How To Increase Brand Awareness with Social Media
Every time you put your name in front of someone, you’re working to increase brand awareness. Since social media sites are the “conversational capital” of the internet, they offer unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the reputation behind your brand, in interesting and varied ways.
You can reach prospects and customers wherever they are, and actually engage in two-way discussion with them, to create excitement about your company, products and services. You can communicate simultaneously with your entire group of fans or friends, and you can develop deeper relationships with them individually.
- Notify followers of newly published information – your latest blog post or how-to video, a new whitepaper or infographic.
- Pose questions – ask what information they want, how they like a product, what’s the strangest job or job location they’ve ever used your equipment for, etc.
- Conduct periodic contests or surveys, and be sure to report back to everyone by acknowledging winners or sharing results. Publishing your own original data underscores your value as a knowledge resource.
- Gather testimonials about your products and first-hand stories about how people are using them to grow their business.
- Create a loyalty program that rewards followers for participation – comments, reviews, relating a story about your company or products — and also for sharing your posts with others.
Everything you do via social media enhances name familiarity and reinforces your other branding efforts. You can use social media for specific product promotions, too, but be selective. Sales are about you, but social media is first and foremost about your audience. They’ll turn away if you’re too pushy.
Stay with it.
Social media etiquette requires that you actually participate in your own conversations. You can’t just let ‘er fly with postings now and then and expect results. On the contrary, your audience expects you to monitor and follow up on comments, questions, etc. You don’t have to say “thanks” for every nice post, but you must always respond to anything negative.
Failure to do this – and in a timely manner – is the electronic equivalent of walking away from someone who’s speaking to you in person. Not the kind of thing that builds positive brand image.
Ongoing conversation helps you learn more about your followers. When you know what interests and motivates them relevant to your brand and products, you can nurture those leads far more effectively. You can also resolve and even head off customer service issues and look like a hero in front of your entire social circle, not just one person. That builds trust, not just awareness.
Don’t try to be everywhere.
Pick a few sensible sites or even just start with one. Learn how to use it well, and get some conversations going. Learn what attracts continuing engagement and what doesn’t, because that’s your goal. Your marketing team can identify which sites best match your audience and marketing goals.
There’s an eye-popping array of groups and online communities and the same rules of engagement apply, so be very choosy. Targeting counts, so pick groups that match the geographic range of your prospects and customers, whether that’s global or far more local.
Like a new girlfriend that calls five times a day, overdoing it annoys people. Don’t “ping” your social media audience’s unless you have something of value to impart, but do create a schedule for yourself, so you’ll be consistent. Talk to your marketing folks about optimum frequency and developing an interesting assortment of postings.
With social media, freshness and consistency generate interest and value encourages sharing, all of which helps build brand awareness.