In the age of the Internet, brand visibility is more vital than ever. You can advertise your business and its products or services via thousands of outlets.
Strategically building one’s brand equity is not as simple as having a website, though. A brand should be promoted in the online communities where its target market finds value.
Small businesses face the challenging task of reaching a target market without the large budgets enjoyed by big-box businesses for ads and marketing campaigns. Social media sites are particularly effective for starting meaningful conversations about small firms that can have an impact.
Using social media includes managing at least one major risk: negative news. A viral post or video can turn your brand into an overnight hero – or destroy it. Bad news spreads like wildfire and can erase years of brand reputation building in a matter of hours.
Creativity is key for generating visibility in an online marketing strategy. The goal of any marketing plan is to create a positive image of the brand in the eyes of consumers.
To minimize the risk and maximize the reward, take a look at some strategic ways companies can use social media to build brand equity:
- Monitor competitor activity. Knowing how your competitors are using social media to build awareness will help you stay relevant in the market. Noting any mistakes they’ve made will also inform your campaign strategy.
- Measure your activity. Interaction metrics can be correlated with ROI factors such as market share increase and profit margin increase by:
- Using surveys to discover strengths and weaknesses.
- Monitoring and improving search rankings with SEO strategies like high-quality link building.
- Studying social media trends, conversations, and feedback about your brand as well as those of your competitors.
- Be consistent. The voice and information should dovetail with your brand’s theme. Postings should reflect your company’s values and culture, and read as emotionally genuine. Repeatedly using poignant phrases that are easy to remember is a good strategy for building visibility.
- Be responsive. A social media site should provide an open line of communication between companies and the market. By analyzing and responding to feedback online, your company has an opportunity to set records straight, offer direct information, and build rapport.
- Build brand personality. Social media is perfect for quips, dialogue about important current events, and catchy slogans. Posting content that’s not strictly informational will infuse your brand with humanity and dynamics.
- Create an accessible brand. The basic who, what, when, where, and why should be easily accessible for readers. They should know who your target market is, what service or product you provide, when you are available, through what forums they can reach you, and why you do what you do. Finding unique ways to engage with social media users can set your brand apart from competitors and strengthen conversion rates.
- Generate credibility. Provide resources and information that display your expertise before trying to sell to the audience. Engaging with authoritative sources and sharing the information online is a great way to show instead of tell. Guest blogs are an effective way to share useful content through social media and other sites and build awareness.
- Employ multimedia. Videos, infographics, and GIFs are all great ways to reach an audience visually. Pictures stay in a website visitor’s mind more firmly than text, and breaking up information into digestible portions increases the likelihood of retention. Multimedia will also increase your chances of going viral, which can mean overnight success for the brand. Focus on keeping videos short and relevant. Infographics should include colors and images that refer back to the brand.
- Post human interest stories. Founders, management, and key clients all have brand interaction stories. Sharing these stories makes your brand more personal. Video documentation is even better than text, because it shows human emotion and has the potential to captivate the viewer. Audiences are interested in how companies start, overcome struggles, and provide extraordinary customer service.
- Stay positive. Some brands have sought the limelight by trashing a competitor. The tactic can be effective, but as a long-term strategy, it can backfire into a negative light for the company that initiated the bad press. Instead, focus on your brand’s purpose and remain professional. That will give your business a lasting, positive reputation.
Social media promises a level of engagement with the consumer base that was previously rare in marketing. Transparency is a staple in long-term marketing strategies, and every facet of your plan should be evaluated with that goal in mind.
Transparency builds trust, which leads to brand equity. Small businesses have a tremendous advantage with social media. They can reach a wider audience with targeted efforts and see measurable results more quickly than traditional marketing strategies once allowed.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1118099206][amazon template=iframe image&asin=0749465158][amazon template=iframe image&asin=0132664259]