By Andrew Witkin, founder and president, StickerYou
You could reasonably describe social media as the “connective tissue” of the internet. It swiftly delivers content about your brand to consumers, who then might go on to share that content or seek out further information about your brand. It’s a fast-paced, hyper-connected ecosystem that can make a dramatic impact on your marketing strategy.
There are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your strategy is operating at the highest level. An increasing number of brands are taking these steps in order to build a stronger social media agenda — and they’re successfully connecting with consumers on a deeper, more relevant level.
Make your content easy to share
When users decide to share some of your content, they’re essentially doing your job for you. After all, they’re helping you get your brand’s message in front of as many users as possible, which is your ultimate goal as a marketer. That’s why making it easy to share your message is crucial. Include a share button with all of your content, such as a “Share to Facebook” button at the bottom of a blog post, and let users help you spread your brand’s message far and wide.
Use rich, attention-grabbing language and images
Social media is a crowded space when it comes to content. Brands that convey their value in a clear, concise way have a leg up over the competition. This includes crafting headlines that are easy to digest and don’t waste words. Tweets and Instagram captions should never feel like an intimidating wall of text. They should instead be approachable and use simple, active language. And be sure to wrap up every post with a clear call to action (CTA) so that your audience can swiftly take action after seeing your post.
Focus on your audience’s favorite formats
Different audiences have different preferences. Some may prefer to take in information in the form of a video, while others might be looking for a denser blog post that lays out a concept in more detail. Some may prefer a mix of both — so your social media strategy will have to be a careful combination of different formats delivered in varying contexts. Using analytical tools to better understand which formats drive users to your site is a great way to ensure you’re investing in the right types of content.
Take advantage of hashtags
Hashtags are an easy way to open up your brand to new audiences. For instance, if you’re a startup that’s using artificial intelligence, using popular AI-related hashtags like #AIchat can inject your brand into an active conversation among people in that field. Assuming this fits with your brand’s voice, including opinions and insights while using hashtags is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in the space as you engage with new audiences.
Develop a consistent brand voice
It’s just a fact that your brand needs to present content across platforms — likely on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, with maybe some other smaller social media platforms thrown in. As you post across different sites, you’ll want to make sure to convey a consistent brand voice. Sure, different platforms call for different methods. For instance, Instagram is of course much more image-based than Twitter, which is driven by text. Regardless, you want consumers to experience the same voice no matter where they access your brand. For example, if your brand voice tends to use humor in your posts, make sure that is incorporated in each platform.
A consistent brand voice also means paying attention to image aesthetics and word choice. For example, at StickerYou we use a particular shade of blue for text and any color-based graphics when we make content for custom stickers and labels, so that it is recognizable as belonging to our brand. We also ensure that product names and key phrases are written in the same way, for example floor decals or iron-on transfers. The reason for this is clarity. It may seem like a small detail, but a clear and consistent brand voice builds trust, and trust is crucial to engaging and retaining customers.
Social media isn’t going anywhere. And as social media becomes the primary way in which younger people interact with brands, it grows more and more imperative for today’s marketers to leverage social media to its greatest potential. To ensure your brand shows up to consumers in a way that is both useful and memorable, you need to understand how your audience uses social media, and deliver content in a way that aligns with their preferences. By making attractive, attention-grabbing content that is easy to share in a consistent brand voice and making use of hashtags and sharing it on your audience’s preferred social media, you’ll maximize your efforts and raise the bottom line.
As the founder and president of StickerYou, Andrew Witkin believes in the enormous power of customization. With over a decade of StickerYou success, he is one of Canada’s leading experts in e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Witkin has previously served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.