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Implementing the best social media branding strategy for your brand

A common mistake brands make when implementing a social media branding strategy is that they choose to use their pages to market toward consumers, rather than engage with them. Consumers don’t usually visit a brand’s social media platform because they’re looking for marketing materials. Often, they do so because they believe a brand can solve a problem they are having. Brands should proactively prepare to serve solutions to consumers to increase engagement and brand affinity.

That’s not to say there is no room for strictly sales-focused materials on social media. Paid ads on popular platforms offer many great ways to target content towards the right consumers and get them talking about a product. A strong social media branding strategy takes an approach that combines organic and paid advertising materials to help guide consumers down the path to purchase.

Options in Paid and Organic Advertising on Social Media

Social media offers a lot of possibilities for engaging consumers. Brands can pay for ads to reach a target audience on a pay-per-impression or pay-per-click basis. Alternately, they can use their social media page as a way to reach out to customers without an upfront cost. Brands usually use a combination of both, as the pros and cons of each method complement each other.

Paid Organic
Pros
  • Easy implementation: Starting a paid advertising campaign on a site is a straightforward process. Most popular social media pages offer ad scheduling portals so brands can create campaigns quickly.
  • Simplified ad targeting: Social media sites typically allow advertisers to create narrowly defined audiences to target ads.
  • Immediate attention for brands: A brand can create an ad campaign and have that ad reach a target audience within minutes. These campaigns often have a turnkey nature, in that advertisers set them up and let them run with little effort.  
  • Low upfront costs: Social media pages don’t charge brands to maintain a presence, meaning they don’t have to worry about fees for sharing content on their pages.
  • Proactive consumers: When a consumer interacts on a brand’s social media page, they are reaching out to the brand, rather than the other way around. This eliminates the annoyance from advertising disruptions on the consumer’s end, ensuring they are in a positive mindset during the interaction.  
  • Better engagement: Consumers who interact with the content on a brand’s page are more engaged with the brand than those merely seeing a passive advertisement.
Cons
  • Can be costly upfront: Brands typically pay for every view of a message or click of an ad and those costs add up quickly.
  • Less engaged consumers: Most consumers don’t actively watch and retain branded advertising messages. As a result, they’ll have to see an ad multiple times to remember it.
  • High maintenance: Maintaining a branded presence on social media is a full-time job. Brands must post regularly, interact with consumers, run campaigns and contests, and answer messages and questions.
  • High content production cost: Brands have to create videos, articles, images, posts and other forms of media to keep consumers engaged.

a social media branding strategy that worksBrands must use a combination of both paid and organic social media campaigns to support their marketing messages. Across those campaigns, the brand’s tone must be consistent. Brands should adopt an integrated marketing approach so that both the appearance of content and its message is similar through all forms of digital media. Changing a brand’s style across social media pages can make it challenging to gain reciprocal traffic. Keeping the messages similar will help consumers quickly identify that brand’s content.

How Third-Party Apps Work With a Social Media Branding Strategy

Third-party mobile apps can fill holes in social media campaigns. They can help direct a consumer to a brand’s social media page, their website, or to their products at an online store. These apps also reach consumers no matter where they are, which makes them particularly useful for in-store marketing.

Social interaction through mobile app marketing plays a significant role in the strategy Shopkick implements by rewarding the social behavior of its users. Consumers who share the app with friends and family collect rewards points (aka kicks), which incentivizes them to spread the message. Consumers can also interact with other Shopkickers via its various online platforms.  

Whether a brand chooses to focus on a paid or organic presence in its social media branding strategy, the key is consistency.

Whether a brand chooses to focus on a paid or organic presence in its social media branding strategy, the key is consistency. Brands should use a mix of both options as part of an integrated marketing strategy to maintain brand awareness. Third-party apps that encourage consumers to share their experience with others—like Shopkick—can also help boost a brand’s campaign. Through a consistent, well-rounded social media presence that combines paid, organic, and mobile marketing options, brands increase consumer engagement and sales.

Shopkick works with our partners to create engaging, app-driven campaigns to connect with consumers online and in the shopping aisle. If you’re interested in becoming one of those partners, contact us.

Image courtesy of quka