Brands of all kinds should be utilizing social media, especially in 2016. Depending on the kind of brand and what audience it’s looking to target, the plan of action could, and most likely should, vary. Every brand is unique and has different goals, so why should the social media approach be any different? From large chains to small businesses, there’s room for all on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s no secret that these three have been among the most used platforms for a while now. Your brand doesn’t necessarily need all three, it just needs the platforms that will best suit and deliver your brand’s message.
I’m using one retail giant, an HVAC company and a hair salon to prove how important social media is no matter what type of products and/or services the company provides.
Target: A Retail Giant
Target is one retail giant that does social media right! You may think it’s already at an advantage because of how huge it is, but there’s a great deal of work Target does to remain successful. Target’s social media platforms are an important element. Not only are the platforms regularly updated, those running the platforms reply to customers in a timely and appropriate fashion, letting it be known that Target cares.
Target utilizes Facebook’s cover photo to announce a new brand that’s coming to stores. Choosing the cover photo instead of a typical post allows the announcement to remain visible at the top of the page until the brand makes its debut. This way, repeated posts aren’t needed and it will stay top-of-mind for Target’s audience.
Target also provides posts that will help its audience, like this recipe! It’s important to provide customers with information that isn’t strictly sales related. Not only will the audience continue to come back for more, they will get an idea of the company’s overall personality and values. A takeaway from this post could be that Target wants its audience to have access to healthy foods and recipes.
Target uses Twitter and Instagram for event marketing. With tweets about the recent premiere of Fuller House and Instagram photos of champagne glasses filled with snacks in preparation for the recent awards show, Target is connecting with its audience through events and promoting its products at the same time. Target has also recently posted an Instagram photo for Easter. Considering the holiday is this month, it’s a beneficial way to show off some Easter basket goodies in a fun and colorful photo. They’ve got event marketing down!
The BP Group: An HVAC Company
The BP Group is an HVAC Company located in New York. It’s obviously different from Target, but it doesn’t mean social media plays a less important role. The BP Group takes advantage of Facebook and Twitter in a way that is beneficial for showcasing what the company does and what it can do for its audience.
Here’s a recent peek at The BP Group’s best posts on Facebook and Twitter:
One of the ways The BP Group utilizes Facebook is by sharing helpful information about the HVAC industry, sometimes by posting infographics. While Facebook allows for more characters than Twitter, it’s still better to present information in a short, digestible way. People also respond well to visual content and are more likely to share it than plain text. If you plan on posting infographics on your company’s Facebook page, do it just like The BP Group did. Only show the main portion of the infographic, allowing the audience to see some of the most important facts. If they’re intrigued, they’ll click to see the rest.
While The BP Group is an HVAC company, it can go beyond HVAC conversation. This tweet not only provides The BP Group’s audience with a motivational quote, it shows what kind of company The BP Group is and what the company values, hard work. The company also takes advantage of hashtags, one being its location. Location hashtags are beneficial for local SEO.
Salon Art-Tiff: A Small Hair Salon
Salon Art-Tiff is a hair salon that uses social media in a way that is most appropriate for the brand.
Here’s a recent peek at Salon Art-Tiff’s best posts on Facebook and Instagram:
This salon uses Facebook for contest announcements. Existing customers will enjoy having the chance to win a prize bag, while those who have never been to Salon Art-Tiff will have an excuse to go into the salon, and possibly give it a try, if they win. Notice how one of the rules for this contest is to post a comment on the salon’s photo, this increases engagement, one of the goals every company should have when it comes to social media. Some other ways companies can increase engagement through social media contests is by encouraging contestants to share the photo and/or include a specific hashtag with it.
The way Salon Art-Tiff uses its Instagram platform is fitting for the type of company. As a company, it’s important to figure out which social media platforms are best for which use. For a hair salon, using before and after photos and photos of the finished work is a beneficial way to showcase the talent of those working at the salon. This thought process could also work well for an interior design company, or any other company of that type.
As shown through these three different examples, social media can be used in many ways. It’s all about knowing your company, what it stands for and who the audience is. Once you’re confident in that, social media is where you express it. No matter what size or type of company, being present and available on social media is key. Create a plan for yourself and do some experimenting if need be, you’ll know when you find the right fit.