Proof of Concept: What It is and How to Do It Right
Before developing an idea into a product, there’s a crucial step that every business must take: executing a successful proof of concept. Learn more.
In 2021, social media will continue to dominate digital marketing.
Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and many other platforms still have the power to do everything from reinventing long-standing businesses to launching new careers overnight. They are essential tools in business development and marketing, whether you're trying to break into e-commerce or establish yourself as a creative.
Equally as important in today's modern marketplace is the presence of brand-building, and social media has allowed brands to grow a step further. Here are some tips for building an engaging brand through social media platforms as we head into the new year.
If you're at all familiar with the concept of social proof, you'll understand that consumers prefer to know who they're buying from. Even though we often opt to shop online over heading to the high street, many consumers still yearn for a friendly face and charming backstory to complete the shopping experience.
This desire for human touch is something all online brands should look to build upon on social media. One of the most impactful things you can do with your Facebook page or Instagram account this year is to define the people behind your brand.
While brands such as Coca Cola have had decades of unprecedented success behind a simple logo, modern brands need to offer something more. Consumers want to see who works behind the scenes, why decisions are made, and what values are adjacent to the brand.
Use your social media as a medium for showing off your business's human side, introducing the people who work there, and defining the space you work in. Interview employees about their experiences and use platforms such as Instagram to offer insight into how your brand operates day-to-day and when you're celebrating special milestones.
Social media is also a brilliant place to promote outside brand-building exercises. Appearing on relevant podcasts is a great way to paint your brand's picture and introduce key figures.
For example, health and wellbeing brands will see massive success from engaging in insightful conversations on lifestyle podcasts such as Orion's Method, while an audience looking for more technical advice on how to run a web store could connect with your brand through an appearance on The Growth Show. This kind of insight and association is essential for breaking through to new social audiences.
Users expect more from brands on social media these days. They desire humor, holiday party pictures, and responses to huge public events. Don't hide away behind the screen; put yourself front and center of your brand.
Here are some more social media marketing tips:
Social media is all about making connections. While Facebook may have been initially conceived as a means to reaching out to old school friends or keeping in touch with relatives, it and many other platforms have evolved into a way for regular people to speak to both the celebrities and brands they enjoy.
An active social profile that makes an effort to respond to messages helps attract new followers and gets them interacting. No one wants to follow a dead profile, and no one wants to give their money to a brand they assume won't be there for them should a problem arise.
While responding to customer queries is essential for service brands (particularly in the utilities sector), it's not the full extent of social media conversation. You can use social to learn more about your customer base and give your brand some personality. Don't be afraid to interact with other brands online, as signs there's a genuine person behind the account or even some cheeky fun with competitors can help expose you to entirely new markets.
For more information on social media marketing tools:
There is no catch-all way to do social media.
While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram might all look the same to the untrained eye, they are very different platforms that serve unique user needs.
The typical Tik Tok user looks very different from someone who browses Pinterest during their lunch break. To build a compelling brand and make your content more engaging, you need to fully understand who you're trying to appeal to and pick the right platform.
This research involves more than just reading a platform's definition. You need to know what trends are big on there at the moment, how your competitors have found success, and what features are prevalent.
Visual brands with lots of fantastic imagery will work well on particular platforms, while others will find it easier to get their message across and communicate with consumers on a text-based platform such as Twitter.
Never simplify your social to the point of copying and pasting content across all platforms. Understand how a platform's particularities work, from the framing of their video players to how easily shareable a post is. Trying to get a discount code to gain traction differs from jumping on a viral dance trend.
For more around TikTok best practices:
Once every few years, social media platforms will tell us that a particular form of content is the way forward.
A few years ago, it was video, and now those videos need to be shorter to play into diminishing attention spans. However, a smart social media brand knows the key to engaging with a broad audience is to use various mediums and styles.
An essential part of branding is consistency, but that doesn't mean you can't occasionally branch out into new formats. You may feel more at home writing a blog post, but some well-thought-out video content might just win you some new customers and excite your existing base.
Consider how new forms of content could be maximized to attract and engage customer bases. Could video content around Christmas give customers a greater idea of how your products work? Could latching onto a meme-able trend show a different side to your brand? Do your research, and don't be afraid to take a risk.
Of course, the key to making this endeavor a success on social media is to focus on quality. Invest in the right equipment if you want to go down the video content route, and ensure you understand what your existing audience enjoys and how competitors have engaged their base.
Check out this social media template to get you started:
If you coast by and follow the same tired techniques from five years ago, your reach will only go so far, and your social media presence will be stagnant. Be creative, throw yourself into it, and treat social media as it if matters. If users can sense that passion, they'll help you in the process of growing an engaging brand.
Last updated on August 16th, 2022.