How Businesses Can Use WeChat for Their Marketing Campaigns

Posted on October 30, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

According to iResearch data collected in April 2014, WeChat is now the #1 mobile chat application in China ahead of Sina Weibo and Qzone in terms of effective usage time. But what is WeChat? And why are major brands and businesses including Nike, Burberry and McDonald’s breaking into this app for marketing?

WeChat-for-business

WeChat is an innovative mobile chat application that as of September 2013 has over 350 million registered users. The app was launched in 2011 and has been climbing the ranks of mobile applications ever since. On November 25 2012, WeChat was reported to be the top ranked iOS social networking application in 6 different countries including Hong Kong, Argentina and Thailand. The service supports voice and text messages, videos and pictures.

The popularity of WeChat has to do with a number of factors:

1. The users on WeChat are authentic. Because WeChat requires a telephone number, it’s the strictest social media platform in China.

2. Official WeChat account holders can reach their target audience directly which they can, in turn, choose to categorize based on demographic data.

3. WeChat provides an integral communication platform allowing registered users to interact with their friends and favorite brands through text, pictures, videos and voice messages.

Quick facts:

  • WeChat was launched in 2011
  • As of September 2013, WeChat has over 350 million registered users with 100 million users outside of China
  • Approximately 50% of WeChat users are between the ages of 25-30.

With stats like these, no wonder WeChat is one of the marketing channels businesses are successfully using to reach Chinese consumers. The challenge is to get WeChat marketing right. This includes:

  • Defining the role of WeChat as an extension of your marketing strategy
  • Defining your content strategy to keep your content stream fresh and interesting
  • Defining your target audience to push relevant content
  • Promoting your WeChat QR code
  • Understanding the concept of “Throw A Bottle, Pick Up A Bottle.”
  • Being personal and humorous
  • Using voice messages to connect with your audience
  • WeChat also has a Location Based Service (LBS) function, which allows businesses to reach clients and customers who are nearby

And while most brands are still trying to find their foothold using China’s number one social mobile app for marketing, some have already jumped on the WeChat bandwagon and are maximizing its potential as an extension of their CRM system.

5 Brands That are Getting WeChat Marketing Right

1. Starbucks

Starbucks was one of the first companies to create a WeChat account in 2012 shortly after it opened up to brands. The coffee chain’s first round of marketing activity took place between August 28 and September 30 that year and it used a simple idea: A user of the app sends an emoticon to Starbucks. Starbucks then returns a song that reflects the mood of the emoticon originally sent.

Starbucks-Emoticon-Album-WeChat

By the end of that first marketing campaign, Starbucks had amassed 62,000 fans on WeChat.

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A 4-Step Strategy to Improve Your Facebook Engagement

Posted on October 23, 2014 
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

Do you ever wonder why some posts on Facebook go viral while others barely collect a dozen likes?

It’s not about luck if that’s what you’re thinking! A Facebook post going viral has little to do with luck and everything to do with what you post, when you post it and the words you use to send out your social message. For example, Facebook users are known to share content relating to certain topics more than others including posts about positivity, technology and health. And if you use certain words like “Facebook”, “Why” and “How” in your title, the corresponding post tends to get more likes and shares.

facebook-engagement

Image courtesy mashable.com

So with these considerations in mind, how can you maximize your overall user engagement on Facebook?

What you Need to Know about Facebook Engagement?

Worldwide, Facebook has over 1.5 billion users. Of those, 699 million people log on Facebook everyday with the average user spending 15 hours 33 minutes on the social network every month. In total, the traffic to Facebook every month amounts to 700 billion minutes.

To tap into that traffic, certain skills, stats and tips are more useful than others.

  • Posts with 80 characters or less get more interaction
  • The use of emoticons in posts increases comments
  • Question posts get 100% more engagement comments wise
  • Quotes collect 26% more likes and 19% more shares than “normal” posts

Additionally,

  • Posts published on Thursday and Friday receive 18% more engagement. This number increases to 32% on weekends. The best time to post on Facebook is 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. to get the most shares and clicks
  • Contents relating to some topics get more engagement than others. The top 5 topics include sex, positivity, learning, technology & social media and food & drink in that order
  • 80% of U.S social media users prefer Facebook to the other social networks as their preferred way to connect with their favorite brands.

A 4-step Process to Increase your Facebook Engagement

1. Use the Right Social Media Tools to Inform Your Marketing Strategy

With tools like Mondovo, Hootsuite and SocialMention, you can build a brand that resonates with people. Think about it. Do you know if your social media efforts are paying off? With the right tools, you can narrow down on the social channels that are sending you the most traffic. You can listen to your audience and join relevant conversations. If you can identify your best content and most engaging posts, you can create more of what your audience wants from you.

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4 Ways to Use WhatsApp for Business

Posted on October 13, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

Most social marketing strategies are currently centered on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest but WhatsApp may be the next major thing. Facebook definitely thought so. The WhatsApp purchase (when Facebook dropped $19bn to acquire the IM service) left a lot of people confused. But only until it struck them that WhatsApp reached around 450 million active users since US citizens Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded it in 2009. It’s also estimated that the growth rate of the service is about 1,000,000 new users per day with a high percentage of these users residing outside the US.

whatsapp-logo

If you do the math (so cost per user), it becomes pretty clear why Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp makes a lot of sense. Especially when you consider the fact that the acquisition meant that Facebook effectively got access to the user information of nearly 500,000,000 new customers.

