As if there isn’t enough gray area to navigate with business social media strategies already. Did you consider social media positioning for your business?
Wait. What? Isn’t that my brand positioning?
Hm. Yes and no.
Don’t panic just yet.
Sure, you want to be known as the “expert” in your industry and all, but social media positioning requires more insight and strategy than that. Any content you create, no matter how great you think it is, won’t improve your bottom line without a clear social media positioning definition and plan.
Don’t worry. We have you covered. We’ll peel back the onion to reveal everything you need to know about social media positioning, in correlation with your company brand positioning, so you can take action steps to improve your company’s social plan. This might just be the piece you’ve been missing to experience serious results with your social media marketing.
The goal is to gain customers who are both loyal to your company and eager to buy from you. According to a study by Social Fresh, the most important objective of companies with social media is to raise brand recognition. People need to encounter your brand seven to ten times before subconsciously committing it to memory. This makes it clear that social media branding is an important concern for most businesses. Here are some other hard truths you should know about brand positioning.
A brand is actually a personality that identifies your product, service, or business by using a name, term, sign, symbol, or design. A brand also reflects the connections between consumers and employees.
A brand does not exist within a corporation or organization. A brand exists in the thoughts of your clients. The impression total derived from all interactions a consumer has had with you, your company and its products is called a brand.
Build consumer loyalty through shared principles. The number of interactions a target customer has with your business isn’t necessarily as important as the quality and relatability of those interactions.
Marketing is only effective if it’s consistent. Any social media posts that aren’t consistent with your company brand voice, your company brand persona or your company brand positioning won’t fly. Inconsistency in posting frequency will also sabotage your efforts.
Look at your brand, for the company and in social media, as a living, breathing entity. This will help you envision how your brand behaves. You can use this behavior pattern as a guide for every social media post. For example, Subaru is a car company. But the Subaru brand behaves charitably. Every marketing message from the company is distinct in tying back to charitable contributions.
How you believe your brand behaves is one thing. What really matters is how your customers perceive your brand. Big Lots promotes itself as being the discount store for thrifty and cost-conscious shoppers. If Big Lots tried posting on social media about high-quality, luxury or premium shopping, customers wouldn’t buy into it because they perceive the brand to be the opposite.
Social media positioning starts with a few key steps. And you’ll appreciate this to-do list of actionable tasks designed to remove the complicated gray area around social media marketing. You might as well create check boxes next to these points because every social strategy needs to check them to experience success.
When it comes to social media positioning for businesses, it is important to choose the right platforms according to your target market. This means that you should use platforms where your target audience is most active. By using analytical tools to measure your audience’s engagement on each platform, you can determine which platforms are the most effective for engaging your target market.
When you promote your brand positioning, you want to associate your logo, tagline and core offerings with your brand story. You’ve already developed a brand for your company (or at least you should have by now – learn more here.) Don’t stray from it on social media. Everything you share on Facebook or Twitter needs to tie into, with clear recognition, your brand positioning.
It takes time to brand your social media presence, and like any other aspect of marketing, it requires consistency, forward-thinking, and focus to put into place. Conduct a social media audit of all of your accounts to ensure that logos, bios, banners and posting tones and cadences are consistent with your company’s standards. They all need to align with your why. Make sure you’re publishing with regularity and using scheduling tools to never miss a posting deadline.
Meet Steph: Steph is an Optometrist, so she feels like most people will already know what she does. And they’ll know what services she can provide from a health standpoint. But what her target patients may not know is that she’s qualified to treat specific eye conditions, is trained in juvenile eyecare, and carries a huge selection of brands for glasses and contacts. What she wants to do is use her social media marketing to help promote those niche specialties. But she’s not quite sure how to go about it.
There are plenty of ways you can determine the ideal and successful niche for your business. What makes your offering different? What’s your key advantage or secret sauce? From there you can investigate your keywords, marketplaces, forums and other tools that may help you search more efficiently. Test with advertisements and posts in marketplace groups. Use Facebook audiences to learn more about the size of your sector, follow trends, etc.
Your customers can and will smell a rat from a mile away. Don’t sugarcoat things or be inauthentic with your social media, like ever. Keep it real. Keep it valuable. Be honest about your company offerings, industry challenges and your brand voice every time you post or share. If you overpromise and underdeliver, your social media plan will fail.
