Technically, social media is a computer-based technology that accelerates the sharing of our thoughts, ideas, and information that is shareable across other social media platforms to groups and communities based on interests, and delivers this information in the form of texts, imagery, videos, GIFs, Stickers, etc. It gives every individual and micro-small-medium-large businesses a chance to build a brand voice to speak their mind and express themselves.
Most people only know social media on a surface level. We are aware that we utilize it daily, but when it comes to defining it, the definition isn’t Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more—those are just social networks that are a small spec of social media that facilitate social media marketing. The true definition of social media is the people behind the entire social media landscape. Individuals like you and I — the world — WE define the true meaning of social media.
Why is social media crucial for your business?
Let’s dive into the statistics first before we jump right into why social media is crucial for both marketers and business owners today.
According to reliable sources, the statistics indicate that out of the total population of 7.81 billion people on this planet, there are about 4.66 billion internet users and social media users themselves have surpassed the 4 billion mark. This shows that more than half of the world’s population are already online.
This digital growth and the addition of social media apps certainly create new challenges for marketers and businesses to cater to their audience and also to keep up with the rapid demands regarding speed, connectivity, mobile optimization, and more for the average consumer.
SOURCE: Digital worldwide statistics by We are social.
There’s only one way the world connects and that is through the internet where many social media networks coexist together. This has impacted the way we communicate daily and gives people the instant gratification they desire and also is increasingly becoming a major aspect of digital marketing, enabling businesses to expand and reach their customers worldwide. From a business perspective, social media enables brands to increase their brand awareness, generate more leads, and sales faster than any other method in today’s world.
Here are the main reasons for its importance in social media marketing:
As a marketer or business owner, you constantly have to be frugal with your marketing budget. Social media is the best way to go for marketers or brands that want to save money but at the same time would like to communicate with their targeted audience or consumers.
It can also be free to track and measure certain metrics such as your post engagements, impressions, and more insights that measure your social media marketing efforts based on your Facebook or Instagram insights which gives marketers or business owners more understanding about their content and whether it’s performing well.
Social media marketing is a more cost-effective way to implement an advertising strategy, as you can register or create an account for free, helps you prioritize your marketing budget, and brings you one step closer to your ROI.
Follow your customers
As a marketer or business owner, you don’t want to waste your time and energy advertising in places where your audience is NOT in.
The best part about advertising on social media is that there’s already an existing customer base and it’s a good way to reach and interact with them personally.
By creating a buyer persona of your ideal audience, it will help you understand your audience more in-depth such as their interests, which social media sites your audience visits frequently, and perform the relevant research needed to convey your brand message to them and get their attention in real-time, hence establishing your brand in the market.
Build Brand Loyalty
Customers have high expectations these days and they expect minimal effort when it comes to finding you. So, you need to be highly discoverable online. These days if a customer types your brand name and it’s not associated with the products and services you proudly claim to provide on your other social media platforms, they cannot help but doubt you. What’s worst is when they key in your name and there is no trace of your brand shown or a website, you will lose credibility and value in their eyes. Forget about trust!
Having a strong social media presence will make it easier for your business as well because customers might search for you and connect with you if your product and services interest them and will improve your customer retention and customer loyalty, which is the goal most marketers or brands have in their strategy.
Social media can help complement your strategy further by incorporating it into your campaigns where your customers can directly reach out to you for further information.
Increase Website Traffic
The goal of your website is to introduce, engage, interact, and sell your brand without being hard-sell. Social media marketing is a great way to lure people into your website with the use of a select few social media platforms. By sharing your content on social media, you are using it as clickbait for users to enter your website. This all comes with creating quality content that hits the spot and is exactly what your audience is looking for. The more valuable content you create, the more inbound traffic you will generate that possibly could lead to conversions.
Boost SEO Rankings
When it comes to SEO rankings, it goes beyond just the algorithms. It’s more about your brand’s social media presence. Even if you’re diligent with optimizing your website and blog entries, the calculations keep evolving and what you need is a strong social media presence on other platforms and churn out valuable and relevant content about what your brand has to offer to the hungry consumers. The algorithms detect your brand presence, which plays an important role in how the search engines identify you and whether you’re a valuable and quality brand.
