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Social media
as a tool for
branding leaders
and marketers

Author: Phil Muncaster

Top brand and marketing leaders use social media as a tool to connect with customers and increase brand awareness.  With an estimated 3.6 billion social media users (reported globally in 2020), social media engagement, via both web and mobile technologies, has become the norm to engage with your target audience. 

Yet merely having a presence on all major platforms doesn't guarantee success. The effectiveness of social media as a tool of communication is dependent on careful planning, understanding your audience and measuring the results. Fortunately, new technologies have created a wealth of exciting ways to create social buzz about your products.

Social media best practices

Utilizing social media best practices can help create a lucrative channel for nurturing prospects, engage with your existing customers, build community around your business, and drive traffic to your website. The effectiveness of social media as a tool of communication depends largely on your ability to:

  • Set your goals: According to one study, the most common goals are increasing brand awareness (70%) and sales/lead generation (59%).
  • Know your audience: This is key to understanding what language to use, which social platforms to use and what tech features to deploy. There's a big difference between what will appeal to a TikTok user versus a Facebook user.
  • Choose your metrics: Without measurement, any marketing strategy is unlikely to succeed. Whether it is clicks, likes, reach or other metrics, record the data that matters to your business goals.
  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC): Creating compelling content is critical to your brand's success, but so is curating UGC that can generate additional engagement and make customers feel valued.
  • Get moderation right: What people say about you on your social channels matters. It influences brand reputation and buying decisions. Therefore, it’s critical that you track UGC for unauthorized selling, scams, misinformation and other potential issues.
  • Make it easy to buy: Social media isn't just a platform for building awareness. It's increasingly also a channel to sell products and services. Build in links to your e-commerce store and enable in-app shopping on social sites where available.

Social media as a tool to create buzz

Language and tone are critically important to creating the right engagement with customers. Tone should be authentic, credible, consistent and aligned with your audience. But the effectiveness of social media as a tool of communication goes beyond language. It also depends on how compelling you can make interactions. Consider the following engagement methods:

  • Live streaming and virtual events: Third-party offerings like BlueJeans Virtual Events deliver live events with tens of thousands of attendees and the ability to stream to millions through Facebook Live.
  • Social Engagement Tools: Social media can build or destroy brands as consumers play out their interactions in complete transparency and full public view. Social Engagement enables your marketing and digital teams to listen to, chime in on and analyze traffic, plus generate outbound campaigns across social platforms based on topics and keywords important to your brand.
  • Short-form video: Enhance the effectiveness of social media as a tool of communication with attention-grabbing videos. Short-form video has been described as having the highest ROI of any social media marketing tool. With TikTok and Instagram Reels leading the way, it’s proven to drive customer engagement.
  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): AR is already empowering marketers to reach prospects in creative and engaging new ways. VR offers an emerging opportunity to deliver even more immersive experiences en route to the metaverse.

With the number of social media users expected to rise to nearly 4.41 billion users by 2025, it’s important to create the right social media campaign.

Learn more about how to make a smarter approach to technology and social media.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.