You might be a new brand or one that’s already established - either way you may have to improve or shake-up your brand as the times and trends change.
Marketers around the world often have to pivot, refresh, and adapt, especially with stay-at-home orders in place. Even Social Light has taken time to refresh our business Instagram!
Here are 10 actions you can take to step-up your social media:
1. Get Creative: Turn Limitation Into Innovation
Now’s the time to get creative and find new ways to connect (specially in Q1 and Q2 of 2020)! Finding creative ways to differentiate your brand from the rest is significant for not only branding and recognition purposes, but to also make it a habit to view challenges as opportunities to reinvigorate without pause.
Tips in creating connection online in critical times:
Listen, especially in order to stay relevant
Understand and present your value
Be of service
2. Use Social Listening
Piggybacking off of the above bullet points, social listening plays a significant role in strategy and content. Monitoring, data, and analytics are great tools in measuring your brand’s success and actions, but going one step further by listening to your audience can place a huge part in this as well. You’ll be able to anticipate your audience’s needs / desires before they ask for it.
You can learn more about your audience by changing the way you speak and the questions you ask:
Focus on the consumer: instead of saying, “how do we talk about this?” say, “how do consumers talk about this?”
It’s at your fingertips: utilize features like the ones on Instagram Stories (polls, questions, quizzes, and so much more) to better understand your current consumers / fans.
Revisit your topics and brand often to ensure you’re assisting your audience while staying authentic. Refine these to understand what worked before, what is working now and what will work next.
3. Dig In To Your Data
It’s all about the numbers, right? Right! But these numbers tell a story.
“Spending time analyzing numbers does not make you a data-driven company,
but rather, making decisions based on the data and sharing those insights
internally does.” - Erin Fitzgerald, Director of Marketing Technology, VERB Interactive
Social media data is significant information to several departments in several industries - from sales, to customer service, to marketing, to even product packaging. Take time to learn about what analytics mean on their own and as whole, and understand which metrics matter most when moving forward and taking action.
Remember to keep your data organized...you’ll be grateful in the long-run!
4. Confirm Your Strategy
Check yourself before you wreck yourself...double check that your social strategy is performing and is everything you need it to be right now. As new trends come up and the tone of consumerism changes throughout the world, this is an essential part of ensuring you’re stay up to date and “woke” (as the kids say).
Yes, it can be a lot to test and go over. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Creative: test your social media content and copy. Don’t be afraid to take a few risks and test some things out. See below how Chipotle uses present-day memes and quirky posts (see figure 1 below).
Store and site: all brands are pretty hands-on when it comes to updating their websites. Whether it’s how your consumers purchase, adding new photos each quarter, or simply revamping your website to make it easier to navigate, it’s important to check in on your website and see how you can improve vs. just parking it with your domain. The Equinox gym changes their photos and homepage frequently (see figure 2 below).
Be open to whatever results come your way...even if they’re unexpected!
Here are a few other things you can test when it comes to your online strategy:
Muted colors vs. bold colors
One type of influencer vs. another type
Emoji vs. non-emoji
Long captions vs. short captions
5. Observe And Research
Take a look at what other brands are doing in your market. Take a look at their content, observe changes throughout their website, and learn what tools these brands are using. A lot of this information can be found by Google search, forums, niche Facebook groups, and on LinkedIn. This is especially significant for smaller businesses that are prepared to grow.
Side note: you can also take a look at how teams behind the brand(s) work together! What’s the most effective way to keep your business running efficiently? Which departments learn which new skills to grow and stay ahead of the game?
6. Authenticity Is Key
Live videos are a great way to connect with your audience in the here and now. This is especially important during the protective quarantine orders. This is a feature that can temporarily get people out of their houses.
Raw, live video can bring authentic connection to audiences for educational, viewing, interactive, and other purposes. It’s amazing what you can accomplish without a budget, high-end equipment, and a video editor!
Take a look at what some brands are doing when they go live:
7. Optimize Your Strategy
Day by day, year by year, an online presence is becoming more relevant and significant to business success. Delivery services and online shopping are the new normal (whether we’re in quarantine or not!). We’ve seen how often purchasing habits and behavior change and brands need to readjust each time to stay in business for the long run.
Here are a few tips stay ahead of the game:
Expect that there will continue to be an increased demand for digital distribution
Invest in tools that will help you manage incoming inquiries
Create an outstanding and efficient digital experience for your customers
Of course, not all brands are the same, but the above will remain true for probably 95% of businesses moving forward.
8. Attention On Customer Care
Customer experience should be on the top of your list! But before anything, you must prepare the people on your team who deal with customer service inquiries with the tools and resources they need.
40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media
79% expect a response in the first 24 hours
With this in mind, it’s important to have your team know how to respond to each type of inquiry, have resources readily available for the customer, and have an empathetic manner. We can't control what a customer might say or their tone, but we can control our preparedness and how we respond.
Ever heard of a compliment sandwich? You can apply the same technique in customer service!
Lead with empathy and understanding: “I’m so sorry to hear that”
Restate the question so they feel heard: “If I’m understanding correctly, you received the wrong item?”
Next, answer the question (you might not need to wait for them to respond to the above): “I’m happy to help. Here are steps we can take to correct this…”
Close with more empathy and understanding: “I hope this helps! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any other questions or concerns.”
9. Know, Present, and Represent Your Value
Now more than ever it’s important to make your audience immediately aware of what you offer and why it’s important they buy from YOU. The online market is most likely saturated with similar products or services (and you definitely won’t attract everyone) but if you’re presenting your value correctly and appropriately, and apply the above information, this allows your audience to understand your value and trust your brand.
10. Humanize Your Brand
Be there for your customers! There are real people behind your brand and you could find success in putting that out there. Provide an outlet for introducing yourself and starting a conversation. This is a great step in becoming a memorable brand.
Have you ever had an experience with a brand where you felt included in their community? Or maybe you were frustrated when you went to speak with customer service but they were so pleasant and knowledgeable that you realized there was nothing to be frustrated about? These are actions that may seem small, but can sometimes be what turns fans into loyal customers.
“They won’t remember the campaigns but they’ll remember how you
made them feel” - Jamie Womack Gilpin
When people come across your brand, there shouldn’t be any challenges for them - whether that’s navigating your website, trying to understand your message, or worst of all...not understand what you’re providing. Yikes! But we’ve seen this. We’re probably beating a dead horse when we say your branding is everything.
We know this is quite a bit of information, and possibly overwhelming when you’re thinking of taking your brand to the next level! This is why Social Light is here.