12 creative tips that drive results
1. A feast for their eyes
Consumers are sharpening their social media knowledge by the day and their expectations of good content (in whatever form) must be up to their standards, so marketers and business owners need to brush up on flourishing their content, making it relevant and valuable to attract the consumers.
When you’re targeting a selected market, it’s always best to back up your content with valuable insights to make them more confident in your brand.
Most people (probably everyone I know) appreciates positive facts and figures and the latest trends in the market and will usually share your content or ad if they find it compelling enough.
I’m a sucker for simplicity and inspirational ads — and so should you — so here’s a slick 68-second global spot titled “Make Movies Like the Movies,” which shows the power of the all-new iPhone 12 Pro, effortlessly boasting its content-creating potential with the highest video quality for editing, filming, playback functionality, and Dolby vision. The ad concept is to show the phone’s unique capabilities and to express that you no longer need the hassle of much equipment to create a movie when they can shoot it all in one with the iPhone 12 Pro.
Taking our breaths away, iPhone shows independent DIY movie makers in a bunch of scenarios, from capturing skateboarders to a high-speed car race.
To give it that added boost, the ad was directed by Kim Gehrig from Somesuch Films and Linus Sandgren, the Oscar award winner for La La Land as the director of photography. A bold and beautiful collaboration I would like to see again with the creative aspects of a film and the cinematic appeal that make it highly engaging.
Here’s their Apple iPhone 12 Pro ad. Buckle up, because you’re in for a ride!
According to statistics by Edelman, 2019, 81% of customers need to be able to trust a brand to buy from them first. Based on the study, the percentage of consumers across different markets globally, different income groups, and different ages show it’s a common requirement from consumers.
Brands need to work on their social media efforts and content to engage with their customers in a way that will build lasting relationships and that will lead to brand loyalty so they will feel an emotional attachment to your brand rather than your competitors. Give your consumers a reason to follow and support your brand.
These days, consumers expect more than the product experience — they want it all, from customer experience to your brand promise, and your influence on society.
Marketers and businesses must always remain attentive, appreciative, and authentic to their customers to build brand trust.
This is the time for brands to get creative with their assets, such as their user-generated content (UGC), and make the most of it. UGC doesn’t come by easy and it takes is one customer to say something positive about your product in hopes that it will spread through social media like fire.
UGC can come in many forms such as images, guest posts, testimonials, online reviews, and comments on your social media post.
This creates brand awareness on your page and builds trust among your audience. The audience can relate to such posts because it is content coming from people with similar interests and questions about your brand.
According to BrightLocalStudy, good reviews make 73% of customers to trust a business more. Who knows, if they like your brand, they might be more likely to engage and interact with your brand and do you a favor by sharing it.
A great example of this is coffee giant, Starbucks and their creative idea of using user-generated content back in 2014, where they encouraged their customers to draw artistic doodles on their signature white cups, launching a contest on Twitter with the use of the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. Starbucks then announced that the winning white cup drawings that have been submitted will be made their limited-edition template for the cup design of Starbucks. This UGC contest generated around 4000 participants and drawn cups after. After the success of this campaign, Starbucks decided to revive their idea 2 years later and came up with another contest called the #RedCupArt challenge and also received a good response and managed to generate a massive social media impact for Starbucks on Twitter and Instagram.
These UGC contests are such a big hit because it makes the audience feel like they are a part of your brand and is also easy to participate in.
Interested in creating a UGC contest to create a great social media impact for your brand? Reach us here!
3. Partner with influencers
Partnering with an influencer is certainly a great idea if you want to leverage their existing social media fan base. This can serve as a refreshing new angle for your brand and even give it that authenticity and relatable human touch.
There are several ways in which your brand can partner with an influencer such as asking the influencers to promote your brand but with content created by them or you can also request for the influencers to try on your products and share good reviews, testimonials, and more on social media. It all depends on the contract agreement you have between both parties.
The best part for marketers and businesses about partnering with an influencer is that you get access to their fan base and it would be even better if they were to directly show their loyal fan base of them using your brand.
Influencers are known as social media celebrities with a loyal following, but not all of them have millions of followers. Some influencers have fewer but more interactive and loyal fans that are more loyal and trust these influencers with their life when it comes to product reviews. These types of influencers are called micro-influencers and might have more potential to reach a quality crowd that looks up to them and will listen to everything they say.
