6 Social Media Branding Strategies You Can Steal from Your Competitors (Updated September 2018)
Social media isn’t just about connecting with your friends from high school. It’s gone way past that nascent stage. It’s a goldmine for advertisers, if only they can get their social media branding and marketing strategies right. However, with Instagram and Facebook constantly changing their algorithms, it can be difficult to figure out what’s best for your brand.
Many digital marketers try every known trick in the book. From posting great content consistently and at the best times of day from the engagement perspective. In spite of doing so, it’s not uncommon to find them struggling to figure out how to beat their competitors.
So, what exactly are their competitors doing differently? If you scan through the most successful social media branding campaigns, you’ll find that they all have one thing in common. They are all investing their time and money into devising clever strategies to grab more eyeballs. They’re consistent, regular, and actively engaging with their followers on all of their posts.
That’s just one piece of the puzzle. We’ve got some more pieces to share too, so start taking notes. Here are six social media branding tricks that your competitors may be using to get more leads.
Top 5 Social Media Branding Strategies
1. Re-Sharing Blog Posts Multiple Times
Forget the notion that you can share a blog post on your social profiles only once. If you want more engagement on your blog posts, you need share them multiple times on all of your social accounts. Worried that you might bore your audience? Well, you’ll need to get a little creative with the way you share the same blog post time and again. Tweak your captions a bit the second time around.
You can try adding statistics in the caption or go with an intriguing quote. If something is trending in the news or on social media, see if you can relate your caption to it. Obviously, this needs to look natural, so make sure you only do this when sharing blog posts that are relevant to the trending topic.
By doing this, you’ll be able to grab your audience’s attention better. Your audience may have scrolled past your post the first time they saw it.
But that interesting hook you added the second time may get them to notice and engage with it. Which means you can earn more engagement by reposting the same content.
AdEspresso, for one, benefited a lot from this social media branding strategy. They shared the same post with their audience but with a different caption. Here’s the first.
Later, they re-shared the same post with a different caption to gain more engagement on it.
2. Encourage Your Audiences to Create Content
Content isn’t a one-way street. You post your content and your audience consumes it, right? Yes, that’s how social media branding used to work. But things are changing. User-generated content is the way to go forward.
So encourage your audience to post more photos or videos and tag your brand in them. You can even create a custom hashtag for your brand and ask users to share their posts with it. This way, you can ensure that you are pumping out more content without directly investing your resources into it. You’ll also be able to build a community of users who are genuinely interested in your brand.
In the this process, your audience will also take on the role of an advertiser for you. You can just curate or feature the best user-generated content on your social media accounts and let them shine in the limelight. Your chances of getting voluntary shoutouts on social media also increase with this. It’ll help you reach more people and ensure that your audience feels more engaged.
Buffer has seen incredible success with user-generated content on social media. Their Instagram account grew by almost 400% within a year of opening their gates to user-generated content.
Image via Instagram
3. Use the Right Hashtags
Your content may be brilliant, but what if it doesn’t reach the right audiences? That’s exactly where you may be losing out to your competitors. To reach the right audiences, you need to make hashtags an integral part of your social media branding strategies.
Hashtags are a great way to improve your visibility if you use them effectively. Hashtags help your content get discovered via search so you can reach more of your target audience.
To create an impact, you need to research your hashtags well. Instead of loading your posts up with tons of hashtags, use only the right ones. Use hashtags that your target audiences are likely to search for. Also, keep a tab on the search volumes of those hashtags. If they run into the millions, that implies extremely high competition which will not benefit you.
After a few posts, see which hashtags are getting more visibility and engagement for your brand. Use them more often, but avoid going absolutely overboard with them.
4. Collaborate with Influencers
Big brands and established bloggers have massive loyal followings. Don’t you wish your posts could get the same kind of engagement that they do? It’s possible if you collaborate with influencers as part of your social media branding strategies.
But you need to identify the right influencers – the ones whose niches align with your brand and who have a pretty solid engagement rate. Create an outreach program to connect with them and familiarize them with your brand. Grin can help you find and connect with the right influencers for your campaigns.
Encourage your influencers to share authentic reviews about your products. You can also share some promo codes or discount coupons for their followers as well. You could also encourage them to host contests or giveaways.
Clothing retailer, Revolve, has been leveraging influencer marketing successfully for social media branding. In the past, they collaborated with beauty bloggers like Fleur de Force and In the Frow to reach a wider audience. They were seen wearing clothing from Revolve and outlining its salient features on their social media accounts.
Image via Instagram
5. Take a Stance on Social Causes
Show your customers that your brand truly cares about a social cause – something that is in-sync with your brand’s values. By resonating your voice with it, you’re likely to attract more people who share similar ideals.
Many brands evade taking a bold stance for the risk of losing some followers. They fear that their brand may be labeled in a certain way. But you can use the same reason to support a cause as well. It can be a big advantage.
When you support a relevant social cause, you can showcase your brand’s personality. You send the message that your brand is socially conscious. You’re not just promoting your products or trying to drive more sales. While it is a game-changing strategy, make sure you handle sensitive issues with care.
Procter and Gamble’s line of feminine hygiene products, Always, created waves with its #LikeAGirl campaign. Originally started in 2014, it aimed to empower women. After the huge success of the campaign, they brought it back last year with a video on YouTube. It has more than 3.4 million views, and has sparked conversations on other platforms too.
Image via YouTube
The #LikeAGirl campaign has brought attention to a serious social issue. Always started off a dialogue that solves a problem in the society. Along with it, they’ve cleverly managed to get positive attention for themselves as well.
6. Nail Your Customer Service
It’s a universally accepted truth that the “customer is king.” But while all of us accept it, only a select few create strong systems and processes around it.
A few of the best practices that can help you deliver better customer service are cross-selling, upselling, post sales selling, and maintenance services. More importantly, monitor and follow your competitions efforts to create their own processes.
Customer feedback is turning into one of the most effective social media branding strategies there is. Regardless of your industry, customer service plays a major role in retaining and gaining new customers.
User feedback and polls are a great way to learn more about yourself and your competitors.
You can create a survey in your CRM and send out emails to your clients who are at various stages. Another alternative to you typical surveys is to get undercover, more insightful feedback.
Starbucks, for instance, doesn’t ask boring questions. They try to derive more insights from interesting questions that customers will be more likely to answer.
Customer satisfaction is the door that leads into a profitable business because it helps you win customer trust. Customer support should be accessible and prompt in addressing any issues customers might have. And that’s exactly what social media allows you to do.
Social media conversations happen in plain sight and are viewed by multiple other users. Good service will earn you brownie points with them while poor support quality will turn potential customers away.
Major brands like IBM, for instance, understand the potential of using social media for customer service. That’s why their social media branding strategy includes having a dedicated support page on Twitter.
Image via Twitter
Social media is a powerful tool to engage with your audience and get more publicity. If you get your social media branding strategies right, you can automatically drive traffic and convert leads. From established brands to small startups, everyone is cashing in on the opportunity.
There is a lot of noise in the virtual world. If you don’t want your voice to get lost in it, you have to communicate effectively. Be observant and see what your competitors are up to. Learn from their mistakes and see what they are consistently doing right.
Build your own strategy. However, base it on ideas that work for those who are ruling the social media world. Learning from your competitors is the best way to make sure you can actually get ahead of them.
Which other social media branding strategies have worked for you? Please share them with us in the comments section below.