Social media marketing is the creative and strategic utilization of social networking platforms to reach advertising goals and ultimately achieve branding goals. At a basic functional level, social media marketing works by promoting brand awareness by driving audience engagement through social networks.
Social networks are sites with communities or users who share similar interests and who can be targeted to a particular market segment. These networks provide opportunities for brands to interact directly with their target audience and also offer the opportunity to extend the reach of traditional marketing techniques such as television, radio, and print ads.
But how can you be successful at boosting awareness of your brand with social media marketing? Let’s look at some tips to guide you in the right direction.
1. Know your target audience
One of the reasons why social media has become such a successful tool for advertisers is that it allows for the targeting of a specific audience and/or a specific location. But in order to achieve this, you have to know who your target audience is.
If you haven’t already done research into your buyer personas, you should do that before diving into social media marketing. Figure out who your ideal audience is, where they come from, and what they’re interested in. How old are they? Are they male, female, a mix?
This research might involve user interviews, surveys, client reviews, or even a careful analysis of your social media audience as it already exists. You can look to social networks to glean information about your followers and the demographics that represent them.
Later, on social media, you can explore the communities and hashtags that attract your target audience. Keep in mind, too, that different social networks have different audiences. If you want to target teenagers, for example, TikTok might be best. But if you want to reach older millennials, maybe you need Instagram.
2. Find influencers to promote your brand
Social media influencers can help boost brand awareness in ways your brand can’t. Influencers each have their own audience, and they’re able to connect your brand with people it might not have reached otherwise.
The key to a successful influencer strategy is finding an influencer who aligns with your brand and its mission. This means finding someone whose social media feed fits together with your brand, and where your products wouldn’t be out of place. It also means finding an influencer who upholds your brand’s values, so as not to cause controversy or damage your reputation.
In addition to searching for someone who fits with your brand, you want to find influencers with healthy performance metrics. You should evaluate the following:
- Follower count and growth over time
- Engagement rate
- Posting frequency
- Audience demographics, to see if they match your target
- Audience authenticity, to see if they have fake followers
You can use either social media, an influencer marketing platform, or an influencer marketing agency to help you find influencers. Searching on social media is free, but requires the most effort on your part. On the other hand, agencies require the least work from you but are the most expensive option.
Influencer marketing platforms require a subscription fee, but they give you search engine capabilities and immediate analytics reports about influencer profiles. You still have to manage your campaign, but you get the tools you need to do it.
3. Collaborate on content creation that speaks to your target audience
What type of content is your target audience interested in? And how can you generate buzz about your brand?
When you get to the content creation stage, it’s best to ask the influencers for input. They best know their audience and how to communicate with them. They’ll have past insights into how well different types of content went over with their followers, and you can use this data to make the best decisions for your brand.
There are various ways to get people interested in your brand. A giveaway, for example, can attract new followers with the hope of winning a free prize. Or an influencer takeover can help bring their followers over to your brand’s account. And if you want to generate buzz about a specific product, you might want to consider an unboxing or tutorial.
Also, make sure to track the results of your content. How many impressions did Instagram influencers get on their campaign posts? How many views did TikTok influencers get on their videos? How much traffic came to your web, and how many times were your links clicked?
You can measure this type of data with an analytics program like Google Analytics. Most social networks also offer their own version of analytics, like Instagram Insights. Just check that your profile meets the requirements needed to access that information. For example, on Instagram, you need a business account to access Insights.
These are three simple steps for working with influencers to increase your brand’s awareness via social media. Know your target audience, and find influencers who connect you with them and who have a proven track record of good performance metrics.
Finally, think carefully about what type of content can best connect you to the people you want to reach. And always monitor your campaign content and analyze its results, so that you can get better insights and clearer direction for the next time you run a campaign.