Brand awareness is critical if you want to grow your business. It’s common sense: the more people that know about your brand, the more of your product or service you’ll sell. And social media is a great place to increase your brand awareness.
Statista predicts that there will be 3.02 billion social media users worldwide by 2021 (see chart below). So how to you get your brand in front of those billions of users? How do you get the attention of the thousands or millions of potential customers wandering around social media? Here, we provide a list of tips that will help you increase your brand awareness via social media.
1. Use visual content to increase brand awareness
Visual content is simply more engaging to the average social media user. Create your own graphics or images and post them on social media. People are more likely to share something with their social networks that is visually appealing than a post with text only. According to BuzzSumo, Facebook posts that contain images see engagement levels 2.3 times higher than those without images.
2. Develop a unique voice and personality
On social media, you’re interacting with human beings. So, talk like one. Let your personality come out freely and develop the tone and voice of your posts to reflect that. People are much more likely to engage when the conversation feels casual. Plus, if you’re charismatic, your personality will help you gain followers.
3. Use a different tone on different platforms
On Twitter, you can be much more playful than on LinkedIn. Facebook also calls for a different tone. Certain types of people use different social media channels, and for different reasons. LinkedIn, for example, being a professional social media site, is more serious. On the other hand, you can let your humor come out more on other platforms.
4. Don’t post the same post across all channels
When you want to share the same piece of content or other information across all your social channels, don’t ever post the exact same post on each site. Always be sure to post a unique message along with the info you are sharing. Don’t just copy and paste the same post across all platforms.
5. Share great content
Killer content speaks for itself. If you create new content, you will obviously want to share it across all your social channels. But if the content doesn’t deliver value or solve a problem of some sort for your readership, it won’t be shared. Shares rely on awesome content. Without valuable content, your posts will be relegated to cyberspace’s infinite trash heap.
6. Consistent branding across all channels and your website
Create a branding style guide and stick to it. Define the colors your company uses for its branding and always use those. Don’t use various logos—choose one and always use it. Ensure your branding is consistent across all your social media sites, as well as your website and blog. Consistency helps people more easily recognize you and increases brand awareness.
7. Follow influencers
Find industry influencers and follow them. Listen to what they are talking about. Engage with them on social and take every chance you get to interact with their followers via comments, answers to questions, etc.
8. Use Quora
When forming social media strategy, many small and growing businesses overlook Quora. However, answering questions on Quora can be a great way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic back to your website, where you can close a deal and convert leads into customers. Make sure to be subtle and not blatantly salesy—people will see right through it, and you might even get your account suspended.
9. Hold contests
It can be any type of contest. A free giveaway for the best idea about X, Y, or Z, for example. Get creative. Share the parameters of the contest on social and let the games begin. People love to compete, and will share your contest post with others, expanding the reach of your brand and increasing brand awareness.
If you don’t have a blog, start one. Create posts that help solve common problems and truly educate your audience on emerging trends and things that will make their lives easier. Then share those posts across all your channels. Again, if the content is high quality, it will get shared.
11. Guest blogging
Find blogs that post articles around the same topics that you write about. Propose an exchange guest blog post, where you write an article that gets posted to their blog and they write one that gets published on yours. Then, each of you share each other’s articles across your social channels, which can more than double the exposure your blog gets via social media.
12. Form partnerships with other blogs
You don’t have too guest blog to benefit from the above. You can develop relationships with other similar blogs and agree to share their posts from time to time. In exchange they will share yours, and you’ll expand the reach of your brand in the same way that you can by guest blogging.
13. Referral programs
Plain and simple, people like free stuff. Offer something for free for those that refer a new customer to you. Dropbox does this well, by providing you with 500 megabytes of free memory if you refer a friend and they sign up for an account. This motivates people to share posts about your company, so they can get that freebie from the referral.
14. Hashtags hashtags hashtags
Use hashtags. One more time: use hashtags! Use them freely and liberally. They put your posts in front of numerous different audiences and can vastly expand the reach of your brand on social media. Did I mention that you should use hashtags?
15. Join groups
Facebook and LinkedIn have groups that revolve around certain topics. Join them and interact with members, without making it too obvious that you’re there to sell them stuff. The interaction alone will leave your brand front of mind for some group members. You’ll build a presence there, people will start to follow you, and brand awareness will grow.
