When it comes to social media for brands, it is vital that they are strategic with the content they produce. To avoid falling into the mix of the millions of tweets and Instagram pictures posted each day, companies must have a well-calculated plan that allows them to strengthen their brand and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
One of the first steps to a good social media strategy is to set your goals, both branding, and revenue-based. Some questions to ask at this stage are “Who is our customer? How do we want to present the brand? What are our intentions in being active on social media? What is my audience interested in?”. By doing this, you can establish your target audience. Based on your chosen audience, you can then determine the platforms you want to stream content on; this can include choosing from sites such as YouTube, where, for example, video advertisements and influencer marketing are highly relevant, compared to Facebook, where click-ads are common and the age demographic is significantly older compared to other platforms. The basis of this choice should include, at the least, the content you are looking to produce and the demographics you are attempting to reach.
What determines a brand’s success on social media is whether or not they can gain a following or attention to their brand. Social media is all about sharing content with an audience, who then shares it amongst each other, so your goal should be to get people talking. Here are three principles of social media that are important to focus on: visuals, engagement, and purpose. Especially on platforms where visuals are the core focus, it is essential that brands produce content that is aesthetically-pleasing. Using creativity and elements of design should help you in accomplishing this element. It also cannot be overstated how important engaging with your audience is; this includes creating content they can connect to and in which they can find something of value, following trends, responding to their comments, and overall, reaching out in any way that allows you to feel a personal connection blooming between you and the audience. Purpose also is necessary when it comes to creating content. There must be a reason that you are putting out the content you are for your target audience; what are you providing them with? Always maintaining strong and specific intentions will create consistency among your platforms.
Strategic Social Media Success
Many brands have found great success in branding themselves on social media. Here are some of my favorite examples.
Wendy’s is a classic example of engaging audiences on social media, specifically on Twitter. By using humor and banter against other fast-food companies, they have created a following around 3.5 million people. They also used social media to their advantage in an effort to re-release their spicy chicken nuggets (that took less than to two days to meet the goal), as seen in the following tweet.
Another favorite brand that is always on top of their game when it comes to social media strategy is Starbucks. They have a great balance of engagement, product advertisement, and visually-appealing photos.
The trending beauty brand, Glossier, knows how to use aesthetics to their advantage. They incorporate messages of self-love and inclusion, along with visually-appealing posts and relatable tweets, to promote their skincare and makeup brand.
Rebekah Green is majoring in communications studies. Give her a follow on Twitter @rebekahgreen01!