Don’t forget to position your brand in a way that meets your customers’ expectations. This is where your buyer’s journey comes into play. For example, if you’re a Realtor, your customers will expect you to help them sell their homes. But you can use your social media posting to expand on what listing a house will entail and allow you to separate yourself from other agents.
You can’t post a book of detailed information on Instagram and expect people to read it. Instagram is a visual channel, meaning your videos and image-based posts will work best there. If you’re posting on LinkedIn, keep it professional as it’s a business-minded platform. Know your channels and networks so you can craft effective messages suited best for those posting environments.
Choose a social media brand position and stick with it throughout your digital marketing efforts. Here are a few sample ideas of brand positioning goals that might help get your creative juices flowing in developing your goals.
- Price Positioning
- Use or Application Positioning
- Product Positioning
- Cultural Positioning
- Offensive Positioning (with one competitor in mind)
- Flanker or Gorilla Positioning
- Defensive Positioning
If it’s broken, fix it! Don’t let social media mistakes go on indefinitely. Be smart about your metrics to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. You can then dive in to see why a particular campaign was unsuccessful. Learn from your social media positioning mistakes to keep your strategy evolving in the right direction.
You’re busy trying to run a business. You don’t have time to “get creative.” But if you’re not posting interesting social media content, you’re losing your social brand position. Here are a few tips to help explore ideas for fresh content ongoing.
- Answer customer FAQs
- Hit up Quora and Reddit to see what everyone’s talking about right now
- News headlines can help inspire interesting posts
- Keyword search metrics to see what people are looking for right now
- Twitter news feeds can be great social media post inspiration
- Local and regional news matters
- Search hashtag threads that make sense for your business
- Check out what your competitors are doing (BuzzSumo is a great tool!)
- Refresh old content that performed well
- Seasonal topics are always interesting (think holidays, weather prep)
Develop and draft your social media voice and tone guide completely. Use social media listening tools to help validate some of your writing style choices, even if you don’t have a voice and tone guide yet. Educate teams that write copy by sharing the information and teaching them how to use it. Make sure that your social team, including customer care, uses this voice and tone consistently across all social media platforms.
Whether you’re creating your own social media material or curating other people’s, be sure to include your own viewpoint or perspective. This is extremely important since it is YOUR perspective that will make your content distinctive and creative. Your own contributions will also help people get to know, like, and trust you, increasing your credibility. People buy from individuals they know, like, and trust because of such credibility.
Meet Austin: Austin’s business is comprised of two components – he has the gym, and he has the supplement store. Since the audiences for these two core offerings are somewhat different, he’s thinking he should create two separate social media profiles for each. He’s smart about it, though and makes sure both profiles use the same brand positioning, consistent visuals and themes. But with two profiles, he can cater his posts to exercise enthusiasts interested in the gym side of his business and the health-conscious, diet customers who will likely buy from his nutritional supplements store.
If your firm has a wide range of goods and/or services or is big enough, it’s sometimes preferable to have numerous accounts. Having various accounts has several benefits, including the ability to hyper-focus your branding, target a certain audience, and provide relevant content. Here are some distinctions that might help.
- One profile per location, especially with Facebook with location and check-in features
- Separate accounts for high volume customer service inquiries
- Different profiles per audience segment (like Nike might have unique profiles for various sports)
- Departmental accounts work great in healthcare and higher education
We drummed up some branding and brand-related stats that will change how you think about your social media positioning strategy.
- B2B brands get more customers by using emotional messaging instead of rational messaging.
- B2B marketing teams have been focused on brand awareness as their “top goal” for the last five years.
- 52% of all consumers expect brands to know when and how to communicate with them.
- More than half of all consumers follow one to four different brands on social media. Another 26% follow up to nine brands, and 22% follow ten or more brands, according to Harvard Business Review.
- Building an audience is increasingly more valuable than direct sales, according to 70% of brand managers surveyed by OnBrand.
- More than 75% of consumers want content that helps them research and buy. But more than 90% of brands focus content on marketing their own offerings.
- More than half of all businesses have little to no roadmap or guidelines to follow for brand positioning.
Brand positioning on social media is almost as important as developing your company brand. If you need help with either or both, Awareness Business Group can get your company organized. Contact us to help develop and improve your brand positioning strategies and make sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to actually experience results!