How To Use Social Media To Strengthen Your Business’s Brand

Updated on:
September 14, 2023

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Social media has fundamentally reshaped the way businesses connect with their target audience. For small business owners, the rise of platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, and others represents a golden opportunity to strengthen their brand. Leveraging social media channels can not only improve brand awareness but can also drive sales and foster brand loyalty.

The Power of Social Media for Small Business Owners

Understanding the Reach of Social Networks:

Most of the world is now online, and a significant portion of this digital population is active on social media platforms. Platforms like LinkedIn cater to professionals, while TikTok and Snapchat are favorites among the younger demographics like Gen Z. As well as Facebook and Instagram whose audiences tend to span many generations.

Benefits of Social Media for Business:

  • Enhancing Brand Awareness: By having an active social media presence, businesses can stay on top of the minds of their potential customers.

  • Driving Traffic: Engaging content on social media can attract new customers to your website or storefront.

  • Real-time Engagement: Direct messaging or live video allows businesses to connect with their audience in real-time.

Crafting Your Social Media Strategy

Know Your Target Audience:

Demographics play a pivotal role. Understanding where your potential customers hang out – be it LinkedIn for B2B or Instagram Stories and Reels for a younger audience – is crucial. But it’s also understanding what will get your target audience to engage as well. Some brands will have more luck with visual content, and thus should be more active on Instagram, while others may be better off on a different platform with a engagement strategy.

Creating High-Quality, Relevant Content:

Content creation is at the heart of any social media marketing strategy. Whether it’s memes that resonate with your audience, video content that showcases new products, or infographics that explain concepts in one glance, ensuring high-quality and relevance is key.

Scheduling and Automation:

Using social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social allows business owners to schedule posts, ensuring a consistent social media presence. Automation can also help in curating content from various sources.

Engage and Expand with Social Media Marketing Tools

Influencers and Brand Awareness:

Partnering with influencers can introduce your brand to their massive following, improving brand awareness. This technique has been highly successful for many brands. The pitfall is that most influencers comes with a hefty price tag to get your brand included on their posting schedule. If you don’t have the available cash flow to pay an influencer, you can consider funding solutions like a merchant cash advance that give your company an influx of cash in a hurry so you can quickly capitalize on opportunities that arise.

Using Hashtags Effectively:

Hashtags are powerful tools for categorizing social posts. They can make your content discoverable to a wider audience beyond your followers.

Consider a small business called “Urban Bloom” that sells indoor plants. When they launch a new product range of air-purifying plants, they might post a beautiful photo of these plants on Instagram. To maximize visibility, they could use hashtags like #AirPurifyingPlants, #UrbanBloomNewArrival, #GreenLiving, and #IndoorPlants. This way, any user interested in indoor plants or specifically air-purifying greenery can easily stumble upon Urban Bloom’s post when they search or explore these hashtags, thereby increasing the brand’s reach and potentially gaining new customers.

Real-Time Engagement through Live Video and Direct Messaging:

Platforms like Instagram offer live video features, while direct messaging on LinkedIn or Snapchat provides a direct line to potential customers.

Instagram’s live video feature is a compelling avenue for businesses to connect with their audience in real-time. The immediacy of live video allows for a genuine, unedited connection that fosters trust and authenticity.

Engaging Through Live Video on Platforms Like Instagram

  • Product Launches: Imagine a brand introducing a new product. By using live video, they can demonstrate the product’s features, answer questions in real-time, and even offer limited-time discounts for viewers, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Access: Brands can offer glimpses into their daily operations, showcasing the people and processes that make them unique. This transparency can humanize a brand, making it more relatable and trustworthy to its audience.

  • Interactive Q&A Sessions: Businesses can host live sessions dedicated to addressing customer queries. This not only provides valuable information but also demonstrates a brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

Direct Messaging: The Untapped Potential on LinkedIn and Snapchat

While live videos offer public engagement, direct messaging is about personalized, one-on-one interactions. Platforms like LinkedIn and Snapchat offer direct messaging features that can be instrumental for businesses in different ways.

