The future of the web is pointing toward a sharp increase in user-driven content. Recent years have seen development of a deluge of new social media tools for your brand to navigate when managing its online reputation. While it may seem tempting to dive head-first into the social media blue ocean and blanket each platform from Facebook to Pinterest with your company branding, it's important to understand that not all social platforms are created equal, and to learn how each can be uniquely leveraged to best serve your brand.
Understanding Web 2.0
Largely driven by user-generated content, Web 2.0 provides unique opportunities for building brand awareness. A 2013 study conducted by the Pew Internet Project found that 73 percent of adults who used the internet spend time on social networking sites. Data from Edison Research further indicated that as of 2012, 33 percent of internet users were following a brand on social media - more than double the amount that was engaging with brands a mere two years prior in 2012.
While the results of the DMA study point to tangible benefits of adding a social media element to your company branding arsenal, in order to best use social media to maximize your online reputation, it's important to have an understanding of the various tools and platforms available for branding purposes, and how they can each provide different and distinct benefits to your online presence.
Understanding the platforms
Social media is becoming more ubiquitous among those looking to manage their brand online. Social outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are popular sites, and each forum comes with its own distinct advantages and limitations.
Facebook is the channel that sees the most social brand activity, and studies have been conducted to determine how it can be most effectively used. A 2014 survey from Socialbakers.com found that of all brand activity being posted to Facebook, the vast majority of posts were pictures, with a prevalence of 75 percent. The efforts seem to have paid off, as images accounted for 87 percent of interactions among users visiting brand pages.
Across almost all social platforms, brevity is the key virtue. Entrepreneur.com reported that Facebook posts of 250 characters or less resulted in 60 percent more user engagement. Twitter is a format that forces concision, as you only have 140 characters, so be sure to post efficiently, focusing your tweets on things like calls to action and engaging directly with users to start conversations.Read More