Effectiveness of Hybrid Strategies in Social Media Marketing
Marketing on social media is about more than just brand identity. Now, lead generation, retention, and customer service all take place on social media. Social is still the best place for growing brand awareness and connecting with customers, but with so much going on an organic strategy is insufficient for most brands in 2020. We’ll take a look at how you can hybridize paid and organic strategies to take social media by storm.
Why Organic Strategies Are Struggling
Organic social strategies have been at the heart of the business’s relationships with social media for years. Connecting with your customers on a free platform has always been a holy grail of marketing, and social platforms seemed to offer this service. However, recent changes to the way that posts are boosted by algorithms have seen diminishing returns on organic strategies. That doesn’t mean that organic strategies are dead in the water, as we’ll see, but to maximize returns on your marketing investments you’re going to need to hybridize your strategy. Later in the article, I’ll enumerate some tips for how organic strategies and paid social media marketing can work in harmony.
12 Hybrid Social Media Brand Awareness Strategies for 2021 and Beyond
The above strategies will get the word out there about your business, but to get to the next level and rival the big brands that have a massive following on social media, you have to apply hybrid brand awareness strategies.
Most of the conventional strategies that might have worked last year or when you were starting out won’t cut it. Remember that 3.78 billion people are on social media, a 5% increase from 2020, and there are bombarded with countless ads. How you craft your message and convey it will determine your level of success.
Here are the top 12 social media brand awareness strategies that you should start applying today.
1. Personalise your Social Media Presence
One of the mistakes that brands make it copying what their competitors are doing on social media platforms and expecting to get good results. Becoming robotic and playing safe won’t cut it. A mere link or picture of your product coupled with several popular hashtags will not help you stand out from the crowd.
The followers don’t want to be bombarded with links and promos whenever they come across your posts. Instead, you should focus on making your posts human-centric and personal. Story-driven, selfies and user-generated content is better than the conventional posts.
As a marketer, it is imperative to ensure that your content is unique and resonate with the audience. Before posting anything on social media, ask yourself, “Does this post sound like something a bot would create/say?” If the answer is YES, go back to the drawing board and create a new one.
2. Polish the Profiles
The secret to brand awareness success through social media is recognition. When prospects look at your brand, they should be able to tell what you offer and why they should do business with you. How your social media profiles are set up determines if the audience will engage with you or not.
Check out ThinkGeek logo and cover photo on Facebook. The two are the same and this ensures that users who come across the page recognise it quickly.
While at it, remember that the social media users’ attention is microscopic – you only have a few seconds to grasp their attention and convey the intended message. The only way to achieve this goal is by ensuring that your profiles are devoid of clutter and well optimised.
3. Your Posts Should Pop Out of the Page
Unlike other digital marketing platforms that calls for use of official language always, you can spice up your posts with a pinch of creativity. Check out how oVertone uses bold colours on its Instagram posts and bio to make them pop and appealing to the followers.
The use of such colours not only convey the brand’s overall and desired voice but also automatically grasp the attention of the followers. It’s almost impossible for anyone who comes across the page to not scroll down to see what the brand offers.
No need to worry if you cannot get such unique photos, stock photos can spice up your posts and achieve high engagement levels.
Concisely, you should strive to make all your social media posts aesthetically appealing. And you don’t have to be a professional graphic designer, there is a plethora of image creation tools that you can use to create eye-catching imagery.
4. Master the Art of Tagging
No man is an island and you can only achieve much if you focus on your brand alone. A brilliant way of increasing brand awareness is by tagging other brands and social media influencers to spark a conversation.
Tagging amplifies your content regardless of the topic since anyone you tag will get a notification immediately. The notification will get their attention and give you an opportunity to engage. It is also a smart way of creating positive impression with other experts in your niche.
Earlier on in this article, we talked about the importance of personalising your social media posts. Prospects love it when brands recognise them publicly, so go ahead and tag some of your loyal customers.
5. The Potent Power of Hashtags
Like tagging, use of hashtags has an immense capability of amplifying your social media posts. Posts that have related hashtags accrue more engagement than the obvious posts. They make your posts smaller, niche specific and searchable in the rumble of social media posts that the target audience is bombarded with every second.
