Social media marketing is now considered to be an essential element of the marketing strategy of all brand regardless of what their core business is. You can run a leather skin shop or an FMCG, and this form of marketing will still be relevant to you.
Why? Because a significant proportion of the world population can be found on social media platforms. In 2018, there were around 4.021 billion internet users out of which 3.196 billion also used social media. This figure is enough to showcase the power of social media. Brands can quickly and cost-effectively market to their target audience via such platforms.
Why is brand management important?
Before delving into the relationship between social media marketing and brand management, it is essential to understand why brands matter in the first place. Branding and managing the brand you create is critical because it is the consumer perception about your company and products. This is what allows businesses to charge a premium for their products without anyone batting an eye. It also creates brand loyalty.
The latter benefit can be seen in the infamous Coca-Cola blind taste test. Even though only few could tell the difference between the soda and other generic options, Coca-Cola continues to be the market leader due to the perception it has created.
Social media marketing meets brand management
Managing a brand a few years ago was starkly different from how it is done today. The evolution and surge in popularity of social media have forever altered that landscape of marketing.
Brand management involves focusing on elements other than the tangible product. Here, aspects like consumer perception, brand loyalty, social meaning, cultural value and symbolic power of the brand take control.
How does social media help to manage a brand? Well, it allows companies to communicate with their target audience quickly and transparently. For instance, let’s say something happens which might affect your brand image. You can address it in real-time via social media rather than waiting to create an ad or put up a billboard. The immediacy of this platform is what makes it excellent for managing brands.
Social media marketing tips for improving brand management
1. Plan it out
We can’t stress the importance of having a game plan enough. Rather than creating a social media strategy for your brand as you go, you must first sit down and plan. Think about what aspects of your brand do you want to work on using social media. Do you want to work on brand loyalty or merely communicate your values first? It all depended on how healthy and established your brand is currently.
Even after you have chosen the element you will target, you must come up with creative content. Researching about using keywords and deciding how often and when to post are all part of social media strategy planning.
2. Having a multiple channel approach
Brand management is all about 360-degree marketing. While you might view this term to mean accessing customers through different marketing channels like traditional media, social media, print, etc.
You can also view it in another way when it comes to social media platforms. You see social media is not just one channel. Instead, it is an umbrella term used for various sites. Previously, marketers only thought to have a Twitter presence was enough to manage a brand. But, this has changed.
Now, Instagram has taken the lead in being one of the most used platforms. You might think that concentrating your brand management efforts to the platform will suffice. We are here to tell you that you should use all top social media platforms for managing your brand. This includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
This multichannel approach allows you to tap a different type of market segments. Understand which segment is present where and alter your strategy to suit them accordingly. At the same time, ensure that your communications aren’t conflicting one another.
3. Influencer marketing is the next big thing
There is something about a brand saying that it is the best that doesn’t quite resonate with customers. Millennials are harder to impress and easier to turn into cynics. Within social media marketing, an influencer marketing strategy can allow you to create a brand perception without hopping onto the driving seat.
A study was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of influencer marketing. It was revealed that out of the respondents, almost 95% of the marketers found that this form of marketing had a positive effect on the brand. This is the reason you will be seeing all the big fishes doing it.
Additionally, this form of marketing is perfect for YouTube where internet celebrities thrive.
4. Know how to measure your brand image
You can’t effectively manage your brand via social media if you don’t know how well a given social media strategy is faring. There are quite a lot of metrics delivered by social media platforms. You have to decide which of them matter in deciphering your brand image and power.
In 2018, the following metrics are considered to be much more important than followers and likes:
- Reach which showcases how many people saw your communication at least once
- Click rates which reflect the number of times people interacted with your content by clicking on it
- The engagement which is the total click rates divided by reach, i.e., how many of those reached actually interacted with your content
- Performance of hashtag which measures how much your created hashtag was used and what other user-generated hashtags were associated with your brand
While some might say that product differentiation is what makes you unique, these differentiations tend to be erased after some time as others copy the distinctive advantage. The only thing that can’t be imitated is consumer perception of your brand.
Follow these tips if you wish to create a lasting brand image. How people perceive your company matters. Use social media to influence it positively.