  • LinkedIn: Predominantly a professional network, LinkedIn’s direct messaging is perfect for B2B businesses. Companies can reach out to potential partners, clients, or collaborators, offering tailored solutions or partnerships. It’s also a platform where feedback or testimonials can be shared directly, adding a layer of trustworthiness to business interactions.

  • Snapchat: Snapchat’s demographic is predominantly younger, making it ideal for brands targeting Gen Z and young millennials. Direct messages on Snapchat allow brands to offer personalized deals, gather feedback, or even run exclusive campaigns for dedicated followers. Given the platform’s ephemeral nature, these messages can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

Stay Updated with Algorithms:

Social media platforms often change their algorithms. By staying updated and tweaking your social media strategy accordingly, you can ensure maximum visibility for your content.

Here are some reputable sites and resources where you can stay updated:

  1. Official Blogs and Newsrooms of Social Media Platforms:

    • Facebook Newsroom: This is Facebook’s official channel for announcements and updates.

    • Instagram Blog: Instagram shares feature releases, updates, and trends here.

    • Twitter Blog: Stay informed about Twitter’s latest changes and updates.

    • LinkedIn Blog: Here, LinkedIn discusses platform changes, features, and more.

  2. Social Media Today: An industry-leading source of news for social media professionals, covering all major platform updates and trends.

  3. Social Media Examiner: Another well-regarded site in the digital marketing space, SME offers in-depth articles, expert interviews, and original research on all things social media.

Metrics and Feedback:

Metrics provided by platforms or tools like Sprout Social can help you understand what works and what doesn’t. Social listening is a potent method to gauge audience sentiment.

Building and Strengthening Brand Equity

Consistency in Brand Voice:

Maintaining a consistent brand voice across all social media content solidifies brand identity. That doesn’t mean that you should post the exact same content on multiple platforms; rather, keeping the tone similar across posts and across platforms is recommended. Each platform has its unique nuances and audience demographics, so tailoring the content to suit each platform’s character while preserving your brand’s core voice ensures authenticity. This approach not only resonates with audiences more effectively but also reinforces brand recognition, irrespective of the platform they encounter your brand on.

Engaging with Potential and Existing Customers:

Engaging with social media users is pivotal in today’s digital age. In a landscape where businesses often risk being seen as faceless entities, personal interaction bridges the gap, humanizing the brand and fostering deeper connections.

  • Replying to Comments: When businesses take the time to respond to comments on social media posts or reviews, it sends a clear message: they value feedback and are keen to engage. Whether it’s a simple ‘thank you’ for positive feedback, addressing a query, or handling criticism constructively, each response is an opportunity to showcase the brand’s ethos and dedication to customer satisfaction.

  • Hosting Webinars: Webinars are interactive platforms that enable businesses to share expertise, provide value, and connect directly with their audience. Whether introducing a new product, offering industry insights, or conducting Q&A sessions, webinars foster a sense of community. Attendees often feel a direct connection with the brand, enhancing credibility and trust.

  • Using Direct Messaging: In a world dominated by automated responses, personal direct messaging stands out. It allows brands to address specific concerns, offer tailored solutions, or simply acknowledge a customer’s loyalty. This one-on-one interaction often leaves a lasting impression, making customers feel valued and seen.

  • Encouraging User-Generated Content: Encouraging customers to share their experiences or stories related to your product or service amplifies engagement. By showcasing these stories or reposting user-generated content, businesses not only validate the customer’s experience but also build a community of brand advocates.

  • Loyalty Programs and Exclusive Offers: Regularly rewarding existing customers with exclusive deals, sneak previews, or loyalty points ensures they feel appreciated. It’s a tangible way of saying ‘thank you’ for their continued patronage and trust in the brand.

In Conclusion

Social media marketing is more than just posting regularly. It’s about understanding your audience, crafting a strategy that resonates, and leveraging the myriad of tools available to optimize your brand’s online footprint. For small business owners, the digital realm offers a cost-effective means to connect, engage, and convert potential customers, and with the right funding, the sky’s the limit. With dedication and a clear strategy, you’ll find social media to be a powerful tool for strengthening your business’s brand.

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