Realistically speaking, the audience is more likely to relate to the influencer more than just your brand alone, so leveraging on the influencers to create content for social media is a smart move.
Here are factors to consider before finding a suitable influencer for your brand:
Before diving into which influencer, take a step back and identify your brand again. What are your brand values? What is your brand message? What are you hoping to achieve out of this? How does your product help people? Answer these questions for more clarity about your purpose.
Map out your criteria for your ideal influencer. Start with details like age, location, interests, number of followers, and more that will help you determine if the influencer is the right match for your brand.
Split your measurements into warm-hearted and cold-hearted facts.
Warm-hearted criteria: Domain authority, shared values, community, and other factors that fit.
Cold-hearted criteria: Expected subscriber engagement rate, average post reach, post consistency, and more.
Do some research by filtering searching, filtering, and narrowing down the top candidates. Filter out the ones that are dealbreakers, then continue to filter influencers who don’t meet your cold-headed criteria. You can review the remaining influencers based on the warm-hearted criteria that you’ve set, such as what topics do, they use to engage with their existing fan base, their engagement, interaction, and if there’s any trace of sponsorship or endorsement history to see if they have experience in the field and to measure their level of influence.
As a brand, whatever you aim to be, always show you’re thoughtful by giving back to the world. Social causes such as a fight against animal cruelty, save the elephants, help save the environment, build a sustainable future, fight poverty, and more! Supporting a social cause shows that your brand is human because it is an emotional cause with a mission to provide help, whatever the cause may be. Any brand that is willing to get their hands dirty by being part of a charitable drive or a foundation to help society will naturally leave a good and lasting impression in the minds of the people.
Therefore, creating content on social media of your brand giving back to the world truly benefits your brand and also creates awareness.
Even if your brand isn’t part of the main initiative but just supporting a cause, it tends to connect with people, and your audience will most likely be touched and spread the word around.
An exemplary cause would be the Cotton On Foundation. Rings a bell doesn’t it? All those times you purchased over the counter and the staff will kindly offer you an option to support a cause by buying their uniquely designed tote bag / bottle of water / bracelet? And 100% of the proceeds go to their charitable foundation to fund projects in Southern Uganda, South Africa, Thailand, and Australia. They have a strong team that takes pride in the cause and customers across the globe that has made purchases to help raise over $62M for all their projects.
This not only makes Cotton On look like a group of good samaritans but it also creates an emotional connection with the audience who can relate to their social cause. It creates more meaning, has a purpose, and builds trust.
Here’s an example of the Cotton On Foundation where the audience can browse through, shop, and support a charitable cause at the same time.
In marketing and business, personalization requires a little more effort than the usual approach but the impact it has on your audience goes a long way.
When a brand personalizes a post for the audience, it is able to build a meaningful connection and it shows you are genuinely reaching out to them. Consumers (every one of them) want to feel special, especially in a world filled with brands and advertising, the only way for your brand to stand out is to personalize your approach because it shows you care.
Personalization of posts can help you connect with your audience more meaningfully. It involves studying your audience in-depth and then tailoring your content accordingly.
The majority of consumers today are more likely to engage with brands who make effort to personalize their consumer experience.
The statistics point out that 91% of consumers are more eager to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and create personalized experiences for them. Plus, 83% of customersare also willing to share more of their data to enable a personalized experience and
It is also a fact that consumers expect brands to deliver more personalization and are frustrated with brands that don’t bother to.
It is evident that the facts state 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences for them and another 80% of classified frequent shoppers claim they only shop with brands who personalize their experiences.
Most importantly, delivering personalization can be rewarding for brands, from building customer relationships to driving in long-term revenue.
According to reliable sources, the top five benefits of personalization include 55% increased visitor engagement, 55% improved customer experience, 39% improved brand perception, 51% increased conversion rates, and 46% increased lead generation and customer acquisition.
In order to tailor your content, it would be wise to research and understand the type of people you’re dealing with, hence creating a buyer persona of your audience would be advisable and it will make your life easier if you want to personalize your content according to their needs, desires, and more. The more in-depth information you have on your audience, the more solutions you can provide to solve their pain points.
For instance, as per the buyer persona below, Phil Anderson has challenges navigating client relationships and communication issues with work, so perhaps if you can provide personalized solutions to help him improve, such as send him a guide on how to build a successful clientele via email and attach a link to a landing page that will encourage Phil to download your eBook guide.