People love infographics and they do incredibly well on social media. If you can create your own branded infographics, that is ideal. If not, you can share those of others and tag the original source. As long as it provides helpful or insightful information, people are likely to share it.
17. Ask questions to start conversations
Social media is a venue for engagement and dialogue. Post questions to your followers to start conversations or debates on specific topics. It’s a wonderful way to engage your audience. And if the topic is engaging enough, you’ll get non-followers chiming in, who will be likely to follow you moving forward.
18. Take feedback seriously and use it to form strategy
Pay close attention to the comments, shares, likes, etc. that your posts experience. You can gain a lot of insight about the interests of your followers by measuring and learning from those metrics. And then you can use the insight gained to form strategy for the future.
19. Make and share short videos
Videos are another content type that work incredibly well on social media. Probably better than infographics even. Create how to-videos, short product demos, animated short clips that explain your product, etc. Get creative and ensure they are not boring. People like to share videos, so video creation will increase your brand awareness considerably.
20. Try to make your content go viral
You’re thinking: obviously! But having something go viral depends on the value of your content. Funny videos tend to go viral. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the content is, what matters is that it’s so engaging that it takes off and flies. Then your name will be all over social media.
21. Boost successful posts
When you see a post doing abnormally well re: likes, shares, etc., give it a boost. Keep some money in your social accounts and boost successful posts to put them in front of even more people. You already know it’s engaging, so why not expand the audience who sees it?
22. Targeted social advertising
Social advertising can be a terrific way to increase brand awareness. You can target based on geography, demographics, or other characteristics that are stored in the respective social channels you use. It’s a highly effective way to put your brand in front of those who you already know are likely to be a good fit.
23. Use social listening tools
Use social listening and monitoring tools to watch out for brand mentions. When someone mentions your brand, these tools—which normally are part of a social CRM—alert you so you can engage the person who mentioned you as soon as possible.
24. Respond rapidly
Whether it’s a positive comment, a question, or a scathing insult, you need to respond rapidly when someone mentions you on social media. Word travels fast, so negative comments will spread. Replying quickly to positive comments will ensure your customers and followers stay engaged.
25. Talk about your CSR activities
Do you have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program? Do you do community volunteering or match employee donations to charities? If so, share everything you can about those efforts across social media. People increasingly prefer brands who give back to the community. So, if you’re not doing so, start. And if you already are doing so, shout the results from the mountaintop.
26. Don’t be afraid to share your competitors content
Many shy away from sharing the content of their competitors. But doing so can display self confidence and paint you as a positive presence on social media, rather than someone who disses their competitors. If they create a particularly good piece of content, share it without any hesitation. Your followers will appreciate you sharing useful content more than they will focus on the fact that it’s from your competitor.
27. Build out your profile/bio page with care
Let’s face it, the ultimate goal of social media marketing is to influence people to look at your product or service, and eventually buy it. Your profile page is the jumping off point from social media to your website—where they can look at your product and hopefully make a purchase. So be sure that profile page is shiny, gorgeous, and has all the information they need to navigate to your site or contact you directly.
28. Don’t afraid to bring a sense of humor
As you develop your social personality, don’t be afraid to be funny. Having a sense of humor is much better than being dry and boring. Plus, according to a report by Sprout Social, 75% of consumers appreciate a sense of humor from brands on social media.
29. Use GIFs
GIFs get shared, a lot! And they are quite easy to create. Film a clip of your office and turn it into a funny GIF. Get creative. Be funny. Be crazy. Go wild. Because a killer GIF can go viral before you know it.
30. Refrain from poking at your competitors
Nobody likes a bully, so why would you go after your competitors on social media? Doing so makes you look petty and unprofessional, not to mention insecure. That same report from Sprout Social stated that 67% of consumers feel it’s annoying when companies make fun of their competitors on social media.
31. Stay away from politics and religion
This should go without saying, but for heaven’s sake, stay away from politics and religion on social media—unless you work in an industry that revolves around one of the two. To be sure, 71% of buyers find it annoying when brands engage in politics on social media (Sprout Social).
Increasing brand awareness is critical to growth. With these tips, you can grow your brand presence on social media with ease. There are many variables involved, and lots of moving parts, not to mention various social media channels that you must approach differently. But, follow the tips above, and you’ll be on your way to increasing brand awareness, which leads to revenue and company growth.