Hashtags are a force to reckon with on social media as they help brands to market themselves to dedicated groups of potential customers and communities.
That said, you don’t have to always use common or popular hashtags to promote your posts. Go ahead and create your own hashtags to get special attention. The unique hashtags will reinforce your brand in the market and encourage other companies to follow suit.
6. Write Creative Comments
Honestly, most of the brands are too serious about how they respond to comments from their followers. Simple and boring comments such as “Nice” and “Cool” used to work but to spur engagement, you need to get out of your comfort zone and create creative comments.
Thoughtful but creative comments will give you a voice more clarity over the noise and help you to relate better with the target audience. It is also a golden opportunity to express your brand’s image and personality to prospects without creating a new post on the same.
7. Content Repurposing
In the current competitive world of business, you have to take every advantage of every opportunity to connect with potential customers that comes your way. This calls for using multiple platforms and network to promote your content.
Based on this fact, you should consider starting to repurposing content to comply with the recommended best practices of each platform or network. What works on Facebook or Twitter may not be ideal for posting on Instagram.
For instance, if you just completed a case study that is destined to spark the interest of other brands in your industry, you are better of packing the information into an infographic instead of sharing a link to the report.
You can repost a part or the entire infographic on other social media platforms to increase the chances of the report going viral and attracting the desired attention. Always have new social media ideas to ensure that your feed stays fresh and relevant to the target audience.
8. Create Your Own News
The best performing posts are those that other social media users can reference and are accurate. Survey and case studies top the list of the high-engaging social media posts.
If you are doing an original research on a topic related to your niche or product, you can boost and cement your authority by sharing the results on social media. Not only brands and followers will notice you, but also search engines.
However, not all brands can be able to carry out independent research.
If you fall in that category, consider commenting on happenings and industry trends from an expert point-of-view. Taking a leap of faith to express your opinion on trending topics is much better than sitting back and reading what other brands have to say about the topic. If your comment is creative and thoughtful (as we discussed earlier) rest assured that it will grasp the attention of the audience.
9. Use Different Captions
Like hashtags and tagging, captions have a tremendous potential of catapult your brand’s popularity on social media platforms. If you look at how the successful brands in your niche promote their products, none of them just posts links with some general comment under a picture or survey report.
If used correctly, captions can help pique the prospects interest and motivate them to engage. Consider it as a hook that triggers the readers to click on the post, comment, or share it with other followers.
So far, you can tell that creativity is of paramount importance when doing brand awareness through social media. Your captions don’t have to be plain text, you can insert emojis or even jokes to connect with the target audience better.
10. Use Social Media to Teach the Audience
You cannot get ahead of the curve if you post funny photos and links all the time. You need to do something different to keep the audience interested in your brand. The successful brand breaks the normal by teaching their followers through social media.
Educational “how-to” posts tend to get massive attention on virtually all social media networks. Regularly posting such content will show the customers that you are a thoughtful and resourceful leader who they can trust to offer quality products and services.
If you doubt the power of such educational posts, look at how tutorials garner massive popularity on Pinterest. The social media users are hungry for information, content that helps them become better versions of themselves. Content that helps them to get maximum utility and value for money form products and services or before better in their professions.
11. Being Opinionated is OKAY
There is a limit on what you can achieve by using other people’s data and reports. The savvy customers are attracted to brands that take a stand on topics related to their niches. For instance, if you own an online shoe store, don’t be afraid to highlight the cons of a particular shoe brand.
Otherwise, parroting what every other brand is saying about the shoe brand is playing too safe and you won’t get much brand awareness results. Be careful not to alienate some segments of your customers or brutally attacking their personal beliefs, principles, and religion. The key is to be bold about topics for purposes of making your brand stand out not stirring the pot because you can do it and get away with it.
12. Be Consistent
One of the plausible reasons why you are not getting much results from social media is because you don’t post consistently.
