When social media first became popular, it was considered frivolous; made for superficial connections among the young. Things have undergone a sea-change since, and social media is one of the most powerful tools for brand building today and the best and probably only platform to interact with a target audience. Here are some essentials to build a brand through social media.
In-your-face advertising won't work on social media since people are there for specific content, primarily entertainment. Present your brand in a fun and entertaining manner, with videos and polls related to your product. For example, if your product is a range of cosmetic products, ask people what their foremost concerns are regarding skin and hair. People are sure to respond and even give valuable inputs. Appoint a dedicated person or team to handle your pages since timely reactions and responses are what keep a page alive and kicking. Fun contests like a selfie with your product will cost next to nothing but create a lot of engagement for your brand with the help of hashtags.
The key is to take a genuine interest in the comments section and gain insights. Treat it as part of your day and not part of your job to check the social media pages of your brand. Respond to every complaint and suggestion, even if they cannot be resolved immediately. People value the fact that the brand cares about their feedback. Complaints left unanswered will eventually snowball into bad press even if your brand is doing well in real.
A few seconds are all you have to catch a user's attention, and nothing works better than a video for that. It could be videos of social media influencers using your products or even independent content creators whose opinions are much valued by their followers. They would be your exact target audience, so share and appreciate content and videos of customers who tag your brand with their reviews.
Remember that hundreds of brands might be vying for the same customer base with similar strategies. It's up to you to create content that makes your brand stand out. It could be a tag line, a brand ambassador, or a particular product that draws the most attention to your brand, so play it up nicely in your content. For special days and holidays, come up with fun and innovative ads for sales and discounts. Humour works best with the younger crowd so let the creative juices flow, regardless of the nature of your product.
In the current climate, an offline real-life event might lead to criticism and risk rather than good press, so you can plan online events and campaigns, which could be charity or an art or music event with proceeds going to charity. The key is to link it to your brand in some way. Cadbury's India, for example, has been running a series of video campaigns that are never ads for their brand but done in their signature colors and fonts. With the right hashtags, such campaigns and events help everyone, including your brand.