How does one actually use social media effectively to leverage their brand?
It is the questions that businesses are now paying consultants and social media experts millions of dollars a year.

Why might you ask is social media so important, well there is a few reasons.
In today’s digital age, social media is an important tool to use to not only reach customers but to also engage with them, find new potential customers and create relationships which in turn leads to brand loyalty.

With over 50% of consumers now accessing social media everyday, and over half of social media users reading reviews before making purchases using social media in your businesses marketing plans is vital.

There are several important steps in order to leverage your brand effectively, but the four that I believe to be most important to ensure that you are using social media effectively in leveraging your brand are listed below.

  1. Choose the right channel. If you are a restaurant there are two obvious ways that many successful “brunch” cafes in Melbourne have used social media to leverage themselves. First they have used Instagram, pretty images, hash tags, and the ability for people to see the food first hand is vital (lets be Untitled.pnghonest, how many have of you have based your trip to a cafe based upon something you saw on Instagram?). The other social media channel that many have found successful is sponsored blog posts through well known and followed blogs and newsletters such as Broadsheet and The Urban List (right).
  2. Stay active! No one wants to follow a brand that only posts once, maybe twice a week. 1.pngThis gives us nothing to read, nothing to keep us entertained.
    Looking at The Western Bulldogs for example often post on Facebook 5 or 6 times a day, as well as on Twitter (left) and Instagram too. It is important to stay active in order to stay relevant. In saying this though, don’t just post because you can or have to. Make sure the posts are relevant to your audience and are gaining enough views (look at your analytics). Looking at The Western Bulldogs twitter on the left they have several posts in the one day, but all are consistent in their themes and also differ in content.
  3. Ensure that your content changes throughout posts. Have some videos, some posts, some information about your brand or spokespeople. Keep it simple but also keep it interesting. Re-posting followers and other peoples articles is also a great way of engaging more people with your brand (Pinterest is a great platform for this which Nike Women has utilized well (feature image)). The fitness community is great at this – The Facebook page Nike Women, has a variety of sources, often re-posting other brands, fitness bloggers and their followers. They also form their own content which features often, including their first ever scripted you-tube series.
  4. Be interesting. ChpOWJgVEAAx5-Q.jpgThere are no rules in social media, be unprofessional, make mistakes. This is how you connect with a larger audience. Snap chat filters are a great way to do this, Starbucks in the USA recently had several filters that allowed users to take cool photos and interact with the brand on a different level, and allowed them to advertise their “happy hour”.(Image : https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ChpOWJgVEAAx5-Q.jpg)

These few tips and examples of social media will hopefully give you a better idea of how to leverage your brand to create new opportunities but also strengthen existing relationships and build brand image.

What do you think? Do you think there are other things businesses need to do in order to use social media successfully?
Has anyone got any other good examples of brands leveraging social media well?

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