Navigating Business in the Age of Social Media
The internet has become an unnavigable space for some of us with so many new trends spiralling around every day. Social media has become a black hole of selfies, news, promotions and hashtags to many.
This can make it hard to see what you actually want to see. Especially for businesses, you know your audience is among these masses, but it is increasingly difficult to reach them organically. The value of social media is immeasurable when you know who you’re posting for.
Forming a connection
Part of what makes social media so valuable for businesses is its ability to form a connection with potential customers, build rapport and grow your brand personality. It gives you more breadth to be jokey, or raise awareness of important causes, offering more details about your products and services to those that are interested in your brand. Learn more about constructing your brand narrative here.
There are plenty of ways to approach your brand’s social accounts.
We have split them into the 5 R’s of social media use.
Essentially the most common approaches to social media content.
The 5 R’s of Social Media Use
Your social media content is brainstormed early on, giving you a good range of ideas to draw from in the future. We recommend tagging your content by category e.g. promotional, soft sell, brand story, facts, interactions and competitions. This can really help with identifying how your brand comes across to the public. If you only post offers or hard sells, it’s harder for the consumer to relate to you.
Perhaps you don’t have an initial bank of copywriting and are more suited to following relevant trends and reaching your audience when they’re looking for you. Brands such as Aldi and Specsavers do this, offering fresh advertising and memes which they can organically build into the conversation. Keep an eye on growing trends and direct competitors to see what’s happening around you.
Our best suggestion on this list. Have a bank of content ready to go, but ensure that you are sharing relevant content in-line with current trends when possible to help boost your visibility further. If someone visits your socials, you want to ensure there is a varied feed of interesting content available, but also evidence of a brand that cares about socio-political issues or is willing to get in on a joke.
Your content may be regular, but is it varied enough? It is good to adhere to a consistent theme or custom template, however, there is a line. Vary your content. Use a range of photography, short-form clips and reels, long-form videos and explanatory graphics. Experiment with feed content, stories, reels and live events to reach your target audience from different angles.
Hopefully you don’t fit in this category! The value of social media to your business is as big as your investment in it. Even just regular, thoughtful posts every week are more valuable than empty accounts or pages that haven’t been resurrected in a few years. 💀
What next? ✨
So, you want to create fresh and engaging content, but where is it going to be seen? Which social media platform is best for my business?
Know your audience 👥
First of all, it depends on how well you know your audience. You may have an idea of the interests of your target market, but it may be worth validating this to ensure your brand is being angled in the right direction.
Hashtag use #⃣
It is worth building a bank of relevant hashtags to ensure that your content is appearing in different places. You could even rank these by how popular they are, to ensure you are sharing a mix of popular and more niche tags to reach different people.
Hashtags can definitely be overused, but also under-utilised too. We would recommend including around 7 to 9 hashtags per post for Instagram and 4 to 5 for Twitter. This offers variation but doesn’t flood your audience’s newsfeed.
Immerse yourself 🤳
We would also recommend following accounts in similar fields to your brand to appear in the same places. You need to understand the market from a first-person perspective. This gives you insight into what others are talking about. Being aware of the market, you can determine how your brand stands out from the rest.
Platform Tombola 📲
And then the new-age old question, which social media platforms are worth investing in?
The answer to this question is linked to how well you know your audience.
The more research and test marketing you perform, the better your audience data will be. This means you can align your brand with platforms populated by the right personal demographics such as age, gender, interests.
See our graphic below with a breakdown of each platform and its typical audience. Knowing Snapchat from Tiktok will be as easy as knowing your knee from your elbow.
Hone your audience
It is important for us to stress that you do not need to juggle every platform. It is best to narrow it down to suit the key demographics of your audience.
For example, if you’re selling SaaS. Since this is B2B-focused, you are more likely to target your audience on Twitter and LinkedIn, which are more dominated by corporate brands.
If you’re selling eco-friendly phone cases you would be more likely to target Instagram with optimum space for imagery and videography to showcase the product. There is also a more social and eco-conscious audience here. TikTok is also a good option to reach younger users.
Even here at BrandRefinery, as a UK marketing agency, we opt to use LinkedIn, Twitter and PPC advertising as the majority of our communications are B2B. Everyone has their niche and understanding the most valuable social media platforms for you can boost engagement and save time too.
Test the waters
There are obviously products that span across these audience demographics such as books, tech or food/beverages for example.
We would recommend testing these audiences with social advertising to get an advantageous insight into who is clicking and engaging with your content, and then focusing on those markets. Check out our blog on test advertising here.
The value comes from within
Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Tiktok or Pinterest – your brand fits in. It’s just a process of carving out your space and finessing your content.
If you would like any support in your social media journey, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 01905 928485.
Happy posting! 🧑💻