Social media is on the rise, with usage consistently increasing since 2008. Now 81% of Americans have at least one social media account. Worldwide, social media is estimated to have expanded well into 2.46 billion users and is expected to grow even more (up to 2.77 billion) in the coming years.
Did you know:
- 79% of internet users use Facebook.
- 32% of internet users use Instagram.
- 24% of internet users use Twitter.
Social media offers an additional outlet to expand your brand recognition. Here are a few tips to maximize your brand’s reach on social media.
This should go without saying, but being active is one of the most important tips for social media optimization (SMO). Not only should you be active on social media, but you should utilize multiple outlets. 25% of businesses are active on at least four social media networks.
Staying active throughout the day will help to increase visibility and build trust with potential consumers. When people consistently see your presence on social media, users will become familiar with your brand.
Don’t forget to keep all of your profiles up-to-date and consistent with one another, too.
Engage Your Followers
To build your brand, you need to connect with other influencers, interact with your followers, and follow people in your same niche.
Makeup brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, with 14.3 million followers, does exactly this. Within just one day, they reposted 19 photos, and each one was from a customer who used their brand and hashtags #abh or #anastasiabeverlyhills.
Customers feel more attached and drawn to a brand if they feel the brand genuinely cares about them. Engagement such as following back, replying to comments, and sharing content from your fans is a great way to build the buyer/seller relationship.
Hashtags help consumers find your brand, which grows your followers. To make your posts easy to find, use relevant keywords. Look at which hashtags are trending or which hashtags others in your niche are using. And don’t be afraid to create your own hashtag specific to your brand to bring attention to an event, contest, or giveaway.
When using hashtags follow this rule of thumb:
Facebook and Twitter. Keep hashtags to a minimum. Studies show that tweets with one to two hashtags receive two times more engagement.
Instagram. On the flip side, 11 hashtags seem to be the “golden number of hashtags” on Instagram, as posts with the magical 11 hashtags received the most interaction.
Beauty blogger and Instagram influencer Huda Kattan (@HudaBeauty) boasts over 20+ million Instagram followers, and continues to use hashtags to build her empire. She recently shared a giveaway in which contestants had to repost a photo from her Instagram and share the hashtag #hudabeautygiveaway, which now has 190,000+ tags.
Related Post: How to Boost Your Brand’s Growth With Hashtag Marketing
By encouraging her millions of followers to share her photo and hashtag, she is reaching more people than just her followers, and is successfully growing her beauty brand.
You can follow Huda’s example by using hashtags to boost your brand, too.
Don't Forget About Images
Unless you're posting on Instagram, you probably don't include images in all of your posts. However, images are a must. Posts including images have been proven to be more successful than those without.
Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without images. Images are a great way to grab a follower’s attention as they scroll down their crowded newsfeed.
Schedule Your Posts, and Post Often
Posting consistently on social media helps build your brand and increases your social media presence. Every time you post, make sure you are putting out high quality content that your followers will love and share.
Related Post: How to Never Run Out of Social Media Content
70% of marketers are posting at least once a day, but to gain more visibility, you need to post more frequently - up to three times per day. Figure out your prime times to post, and schedule your posts around those times. Instagram Insights offers business profiles the best days and times to post.
The darker days represent the best days to post, and the higher the column for each time, the more active your followers are during those times.
Planning your posts in advance will also help you keep consistency throughout your profiles, since everything will be thoroughly planned and thought out. Apps like UNUM allow Instagrammers to plan out their feed and fill up a grid with potential Instagram photos.
Make Content Shareable and Engageable
Put out content that your followers will want to share, like, and comment on. Visual content is the most valuable. If you’re writing, post concise and easy-to-read content. Make your headlines interesting - you want to capture the reader’s attention.
Encourage shares by using a call-to-action, or asking your followers to share the post. You can even create an incentive to share, such as a giveaway.
You can also encourage comments and invite discussion by ending your post with a question for your readers to address. Let’s say you’re a travel blogger who posts an Instagram picture from Paris. You could ask your followers, “What is your favorite thing to do in Paris?” or “Where would you like to travel next?” These simple questions will encourage your followers to comment.
Here, The Delaware Taco Festival encourages likes, comments, and shares with a giveaway of free tickets to the festival. They asked fans to like the Facebook page, comment their favorite tequila, and share the post with their friends.
This is a fun and effective way to get engagement and shares.
Make Customer Service a Priority
Engage your customers daily and make them a priority on social. Always reply to questions, comments, and concerns. Remember that good customer service will leave a positive lasting impression on your customers.
For instance, here a customer named Dean requests to return his flawed hammock. He is sent a replacement hammock completely free, and is told he can still keep the other one. Dean is so relieved to have experienced good customer service, that he writes this email:
Dean mentions he’s experienced bad customer service before and actively avoids that company. He compliments the hammock company, Bear Butt, by telling them that their excellent customer service is a great way to establish loyal customers. Good customer service goes a long way.
Failing to optimize your social media profiles can hurt your business, so it will benefit you to create a personal strategy based on what works for you. You'll want to look up statistics relevant to you specifically, such as the best times to post, your demographics, etc.
Not all of these tips will work for everyone, so it’s best to test out a variety of social media optimization strategies and see what works best for your brand and audience.
But If you play your cards right, you can maximize your brand through social networks.