Social media is the current rage, taking the world by storm. Right from a large corporate to a startup, a brand reaching out to urban markets or rural, social media is the fastest, cheapest and most effective way to not just create noise or loyalty, but also drive sales and repeats.
A thought-through Facebook post, tweet or Instagram shot can create a stir for your brand and grow by leaps and bounds. The trick, at all times, is to know what you wish to achieve through your social media efforts and be consistent towards getting there.
With advertising routes opening up on all social networks, reaching out to your target audience has become easier and effective in achieving targets, but does this mean an entrepreneur or a smaller business can’t leverage social media? Absolutely not!
Here are a few ways independent organisations and entities can leverage their brand on social media, without spending a rupee. Before you venture into communicating with your audience, spend time reading up and get acquainted with what gets them ticking and what brands within your industry are doing well.
Evangelism – Find people with a high influence within your industry and offer them an experience with your brand. If they love your brand, they will not only talk about it but ensure others experience it too. The stories a social media influencer tells can do wonders for your brand.
Testimonials – Reach out to people who have tried out your product or service and get them to share a review. The world today relies heavily on recommendations and social media is one of the biggest enablers of reviews and recommendations. The users of your products are the accelerators towards increasing your fan base and sales.
Recognition – Bridge the gap between fan and brand by making your fans feel like they’re part of it. A brand that manages to personalise a relationship has the capabilities of a long-standing association. In exchange for their engagements and loyalty, return the love by providing experiences with your product or service. Running giveaway contests or appreciating fans that are active on your social media pages are ways to keep them engaged and increase their love for your brand.
Ride on others’ success – Find content that is doing well and build a perspective about it through your brand. Research shows that topical content drives three times more engagement. Showcase your brand’s personality and ability to be part of a consumer’s conversation through this route, while also increasing your chances of being spotted. Festivals, current news, along with trending topics and hashtags are ways to get started. However, when using this route, gain insight on what got a conversation started and seed in a story that is relevant to your brand.
Prioritise – Numbers are important but getting your strategy right is more important. The former will naturally follow once you’ve put together a sustained, thought-through social media strategy. Invest enough time in creating content that your audiences appreciate and nurture.
Innovate – The power to use social networking sites the way you deem fit for your brand gives you the freedom to experiment and create an identity for your brand. Ensure you’re constantly keeping track of benchmarks within the space and experimenting with what works to stand out from the clutter. Bundle your strategy to incorporate digital videos, experiences, live streaming, chats, influencer klouts, and all the other tools that social media enables you with but try and make it fresh.
The core of social media is conversations and if you, as a brand, are able to drive this through insightful storytelling, you’ve won half the battle. Some of the simplest ideas were born with little or no money and have proven to be the biggest that social media has ever seen. So, don’t let your budget pull you back. Go out and make your social media presence phenomenal with innovations and ideas that are independent of money! If you have come across brands that have successfully built themselves through unpaid, organic routes on social media, do feel free to share them with us.
By Randal Gomes, Creative Lead, MindShift Interactive
The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.
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