Back in the good old days—a couple of years ago—social media was just nerdy fun. An interesting, new way to keep in touch with old college friends and post pics of the family vacation. Today, it has become essential to establish brand presence and increase customer retention—no matter what your business sells or provides.
Luckily, traditional business analytics are catching up. We can accurately measure social media engagement and return on investment including user reach, interaction and satisfaction. The result: Business owners can’t afford to ignore social media. Soon enough, if your business and your brand aren’t on social media, they won’t be growing.
In our ranking-hungry, show-me-the-proof business world, there are plenty of lists of the best brands on social media. Here are a few, with some nifty graphics:
- Five brands that rock social media, from Co.Design
- The strongest global brands on Facebook, compliments of SocialBakers
- An Econsultancy ranked list of the top 50 brands in social media (each with a brownie-point score, no less)
So how do they do it? And how can YOU do it effectively? Alas, there are no quick fixes. Let’s start with three game-changing concepts:
- Social media branding will fail if you approach it as a traditional, linear project with a start and an end.
- Social media is an ongoing commitment to create and publish meaningful content online.
- Social media requires ongoing listening and interacting with your audiences online.
At Imaginuity, we start with these tenets of social media marketing, and apply them to the unique brand and business model of each client:
- Be authentic and transparent
- Give audiences easy ways to interact with your brand
- Make a commitment for relevant content, monitoring and interaction
When studying the social media content and analytics of some of the top companies in the world, Branding Magazine found four defining elements that the most successful branding campaigns shared these components.
- High volume: A large amount of posts, comments and mentions across a variety of forums
- Positive net sentiment: A high ratio of positive to negative sentiments expressed by the community
- Positive emotions: An abundance of positive content items
- Sponsored presence: The number of likes, followers, and/or subscribers on a company’s social media page (Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube) shows the size of its community
Of course, everything is relative. Some of our B2B clients have highly specialized products and services that are targeted to specific industries and customers. With smart planning and solid strategy, social media can work just as well for them—in proportion to their audiences—as it does for the multinational big dog consumer brands. An easy-to-remember framework:
- Learn from the successes—and failures—of the world’s most powerful brands on social media.
- Find the right partner to leverage the best of all of the channels in social media.
- Bring your unique business insights and strategies to the table, so you can integrate social media into your ongoing marketing efforts.