Social media marketing can be challenging. There are millions of articles out there to teach you about it, but where do you start? We’re glad you’ve made it to SEO Design Chicago. We’ll tell you what branding is, how you can use it, and how you can leverage social media to boost your brand.
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Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Marketing
You most likely found this article because you are wondering how you can boost your brand online through social media marketing. Unfortunately, some marketers say these days it’s virtually impossible to “control” your brand online. That’s because now everyone can have a say through their social media accounts and online reviews of a business. Unfortunately, there is no way to control what others say about you online.
However, to an extent it is possible to control your brand online through social media marketing. At the bare minimum, you can participate in the conversations happening online about your brand. That way, you can steer the conversations in the direction you want them to go. If someone says something negative about your brand, it’s important to respond quickly and correctly.
The best way to take control of your brand online is by hiring a social media marketing agency to help you. SEO Design Chicago can create social media content and utilize our marketing expertise for you to help you control your brand. But first, let’s start at the beginning and define social media marketing.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to market a company’s products and services. The goal of social media marketing is to build a brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. The most important platforms for social media marketing are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. (See below for more information on how to use these various platforms for marketing.)
Steps for Using Social Media Marketing to Take Control of Your Brand
Here is a list of steps you can take today on social media to help take control of your brand. However, if you need help from the professionals, SEO Design Chicago is always happy to help you.
Perform a Search
The first step to taking control of your brand is to see where your brand currently stands. It’s important to search your business online and read as much as possible to see how people view your brand.
Update or Start a Blog
Having a blog full of original content in your own words to link back to on your various social media platforms is a great way of using social media to control your brand.
Follow Others in Your Industry
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, it’s important to connect with others in your industry on social media. Hopefully, if you follow or friend them they will follow and friend you back. This signals to others that you are a part of the industry.
Promote Positive Content
Be sure to retweet if someone tweets something positive about your business. Say “thank you!” so it doesn’t appear too self-congratulatory.
Engage Your Customers
It sounds simple but engaging with those who follow your brand on social media is one of the easiest ways to make people happy. If someone tweets something positive about your business, be sure to reply and thank them. By the same token, if someone says something negative, reply to the tweet and apologize and ask how you can make it better. Also, be sure to answer questions whenever possible. Engaging with people online is a great way to help control your brand.
See What Others Are Saying
It’s important to continuously monitor any mention online of your brand. You can use a tool like Google Alerts to notify you every time your brand is mentioned online. That way, you can see when, where, how and why your brand is being named each time it is mentioned on the internet. This way you can react appropriately and quickly to any mentions, whether they’re positive or negative.
Create Quality Content
Keep in mind that no matter which social media platform or platforms you choose to use for your social media marketing strategy, the content you create is what’s most important.
How to Use Social Media Platforms for Marketing
These days most, if not all, businesses are using social media to connect with their customers and find new ones. If you’re not also using social media to interact, you’re missing out. But we can help! If you’re not sure which social media platforms are best for you to use for your strategy, it will depend on which audience you’re trying to reach.
Here is some more information about each social media platform, and how and why to use each for your marketing strategy.
As we all already know, everyone is on Facebook these days. Did you know Facebook has nearly 2.45 billion monthly users? Many people in each age group use Facebook, so it is a good platform to use to target a wide variety of potential customers. However, if your brand is targeting teens, you may want to utilize other forms of social media. Teens are increasingly using other apps over Facebook. The fastest growing group of Facebook users is those who are 65 and older, so if you’re targeting senior citizens, Facebook is the way to go.
The key to using Facebook for marketing is to start a Facebook for Business page. You can also consider using ads on Facebook to reach more people.
Instagram is the second most popular social media platform to Facebook. More women use Instagram than men, so it’s a great platform to use to reach women. Three-quarters of people ages 18 to 24 use Instagram, so it’s also a useful platform if you’re trying to reach that age group. Instagram is a highly visual platform, so if you have a lot of professional photography, it’s a great way to promote your brand online.
LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media platforms to use for social media marketing. Most adults don’t use LinkedIn on a daily basis, but it’s still a good idea for any business to maintain a presence on LinkedIn.
Twitter is a great tool for social media marketing. However, only about one-fifth of American adults are on Twitter. It is most important for news-related businesses, but it is also important to maintain a Twitter account for customer service. If someone complains or compliments your brand on Twitter, you will want to respond quickly and either thank them or fix the problem.
In addition to your official business-related tweets, you can also use Twitter to share promotions and discounts. You can also retweet other content relating to your industry. (Just be sure not to retweet your competitors!) It’s also important to use Twitter to follow other accounts in your industry or related fields.
YouTube is the number one place on the internet to share videos. If you are interested in using videos as part of your social media marketing strategy, YouTube is a must. “How-To” videos are one example of how you can use videos to brand yourself as an expert in any given field.
If your brand is interested in getting the attention of teenagers, SnapChat is the platform for you.
Pinterest is a growing social media platform and is very visual. It’s the ideal platform for highlighting products and aspirational content. Most Pinterest users are women and there are very few men who use it. If you’re a business that targets women, Pinterest is excellent.
If you run a wedding planning business, for example, Pinterest is a great tool for you. You can use Pinterest to post images of your events – just make sure they are branded photos with your logo! It’s also a great platform for cooking-related brands. Pinterest has thousands of recipes – again, just make sure your images and recipes are branded.
What is branding?
You hear a lot about branding online these days, but what does branding really mean and what does it encompass? Branding is a marketing practice in which a name, symbol and/or design that is easily recognizable as belonging to a particular company.
What is brand recognition?
Brand recognition is the ability of customers to identify one brand by its name, symbol, design or attributes over another brand.
One example of brand recognition is Kleenex. Though Kleenex is actually a brand name and tissues are the product, Kleenex’s brand recognition is so all-encompassing that many people actually refer to all tissues as Kleenex. There are some other examples of this phenomenon. For example, lots of hot tubs are called “Jacuzzis” and all flying discs are “Frisbees.”
Obviously, to reach the point of Kleenex or Jacuzzis is the ultimate goal in brand recognition. Utilizing social media marketing to take control of your brand is one way to get to that point. The most important tip for creating brand recognition is to have consistency across your branding, whether it’s the visuals you use or your messaging. If your brand is changing constantly, you won’t give people time enough to remember it.
Contact SEO Design Chicago today
For all of your social media marketing needs, contact SEO Design Chicago today. We can help you control your brand online with our social marketing experts.