5 Powerful Tips to Boost Your Brand on Social Media

Tom
January 20, 2016 ・ 8 min read
5 Simple Techniques to Boost Your Brand on Social Media

The importance of social media for business is undisputed. Social media platforms allow you to showcase your services and products, engage potential, as well as existing customers, all this at an impressive global scale and in a very cost-effective way! However, just setting up your social media profiles is simply not enough. Today’s top marketers have fully embraced the power of social listening, user-generated content and brand-to-customer conversations.

The problem is, however, that even if you make a genuine and determined effort to plan and then execute your brilliant plan for effective social media communication with your target audience there is still a risk to fail to achieve a return on investment. One of the biggest social media advantage –  the cost-effective communication – is at the same time its biggest challenge. With thousands of brands competing to capture customers attentions and flooding social media users with a one-can-not-stand-it number of special offers, product information and the top 5 reasons why we should select their product over the rival ones, doing everything by the books is not enough. You need to secure you place at the forefront of creativity and innovation to help your brand stand out from this social media melee and get a satisfactory return on invested time and money.

These 5 simple tips will help you do that and boost your brand’s social media presence.

Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken

Consumers join (and enjoy) social media to follow people, not corporate profiles. To succeed, brands need to show a human face and add a bit of their shiny personality to their social media communication. This is why people love social media for.  For letting them being personal and social. Old Spice knows how to do this right. Here an example of a fan commenting the release of a new Old Spice Ad (pretty amusing one, by the way, watch if you have a minute) and apparently asking @OldSpice for some thoughts about it. The brand takes it very easy and with a playful attitude names all the merits of the new commercial finishing with a cheeky question as if realising they were not supposed to reply to that tweet at all.

And this is how Netflix handled unhappy user’s comment stating that the company’s movie selection leaves much to be desired:

A drop of humour can definitely make your brand social image more accessible and social. Look how clever was the SEGA’s answer to a tweet from a fan expressing his wish for the brand to make a new Jet Grind game:

A funny and harmless dose of irony or a pinch of humour makes the brand-to-customer communication less formal and much more engaging. We love it and this leads us also to the next technique.

Keep Your Social Media Audience Engaged

When still most of the brands use social media as a one-way channel to solely inform the audience about their products, step out of the crowd, get truly social and engage your existing and potential customers in a funny and attention-grabbing dialogue. This is nothing different than in a real life. How do you think you can make loyal friends and fans? Talk to them and make them feel you care. Surveys, caption contests, giveaways and questions are all great ways to get serious about your social engagement (not sure how your “real life” friends would react on surveys and contests, though!). Take Toys “R” Us as an example. They used the current context of the Thee Kings’ Day and its gifts giving tradition (a nice refined nod towards markets celebrating Christian doctrine by the way) to introduce a funny quiz with a clear call-to-action for the audience. A simple question of guessing what Mr. Potato Head’s festive gift would be, invites the social users to participate in a dialogue, generates creativity and fun, allows to get some customer insight in addition to promoting the toy product itself.

Keep Your Social Media Audience Engaged

GoPro is another brand that champions the social dialogue skills on its Instagram page. The camera manufacturer often encourages those using its product to showcase some of their best shots. This way not only does GoPro amplify its social media engagement, break out of the boring corporate mold and shorten the distance between the brand and its fans (something that any fan would love!), but also shows off the product in action and earns some great user-generated content in a very cost effective way!

The rule is quite simple, the more you can keep your audiences interested on social media, the more traffic, fans and eventually sales leads you are likely to generate. How to keep them interested and make the social dialogue possible? Well, like in any offline social conversation, before you say something, first you need to listen.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway, the author of this quote, apparently knew much more about social media than many marketers of the current times. You have probably heard this before here, and you will most likely hear it again, but the ability to pick and address relevant online conversations about your brand can either make or break your business. This is why you need to equip your social marketing arsenal with a social listening tool. Any business that is serious about its online presence needs to be aware of social media activity around its brand. It is like doing a regular doctor checkup but instead of your own health you monitor your brand’s online well-being. Prevention is better that treatment and this stays valid also for your online reputation.

Here is an example of an excellent social media listening that translates into outstanding customer service. Walterstore, a bookstore brand, was tweeted about a man locked in one of their stores in London. This massage caught on instantly, gaining more than 16,000 retweets. If not attended the brand, it could have jeopardized the good name of the bookstore, not to mention the frustration of an unlucky, locked customer.

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Apart of spectacular cases when you can save someone’s life, social listening tools prove actually very helpful in making sales. Surely you have heard about Airbnb who picked up a tweet from a Sports’ journalist visiting Sochi and offered him a better accommodation than the one he tweeted about.

“People Will Stare. Make it Worth Their While”

Harry Winston really nailed it. People like visuals. 40% of people will respond better to visual information than to plain text. Our articles promoted with visual tweets gain much more social attention than these promoted only with a text tweet. Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. In a nutshell, visuals are processed incomparably faster in the human brain than plain text. This is pure nature. Consequently, the information in an image takes just a fraction of a second to be digested.

Dunkin Donuts, an American coffee and baked goods chain, treats its fans with bright, cheerful and shareable posts accompanied with original, colourful and delicious visuals.

"People Will Stare. Make it Worth Their While"
"People Will Stare. Make it Worth Their While"

Oreo is another flagship example of a brand that does an amazing job with its visual content. We all remember the moment when the brand brighten up the Super Bowl 2013 with a simple tweet when lights went out at the at the Superdome for more than half an hour. However, this is only a tip of the creativity iceberg that Oreo’s social media experts represent. Here another great example of a video that generates an interspersing and unusual social dialogue with the mobile phone manufacturer Motorola.

First Oreo launched a short video seasoned with a great sense of humour encouraging its fans to stay positive even when their phone cracks.

Motorola picked up this motive to promote its own product – a mobile that, according to the brand, never shatters. The cookie expert took up this social media challenge and replied with even wittier comment inviting the phone manufacturer to treat themselves with an Oreo for inventing such an amazing unbreakable phone.

Oreo is our favourite when it comes to social media adventurers and innovators. The brand will definitely deserve a chapter in the social media textbook. This leads us, however, to the next technique that promotes questioning the limits and stereotypes.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

Thank you Neale Donald Walsc, we would not have expressed it better. Social media is still an evolving art. There is no clear and settled code of conduct nor one-size-fits-all success recipe. It is all about being authentic, helpful, interesting and engaging. And who is more interesting and likely to be followed than a pioneer? Businesses that from time to time leave their “comfort zone” set up by the industry standards and explore new ideas and unknown territory of influence harvest amazing fruits of the “shock effect” social users are treated with. Breaking the limits enables social conversation and makes your social profile more interesting. No matter how big you are, social media is an opportunity to leave the mainstream from time to time and grab some extra attention with a surprising and engaging comment. Skittlers definitely got this point with an out-of-the-ordinary tweet below:

Walterstone is another example of “doing it right” with venturing into unknown marketing territory. Look what was the brand reaction to a recent Twitter’s shut-down. A Witty and attention grabbing GIF.

Also ASOS, a UK online fashion retailer, dares to explore new ideas and expands its sphere of influence beyond style and fashion.

What are your top tips to make the social love your brand? Treat us with your comment!