Social Media Branding; Choosing Your Platform, Wisely
Have you ever seen the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? If not, stop what you are doing and go directly to Netflix. It’s a great film. There is a scene (and for the three people who have never seen the movie this is a HUGE SPOILER ALERT) at the end of the movie where Indiana Jones must find the holy grail. Countless cups and chalices are surrounding him, and he must choose the one that will save them all. In this cave of wonders sits an ancient knight, passing judgment on those who are looking for the sacred cup. This scene always comes to mind when I talk about social media branding. Businesses are faced with a myriad of choices, but must choose wisely, for those who try to tackle every social media platform are doomed to fail in their quest. Today we offer some things to think about regarding social media branding for your business. Hopefully, we can guide you on your journey and help you to choose wisely.
Questions To Ask About Your Social Media Branding
In the past decade, social media has become a force to be reckoned with, changing the way brands communicate and interact with their customers. Social media is no fad, and now countless business articles are pointing to the value of these platforms; pushing companies to join. From Facebook to Linkedin and Twitter to Pinterest, it is easy to want to jump on the bandwagon and sign up, especially since the majority of these platforms are free! There are a couple of fundamental questions that any business person should ask themselves before they try to implement any social media branding. Failure to do so would represent a bad choice indeed.
Who is my brand's audience?
This seems like a straightforward answer, but it isn't always. Your brand's audience apparently includes the people that purchase your goods or services. Your core customers are your top priority, so who are they? Are they a broad target, like mothers who buy household goods? Or do you have a niche audience? In addition to your core consumer, do you have other stakeholders that you want to engage on social media? For example, do you have a large staff spread across the country? Do you work with distributors or vendors? To whom are you trying to communicate your company's core message? They need to be included in your audience.
How does this audience want to engage with my brand? This is a trickier question to answer, but an important one. How do you communicate with your stakeholders? What do they want to know? Is your product or service very technical or could you sell to the average consumer? Remember that this is social media, where the emphasis is on the word social. What do your clients want to know when they talk WITH you. These are not one-way communications, so how can you create a dialog with your stakeholders?
Often, we encourage companies to look beyond the technical and sales aspects of their business and offer the human side of things; a look into the culture of the business not just what the company sells. Ultimately you want to find your biggest fans online and find a way to turn them into ambassadors for your organization. These will be the people that comment on your photos and will share your posts with their friends. What do they want to talk about?
Where is my brand's audience?
At this point, you have answered the who and the what of understanding social media branding. Now you have to ask yourself where are these types of conversations taking place. You may be surprised to learn that Facebook, despite being the biggest social media player, is not the right fit for your company. Businesses that sell highly specialized products or services to other firms have a hard time making a dent on Facebook simply because that platform is not where hyper-business-centric conversations happen. Linkedin is often a great platform for B2B business, given the tone and seriousness of the platform. Pinterest, in contrast, has a far more significant female demographic than men and so companies must take that into account. Complex brands may have a hard time communicating sophisticated messages 140 characters at a time, although that is not always the case. Meanwhile, even serious brands can succeed in unlikely places by understanding who and what each platform can offer and how to communicate on the social platforms.
What kind of time does my brand have to spend on social media?
The world of social media is vast. Social media platforms aren't just limited to the top five players; anywhere consumers can engage with the brand should be considered a social media opportunity. Sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Youtube all fall under the header of social media platforms. Any of these sites have the ability to drive awareness, engagement and sales to your business but only if you make a commitment to monitoring and cultivating online relationships there.
Often this is far too daunting of a task in conjunction with the daily duties of running your business. Social media, when done well can be a boon to your business. When done poorly or infrequently it can make your company look out of touch or even out of business. This doesn't mean that your business has to miss the boat on social media. It may only mean you can't do it by yourself.
That's where companies like Seafoam Media come in. We can help answer all of these questions and more, helping you to get back to the business of running your business. If you don't know where to begin with your social media branding, contact Seafoam Media today. We can offer a free audit to determine your best practices to finding the holy grail of your social media strategy and engagement. Let us help you on your quest to grow your business digitally.
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