Just like any other trending topic, social media has become a buzzword and a tool that marketers, brands, and executives are using to gain attention and reach the desired audience.
However, while most people know what social media is and how it works, fewer know exactly what it means to be a social-led brand.
According to Hubspot, social-led brands use everything about their social media presence in their marketing and branding campaigns. It primarily depends on how it interacts on social media.
Simply put, a social-led brand is a business or organization that utilizes one or more of the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to grow its business.
These brands generally focus on gaining brand loyalty and increasing sales via social media.
What is a Social Media Platform?
A social media platform is a website or app designed to connect people (i.e. followers or customers) with brands or businesses.
The most popular social media platforms are:
Each platform functions similarly, allowing users to post content that their followers can consume.
The key differentiator between these platforms is the amount of personal information they collect from you.
While all of these platforms provide a degree of privacy control, it’s vital to understand the risks and benefits of sharing this information on each specific site.
Why Does It Matter Where You Post?
Just like any other form of content (i.e. blogs, articles, webpages, or e-books), the key to attracting and engaging with an audience via social media is by posting on relevant and engaging platforms.
When your posts are relevant and engaging, others will naturally follow and interact with you.
The challenge is in knowing where to post. Just because your product or service fits perfectly with a certain platform doesn’t mean you should post there.
Your audience needs to find value and meaning in your content, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
What kind of Content Should You Post?
The most popular social media platforms are tailored to post different content.
Facebook is a great example of this, as it was originally designed to be used for sharing personal updates and experiences.
Therefore, on Facebook, you’ll often see content related to events, thoughts, and feelings.
On the other hand, Twitter was designed to share short and concise messages, making it a great fit for content such as short articles, quizzes, or polls.
Instagram was designed with a combination of the other two platforms in mind, providing a space for users to post photos and videos related to their personal lives and highly visual content.
Thus, content posted on Instagram can be a blend of things, including photos, videos, and text.
Knowing this, you must ensure that your posts on these platforms are relevant, entertaining, and engaging.
If you can do that, you’ll find that people will come back for more and continue to use your services or buy your products.
How Much Content Should You Post?
It’s important to post regularly, but not too much. It’s easy to go overboard with posts and lose track of what’s important to your audience.
You must set a posting schedule and stick to it to avoid this. This will help you manage your content and keep your readers engaged and coming back for more.
For example, if you’ve posted regularly for your blog, you might want to take a few days off once a month to give your brain a break from writing.
During these days, you can repurpose some of your previous posts to share on other platforms, such as Twitter or Instagram.
Is This Just For Celebrities And Marketing Execs?
No, this kind of content strategy is good for everyone. Whether you’re a celebrity, an exec at a marketing firm or even an average person with a dream doesn’t matter.
The difference is in how you execute it. To start, you need to define your Brand voice and messaging.
Then, you can begin to find relevant and engaging content to share using the platforms that you’ve chosen.
Here are a few steps to start your journey to becoming a social-led brand:
Research The Demographics
Every marketing department dreams of reaching every consumer with the right message, in the right place, and at the right time. But, in practice, this is far from reality.
Marketers must consider the various demographics of their audience and tailor their strategies and tactics accordingly.
Awareness and consideration of these demographics are especially important when marketing to consumers on social media.
Facebook, for example, provides a wealth of demographic data that allows advertisers to pinpoint highly relevant audiences.
This info is useful for brands and marketers interested in getting the most traction and impact from their social media campaigns.
Building A Brand Voice
A brand’s voice can be defined as the consistent manner in which it communicates across all of its platforms: websites, emails, social media, etc.
The brand voice should reflect the brand’s goals, values, and ideals and bring consistency and cohesiveness to the whole brand marketing ecosystem.
The importance of this consistency is paramount. Suppose a brand’s message and approach differ between platforms.
In that case, the brand will lose credibility and be perceived as untrustworthy or duplicitous, even if the product or service is exactly the same.
This is a lose-lose situation for the brand.
Know The Platform Specific Tactics
Even though social media is an integrated part of most marketers’ digital marketing arsenals, every platform is slightly different.
This means that tactical approaches must be streamlined to best reach the audience on each network.
Take Facebook, for example. While the platform is a goldmine for advertisers, it also has a pretty specific audience.
Regarding demographics, it is most popular among people aged between 18 and 24 with a college or graduate degree.
It also has a significant audience in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
This means that if your target audience is located in one of these regions, your strategies for Facebook should be different than if you were targeting North Americans, for example.
Integrating Social Media Into The Mainstream
When a brand integrates social media into the structure of its marketing plans and strategies, they are no longer considered a pure-play social media agency.
Integrating social media into the main content strands of a website or other brand platforms is key to effective social media implementation.
To use an automotive analogy, consider a car manufacturer’s website. Typically, this will have some content relating to product information and reviews, and various options for consumers.
But, importantly, the site will also have prominent displays of social media content. This could take the form of a dedicated area on the site or integrated content throughout the site itself.
When designing content for a brand’s website, it is important to keep the different parts of the site in mind. The product information and reviews should be concise and easy to consume.
But the social media content, while essential, should not take the forefront and become the bulk of the content on the site.
The Importance Of Measuring The Impact Of Social Media
Brands must put in place robust measurement and analysis to determine the effectiveness of their social media strategies.
Without these tools, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not a brand’s efforts are paying off. Most brands use a combination of methods to track the success of their social media campaigns, such as:
- Analytics software: track and analyze visitor behavior across different platforms, allowing marketers to pinpoint the demographics, locations, and behaviors of their audience.
- Brand awareness and recall: marketers track the level of awareness and recall among consumers for their brand or product and evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
- Social media sites: platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that allow brands to engage with their audience daily.
- Online communities: platforms such as Reddit and Tumblr allow users to engage with each other through shared content and community-driven moderation.
The above tools can help measure the success of a brand’s online presence, but that is not the only factor to keep in mind.
The type of content being produced and shared on social media, as well as the scheduling strategies of the platform itself, can all affect a brand’s success.
For example, videos tend to perform better online than text-based content because of the medium’s ability to attract and retain visitors.
The short answer to the question about the importance of being a social-led brand is that it is very important.
Social media is here to stay, and the sooner a brand and its employees understand this, the better.
Social media has permeated pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we interact with others to the products we buy, social media plays a pivotal role in almost every aspect of our lives.
Even the way we engage with brands is changing. Consumers are more actively seeking out information about products and brands online, and social media is the perfect place to get this info.
This shift in consumer behavior has important ramifications for brands. If you want to engage with your audience and increase your reach, you need to consider how to utilize social media best seriously.