By now, it is common knowledge that social media is a cost-effective way to increase brand visibility and reach. What many businesses are still less aware of, is how best to use social media to get the most consumer engagement. Here are 3 tips to help your SME generate more brand awareness.
Pinpoint the best platform
Assess which particular platform works best for your business in particular, based on age and your type of industry.
Facebook is often the most viable option, with the biggest daily user rate, and widest reach. As it appeals to all ages, local-brand Facebook posts can reach up to millions in customer engagement1.
It is important to note that a bigger user base does not always mean better reach or higher response. To get a better idea of what works with the local crowd, take your cue from the 5 most popular Facebook brands in Singapore. As a start, consider having fans ‘like’ your page to enjoy promotions, or reveal facebook-exclusive promotions on your page to incentivise your fans and keep them engaged.
Twitter can be a powerful tool, with over 500 million tweets published per day2, but its word limit of up to 140 characters means your business might not be able to convey your message in its entirety. Furthermore, its appeal among the local crowd pales in comparison to Facebook’s, with 43% of active social media users on Facebook, and 13% reporting Twitter usage3.
Nonetheless, the character restriction is a good reason to get creative with branding, and cut out the unnecessary messaging common in many advertising efforts. Try creating a viral post by offering a prize to whoever directs the most traffic to your webpage with retweets and shares. You can also use bit.ly links to track the results.
Instagram, with its niche crowd, is an effective tool for a select range of businesses. Businesses which heavily focus on visuals, like fashion, lifestyle or culinary establishments, get the most traction from this platform. As visual marketing has been proven to be more effective, Instagram is a good choice for businesses looking to make a loud statement.
The best way to engage your audience on this visual platform is through a photo-posting contest. Encourage your Instagram-savvy customers to snap pictures of themselves enjoying your product or service, along with a hashtag created especially for the campaign so you can keep track of entries. If executed well, such contests can help your product generate buzz and genuine brand engagement.
Surpassing Instagram as the most important social platform among teens5, Snapchat has become a promising platform for marketing to younger audiences. It provides a good way to stand out from the crowd as an advertiser, as it still holds much untapped marketing potential. However, as snaps posted are only visible for up to 24 hours, this might prove challenging for businesses looking to build a lasting brand image.
Here’s how you can create an effective marketing campaign with Snapchat.
Upgrade your skills
The best way to pick up the latest in social marketing skills is through a comprehensive lesson, be it online or offline. Take, for example, the NICF- Social Media Marketing course, a joint effort between NUS (National University of Singapore) and ISS (Institute of Systems Science). The course teaches businesses how to integrate social marketing strategies and analyse these efforts to maximise marketing expenditure. Under initiatives like Workfare Training Support and Enhanced Training Support for SMEs, such courses are available at rates reduced by up to $2,000.
If you do not have the time for offline classes, try online learning platforms like Coursera. Coursera is a global platform that features online lessons on everything from social media analytics to advanced SEO optimisation.
Engage with your audience
Interacting with your consumer base has become a must in a social media-run generation that expects quick and efficient responses. A study within the hotel industry revealed that brands that responded to over 50% of their customer reviews saw double the growth rate of properties that did not6.
This is in line with a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, which found that 65% of potential customers are more likely to book a hotel that responds to its customer reviews7. This is because interaction shows consumers that you care about their feedback.
When it comes to deciding the ‘what’s and how’s’ of social marketing, the key things to keep in mind are your target demographic, and the purpose behind your marketing. Although social media is highly effective in promoting brand visibility, it may not be for every business. Always access the demographics and psychographics of your target audience carefully before selecting your platform of choice.
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