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It’s no secret that building a brand from the ground up takes time, patience, and a lot of exploration. As social media continues to evolve, it’s important to understand the basics of capturing and growing your audience, no matter where you are or what you sell. Whether you’re a massive retail chain or a growing local restaurant, there are things you should know about using social media to shape and grow your brand.
To get more insight on how to run social media effectively, we pulled together learnings from the Square X (the platform previously known as Twitter), LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, Threads, and YouTube accounts. Here are five ways to use social media to build your brand and your audience.
Find your audience wherever they are.
Stay ahead of the game by exploring and embracing emerging social media platforms. While established platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook remain essential, newer platforms may offer untapped opportunities to connect with niche audiences. Investigate the potential of platforms like Reddit, TikTok, and Threads, and look at what your target audiences are doing there to define how you behave. Experimenting with new platforms allows your brand to stay innovative, reaching audiences where they are most active.
Authenticity comes first.
Now more than ever it’s important to be authentic. Audiences are increasingly attracted to brands that share genuine stories and values. Use your social media platforms to tell your brand’s story to build trust and establish a deeper connection with your audience. This involves sharing your brand’s journey, including its beginnings, milestones, and challenges. Also, it means communicating your brand’s values, like a commitment to sustainability, diversity, or social responsibility. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses, highlight employee stories, and showcase your brand’s impact on the community. Authentic storytelling builds trust and establishes a deeper connection with your audience, ultimately contributing to brand loyalty.
Put the “social” in your social media efforts.
Engagement is crucial for social media success. To achieve it, you need to understand how your audience interacts with one another and with brands on the platforms. Look at how they comment on content and who they consider leaders in their communities or industries. To build awareness, you need to be present in conversations as your brand. Consider going live, sharing behind-the-scenes content, or showcasing the day-to-day workings of your brand to bring your audience closer to you. Hosting Q&A sessions, ask-me-anything’s (AMAs), or webinars can create real-time interactions, making your brand more accessible. You can also encourage user-generated content (UGC) by running contests or featuring customer testimonials. When your audience becomes an active participant, it strengthens your brand community and extends your reach organically. So, give them the tools and permission to share your content in their circles, over DM, etc., by creating content that’s instantly saveable, shareable, and worth having a conversation about under the post.
Invest in video-first storytelling.
Video content remains the most popular format on social media, and the platforms will continue to prioritize the format in the foreseeable future. Look to use video on various platforms, from short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels to more detailed, long-form content on YouTube and LinkedIn. Create educational material about your offerings and business, make easy-to-follow product demonstrations, or leverage videos for customer testimonials, employee events, or day-to-day work. And keep in mind that you don’t need a large, expensive production to create this content. Your mobile phone’s camera and the right approach are often all you need.
Find out what works and double- or triple-down on it — fast.
Businesses must embrace data-driven decision-making on social media. Leverage analytics tools to gather insights into audience behavior, content performance, and campaign effectiveness. Use this data to refine your social media strategy, identify trends, and optimize your content for maximum impact. By understanding what’s resonating with your audience, you can tailor your approach to meet their preferences and continuously improve your brand’s online presence.