It is no secret that platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok have quickly become important outlets for growing a business, but is it easy to build and grow a brand on these social media apps?
Taking a look at real life examples, apparel brand Sporty and Rich has been able to build and grow its business strictly on social media, particularly on Instagram.
For many, it may be that the key to growing a business lies in viral posts on social media, but it is more than that.
The use of social media can bring a business to life and give it personality by making it approachable and relatable.
Not only does the use of social media make a business more personable, it also gives the consumer another outlet to interact with the business.
To learn how to unlock the power of social media and harness it to build and grow a brand, we sit down with Digital Editor of Dish Magazine, Caitlin Whiteman and Digital Producer of Good Magazine, Emma Napper on how to do so.
Step one: Understand how your audiences use social media
The very first step when it comes to social media is identifying whether your audience is on it and if they are, how are they using it and behaving on it.
Whiteman says that by understanding their habits, you can set out a plan for how to utilise social media to your business’s advantage.
“Start by developing a deep understanding of who your audience is and what sort of content they engage with day-to-day, as well as what they would be looking to expect from you,” she says.
“This will set the tone of your approach, e.g. are people coming to you to learn, be inspired, or entertained?”
Consumers are the most important people for any business and ensuring you are creating the perfect community for them, makes it easier to reach, communicate and resonate with them.
Step two: Content is king, but consistency is key
Social media is not social media if there is no content. Now that you understand your audience, take what they appreciate and turn it into content.
With the content, become consistent across multiple channels. Posting on a regular basis will keep audiences engaged and aware, no matter what app they decide to open on the day.
“I would also recommend utilising a good mixture of content to avoid appearing ’stale’. Personally, I like to use stories for sharing our current events and engaging with our audience through features like polls, I use reels/videos for sharing what we do and having fun with trends like skits, and I use static photos for more standard content that presents our aesthetic,” says Whiteman.
With social media, there is no ultimate guidebook, with every platform running differently.
Napper says her favourite apps to use for growing the Good Magazine brand are platforms like TikTok, which allows for personality to shine through in short form videos; Instagram, which allows for real-time accessibility with the stories feature; while Facebook groups are great ways to interact with others.
“Social media allows brands to interact with consumers all around the world and helps build a brand consumer relationship,” she adds.
Step three: Time to post… but where?
Choosing a platform to post on can be tricky, as there are just so many to choose from.
The best place to post is dependent on the business’s brand and target market, says Napper.
“Instagram and Facebook are always strong platforms to start with, but as a brand identifies their ideal consumer further down the line, it’s important to adapt to that consumer’s needs,” she adds.
“For example, if your consumer is Gen Z, the brand may want to move to platforms like Threads and TikTok where more of that audience is located.”
For Dish Magazine, they have identified early on that their audience is the type to engage with others, which is why they decided to create a space to allow for easy interactions with the community.
“A good portion of our audience is on Facebook, so we create a community page where our readers can join. Everyone sends in photos of what recipes they’re cooking, they ask each other for tips, or they can have a more direct way of contacting us,” adds Whiteman.
“It’s a great way to make your audience feel more connected to you as a brand as well as feeling a part of something bigger.”
This all comes back to the first step of understanding your audience.
So, if you are a brand ready to harness the power of social media to build and grow that business, or if you are a brand that is already using social media but can’t seem to crack the code, look back and take a step back first and understand the landscape.