Whether you operate in the online e-commerce or retail industry, positioning your brand on social media is a must in today’s day and age. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram enjoy multi-billion user bases, allowing brands from a vast array of backgrounds and niches to make a mark on their respective territories and industries.
According to Social Media Today, 77% of consumers stated that they are more likely to buy from brands which they follow on social media as opposed to those they don’t, with 50% stating that they follow brands on social platforms as a means to stay informed about new products and services. From the business side of the equation, findings published by Small Biz Genius showcase that 93% of marketers cite exposure as a number one benefit for social media marketing and with 2.1 billion people checking their social media accounts each day, turning attention to this communication channel is a logical step for brand awareness in 2020.
Whether it’s sales, networking or to provide updates to your consumers across the globe, brand activation on social media can indeed turn the tides in your favor. That being said, let’s take a look at several practical brand activation ideas and guidelines which can help you create brand awareness and generate more leads and revenue as a direct result.
The “What” and “Why” of Brand Activation
Let’s discuss brand activation briefly before we touch upon different ways in which you can position your brand on social media. In short, brand activation revolves around improving the image of your brand by introducing it to a new audience – in this case, the social media audience. In terms of a marketing mix, brand activation is step one of the process of advertising your brand to a global audience.
While you may already have a foothold on social media platforms, brand activation can help you create a unique experience for your followers through brand storytelling, reinvented content and new products or services unseen on your social media feeds up to that point. In that aspect, a centralized platform such as Postfity can help you manage, analyze and schedule your social media posts, effectively facilitating your social media activities.
The purpose of brand activation is to inject new life into your brand’s public perception and allow for more creative and original content to represent your brand to potential B2C and B2B stakeholders. In terms of concrete benefits for your business going forward, brand activation on social media can prove advantageous in a number of ways, including:
- Structured and data-rich approach to social media marketing
- Increased website traffic and lead generation
- Higher customer loyalty and brand advocacy
- Better industry authority and public awareness
- High ROI in terms of generating long-term sales and revenue
Brand Activation on Social Media
Create a Social Media Presence
Assuming that you don’t already have a presence on social media platforms, you should make that your priority. Simply create social media pages in your brand’s name on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter (or a combination of above) to get started.
Angela Baker, Social Media Specialist at Pick the Writer spoke on the topic recently: “Even if your pages are maintained semi-actively, you should still create an omnichannel online presence for your stakeholders’ convenience. That way, your position on the market will be secured more firmly and allow for marketing campaigns and brand awareness initiatives to take place more quickly down the line.”
Ensure that all of your pages are verified and branded under your logo, visual elements, contact information and website to provide proof of their legitimacy. Once your pages are up and running, your brand activation strategy will be one concrete step closer to achieving its goals of raising public awareness and leads for your business.
Develop a Content Style
While you may be able to schedule your posts and automate most of your social media management activities, the content you publish will still speak volumes of your brand as a whole. Given the nature of brand activation, you can start by reevaluating and reintroducing your brand to the public through storytelling, personalization and showcasing.
Ask your employees to share their experiences with your company, why they work there and what they think separates it from others on the market. Dedicate a single post each week for a different product line or service available through your website to generate interest and sales directly through social media. When it comes to developing a content style for your brand activation, there are no rules in terms of available content types.
Cater your approach to each social media platform and pick the best content types for each (videos for Facebook, photos for Instagram, etc.). Tools such as WoWGrade and Evernote can be highly useful in writing and editing your content so that it suits each platform and its standards to maximize the efficacy of your brand activation strategy.
Unique Brand Hashtags
Even though they originated on Instagram, hashtags have quickly garnered popularity due to their utility and memorable nature. As such, creating unique hashtags which will play the role of representing your brand and making your content more sharable is more than welcome.
The hashtags you settle on should be witty, easy to remember and most importantly – related to your brand, industry and products respectively. Thus, any content piece you publish on social media will be easily identifiable as yours given its accompanying hashtags.
Moreover, hashtags can be used in special events such as giveaways, prize polls and community events for your followers which can serve as great jumping off points for viral marketing and huge social reach. Make sure to avoid generic words or phrases used by other brands, especially in your own niche, and your brand activation initiative will be that much more successful for it.
Scheduled Content Strategy
Whether on social media or your company’s website, content should never be published ad hoc and without proper planning. As such, scheduled content strategies can prove much more useful and easier to manage in the long run, especially with multiple social media pages under your belt.
You can schedule publishing times for your social media pages in a variety of patterns throughout the week which can be used to telegraph your content strategy to the audience at large. That way, people will always know that you post new content on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays while reserving the off days for community management (for example).
Postfity.com is a tool that allows you to schedule up to 10,000 social media posts at the same time!
Avoid publishing content for the sake of posting something on social media at odd hours or outside of your pre-planned schedule. Tools such as Supreme Dissertations and Grammarly can be utilized for a great effect when it comes to writing and formatting individual content pieces before scheduling them for social media publishing. This will not only make the content production cycle easier to manage but also help with the perception of professional brand activation and content performance analysis.
Once your content gains momentum and people start flocking to your social media pages, you shouldn’t neglect communication with them. After all, social media platforms are social hubs for people to connect with friends and family – what better way to position your brand and gain new customers?
You can opt for several paths when it comes to audience communication, such as appointing a social media manager to monitor and engage with your published content and posts, or to put a chatbot in place via social media messaging apps. Choose the appropriate audience engagement method depending on your business’ scale, resources and portfolio.
Neglecting to communicate with people who comment on your posts or provide crucial feedback for you to learn from will paint a negative image of your business fairly quickly. Effectively, this will go against your brand activation goals of reintroducing and reinventing the public image of your company – make sure to communicate.
Lastly, as we’ve mentioned previously, centralized social media content management can allow for a plethora of analytical possibilities post-publishing. Once your content schedule is set and underway, people will start to warm up to your brand activation strategy and engage with your business in a number of ways.
It is essential that you track, analyze and learn from every content piece you publish for the betterment of your marketing strategy down the line. Even minute differences in the way people comment or share your content can showcase how well-versed your calls to action were during that campaign or what to avoid once the next content cycle comes around.
Failing to pay attention to analytical data in regards to your content is a wasted opportunity – one which can cost you a lot more than the success of your brand activation initiative. Learn from your mistakes and successes as you go along and you will undoubtedly achieve the content strategy’s target performance and then some.
The Long Game (Conclusion)
Whether you wanted to test out experimental content marketing or reintroduce a new and improved company to the public, brand activation via social media can indeed facilitate those efforts quite effectively. However, as good as the technical tools at your disposal may be, the quality of your content is always what will keep people coming back for more.
Brand activation and subsequent lead nurturing are a long game which will require your time and patience but which will inarguably also generate fruitful revenue and exposure for your business. Make the best of the tools at your disposal and your audiences will undoubtedly follow suit and make it worth your while.
About the author:
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.