Every brand develops in its own unique way. However, successful businesses share common marketing elements. If our blog has taught you anything, you know social media advertising is a must-do for small and large companies alike. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Strategizing social and growing your professional network requires more than just content promotion.
Dan Gingiss has helped market several businesses throughout his career, including Humana and McDonald’s. With each new project, he looks to improve brand communication using both traditional and cutting edge tactics. Gingiss discusses past and present brand-growing strategies on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast. If you’d like to listen to the episode, you can do so here:
These three digital techniques Gingiss describes can bring your brand greater exposure:
1. Start a Podcast
Podcasts are great ways to meet new people and potentially get exposure on their platforms. You’ll not only get a new medium for sharing your business, but you’ll also have the chance to provide target audiences with valuable information. Find a topic that’s relevant to your brand, and craft a fun, educational show around it.
Podcasts are mutually beneficial. If you have any connections who are in your niche, odds are some of them would be happy to appear as guests on your show. This is a tremendous way to create relationships and find new avenues to get found.
Gingiss boosted his podcast marketing success with help from guests. After connecting with Social Media Today to conduct interviews for the show, he managed to use their channels to push out the podcast. He says, “I was using Social Media Today’s platform, which turned out to be a great boon because I got on the front page of their site every time we had a new episode and they tweeted it out a whole bunch of times and that really helped us grow an audience.” Once you grow an audience, the last thing you’ll need to do is tie the podcast back to your brand. If you can manage to keep your podcast audience consistent with your brand audience, you’ll develop a whole new batch of prospects.
2. Involve Employees on Social Media
Employees should be brand ambassadors. Word can get out quickly when they share positive things about their companies on social media. Encourage coworkers to promote some aspect your business—what makes it a great company, why they enjoy working there, why people should take an interest in the brand, etc. As Gingiss notes, employees should be glad to speak about their company. “Your employees are often your biggest advocates,” he says. “That’s why they work there. There’s something about the brand that they really like and it isn’t just the paycheck.”
Sadly, perplexing social media policies may discourage workers from spreading brand love. Gingiss explains, “A lot of times, companies inadvertently scare employees into not wanting to say anything ever about their company on social media because they get handed this social media policy that’s usually written by lawyers.” As a result, those employees often decide to play it safe and not post anything about the company at all. If your employees have something great to say, inspire them to say it. Gingiss continues, “It’s important to empower employees and to let them know what it is they can do, what the guardrails are.” If your company has a social media policy, take the time to explain it to your employees. Their publicity can get your brand image in front of more people.
3. Connect with Customers on Social
Social media is a vast frontier, which you can use to engage with your audience and get users to share your content. Keep the conversation going, and don’t be afraid to test out new techniques. Gingiss believes marketers should maintain a forward-looking social media philosophy. “Social is a great place to demonstrate future thinking,” he says. “One of the ways that I think companies can do that is to work with the platforms themselves. And if you’re a big company, you generally can get into some of the beta tests and that sort of thing. But even if you’re not, when new functionality comes out, try it.” You’ll never know how successful you can be with social media until you tap into it.
It’s also wise to stay on top of customer queries and concerns. Allow clients and prospects to ask questions on social, and answer them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. When Gingiss worked at Humana, his team managed to get the average employee response time from 25 hours down to 20 minutes. This plan resulted in a better customer service rapport, as the Humana team managed to deliver fast, detailed answers. Gingiss explains, “A lot of times people would tweet [at Humana]. You almost could tell from the text that they didn’t expect us to respond. And so I do think that was successful in changing perceptions in that way.” SmokeSmith Gear, a smoke shop that sells water pipes and vapes, uses its Instagram account as direct conduit to customers, offering discounts and opportunities to buy new products before they are put live on the site.
Happy customers will be happy to share their experiences. When you provide excellent service and feedback, your brand message has a better chance to get around to more people.