When it comes to social media marketing, creating brand awareness should be one of your top priorities, right alongside traffic and lead generation.
Here are a few ways to up your social media brand awareness game for better top of funnel results within your digital or inbound marketing program.
Let's dive in...
Create Shareable Content
Before we start talking about how content marketing relates to social media, it's critical to note the difference between shareable content and good content.
Good content is subjective and the description itself depends on the point of view of the reader. What one person finds good, another might find boring or inaccessible.
This is a recurring theme within the context of social media marketing.
According to a recent Entrepreneur article, business owners and marketers often create content that they themselves find engaging, rather than write for their target audience:
"Most businesses make the mistake of producing content only they’d want to read, or else they simply meet the deadlines marked on their publishing calendars. What you should be focusing on is how to create useful content that your readers won’t think twice about sharing...don’t share blindly or plagiarize, as these moves will affect your branding (and also your SEO) efforts."
This is precisely why good content is rarely indicative of shareable content.
There are several ways to create shareable social media content, all of which are predicated upon the requirement that people need to relate to that content on some level. Always ensure your social content is informative, engaging and accessible.
Follow a Diverse Content Plan
Another common mistake businesses make is posting the same type of content again and again.
Even if you're posting excessive amounts of original content, this strategy still isn't optimal because it lacks content diversity.
A recent Forbes article covers Maria Dysktra's thoughts on social media marketing. Dysktra, a Microsoft veteran and entrepreneur, suggests promoting your own content just 30% of the time. As a rule of thumb, she suggests that you aim for 60% of your updates to be industry related third-party content.
"Promote your own content just 30% of the time; 10% or less of everything you share can be direct calls to action."
You can argue that the percentages mentioned might be arbitrary, but they still demonstrate a necessary degree of content diversity.
Be Savvy with Social Ads
And finally, use social media advertising or native ads to gain more reach and brand awareness.
Even though a recent Business 2 Community article explains how Millennials have a distaste of advertising...
"While friends ranked the highest in terms of trust, advertising and sales people ranked the lowest. To make things worse, 84% of Millennials said they flat out don’t like advertising. Daunting statistics, surely. In order to overcome these odds, marketers need to start investing in content that feels authentic and provides value to the consumer without an in-your-face sales message."
...the reality is that a pay-to-play strategy has become a requirement for successful branding, traffic generation and even social media prospecting.
Social media platforms are businesses, too, primarily public ones. Like most public companies, they need to make money in order to survive and please their shareholders. This is most commonly done by offering advertising opportunities to reach their user base. The demand for paid social ads are maximized by the growing limitations the platform's algorithms place upon the reach of organic (non-paid) posts.
Basically, the social platforms know that they can make more ad revenue when they restrict company's abilities to reach their audience for free.
It's not shady, it's just business.
Notes on Boosting Your Brand via Social Media
At the end of the day, social media plays an integral role within any branding strategy.
It's unavoidable, so mastering the platforms that matter most to your buyer personas should be a top priority.
Using these tips, along with more careful analysis, savvy content and continued measurement of social ad performance will help ensure your brand gets in front of as many relevant eyeballs as possible.