How Does Social Media Increase Brand Awareness

How Does Social Media Increase Brand Awareness

“Brands want to be people, and people want to be brands.”

Have you come across this saying before? More importantly, do you agree with it?

In a world where 3.48 billion people are on social media (a figure that’s up 9% from the previous year), we have this huge platform in which to project ourselves in the very best way. Or, at least, in the way we would like to be perceived. As a brand fighting for just a little piece of the pie, it can be difficult to get yourself noticed amongst the chaos that is social media marketing, let alone craft the image you want. So how does social media increase brand awareness? Can you really make an impact when you’re up against the big dogs like Wendy’s and Starbucks?

In a word...yes.

 

 

Before we start on how social media can boost your brand awareness, it might help you to know you’re not alone in this struggle. In fact, a 2018 social study by Sprout found that brand awareness is the current top issue for marketers. Given the competition you’re up against, let’s go over 5 social media strategies that increase brand awareness (with examples from companies you’ve heard of), whatever size the business may be.

 

1. Get Visual but Keep it Unique

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are naturally visual, but lazy marketers are crowding them with sleep-inducing stock images.

If I have to see another photo of a man in a suit shaking a non-existent hand...

 

Take your own photos. Create your own graphics. Shoot your own videos. Trust me, you’ll be rewarded for the extra effort. People are 2.3x more likely to share and engage with Facebook posts that contain images. Keep it fresh and you’ll catch some eyes. Do something that’s been done before and your consumer base will keep on scrollin’. Think about what gets your attention when you’re browsing social channel and consider what suits your brand. Memes, gifs, infographics - or something else?

Don’t forget to take advantage of ephemeral content, too, in the form of live Facebook videos, Instagram stories or IGTV. This creates a more personal relationship between your brand and your viewers; it’s like giving them a friendly hug rather than selling to them. Show the “real you” with off-the-cuff content that’s a little informal.

 

Who’s doing it right?

 

Volkswagen understands that Facebook is the place for brands to tell a story. In their Chapters of Summer campaign, they’re doing that quite literally. By uncovering unorthodox ways customers can use a Volkswagen to solve their pain points (like as a clothes line during camping trips), they’re speaking to their audience in new ways. Who knew they could use a car for something other than...getting somewhere?

Cast your eyes over their Facebook page for more visual stories about VW and the people that drive them, and you might just get inspired about how you can weave a sales pitch into your own story.

 

2. Develop your Personality

This is where the whole “brands want to be people” adage comes in.

You’re interacting with human beings on social media, so act like one. This means taking advantage of the instant two-way communication channel that businesses never had back in ye olde days. Be conversational; if you opt for solely omni-directional messages, you’ll find that engagement slumps. Reply to messages, because ignoring them radiates an “I’m too important for you” attitude.

 

Struggling to find your tone of voice?

Get a few people in your business together and decide who you are. Quirky? Formal? Stylish? Define what suits your brand and stick to it whenever you post to social media. Even if you have a traditionally “boring” brand, avoid becoming robotic, throw in some humor and find a way to stand out.

 

Who’s doing it right?

 

Take Charmin, the toilet paper company. Toilet roll is the everyday product that doesn’t exactly fill us with excitement, but they’re injecting comedy into their channels. Their Twitter timeline is littered with bright, eye-catching graphics, funny tales and even surveys. Their toilet-themed hashtag #TweetFromTheSeat became widely popular considering, it’s just about tweeting from the toilet.

 

3. Maintain Consistent Branding but Tailor it to Each Channel

Stick to one logo, one colour scheme and one voice, otherwise you won’t be recognizable channel-to-channel. It’s a good idea to create a branding or style guide so that if you choose to outsource anything to a digital marketing agency, they know how to properly represent your business.

That said, there are different tones appropriate for different platforms.

Twitter is short, sweet and funny. LinkedIn should be preserved for the more professional content. (Oh, yeah, using a social media automatic posting app and just firing out the same message comes across as lazy. So tailor absolutely everything you send out to your audience.) You don’t need to plaster your messages across every wall of the social media kingdom. Choose the platforms that suit your brand and learn how to effectively use them.

Ask yourself some important questions:

  • Where do your customers socialize?
  • Is a certain social media channel popular, outdated or up-and-coming?
  • Does a channel make sense for your brand?
  • How can you use this form of social media for brand awareness?

 

Who’s doing it right?

Greenpeace is the NGO that raises issues relevant to every generation. From plastic polluting the oceans to climate change, their content needs to appeal to everyone from every angle.

 

From Instagram to LinkedIn, they get their message across in a relevant but consistent manner. Their LinkedIn page is reserved for links to their articles. Its short captions are straight to the point and just formal enough, using jargon-free writing that anyone can understand.

Taking it over to Instagram, you’ll find short videos from real people discussing ideas for a better future and protests around matters that young people care about. Well done, Greenpeace, you know exactly where your audiences are.

 

4. Have Influencers Share Your Story

Influencers are social media’s key to increase brand awareness.

Few people anticipated just how big the influencer sphere would grow. In a few short years, it’s boomed, and estimates say $570 million was spent on influencer marketing in 2017 alone. A figure that has soared even higher since.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Building your own following from scratch takes a lot of time and effort, but connecting with influencers in your industry gives you access to thousands of people interested in what you’re selling.

 

 

Don’t just aim high. We all want Snoop Dogg marketing our posts, but there are a few reasons that won’t work:

  1. He’s too expensive for most brands to afford (you’d need a near unlimited budget)
  2. He doesn’t resonate with your audience (he’s probably not an expert in kids’ clothes, plastic peonies or whatever you sell)
  3. Your audience won’t believe him (he’s not their friend or a micro influencer)

Brands are turning to micro influencers that already have a following that trusts them within your market, so develop relationships and create a strategy to build the awareness you’re looking for.

 

Who’s doing it right?

(Don’t judge my ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist)

 

Even the world’s biggest brands are utilizing the power of the micro influencer. In order to promote its Discover Weekly feature, Spotify called out to micro influencers to share their own playlists on Instagram.

They asked them to stick to their own social media style and promote how Spotify created a playlist just for them - and recommend their followers to try it themselves. The campaign got as many as 28,998 likes and comments, with a CPE (cost-per-engagement) of $0.20.

 

5. Hold Contests or Giveaways

Invite more engagement with giveaways or contests.

Get creative and encourage your followers to share once they’ve entered; it’s virtually free marketing for your brand and it’s coming from the mouths (or fingertips) of real people. Harness the power of hashtags while you’re at it, and you get to watch conversation around your brand amplify. Create your own to enforce your identity. #moreimpressivethanyou Holding a giveaway offers an incentive to followers to get involved and if there are people around the world talking about you on their own channels, this is great for your own authority and trust levels.

The key is to make giveaways a regular occurrence, but don’t overdo them. Most brands choose to host a contest once a month or less.

 

Who’s doing it right?

 

Forever 21 tugs on their audience’s love of nostalgia. By inviting them to share their favourite 80’s or 90’s movie, tag a couple of friends and use the hashtag #F21Sweepstakes, they were able to generate a bunch of awareness, interaction and shares.

And it only cost them a pair of sneakers and a couple of items from their LA Gear Collection.

 

Hat’s Your Brand Awareness Strategy?

 

I’m looking at you.

How are you using social media to increase your brand awareness - and how are you measuring it? There’s virtually zero point in executing any sort of digital strategy if you don’t have the stats to back-up your efforts.

Speak to Impressive to find out how you could use social to boost your brand’s voice and reputation. Our strategy team is ready and waiting for a conversation!