Strong social media is now an integral part of modern marketing. For businesses looking to access the increasingly dominant digital market, social platforms are a swift and relatively simple entry point.
A presence on the top social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) is becoming a mandatory part of brand building, and it makes sense given the audience available – Facebook is the largest social network with an awesome 1.86+ billion monthly active users.
The impact of using social media is increasingly unavoidable too. According to a 2016 industry report, 90% of marketers said social media was important to their business. In the same report, 89% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses – plus, more than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least two years said it helped them to improve sales and 66% achieved lead generation from just six hours of time spent per week.
In short, it works. So, how do you use it for branding?
Social networks have at their core the function of connecting people, which makes them the perfect place to become part of a community. And whether you’re looking for new business, lateral hires or key contacts, networks are invariably where this comes from.
They also tap into the branding power of the community, the opportunity to build relationships and create a network of supporters and brand advocates. Recently a firm we know well was voted one of the best firms to work for by the Sunday Times. That’s brilliant but how do I know that? They posted on LinkedIn and several of us congratulated them and made arrangements to meet up soon.
Choose the right social platform for your organisation, get the positioning right and you can build a strong brand profile, both within the industry and beyond. Providing a steady stream of updates, information and even entertainment contributes to essential brand awareness.
Start creating or challenging popular news, thoughts and theories and you step into the territory of thought leadership. If your content stream is steady others will subconsciously begin to see your brand as an authority.
Posting ‘that’ video interview with the professor and his children and then following up later with some thought leadership type content shows you are approachable, have a sense of humour but also that you know what you’re talking about. You sound like the type of lawyer/firm I would like to refer work to.
Brands, especially financial and legal brands, can seem faceless and overwhelmingly corporate. Social media provides a very easy way to give your brand a human face that will encourage engagement and generate loyalty and leads.
Social media can also contribute positively to brand credibility, as a source of information, a customer service channel and a sane, reliable voice.
It is sometimes difficult to believe that something as supposedly frivolous as tweeting could be effective at delivering new instructions and attracting clients in the real world. However, social media is now one of the most effective ways to generate business.
As we are increasingly digitising our working world, these online channels are often the first place potential clients encounter an organisation. Effective social media makes a good first impression, sets one brand apart from another, and can be used to funnel traffic to a website, increasing the chances of contact.
Although no one really knows exactly how it works, there’s no doubt that strong social content, particularly with the right keywords, can also help to increase traffic and improve Google rankings. Google likes social platforms – tweets can appear in search results, for example.
We’ve reached a tipping point with social media. Whether we like it or not, it is now an essential component of business branding. Embrace it and you could see some unbelievable results.