Social Media and Brands: A Love Story?

Did you know some social media platforms have more active users than the population of China? For context, China has a population of 1.3 billion people, the most populated country in the world.

Well, by the second quarter of 2020, Facebook already had 2.7 billion active monthly users, that’s twice the population of China, 4 times the population of the US and over 13 times the population of a country like San Marino.

“Social media is not one media channel, it is a virtual society in which all sorts of human activities take place“ — Professor Mike Yao (Illinois GIES College of Business)

According to Statista, Youtube is the second-most used social media platform with 2 billion monthly active users. No wonder we see so many ads on YouTube, signifying an active relationship, and brands have to be present to keep the love going.

Here are some other major platform statistics, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram have 2 billion and 1.1 billion monthly active users respectively, Tiktok is growing at 689, Snapchat at 433 and Twitter at 353 million monthly active users.

Although social media and brands may have a strong relationship, it definitely isn’t the type of affair you had in mind. Brands work hard in this relationship to leverage the power of social media by introducing creative ways to appease the interests of their customers.

Even if this isn't a romantic relationship, content is still the love language. The most successful brands know that curating valuable content on social media will drive engagements, increase awareness, recognition and ultimately build trust.

To curate the right content, it is important to note that creating detailed buyer personas will help your brand understand the social media behaviour of your ideal customers, and ultimately allow you tailor messages that will resonate with your target audience.

Buyer personas can help you curate the right content and also help set the right voice for your brand. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer including demographic and psychographic data.

For your brand to be successful on social media, you have to align all your communications with your brand’s voice, actively use storytelling — everybody loves a good story, use images, videos and blog posts to capture the attention of your audience and personalize your posts by always writing your posts to your buyer persona.

Example buyer persona created by Hubspot Academy

Fundamentally, you should avoid constantly trying to hardsell your products to your audience rather focus on helping them achieve their goals. 80% of your social media content should focus on consumer education, entertainment and helping your audience solve problems, only 20% should focus on promoting your business.

It is also important to engage your community regularly, according to Sprout Social, 48% of customers will make a purchase with a brand that is responsive to its customers and prospects on social media, 83% of people like when brands respond to questions and 68% enjoy when brands join conversations on social media.

There are billions of people on social media. Everyone’s indeed here for something and brands can (after creating and curating) begin the process of studying social media user behavior, market geography and conducting needs analysis to gain insights that can be leveraged. — Evelyn Dan Epelle (multimedia journalist and communication strategist)

Top brands understand this relationship and with readily available resources are more successful with their social media marketing efforts by leveraging paid and organic strategies, small businesses, on the other hand, can leverage social media experimentally by trying what works and what doesn’t across platforms.

Social media shifted the marketing paradigm and put brands directly in contact with their audience, giving consumers the power to dictate the type of experiences they want, and brands the data and unique opportunity to target consumers in ways traditional marketing can only dream of.

With the rise of digital media in the 21st century, more and more brands are leveraging the power of social media to discover new markets, reach new and existing customers, engage their community and ultimately position their brand strongly in the minds of their target consumers.

Social media is a very effective tool for content marketing, business development, community relationship management and while this isn’t exactly a love story, it’s definitely a match made in marketing heaven, remember social media is not one media channel, it is a virtual society in which all sorts of human activities take place.

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I write at the intersection of marketing, the creator economy and emerging tech | Freelance B2B SaaS/Tech Writer |