By the end of 2020, there were 3.96 billion social media users worldwide, representing a 10.9% increase from 2019. With over half the world now connected via platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s no wonder that social media has become a primary vehicle for marketing.
Surprisingly, until now, technology companies have neglected brand building on socials: Only about 15% follow a social media brand strategy. This is in spite of the fact that 57% of consumers use social media to discover new products and services. It’s high time, therefore, for tech startups to jump on the bandwagon and begin building their social media brand.
But where do they start from?
We’ve written this guide to help you uncover social media marketing hacks and get you going on developing an effective branding strategy.
Why you should use social media for branding
Social media has always been an important tool to attract Millennials and Gen Z.
When the physical world was put on hold in 2020, customer engagement on socials reached dizzying new heights.
With access to a plethora of audiences at your fingertips, having a strong brand presence on social media helps you achieve several marketing goals at the same time:
- Build awareness: Social platforms allow you to spread your company’s message as far and wide as you see fit, allowing you to distill what your company is all about into a concise and powerful narrative.
- Show authority: Social media is the perfect vessel to demonstrate your company’s leadership in challenging industry convention and exploring new trends.
- Generate new leads: Through developing your online exposure and demonstrating your credibility, social media also becomes a source for conversion. Prospects that find and engage with your social media content can then navigate towards your site and decide to buy your products and services.
- Foster loyalty: Social media isn’t solely for acquisition. It’s a tool for client retention as well. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn can act as forums where your current customers show their satisfaction for your product and company mission, showing brand advocacy and winning you valuable earned media.
Now that I’ve shown you some of social media’s benefits as a marketing tool, let’s check how to begin building your social brand:
Step 1: Know your business and your audience
First of all, before starting a social media content strategy, think thoroughly about your business.
What pain points does your product solve? And what key factors define your company’s brand identity? Your messages on socials should clearly answer these questions, so that anyone can identify what your company is all about.
Secondly, ask yourself – who’s your target audience? This answer is crucial for choosing the right social media platform and a fitting content style. For example, if your audience is mostly made up of budding Gen Zs, closely monitor what trends are happening with this demographic on social media. If you service B2B clients rather than B2C, focus on LinkedIn to demonstrate your thought leadership in the industry.
Always ask yourself – what are the values of my buyer persona, and how my content can address those values?. Your answers will influence your social media brand voice significantly.
Need some inspiration? Check out the Instagram of HP. Its content is fully aligned with the ideas and values of Millenials, frequently sharing posts like parenting advice or promoting female leadership.
Step 2: Develop a social media content strategy
After having defined your target audience, the next step is to think about your content strategy. Your goal is to create sticky content that your users can’t stop engaging with.
A good rule of thumb is to generate a 50/50 mix of non-promotional and product-related content. Show what added value you give to your customers and always keep in mind to address and generate emotions with your texts and visuals.
Keep in mind that the type and style of content you share should be adequate for the platform you use. For example, whereas Instagram works best with high-quality visuals, TikTok generates high engagement with entertaining and spontaneous video clips. In contrast, LinkedIn focuses mostly on informative content and industry trends.
People who think software and complex technologies are boring to the social media crowd should look at Klarna’s well-curated content across all channels. Its content creates an emotional connection with their page visitors and they are always entertaining visitors with funny, interactive posts.
One of our special pieces of advice is to encourage users to share their content with you and mention your brand. User-generated content can create attention beyond your own page as well as greater feelings of brand identification. Adobe Photoshop leads by example, only sharing its users’ images and photography on its Instagram.
Step 3: Learn from analytics
Lastly, a successful social media strategy relies on you doing your homework by evaluating your social media branding campaigns. The more structured data you collect about those marketing activities, the easier you can leverage better their power in the future.
The list of social media metrics you can analyze isn’t a short one. However, our advice is to go back to your marketing goals and identify the metrics and KPIs that can measure those goals. If you are seizing too many numbers and statistics, it can become impossible for you to see the wood for the trees.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook provide you with statistics on your followers, such as your post reach and stats on engagements. Studying your likes, shares, mentions and comments helps you to measure what content your visitors like. And your website clicks identify the number of visitors that took action from your posts, giving you an idea about your lead conversion rate.
Startups and businesses in the tech sector can increase their brand awareness and scale up customer acquisition by relying on social media marketing.
Identifying your business goals and target audience, setting your KPIs, and developing a branded content strategy are crucial to generate brand identity and attract customers.
Lastly, keep in mind that sometimes less is more. Start with selecting one social media channel and give it your full attention, and quickly you’ll be able to expand your activities further.