Taming the Social Media Beast: How to master Individual Platforms

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Andrew Hadley (@baby_donthurtme)

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How to master Individual Platforms for SME businesses                                      

Social media is increasingly becoming something SMEs can no longer ignore, as consumers expect most brands to be active on at least 3 channels. Social media is a stage; an opportunity to showcase your brand; what it can do, who works for it and what it believes. Below we examine who optimises their brand to stand out on each social media platform. Let’s take a look at how influential these platforms are:
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Before looking at each channel individually, here are some tips that apply to all three:

Utilise free Social Media Management tools.
There are so many great tools out there which will help streamline your strategy. A tool such as Hootsuite, for example, gives you a dashboard layout to easily manage your social media impressions across numerous channels. Within Twitter, the ‘Twitter review’ option gives you in-App statistics of who is engaging with your Tweets.

Release content/use an angle that people genuinely will to engage with.                                                             

The famous Cadbury’s gorilla advert has absolutely nothing to do with milk chocolate. But it engaged people. This same rule of thumb applies to social media; post something interesting, as long as it encourages people to engage. By offering engaging content, you are showing people just how creative your brand is.

Use hashtags.                                                                                                                                                                   

Since becoming clickable, hashtags are a great way to start, follow and measure conversations your platforms. If used appropriately, they can provide invaluable insight into how many people you are engaging with. You can jump into conversations with your customer and interact and solve their problems, thus gaining recognition and potential customers.

Embedding your social media platforms with your main website.                                                                  

The benefit of embedding your social media channels on your website are that when you release new content on those channels, it updates your website and therefore this acts as new content, which can be indexed by Google and will count in your favour as a regularly updated website.

How to engage with you should be obvious.

Here’s a great example that sits at the top of the Getty Images InFocus page:

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The different social channels that they operate on are displayed clearly in a tiled layout, with each icon linking to that individual channel.

Facebook                                                                                                                                                                             

Red Bull is a caffeinated energy drink. However, they are a prime example of using Facebook to express their beliefs that they are everything but. Red Bull update their main Facebook page two to three times daily. The actual Red Bull product features in a very small proportion of their videos. Instead, they release content which is mainly of their sponsored athletes performing. This strategy intends to demonstrate how Red Bull is more than just an energy drink to wake you up in the morning; it is a fuel for an active, high-octane lifestyle. They’re selling brand and once a customer buys into your brand, they’ll buy your product. Just take a look. By realising the dichotomy between what their brand is and what it believes, they can release stimulating, unrivalled content which commands a Facebook following of over 46 million Facebook users.

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Instagram: it’s about awesome photos.                                                                                                                          Marc Jacobs’ #CastMeMarc campaign encouraged Instagram and Twitter users to submit a photo of themselves modelling, including the #CastMeMarc hashtag to be in with a chance of becoming the new face of Marc Jacobs. This competition approach is an extremely cost-effective way of not only finding a model for a campaign but increasing social media engagement. This specific campaign incentivised Marc Jacobs’ following, as it had 70,000 unique entries.

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And creating high-quality, consistent imagery.
One of our favourite clients, Deliciously Ella, has an Instagram following of 360,000 and growing. Ella has grown to become an authority in her field; after being diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, an illness most prominently found in young women, she drastically changed her diet to focus on eating whole, plant-based foods. Not only has Ella become a symbol for young women who have suffered with similar ailments, but she has developed into an expert creator of healthy recipes that are genuinely good for you. Ella has combined this with high quality photography to create an Instagram account that, by and large, only posts new recipes, updates on her own journey, or ways of making yourself feel great! This approach means that Ella has grown into a source of reliable content that stimulates her following every time they engage. Ella is known as being one of the fastest growing Instagram and is simply because she provides high quality imagery combined with informative and easy to interact with content.

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Twitter
Innocent launched an extremely successful campaign for their vegetable pots with a clear call to action. This incentivised users; if they tweeted using the hashtag #tweetandeat, the redeemable discount increased. the campaign received 18,000 unique tweets and drove 200,000 unique visitors to their main site. A clear incentive and a clear CTA made for a successful campaign which drove sales of the pot after the campaign.

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Social media working for SMEs

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Bath Ales, a small British business, measured how much their sales changed before and after integrating social media into their business model. Over a one year period, where the introduction of social media to the business was the only significant variable that changed, sales increased by 56%. Bath Ales launching a social media campaign enabled them to get closer to their customers, and contact them not only directly, but instantaneously.

A final word                                                                                                                                                                        

For a small business to utilise social media effectively, there are many things to be mindful of. At Verb, we have helped put together a wide range of streamlined strategies for our client base. We are well placed to consult your brand on any element of its social media strategy. If you would like to talk further, drop us a line here.