A great example of a company that understands its consumers well enough to hit their soft spot is no other than the Coca-Cola company.
For example, in 2014, Coca-Cola came up with the “Share a Coke” campaign that was successfully launched in 250 countries. They chose 250 of the most popular names in each country and printed their names in the respective Coke bottles.
This raised a massive hype and many people associated with Coke bottles with their names printed on them which encouraged people to go out on a hunt to find bottles with their names on them. The ones that found their names on the Coke bottle, posted a picture with the bottle, and included the campaign hashtag #ShareACoke which went viral on social media, generating crazy brand awareness for Coca Cola.
SOURCE: “Share a Coke” campaign user-generated content.
Want something like the #ShareACoke user-generated campaign for your brand too? Let’s get in touch!
6. Avoid frequent hard-sell content
When creating a social media post, always think about your audience in a thoughtful way and avoid frequent promotional hard-sell content because you will most likely turn them off big time — or for good.
The golden rule is you must create content to help inspire your audience. This will increase your chances of connecting with your audience and building a relationship.
Just like life, everything requires a healthy balance. So, if you want to promote your brand, you can do it in a less hard-sell manner.
Most people don’t mind promotional content prompting them to purchase a product, but it must come with a relevant need for it to be incorporated into their lives. Just don’t make it all about you, it will repel your audience if your brand only revolves around you all the time, your audience will disconnect and be uninterested for sure.
Take the subtle approach where you list down the benefits and make it all about them first then encourage them to take a look at your products with a call-to-action to direct them to your page for information and purchase.
The best time for promotional content is also the case of the notorious crazy sale known as “Black Friday” where the world hunts for the sale itself. This is when the audience will willingly check your product out with intentions to buy if you’re offering a crazy Black Friday deal! Here are some cool examples of brands that have targeted me. You got me there, I do enjoy my online shopping experience!
Here are just some samples of some lifestyle-related sponsored ads. The algorithm detects an interest in your content search and therefore tries to provide you with relevant content.
7. Host Giveaways/Freebies
Who doesn’t love freebies or giveaways? Especially if it’s from your top 10 favorite brands on social media!
Freebies are a great way to create hype and to connect with your audience on a more personal level and increases engagement too.
When your selected audience receives your freebie gift, they will most likely appreciate your social media marketing efforts and grow more attached and stay loyal to your brand.
When creating content, always create a fun challenge or meaningful reason behind the giveaway for interaction and to drive your engagement through the roof.
Try to be generous with your freebies and give your audience something that makes them feel special like a freebie or a free trial with your product. And if they like your product, there’s a high chance they’ll pass the word around for you to their friends or circles. This is good for brand expansion in the long run.
Here are some creative angles to consider with giveaways.
Just like real-life validation, there is such a thing on social media called social proof which is the social validation you get. It’s human nature to seek validation or approval from others to feel better. Social media is all about seeking approval from others like who liked your post, who bothered to tag you, who answered your question, and the long list of social media tools available for you to seek that validation exists.
It’s a monkey see, monkey do situation where if you see a post that’s trending with loads of likes, comments, and shares, people will most likely experience FOMO which is the fear of missing out and most probably will share it or post it on their Facebook or Instagram feed or other social media platforms they frequent.
To be honest, this might affect certain people, however, brands leverage the opportunity of getting their content out there and maximize their reach through their audience.
As a brand, all you have to do is maintain consistency throughout all your social media platforms online and have a substantial number of followers. On top of that catchy quality content to convert your audience.
Just like how people care about all things social media from how many followers, subscribers, positive comments, testimonials, product reviews, and more — as a brand, so should you because that is going to be your bread and butter.
For instance, Trip Advisor reviews are a big deal in the travel and food business and one wrong move online translates to a bad reality, so it’s best to give a pleasant experience and customer service at all costs. Here, we have a review from a satisfied customer who recently dined at Equatorial Hotel’s famous award-winning rooftop fine-dining spot called Sabayon in KL city.
Here’s another example by American comedian / Fear Factor talk show host / podcaster showing the audience value in social media through his YouTube podcast channel in terms of how many subscribers he has and all the famous celebrities he’s interviewed as social proof. This shows that you’re worth people’s time and create quality content that the audience is willing to subscribe to.
