Why social media was created in the first place

Social media was initially created and designed to allow us to share posts – information, pictures, video – with others we care about.  Like sharing pictures of your kids with grandpa and grandma.  Or pictures of your recent vacation with friends.

Soon after companies discovered social media and felt the need to get in on the act.  Of course creating similar emotional reactions as personal posts do can be a bit more challenging for a business.

Depending on the type of business it is more so for some than for others.  A friend of ours offers a social media concept for local restaurants that has been perfected over time and works just brilliantly.  Many alcohol brands seem to have a harder time connecting well on social media for various reasons.

Organic vs. paid posts

Organic social media posts allow you to reach consumers who follow your brand without having to pay for it.  The only cost is to create content.  While that sounds easy enough, creating a message that engages your followers can be a challenge since you may not have a clear understanding of their demographics.

Paid social media advertising on the other hand allows you to reach and engage specific target consumers down to a certain geographical area.  While that is a huge benefit it requires you to have a real good understanding of your current and untapped target markets you want to reach.

Data: The key to the castle

  1. Data allows you to determine who your current and untapped target markets are.
  2. Data helps you to understand these target consumers and how to best engage them (in terms of creative ideas, influencers to work with etc.).
  3. Data also determines where to reach and engage these consumers and which social media platforms will work best.

Of course, all this data then has to be put to good use in your advertising strategy.  It can be applied to reach and engage target audiences on digital and streaming media as well.  This approach ensures that the overall brand message is consistent across all media channels.

Creativity:  Engage consumers with content relevant to them

Now comes the fun part: Creative ideas that engage consumers on social media.  Of course, your posts have to be relevant and meaningful to your target audience – otherwise it won’t engage them.  That is especially true if you want to reach today’s younger audiences.

Remember that consumers are bombarded with social media posts daily.  So unless your message stands out it may not have any impact.

Consumers are looking for meaningful content to connect with your brand on various levels, not a sales pitch.  They want to understand what differentiates your brand.  Especially social media content gives you that opportunity to speak directly to your target consumer base.

Give them one or many reason to love and support your brand.  Make an emotional connection between your brand and your customers.  Social media posts that go viral always have an emotional component and are never boring.

Never give anyone exclusivity on creativity.  Creative minds can be found in many places.  Giving more people the opportunity to let their curiosity and imagination run free and to think outside the box allows your brand to select the most creative ideas.  And quite possibly save you a lot of money.

Creativity can include many different aspects such as:

  1. Invite the public to share videos of them enjoying your brand;
  2. Suggest hosting a virtual happy hour;
  3. If possible, convert alcoholic beverage production to hand sanitizer and donate it to hospitals and other healthcare providers;
  4. Post interesting food or drink recipes that incorporate your brand;
  5. Promotional product giveaways or sell them at cost. Make sure they are US made and support a US manufacturer;
  6. Support a good cause and encourage your customers to participate and to share pictures and videos;
  7. Hold a contest to invite the public to submit promotional ideas for use in advertising your brand;
  8. Sponsor a life social media performance of a talented musician.  She or he does not have to be famous;
  9. Initiate a flash sale for your brand at local retailers with a portion for each product sold going to a charitable cause;
  10. Team up with an online streaming service to sponsor a free viewing of a movie;
  11. Work with influencers to create engaging social media content.

Get sound legal advice

Of course, if you decide to be a bit more ‘adventurous’ on social media than most brands it is important to make sure all aspects of your campaigns are legal.  Getting sound advice from competent and reputable attorneys beforehand should be part of the game plan.

Bottom line:  Taking social media to the next level should be an integral and important part of your brand building to increase sales growth and ensure positive ROI.  Data and creativity are key to success.

QBP and the many service providers we work with can help you to make it happen.  You can find more information and inspiration at qualitybrandpromotions.com/online_media/.