Brands are still trying to figure out how to use social media and what it can do for their brand. One of the most significant benefits of social media is the online boost from social chatter about the brand and the added visibility leading to more clients or customers. Using creativity to showcase your brand ideals is brilliant and should be on every brand's social media plan. There are items that will be added to your editorial calendar like promotions or specials for your products or services, but the good stuff that hits the sweet spot of brand identity and public interest is based on listening on social media and taking the temperature of the social media climate.
Social media is an excellent listening tool.
Spontaneous interactions on Twitter between a brand and a fan are entertaining and fun. It gives the public a chance to get to know the brand beyond the logo and corporate spiel. It also is the mark of an innovative social media brand that isn't planning all their tweets in a war room waiting to create the next Oreo tweet. That was one person who used the timing of the Super Bowl and creativity to steal the show. Trying hard to be spontaneous and cool ruins the message. It ends up being like your Mom trying to use the latest slang and entirely mangling it.
[pullquote position=”right”]The X factor that boosts social media from good to fantastic is the spontaneous, human element. [/pullquote]Using witty text, an entertaining photo or possibly something special about your brand that you can tweet or post is fun and interesting. Listening on social media and sharing what your fans share is very smart. This is the best kind of social media, it reinforces that you are a caring brand and show interest in what your client's like and share. It also features one of your clients which is generous. Highlighting the nice things your client's say about you by reposting, retweeting, or favoriting the tweet all boost your brand's online mojo.
A few examples from social media out in the wild:
Kimpton is a pet-friendly hotel chain. Guests bring pets, and they love to photograph their fur babies. Kimpton has a great brand extension that occurs naturally as people tweet or post photos on Instagram from their stay.
— Minnie & Max Pugs (@MinnieMaxPugs) February 7, 2014
Pantone does an amazing job on their Instagram with a solid following of over 114,000; they get great interaction on every post.
Starbucks shared a hand-designed latte cup which their followers loved!
Don't be afraid to ask your social media followers what they want more of! Being smart with your content means figuring out what people like and giving them more of the same but in a fresh or unique way. Repetition could be used with a fun hashtag to tie all the posts together across social media.
Ways that you can use social media creatively to boost brand visibility:
- Find social media from your fans out in the wild and share in on your brand channel. Don't just push your corporate posts.
- Ask questions to find out what people want to hear and see from you.
- Use fun hashtags to ask people to participate in your activities or join in existing hashtags if it fits your brand. I frequently use #ScienceSunday for Kreussler Inc.
- Embed social media posts from customers on your company's blog.
- Be a good listener and respond to positive as well as negative comments.
- Cross-pollinate your social media platforms. Tweet your Instagram photos, share Instagram snaps on Facebook and help people find you on other platforms. This will help build your followers across different social channels.
- Had a great post earlier in the week? Don't be afraid to repost it with a cute title like “hot post of the week” or replay from our greatest hits.”