It’s a question everyone needs to ask, but few businesses seem willing to; what is social media marketing doing for your brand image?
In order to come to any sort of conclusive answer it’s probably important to first consider another quandary— what is social media marketing? This is because your response will also tell you what it’s achieving.
OK, so most of us know the fundamental principles of social media marketing, and why it exists— raising brand exposure through engagement, increasing customer loyalty and reaching out to new audiences with the aim of converting fresh eyes to sales.
This doesn’t really shed much light on how social media marketing should fit into your business model, though, and without understanding this you’ll never be able to work out the output is doing for your brand image. Put simply, the ROI will always be unclear.
We wouldn’t be the first ones to recommend asking these key question when trying to prove what social media marketing is really achieving…
*Why do we exist?
What’s the raison d’être, the core goal of the business? What are you trying to change, improve upon, push forward, deliver and service to customers? And why?
*What led to the company forming?
Your backstory can mean the difference between speaking to consumers and simply shouting into the black hole of comms. Every business has its own origin story to tell, and this usually affords an opportunity to put a human spin on things, giving the public something they can empathise and relate to, even if the firm is now a multinational.
*What metrics are used to measure success?
While all these points are important, being clear on how success is measured could well be the most crucial aspect of what we’re talking about. Without knowing what the objectives of the overall business are how will you ever judge whether marketing of any kind, including social media marketing, is working?
*What are you known for selling?
You’ve been responsible for outbound marketing messages for years, know the company inside and out and could probably reel off the entire product catalogue by heart. That doesn’t mean the public can, so don’t forget to keep in mind that everyone needs to understand what’s actually for sale.
*Who is the target market?
Again, this is vital— not only do you need to know where you’re coming from and what you’re bringing, you need to be clear on who you want to take along. It’s easy to envisage people that might want to buy from you, but far more useful to hone down and focus on the demographics that are already spending on you, then work out who isn’t at the moment but probably would if they were targeted properly.
*Who else is speaking to them
In the simplest possible terms, competitor analysis is an incredibly powerful weapon in your brand arsenal— work out what you do differently and why that’s more beneficial to the end users, then tell them about it.
*How can you summarise all that in an overarching brand strategy?
What can communicate all this to the public? Once you have answered the questions above you should have a clear picture of what your brand strategy really is, so the next challenge is honing this down into a succinct message that tells consumers what you mean to them, and what you could mean to them.
…now you have all this down you can refer back to the original question this blog post posed— what is social media marketing doing for your brand image?
There is just answer you’re looking for— it’s doing what it should. If your social output reflects the purpose, history, objectives, products, innovation, customers and forward strategy then it is working ideally. If it doesn’t then it’s time to think again, from the ground up.