You’ve surely heard the hype about how social media can help build your brand, and you may even have stars in your eyes seeing your followers climb into the hundreds of thousands. There are some brands such as Casper (mattresses, not the friendly ghost) that seem to have nailed it when it comes to social media. Simple messages, compelling images and proactive interaction: These are the key elements for an exceptional social media presence in 2019 and beyond. Gone are the days when you needed big-budget filmmaking to capture attention. Now, you simply need to be authentic, transparent — and a little bit structured — in order to leverage the free or inexpensive social media tools available to build your brand.
Building Brand Equity
Experts identify brand equity as containing four main dimensions: brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality and brand associations. Reading through that list, you can quickly see why social media is an important element in your brand-building repertoire. When consumers can see themselves reflected in your brand, they are more likely to select your products instead of heading to your competitors. If the affinity is strong enough, shoppers are even willing to be inconvenienced with longer shipping times and greater expenses in order to invest in a brand that they believe in. Building this brand equity used to take plenty of advertising dollars — think the ongoing branding war between Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Today’s brand showdowns are much more likely to happen on Twitter and Instagram than on a high-dollar advertisement during the Big Game. Social media allows businesses of any size to amplify their impact and show the world what they’re made of, sometimes literally!
Authentic and Engaging Communication
Americans today spend an inordinate amount of time sifting through social media, from watching the Kardashians do whatever it is that Kardashians do to drooling over swoon-worthy food porn. Our obsession with everyone else’s lives has given consumers a direct line to their favorite brands in a way that was unheard of only a few years ago. Think about it: There’s a good chance that you can find the CEOs of your favorite brands on Twitter and send them some creative (and hopefully positive!) feedback. I betcha don’t have their personal phone number or email address, which means that the pre-Twitter era wouldn’t have provided you that kind of transparent access to brand leadership. This human interaction is the “special sauce” that makes people want to interact with your brand — and has the potential to drive your brand equity through the roof.
From selecting your brand advocates and promoters to the language that you use in messages and responses to your audience, your messaging needs to be on point at all times. That means ensuring whoever is monitoring your social accounts and interacting with your audience is a fully vetted and trusted member of your team. The last thing you want is for that person to accidentally post a NSFW image or message that could negatively impact your brand. The same is true of your brand advocates — you want to align your brand with individuals who are not only extremely well-liked but who also have a public persona that gels with your brand standards.
More than 52 percent of small to midsized businesses are posting or interacting on social media at least once per day, and that requires a steady stream of on-target messages that will resonate with your audience. That type of commitment may seem reasonable until you realize that you’re falling far behind — perhaps only posting once per week and not having time to interact with your audience as you’d like. When you create a social media strategy and work with a dedicated writer, you’re much more likely to meet your goals of succeeding at social media and dramatically growing the impact of your brand.
Myca A brings 12 years of director-level marketing, sales and communications experience. She has worked with all sizes and types of organizations from GE Capital Corporation and a $100MM non-profit down to a small local promotional products manufacturer. Her experience in publishing, process improvement, change management, leadership, finance, communications and marketing give her a broad background to draw upon when crafting compelling content.