Have you ever come across an Instagram page whose feed just got you scrolling and scanning through the content, thoroughly enjoying each piece of content? So much so that when you see their new post on your feed, you can identify the brand even without looking at the handle.
That’s the impact of a well-thought-out, systematically planned social media strategy.
Brands are spending millions of dollars on their social media pages, and that’s not even the surprising fact we’re talking about.
The real fact to be noted here is that they’re recovering all of that expense and a lot more (2x, 5x, and sometimes even 10x the amount) in terms of an increase in their revenues.
So it is safe (more than safe!) to say that social media can directly improve brand awareness, visibility, recall, revenues and profits! We’ve personally seen our clients grow from nothing to popular, high-profit brands.
But there’s a catch. You can’t just start randomly posting about your brand/blog/personal brand on Instagram and expect amazing results.
( Also Read : How to Create Best B2B Social Media Strategy In Just 7 Steps )
You need to have a strong game plan, with well-defined social media KPIs. You’ll find many brands that stand out as well as social media strategy examples. But there are some secrets that take the brand strategy from good to great. And we’re going to share those secrets with you.
These are tried and tested ways coming straight from our expert team of social media strategists to help you grow your brand into the next big thing -
Let’s start with breaking down this game plan into actionable steps with the 4 I’s.
The first step before diving in is to test the waters, i.e. to get a brief about the industry. The best way to do that is by looking at what your competitors are doing. This is a fairly simple benchmarking strategy and will help you set realistic social media goals for your brand as well.
Make a list of competitor brands that you think have a similar target audience as yours. Next, you’d want to collect data by tracking their activity. Your analysis shall detail out their content strategy as well as their graphic design aesthetic. Lastly, you’ll need to use insights from that data to build a strong strategy for your page. For detailed steps on conducting industry analysis, download our free Competitor Analysis Template here.
2. Ideate -
Once you get a fair idea about what’s working and what’s not for competitor brands, you can ideate upon your own strategy. In the case of most brands, the creatives on the social media pages do the most talking.
People tend to read through long captions only if they’re truly interesting, but the creatives are the piece of info that first catches the eye when someone scrolls through their feed.
You need to make a creative that makes them stop scrolling, and engage with your post. These are some tips you could use to design beautiful creatives -
Your creatives should have consistency in terms of font, colour themes, and design aesthetic. If they don’t, your page will have a not-so-professional feel and questionable authenticity. For plagiarism is rampant on social media - anyone can copy anyone’s content and post it on their own page. You don’t want to be one of those, or even worse, look like one of those.
( Also Read : 5 User-Friendly Graphic Design Tools For Non-Designers )
So choose a font, a colour scheme and a design that suits your brand tonality and ensure that all (or most) of your posts incorporate the same.
Well-shot photos that directly talk about your product, service or the idea that you’re selling, are among the proven ways of catching a user’s attention. Any content with an image is more likely to get shared on social media, as compared to content that is text-based.
Videos are even better than images. They can say a lot more, and they can get the user hooked to your page for a longer duration of time. Among all forms of content, videos are the most consumed and the most shared on social media. So make sure that your social media strategy makes use of high quality informative/entertaining videos to keep your users hooked.
When it comes to social media (in fact, even in our lives), ideas are futile without consistent implementation. We have some super effective ways that can help you religiously implement your social media plan -
Not all content can be shared across all social media platforms. For instance, Instagram is majorly an image and video sharing platform. If your product or service is image-based, Instagram is what you should be focusing on the most.
Another point to be noted here is that half of Instagram’s demographic lies between 18-29 years of age. It’s great for clothing and beauty brands, restaurants, gyms, photographers, artists and the likes.
Facebook is better suited to small businesses, with its ability to fine-tune your target audience. You can reach out to a huge audience in relatively lower spending if you use clever content and correct targeting.
LinkedIn is better suited for business professionals seeking to create their personal brands. That being said, companies are also using LinkedIn to connect with the right talent, vendors, and even customers with the right communication.
There are various tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer (to name a few) that can help you post simultaneously on all your social platforms. They also allow you to schedule posts based on the date and time you want them to go up.
Moreover, these social media analytics tools also provide custom tips for your page, such as best times to post, which of your content is getting better engagement, relevant news and content to share in between your own posts (by Feedly) etc.
A social media calendar is the king of tools when it comes to implementing your plan. It is, essentially, a calendar that details out what post will go up on your platforms on which day.
You’ll find all components of your post – the creative, the caption, the hashtags, the type of post and the CTA (call to action) to be provided – in this calendar. Once you design a calendar for say a week, or even a month, your only task is to post accordingly every day.
It makes your job much simpler and you don’t need to worry about creating content every day. So if creative lethargy is stopping you from creating great content every day, having a social media calendar can be the perfect solution. Read our blog on How to develop the perfect Social Media Calendar based on your Industry.
If you follow the above steps well, you’ll soon see a strong organic follower base building for your brand. But that’s not it. To consistently maintain your growth and stop your content from stagnating, you need to improvise. To improvise means to add life to your social media account by giving it an active presence. This can be achieved in the following ways –
Regularly catching on trends, engaging with them, and engaging with other accounts relevant to the space your brand is in, can help you tap into more and more audiences that are engaging with the content similar to what you’re providing.
It is likely they’ll notice you and even follow you back. You should regularly like, comment on and share posts you think would appear on your target audience's feed.
Responding to your followers’ enquiries (in the form of comments, tags or DMs) is extremely important to show your audiences that you’re listening to them and that you’re eager to help them out.
Always acknowledge and respond in a consistent tonality, resonating with your brand voice to build a prominent brand identity. Pro-tip - Try not to make your responses look like your clients are chatting with bots!
Your social media platforms and your website must have uniformity in terms of content and brand persona, and synchronization in terms of enabling your audiences to explore all your platforms, especially your website.
One simple way to do this is to regularly add CTA’s on your posts/in your captions such as “link in bio”, “check out our website/blog to learn more” (followed by a direct link), “visit our Instagram to shop now”, etc.
Your website and platforms must also account for changing trends in terms of UX and UI for your website, and social media feature updates to continually enhance the look and feel of your brand’s online presence.
( Also Read : Brilliant Digital Marketing Tips to Grow your Business in 2021 )
Well, there you go. Those were some of the best, tried and tested steps to build an online presence. We know, out of the experience, that it requires continual effort to build a brand’s identity.
If you’re looking at scaling your brand and skyrocketing your sales, our expert strategists can help you. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website here.