Having a social media presence is important for your brand for many reasons, some of which you might not have thought of. You tend to hear a lot about social media metrics, which are a measurement of the performance of your content. Knowing the fundamentals behind having a social media presence will inform your content strategy and boost those metrics in the future.
You’ve gone through the effort to brand yourself. You’ve got a name, colors, fonts, and a logo. You have a website. All of this is in the interest of brand recognition. But, if you don’t have the infrastructure set up, you could miss out on more opportunities for brand awareness and audience reach.
Be sure to get that handle before someone else does. You never know when you're going to need it. The worst is when a brand with a similar name comes along and claims your TikTok handle. Once it’s taken, there’s not much you can do. Now you have to use some odd or unusual spelling of your name, like adding a string of numbers, to make it work. Having accounts set up, even if they’re not in use, could come in handy someday. The lesson: get the social media handles for your brand as soon as you can; even if you don’t have any immediate plans to use them.
It’s OK to have a dormant or low-key profile on a platform you're not ready to use yet. Or one that doesn’t quite fit your target audience. If you’re a photographer, no one is going to judge you for having an empty Twitter feed.
Take a moment to create profiles on all the major platforms, even if they seem irrelevant to your brand. If and when the time comes to branch out, you aren’t scrambling to create accounts.
Consider that your audiences might change or grow in the future. To be prepared for this, it’s important to have accounts set up in advance. Here are some ways changes like this could occur:
- Your business goals change. Maybe you add a product line or diversify your skillset.
- A demographic you hadn’t anticipated becomes interested in your brand.
- A worldwide pandemic changes how people engage with your brand, or how you interact with the world.
- You collaborate with an influencer whose presence is strong on another platform. And, as a result, people start talking about you on another channel.
You wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to engage with a new audience. It’s important to target audiences in your content strategy, but think of your total audience as a living and breathing entity that could change. In any case, you should have the infrastructure in place to handle a surge or shift in social media activity.
Think of social media presence as a customer service tool. Because so many transactions occur online now, people are turning to social media to:
- Get their questions answered
- Share what they love
- Connect directly with brands
Toll-free numbers are on the endangered species list. People are left with FAQs, customer service emails, and chatbots, which feel impersonal. Social media is a way for folks to connect to either ask a question, or voice a concern.
It's becoming more common for people to visit a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account for questions about products or services in DMs or comments.
Sharing is the new word of mouth. People love to let others know what’s important to them. It could be digital content, goods, or services. This makes your fans and followers your best brand ambassadors. If they love you, they want their friends to love you, too. So, they’ll comment, share, and tag others in order to bring more awareness to your content.
Don’t underestimate the power of the words “thank you.” Be sure you or your social media manager makes an effort to acknowledge these praises, especially if you are a small business. It will boost positive sentiment for your brand.
Consumers are demanding transparency from brands and knowing they can connect with you directly on social media lets them know they can trust you. It's an opportunity to strengthen brand loyalty.
The benefit to having a good social media presence is having eyes and ears everywhere. Think of it as your social listening network. The very mention of your name will generate a notification. No one can escape bad reviews or internet trolls. So, having yourself set up to handle negativity could prevent your brand image from being tarnished.
What if a customer gives you a bad review on Facebook, where your brand doesn’t live? You will have a hard time smoothing it out unless you have the infrastructure in place to comment.
Case in point... CrockPot launched its first-ever Twitter account after a scene from the fictional show This Is Us, depicted one of their products sparking a fire. People started throwing out their cookers and Twitter went crazy. Luckily, their social media manager was smart enough to secure the handle @CrockPotCares to put out the fire.
Social media is a great place to observe people’s opinions and behavior, to study trends, and to stay connected to your industry. Dedicate time to surfing social media with curiosity. Let go of metrics for a little while and simply gather information that could inspire business ideas and content.
Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not working content-wise? Notice what people are saying about your brand and use that information as a barometer for brand sentiment.
Look at your peers or competitors and see what works, and doesn’t work for them. Look at parallel brands to see what they are doing. Recognize that social media isn’t all about output, you can gain a lot by taking it in.
This might be the most commonly thought of element when it comes to social media presence. It’s what you aim for when creating content: you want to be seen and recognized. But just being active and posting great content frequently doesn’t necessarily lead to visibility.
Visibility is a direct result of your strategy. Metrics such as engagement and awareness can provide insight into how visible your brand is. One way to increase your visibility is audience targeting, consistency, and timing.
Pro Tip: Pin important or popular posts that are getting high engagement rates, so people can easily find them.
Social media visibility and SEO are two different things. SEO is specifically your discoverability on search engines. Social media channels can serve as mini search engines. But, when it comes to SEO, I’m strictly talking about internet search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Unfortunately, the authority of your social profile does not affect SEO ratings. But, there are two aspects of social media that do...
A link shared on Facebook counts as a credible backlink to your website and counts toward your SEO rating.
Social media profiles rank high in a search for any brand. So, any profile you create makes it easier to find you. Try it. Create a Twitch account, if you don’t have one. Search your brand like you normally would, and you will eventually see it pop up in the results.
Making the Most of Your Social Media Presence
Hopefully this information has helped to expand your awareness of the role and purpose of social media for yourself and for your brand. Keeping a big picture mindset can help you stay grounded as you continue to improve upon your social media strategy.