Excuse us while we explain the obvious, but social media awareness isn’t just about knowing Facebook and Instagram exists.
Brands need to know what platforms their customers use, what their life interests are, and how to talk their language.
With this knowledge, any business can then leverage the connectivity and unique flavor of human interaction on social media to drive awareness and affinity.
This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to promote a brand.
For anyone that is just getting started with social media marketing for brand awareness, walk with us as we explore what social media awareness is and how to leverage various platforms to grow customer numbers.
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What is Social Media Awareness?
Social media awareness refers to the knowledge and practical use of social channels for marketing and promoting a brand.
There are different levels of social media awareness, but any brand using social media engages in some sort of brand awareness campaign.
Brand awareness is defined as the extent to which customers are familiar with a brand or its products.
It can also be taken to mean how recognizable or memorable a brand is among its target audience.
The use of social media to promote brand awareness allows brands to create and nurture personal connections with a particular audience.
According to Oberlo, an average of 2.5 hours is spent daily on social networks and messaging. Thus, it is clear that social media is a very important part of people’s lives.
Oberlo also reports that 73% of marketers found social media marketing “somewhat effective” or “very effective.”
As we say in marketing, we go where the people are.
More importantly, 54% of social browsers use these platforms to research products, often looking for reviews and recommendations from trusted sources.
For these and many other reasons that we will discuss in subsequent sections, every brand should consider using social media to grow awareness and promote customer engagement.
Importance of Social Media Awareness for Brands
Here are a few topics to consider.
Increase Brand Awareness
Increasing your reach and expanding your market reach is one of the most important reasons for a brand to use social media.
Even for small businesses, local communities make rich hunting grounds to gain and nurture new leads.
There are also paid social media advertising campaigns that can bring extremely high returns when targeted and personalized for specific customers.
Build Relationships With Potential Customers
A Curalate survey found that 76% of American consumers purchased a product because they saw a brand’s social media post.
Another one by Edelman found that 39% of customers are only going to trust a brand if they have interacted with it on social media.
This just goes to show just how important it is to build and nurture positive relationships with customers.
In many cases, this is possible when you provide stellar customer service, reply to inquiries, and follow up on negative social media reviews.
Build Custom Audiences
Harley Davidson’s hyper-loyal social media community is one of the most loyal audiences the brand has.
Similarly, brands can build custom audiences that are easier to understand and engage with.
Custom audiences will be communities of fans (current customers) or target groups (potential customers) that brands can nurture.
One of the ways to do this is to create communities on social media where everyone can interact; these include Facebook groups, subreddits, and Instagram hashtags.
Often, these communities are self-sustaining and only require regular moderation and incentivizing to generate more interest.
Grow an Audience With a Small Budget
For small brands and startup businesses, a social media budget may be out of the question.
That’s okay because getting started on social media brand awareness often costs as little as $0.
Business founders and other stakeholders can start from scratch by creating official brand channels.
From then on, producing social media content such as taking pictures and videos is enough to start gaining traction.
Another often overlooked but highly effective method of gaining and growing an audience is to get friends, employees, and other stakeholders to talk about the brand on their own channels.
This gets the brand before a much bigger audience and gains more trust.
Gain Market Insights and Learn About Your Competitors
Social media is a goldmine of genuine customer feedback.
By talking directly to customers collecting direct feedback, brands can gauge how their products or services are received in the market.
For better market insights, marketing teams can also invest in social listening tools that sift through social channels for comments, posts, mentions, and other activities.
These tools then build comprehensive reports that can inform business managers how customers are reacting to their brand, its products, and services.
The same can also be done for competing brands, allowing marketers to discover gaps in the market where they can push their products.
Stay Top-Of-Mind With the People Who Matter, Build Loyalty
Most markets have cut-throat competition, and brands that aren’t constantly interacting with their customers are going to get forgotten.
Creating regular social and interesting social media content keeps a brand relevant among the people who matter most.
Additionally, it also improves brand loyalty, with millennials found to be 62% more loyal to brands that engage directly with them on social media.
Promote Products and Services
When a brand already has established channels and communities on social media, it becomes the perfect place to launch new products and promote existing ones.
Hashtags, Instagram Stories, and other tools typically generate a lot of interest when done right.
Brands and their marketing teams should generate buzz and even push targeted ads to promote particular products to particular customer bases on social media.
As we have seen, these efforts are likely to produce a high ROI. Other creative ways to promote products on social channels includes:
- Running contests with giveaways.
- Having rewards and gifts for referrals.
- Creating highly engaging stories that stand out. These stories can then lead to landing pages for customers to buy a product.
Get To Tell Your Story
People are suckers for unique, memorable stories.
Whether it’s a story about what inspired a business, how a product touched a life in a unique way, or interesting insights into the lives of founders or employees, social media platforms are the perfect place to tell these stories.
Powerful stories are their own movement.
For example, brands that talk about how they are championing climate change, going green, or using vegan ingredients will gain much more loyal customers because of this shared identity.
Social Media for SEO
Social media has immense SEO value because it helps drive website traffic and create backlinks.
According to Text Request, brands that create just 15 posts per month get, on average, 1,200 new leads every month.
Thus, a vibrant social media strategy also drives traffic and visibility for other marketing channels.
How to Use Social Media to Raise Brand Awareness
If there is one piece of advice we can give when it comes to social media for brands, it’s this: be a person, not a company.
Social media awareness is all about how you interact with people, and companies can’t do that — people do.
With that in mind, here are some steps on how to create brand awareness through social media.
1. Understand the Target Audience
Before engaging with people, marketers first have to understand them.
In many cases, they have to build personas for the target audience to understand how and where to talk to them.
This step allows brands to discover what platforms will work best for different customers.
It also helps them create the right tone of brand messaging to use and what strategy will be most effective.
2. Create Engaging Content
The second step is to create engaging social media content.
This is the most important part, because memorable content will drive people away from a brand.
With all the noise on social media, how do brands go about creating engaging memorable content?
Show, don’t tell
Short-form content is best for social media, but highly thoughtful images and videos are even better.
Repost and share user-generated content (UGC)
Customer testimonials, reviews, and other content from users is highly trusted and costs nothing to post.
Work with top influencers in the field
These are names that always generate interest.
Use the right hashtags and mentions
Funny, dramatic, quizzical, or fascinating always works. The key is to make content memorable and shareable.
3. Interact With Followers
Sometimes, all a brand needs to do is interact humanly and empathetically with social media users.
We have found that responding to comments, replying to questions, liking and mentioning shares, among other interactions are more effective and easier than full-on promotional campaigns.
At the same time, leveraging new trends and breaking news on social media keeps us relevant and builds a reputation of being on top of things.
4. Pay Attention and Interact With Feedback
In addition to interacting with users, reacting to customer feedback is critical in social media marketing.
That means following up on negative reviews, promoting positive reviews, and answering all genuine questions and responding to concerns.
Sometimes social media comments can be overwhelming, so our guide on how to deal with social media comments can help you out.
5. Use a Separate Content Strategy for Each Platform
In our long experience with social media marketing, we have discovered that most of the platforms we have today are very different in terms of the people who are active there, type of content being shared, and type of engagement.
That’s why you should have a specific strategy tailored to each platform.
Often, marketers can repurpose evergreen content such as infographics to suit every social channel.
One of the most important factors for success in brand awareness campaigns carried out through social media is building and maintaining a powerful brand identity.
This is what helps the brand talk and interact with other humans. However, creating such an identity is easier said than done.
If you’re struggling to find a “voice” and “tone” for your social media channels, our Brand Guidelines Bundle will help you build a cohesive brand identity for social media and other branding efforts.