Train your audience to expect a new post at a specific time of the day or on specific days of the week if you cannot afford to post daily. If you are not consistently sharing information with the audience, their interest in your brand will slowly start to drop and your competitors will take your spot.
We know its easy to forget to post due to your busy schedule, but you can stay on top of things by investing in a social media scheduling tool. It will save time that you would have spent logging in on multiple social media accounts, but you still need to optimise the posts and schedule them appropriately.
The more ground you cover on all social media platforms the better. Carry out A/B tests to know the best times of the day that your audience is online and engages with your posts to get the desired outcomes.
The Maintained Value Of Organic Strategies
As noted, organic strategies are seeing diminishing returns on social media, but they are still a valuable component of any marketing strategy. Brands with a pre-existing social media presence can still leverage this, and it’s not too late for your business to develop this strategy.
Boosting Brand Awareness
Social media still rules for spreading brand awareness and it isn’t time to give up on an organic strategy for boosting brand awareness. Your social pages are an opportunity to show people who you are as a business and what you stand for. In short, it’s a place for some personality. “Consumers are tired of businesses pushing promos on social media, but they love interacting with anyone on their feed – brands and friends alike – as long as they’re seeing great content,” says Christopher Martin, social media marketer at Boomessays and Assignment Writing Service. “Sharing practical tips for engaging posts that aren’t in-your-face promotions can still be a successful organic strategy for social marketing.”
Consumers have become accustomed to reaching out to brands on social media and getting a quick answer. Maintaining an organic social media presence as part of your customer service programme can help manage the community that has been built around your brand. As a free channel and a direct line to consumers, social media will always need to be one arm of your customer management programme. This is especially valuable when it takes place in the public eye – offering great customer service for all to see can strengthen your brand and build trust that pays dividends when you start leveraging a paid strategy.
The Best Customer-Minded Content
The community around your brand is one of your greatest assets, and an organic social strategy can leverage this community without costing you a dime. Generating discussion on social platforms by picking customer’s brains is a great way to build your brand and online reputation. You can also share customer photos and other content created by your users on your social feed. The key to the organic social strategies is that it doesn’t feel too commercial, and content created in collaboration with your users is perfect for this.
When To Leverage A Paid Strategy
So the value of an organic social strategy is out evident, but it remains a fact that on today’s competitive social platforms, where the algorithms are doing you no favours, that an organic strategy is simply insufficient for an ambitious brand. Paid content is the best way to take your brand to the next level.
Focussing On Your Demographic
One thing that an organic social strategy fails to do is to target a specific demographic. If you want the best return on investment for your marketing campaigns, the easiest way to do this is to make sure the right eyes are falling on your content. Bessie Anderson, tech expert at State Of Writing and Oxessays explains that “social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have so much useful information that you can create incredibly specific targets for your ads. Whether this is geolocated or sorted by age or interest, you can ensure that your content is being seen by the most relevant demographic.”
Promoting Killer Content
Paid marketing on social media is the best way to guarantee your content gets seen, so if you have some major content that you need to get in front of an audience, it could be time to shell out. This is a great option for those pieces that you know are going to give you the boost your brand needs, whether it’s promoting a new product or a lead magnet that’s going to optimize your leads for future conversion. Don’t take the risk with an organic strategy for these pieces – paid social media strategies will give you peace of mind.
Ultimately, the organic reach can only get you so far before you start hitting walls. Paid ads can extend your brand to new audiences, which is especially important when trying to expand into new markets. These markets might be out of reach through organic methods and these strategies inevitably leverage the social media “bubble” that you’ve built. Break out of the bubble with paid ads.
Organic And Paid In Harmony
A good social media strategy will use organic and paid social media together, with each backing the other up. Organic social media can lead you straight to the posts that connect the best with your audience, and you can use these to guide your paid strategies. The greater an organic presence your brand has, the better you can run a paid campaign.
The social world is changing fast and gone are the days when a perfectly orchestrated organic social strategy was sufficient for selling your brand online. Businesses can’t afford to neglect to build an organic presence, but a paid social strategy is essential for ambitious brands looking to grow. Combining paid and organic is the winning strategy for social media.