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Brand Building On Social

White Paper

The goal of every online retailer and branded manufacturer is to maximise ROI and sell more products. But in today’s increasingly diverse and fragmented digital marketing landscape, it can be a challenge to stand out from the crowd.

The fiercely competitive online landscape coupled with the rapid rise in digital channels has made it increasingly difficult to position your company effectively.

In this eBook we’ll look at how you can use digital marketing to build your brand and create impactful campaigns, including:

  • How to get social right
  • Social sites to be seen on
  • How to grow your audience
  • And More!

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The goal of every online retailer and branded manufacturer is to maximise ROI and sell more products. But in today’s increasingly diverse and fragmented digital marketing landscape, it can be a challenge to stand out from the crowd. The fiercely competitive online landscape coupled with the rapid rise in digital channels has made it increasingly difficult to position your company effectively. In this eBook we’ll look at how you can use digital marketing to build your brand and create impactful campaigns.

What is a brand?

In a nutshell, branding is a ‘unique feeling’ or image that springs to mind when someone thinks about your company. There’s far more to it than having a logo or catchy slogan, and branding can’t simply be bought through online advertising. The balance of power lies with consumers – they are the ones who will decide whether your brand is valuable by sharing their opinions, reviews and experiences with each other online.

As Scott Cook, founder of Intuit puts it “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is; it’s what the consumers tell each other it is.” And customers are reviewing and talking about your brand on social channels. Some 62% of people now regularly use social media when deciding whether to make a purchase, up from just 17% in 2014.

Getting social right

When used correctly social media can transform your brand, enabling you to interact with customers, address problems, increase your customer base and generate brand awareness. Social media is also a place where you can build trust by setting yourself up as an industry thought-leader and portray your brand’s personality. It’s also increasingly becoming a place where you can promote products and sell directly to consumers.

With all the components that go into a brand, you can see how there’s no easy fix to establishing your social identity. To help you get started, here are a few basic steps that you can take:

  • Know your audience: Your brand cannot exist without an audience so drill down and identify who your social target audience is and what motivates them.
  • Develop your vision: Now you know who you’re targeting plan how you’re going to align with them. How can you make your company become their ‘go to’ choice?
  • Examine your brand strengths and weaknesses: Which brand components do you already have and which do you need to improve? Make use of all available data, and check out what people are saying about you on social media.
  • Prioritise any obstacles: Develop solutions to remove them while keeping budgetary factors in mind.
  • Allocate resources: Have the right people to help you achieve your new brand positioning and ensure everyone has the same goal in mind.
  • Have a social media game plan: What business goals are you trying to address? A strategy for generating leads will be completely different than the one you’d use to grow brand awareness, so you need to have a solid plan in place.

The Social Media Landscape

Social media has exploded. Today 2.3 billion people now use some form of social media, including 38 million people in the UK.2 And social media is continuing to evolve and change. It’s hard to believe that in 2009 MySpace had more users than Facebook. Nowadays new sites like WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat are stealing an increasingly large share of the market. This scale of change means you need pay close attention to trends in order to identify the social media channel your audience is using.

Social Sites To Be Seen On

Social media sites typically fall into two categories: user-profile based and visual based. As the name suggests, profile-based sites such as Facebook and Twitter are typically built around a profile, user connections and status updates. It’s where people go to stay connected to one another. Visual-based sites, such as Pinterest and Instagram, are built around sharing media, such as pictures and videos.

User-Profile Based Sites

Facebook

Facebook continues to be the leading social network. It has 1.44 billion global monthly users and a base of over 31 million in the UK.3 Facebook’s demographic in the UK is fairly even with 49% male users, and 51% female. Whilst Facebook’s younger demographic seem to be looking elsewhere, they still have a strong 2.5 million of 13-17 year olds using the channel, along the 25-34 age demographic making up 26% of the entire Facebook population.

Twitter

A trusted source of news and real-time updates, 26% of online adults have accounts on Twitter.5 Twitter has over 15 million active users in the UK and over 65% of these users are under the age of 34. Over 80% of the 15 million active users access the social network from their mobile with a further 29% checking their Twitter feed multiple times during the day.

Quick Tips For User-Profile Based Sites

  • Build a direct relationship with users by endorsing their content in the form of retweets or likes.
  • Position yourself as an industry expert by providing useful content or insider information including sharing industry trends or upcoming products. Simply providing helpful tips can position you as a useful and trusted source of information.
  • Turn social media into an extra customer service portal. When you set up a profile you’re displaying yourself as available to listen and provide solutions to your customers. Even negative feedback should be welcomed – it gives you the chance to show how ready you are to put things right. Always answer posts on the same day, or instantaneously if you can.
  • Facebook dynamic product ads are a great way to profit from Facebook’s tremendous reach and personalisation. Dynamic product ads can help you strategically promote products to shoppers who have already browsed your catalogue.

Visual Sites

Pinterest

Imagine an online corkboard for posting images, that’s what Pinterest is! With 110 million monthly users, Pinterest has a user base of 71% women. Typically each Pin results in an average of 6 website visits to that link.

Instagram

Instagram has announced that more than 500 million people now use the photo-sharing service, making it one of the fastest-growing social networks of all time.8 Instagram has also announced that 300 million people use it every day, with more than 95 million photos and videos being shared a day. Its monthly user base has more than doubled in size over the past two years.

Quick Tips For Visual Sites

  • Use these sites to drive traffic to your website: These social media sites generally provide a direct link to a retailer’s page when someone clicks on a product image. When they get to your site make sure it’s optimised for mobile since most social media users are using tablets or smartphones.
  • Promote image sharing: Embed social sharing buttons on product pages to encourage users to share your product images. And remember to use good quality, high resolution pictures because this will reflect on your company profile.
  • Reinforce your brand: Share pictures that illustrate your company culture and personality, maybe an office outing or celebration - let users see your employees displaying the ‘real face’ of your company.
  • Building A Social Media Profile

    When building your profile keep branding consistent and instantly recognisable. Use relevant keywords in the ‘about’ section to boost your visibility in search, and keep to character limits. (You can always add extra text in your background image). Adjust your privacy settings according to whether you want to share information publicly or not.

    How To Grow An Audience

    • Tap into your existing audience of website users by providing links on there to your social media profiles. And make sure visitors can share information directly from your product pages via social media sharing buttons.
    • Reward users who share content by offering them a discount code or free delivery (but be tactical – you don’t want to appear as though you’re ‘buying’ followers).
    • Repost followers’ content where relevant - especially if they post a favourable comment about your brand – and remember to thank the poster personally.
    • Use advertising such as dynamic product ads to convert browsers
    • Be patient, since it can take time to achieve a sizeable audience.

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