The design does not just refer to your images or graphics used. It’s the overall aesthetics from the layout, content, appealing imagery, etc.
Your content should be well organized and clean to look at and all fall into its rightful place elegantly.
Your profile has to be standardized and includes a neat bio with a link to your website, all high-quality images to go with high-quality and valuable content, and the right tone and manner to stimulate your viewers emotionally and attract them to your brand.
You can have the best caption content ever but if the image is not impactful, you won’t be maximizing your potential on getting positive social media engagements to meet your goals.
According to statistics, 70% of marketers believe that content accompanied by visuals reap better business results and infographics are growing popular, bringing in 40% of user engagement for brands.
However, video content is still the top-performing and engaging type of content as 96% of online shoppers watch videos about a service or product, and 144% watch videos on the service or product and made a purchase.
There should be an organized balance or magnetic aesthetics and some high-quality videos that maintain color and content consistency to reap great rewards for your brand.
Here are some beautiful examples of nice aesthetics from cosmetic brand Nars with their brilliant mastery of consistent colors which gives the air of mystery and provocative appeal to entice the audience.
SOURCE: Beautiful display of images from Nars showing vibrant color consistency.
Controversy is everyone’s favorite topic because there’s an appeal to it. People want to know whether their opinions count, or matter and they love throwing their opinions or debating on social media channels. Comment sections blow up over controversial matters. Sometimes, the content is too controversial that it is powerful enough to start a war or get protesters to form against a situation. So, it’s best to not create rage, but something that is relevant to the current trend and that you can incorporate your brand into. Take this huge debate on the color of a dress, which went viral worldwide and even celebrities like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, and more took part in the debate. Check out the video on “The Great Dress Debate!” and check out how #TheDress hashtag spread like wildfire!
11. Connect with your people
As a marketer or brand, your customer service has to be flawless and top-notch. It’s the little things that matter and the last thing you want is a dissatisfied customer. Use customer feedback to reflect on ways to improve.
By interacting with your audience and being hospitable and welcoming in front of billions of users on social media sure makes all the difference.
Brands tend to take their customers for granted but they should never forget that pleasing more and more customers is their bread and butter. In the long run, it will show if you genuinely give back to your customers or not.
Now, let’s take a look at a case of bad customer service or should I say “horrendous” for British Airways on Twitter. A very determined customer was willing to pay Twitter to advertise his tweet on Twitter to create awareness about their poor customer service. After losing his father’s baggage, Hassan Syed paid for a promoted tweet which was viewed by 76,000 Twitter users and shows how social media can be used as a tool to either build your brand or bring it down to crumbs.
This is why customer satisfaction comes first! What an epic way to complain about social media. You go Hassan!
SOURCE: Paid and promoted tweet by Hassan Syed about horrendous service by British Airways.
A great way to create content for social media that is highly engaging for the audience would be “how-to” videos for your social media. Provided you select relevant topics for your audience that are related to your product.
As long as you’re confident your content is useful enough to help the audience solve their problems then you’re all set! It Doesn’t matter which industry you’re in, as long as you find a solution to your audience’s problem then you can repurpose your content to adapt to video format.
For example, you want to entice the audience with your brand and help them visualize themselves with it. Here’s a quick “How-to get the full moon look by Urban Decay” on their Instagram feed.
Another example is a “Norwex mop: How to use it!” Tutorial by Sonya Eckel, a proud user of the Norwex floor cleaning solutions. This brand seems to be trending now in the Southeast Asian market. So, let’s see what their tutorial video is all about?
SOURCE: “Norwex mop: How to use it!” by Norwex tutorial.
Overall, it is apparent that social media is crucial for your business due to its multi-faceted nature and abilities to convince and convert, your brand best be on a few social media channels to survive.
It is highly likely that digital marketing and social media marketing is the new star of the game with statistics that indicate that over a whopping 4 billion people on the planet are on it. That’s more than half of the people walking this earth!
I hope that by now, after going through the different ideas and creative tips that brands use on social media are, you are more than inspired for your brand to explore the immense opportunities of social media marketing out there. Right?
I will end this blog with an interesting fact about us consumers / human beings and the way we perceive content as a whole. Were you aware of this? If you really think about it, people do remember what they hear and see. So, it’s time to send them some brand loving!
SOURCE: Visual Social Media & Content marketing Statistics