The past few years have cultivated a variety of technological advancements impacting not only how we interact with one another but shifting how brands engage with their consumers. Brands are now able to use social media as a digital storefront and have influencers market their products to vast audiences, making the power of social media impossible to ignore in today's business landscape.
Across channels, social media is used to foster relationships and educate your target audience about your brand. For most organizations, social media can get lost in a long list of organizational marketing priorities; however, when done correctly, social media can bring your brand to life, providing a distinct and frequent voice to your consumers.
At Hawthorne, we have taken the art of social media in stride, providing a variety of services to our clients and using our own channels to increase brand awareness. Below, we highlight three areas of focus for social media that are important to keep in mind regardless of whether you're building your channel or embarking on a social media revamp.
Define a Distinct Voice on Each Individual Platform
All social media platforms cater to a different audience, so maximizing the utility of each requires catering your company’s posts to every platform individually. A user perusing Twitter for information on a brand will be expecting vastly different communication styles than someone using LinkedIn to see if a company is hiring. With this in mind, it’s imperative to craft a unique voice for your company across all platforms. You wouldn’t talk to a potential employee the same way you would speak to an existing client. To successfully develop unique voices for your social channels, you must first understand the priorities of the audience on each platform.
Understand First who You Want to Speak to, Then Start the Conversation
The greatest advantage social media offers is the ability to have personal, direct interaction with followers. That’s why it is essential to understand your audience and tailor your message for them. To identify your target audience, consider these questions:
Why do people follow my account?
What does my current follower-base look like, and how would I like to change that?
What information are people seeking from my brand?
What types of conversations are my followers having and how can I get involved?
How do I expect followers to grow with my brand, and how will that impact their expectations?
What are similar or competing accounts posting?
From that point, you can not only determine who your ideal followers are but also develop a strategic communications plan on how to reach them.
Value Reporting as Much as Content Drafting
Understanding how your target audience is engaging with your content is vital to creating successful social media campaigns. Analytics reports can be as high level or specific as your organization or client see fit and are instrumental to understanding how your content performs. These insights can help inform not only the content you share but the ideal times to share it on all platforms. Reports can be compiled from the analytics provided by the social media platform or the information can be pulled from third-party publishing platforms such as Hootsuite or Agorapulse.
Tailor Your Content to Your Brand
As social media continues to evolve with new trends, platforms, and technologies, brands must find ways to keep up while staying authentic to their voice. Understanding the best way to use social media as a communication tool can take time and patience, but strong campaigns help build brand recognition and allow your target audience to build a relationship with your organization.