Know Your Brand Voice, and Stick to It
Brand Voice is what makes you identifiable—similar to when your friends say, “That sounds like something she’d say,” but this time for your brand. Don’t Coke ads sound like Coke ads? Don’t Apple commercials sound like Apple commercials?
That’s brand voice.
It sets the bar for expectations, and it helps with deliverables and goals by keeping everything cohesively on track. In Sprout Social’s words, “By maintaining your fundamental beliefs across content, advertising and social media posts, you create similar experiences. These recognizable actions help drive people through your marketing funnel.”
You may already have your brand voice figured out. But if you’re looking to tune it up, here are some of the questions we use at Rogue to help clients identify their brand voice:
- What are you trying to do? Are you helping your customer be smarter, or more efficient? More reliable, or more agile? Back it up in what and how you write.
- Who are you? And by “you,” we mean your brand. Take a look at your competitors and find the real differences. Does your unique expertise come through in your website, demos, videos, ads, and more?
- What should people feel when they interact with your brand? Here’s a tough question that can get you closer to that answer: What do your employees feel? What do you want your employees to feel? That can play a key role in your brand voice.
- When a customer is upset, what response would they find most valuable? Knowing your audience helps you know how to speak to them, and it never matters more than when they are upset. Meet their expectations, and you will earn their loyalty.
Brand voice both embodies and expresses the brand's personality and set of values. It's about the people that make up the brand – the things that drive them, their loves and hates, and what they want to share with the world.
2. Know Your (Social Media) Audience
Your company has invested in several marketing initiatives, like PPC, PR, marketing automation, etc. And you’re gathering data from those efforts by the truckload. Here’s one more way to use the systems you already have in place to know and reach your audience.
When Rogue gets a client’s social media up and running, there are some initial best practices that we follow:
- Install a Facebook tracking pixel on your site.
- Remarket to people on Facebook who have already shown interest in your site.
- Use form fill contacts to create look-alike audiences in Facebook.
- Your Facebook retargeting pixel will also give you access to an audience on Instagram.
- Hashtags are where people go to find similar interests. Use them to find people posting there, and implement a follow/like strategy to grow your own audience.
- LinkedIn does not have retargeting pixels, but you do have the ability—as an individual—to interact with the people that like your ads and posts.
When you know your audience, your brand can create the right content to generate buzz and engage your ideal consumer.
3. Set Your Goals, and Measure to Them
You’ve already learned (and probably mourned) that you can’t put a check-out form on a social media page. So while your CEO may want revenue from social media efforts, you know that social media is at least one step removed from the actual revenue model.
So if you can’t attribute every dollar in new business to a Facebook post, then what do you hope or expect to get out of social media? Consider your brand’s current weaknesses and where your brand could use some improvement.
Rogue’s view of social media is that you should be driving toward a specific goal so that the ROI you measure is defined and clear. No clear goal? No clear ROI. Here are a few examples of how social media can help you drive towards a goal:
- Brand Awareness – Social media is one of the most stress-free and profitable digital marketing platforms that can be used to increase your business visibility. Gain awareness through use of relevant hashtags, relatable account tagging, follow strategy, and location tagging. These make you visible and increase your chances of being seen by a current or potential audience as well as boosting your SEO.
- Customer Retention – Remember Sally Sue who bought “X” product 6-12 months ago? She’s probably almost ran out, which makes this your chance to remind her of why she purchased from your company in the first place. Create a promotion “GiveThanks20”. Share it on the platform that Sally Sue’s demographic or lookalike audience will most likely be scrolling. This is her gentle, courting reminder from your brand, AND it’s a gift.
- Sales Funnel Acceleration – While you don’t want your social media to be one “Buy Now” ad after another (and your audience doesn’t want that, either!), you can still support the sales funnel by solving the problems your audience needs your product to solve. Are you in enterprise IT infrastructure? Talk about one aspect of digital transformation that many people get wrong—then link over to your site for more info. That’s where they will be met with a call to action to fill out a form or make purchase, and it will be at a more appropriate time and place than on your site. It’s a win-win for both you and your audience.
Whatever the goal might be, it is achievable through a social media campaign and easier than you might think. Reference this article if you need more goal inspiration.
4. Build Credibility
You know that credibility is trust, and trust is consistency. That’s why your brand’s credibility is built through cohesive content and thorough strategy. When each piece of content connects to your brand’s voice and addresses the right audience, it builds credibility by showing your audience that you understand what they day in and day out.
Rogue starts this process by researching the competitors within your industry on social media to see what they’ve done in the past and how they’ve improved—and where they’re falling short.
Questions to keep in mind:
- What message are they delivering through their content?
- If you could limit their brand voice to 3 adjectives, how would you describe it?
- Is their content cohesive, is it aligned with their voice, message, and aesthetic?
- How are they utilizing each platform?
Brands that have been successful on social have figured out what sets them apart from their competition, and they use it to their advantage in every single way possible. Know who you are, and own it.
5. Choosing the Right Platform
Think of social media platforms as individual stores. The audience for the platform is browsing the different “stores” expecting to see a variety of visuals on display that pertain to the “store” they’ve entered. The “stores” for B2B and B2C might mesh and seem to “sell” similar ideas, but they’re all uniquely tailored to specific demographics, mindsets, and aesthetic. You’ve probably already picked several platforms for your brand, and they are the right ones. Here’s how to make the right platforms stay the right platforms.
Each platform has unique image requirements, which means that as a brand, you should never “recycle” images from one platform to another. Mismatched images that don’t fit your As a company, formatting is important because it shows users that you know how to operate within their realm, and you respect it. It’s professional.
For specifics on formatting, reference this article.
But beyond image dimensions, what should you do with your social images and posts?
A general rule of thumb for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is to keep it simple with the captioning while staying on brand. Though each platform caters to specific demographics and mindsets, the general public interacts most with easily digestible messaging that is simple, relatable, and/or useful.
LinkedIn, however, goes in a different direction. Longer posts that examine a concept are more successful that the short, punchy fare that occupies other platforms.
Check out Hootsuite’s blog post on ideal social media post length for more details.
From the topics you address to the look and feel of every image, the consistency—or lack thereof—will make or break your social media account. Many brands will treat their social media accounts like a storage closet where they can throw anything and no one will care.
But that’s not your brand. Your brand is keenly aware that your audience trusts your audience to provide relevant, cohesive content...and you know that trust costs much less to earn than it does to earn back.
Video length changes for each platform as well. Hubspot took a plunge into the analytics. They found that users interact best when the video length is as follows:
Keep in mind that these recommendations are different from the limits and allowances per platform. These recommendations are specifically based on user behavior and analytics. In recent years, or rather decades, the human attention span has nose dived from 12 seconds to nearly 6-8. In other words, a consumer’s attention span is now less than that of your average goldfish.
Putting It All into Action
Much like the human attention span, social media platforms are constantly evolving. They enhance their applications and features frequently, which means there is always a new skill to conquer. Knowing your brand, your audience, your goals, and your platform make it easier to keep pace with endless modifications. Stick to who you are as a brand, and create unyielding credibility.
You’ve got this; and when you need help, the team at Rogue is here to help.