WhatsApp for Business

With that said, WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that prides itself on providing users with a simple, personal and real time messaging platform and having no ads, no games and no gimmicks. But marketers have found ways to leverage the popularity of WhatsApp for business.

The question is, how do you use an instant messaging service to help your business goals?

The answer is pretty simple. Think about it. In countries where text messaging is expensive or less accessible, WhatsApp is very popular. Users of the app heavily rely on it to connect with their friends and family and save on their cell phone bills. Small businesses in countries like India have leveraged this fact to communicate and engage with their clients and customers. And the new link between Facebook and WhatsApp makes this communication and marketing channel even more intuitive.

Fair enough, for marketing purposes, it’s critical that businesses maintain an active social media presence but WhatsApp… WhatsApp takes it to the next level by enabling instant messaging between businesses and prospective customers.

Even as we are talking about it right now, in some countries, businesses have started to put their WhatsApp number on billboards and their website. This is particularly true in the case of specialized businesses in India according to the Economic Times.

So essentially, while Whatsapp may not currently be a comprehensive solution when it comes to social media marketing, it’s getting there. Businesses can use WhatsApp for:

1. Growth

WhatsApp is obviously a powerful platform to connect with potential customers. By incorporating WhatsApp in your marketing strategy, you can open a new channel of communication between your sales team and WhatsApp users.

2. Customer Retention

With WhatsApp, you can hope for a closer and more personal relationship with your customers. The instant messaging service enables you to send out quick updates, address customer queries, follow-up on a sale and resolve complaints.

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Instagram for Business | Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on October 6, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, General, instagram, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

Every brand has a story. Instagram is a platform that’s unique in its singular focus on captivating imagery and providing brands with an avenue for rich visual storytelling.

Instagram-Logo

Why use Instagram for Business

  • It’s a tight community: Instagrammers are passionate about the platform
  • It’s very visual: Instagram’s simple design allows captivating imagery to take center stage
  • It’s beautiful: Instagram is a creative and inspiring environment

But Let’s Also Cover Some Stats

  • Instagram boasts of 200M monthly actives
  • With 65% of the users residing outside the U.S.
  • Instagram is home to 20B photos
  • It generates 1.6B likes daily
  • And 60M photos per day

Brands are some of the most creative contributors to the Instagram community.

  • Ben & Jerry’s reached 9.8 million users and saw a 33-point increase in ad recall
  • Levi’s, the classic American retailer reached 7.4 million people and saw a 24-point lift in ad recall
  • America’s Taco Bell was the first restaurant to advertise on Instagram. The response was tremendous, including a 29-point lift in ad recall

Clearly, Instagram makes a strong case when it comes to social media platforms businesses should use to increase their reach and impact. The challenge is to determine what’s unique about your brand and then share it with the world.

Useful Content Strategy Tips

  • Start with clear goals: Your Instagram account should fit into your overall brand marketing strategy
  • Choose a theme that’s authentic to your brand and tells a cohesive story through captivating imagery
  • Produce high-quality images and videos that are well crafted. The content you create should feel at home on the platform

Photo Taking, Editing and Sharing on Instagram

First off, to produce images and videos that are well crafted, you need to know the exact image sizes used by Instagram. Instagram image size used to be 612 pixels in width by 612 pixels in height. Recently, this image size was slightly increased. The current image size is 640 pixels in width by 640 pixels in height.

So first things first, remember this image size for all content you create for marketing on Instagram.

1. Photo Editing Tips

Once you’ve taken a photo, you can edit it by applying effects. Instagram provides a suite of photo-editing tools including:

- Straighten

When you take a photo using the Instagram in-app camera or upload a photo from file, you can straighten it using the Adjust tool.

- Border

You can add a border to any filtered photo.

- Lux

Lux makes your photos more vibrant and brings out details you couldn’t see before.

Other photo-editing tools include:

- Brightness: It makes your photo brighter or darker.

- Warmth: It shifts the colors of your photo towards warmer or cooler tones.

- Vignette: It darkens the edges of a photo.

- Highlights: Use it to adjust the focus on the bright areas of an image.

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It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye to Orkut

Posted on September 26, 2014 
Filed Under General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

Google is pulling the plug on Orkut on September 30, 2014. New accounts cannot be created anymore but if you already have an account for Orkut, you can still sign in by going to Orkut.com and signing into the Google account you originally used to sign up for the social networking service.

orkut-login

Until September 30, 2014, you can:

  • Log in and play games/use your account
  • Export your photo albums to Google+
  • Download your Orkut information

To download your Orkut information in a single ZIP file, use Google Takeout. You can download the following information from Orkut:

  • Your profile
  • Scraps received
  • Testimonials
  • Activities
  • Your photos

You can do this until September 2016.

After Orkut shuts down, you will no longer be able to:

  • Log in to Orkut, obviously
  • Export your photo albums to Google+
  • Access the Orkut apps and games

Public communities will be viewable in a public Community Archive.

Orkut, the Journey

Orkut is a social networking site founded in January 2004. It was named after the Google engineer who developed it. His name was Orkut Buyukkokten. Clearly, Orkut was way easier to spell and use than Buyukkokten!

Orkut is easy enough to pronounce: The emphasis is on the “or” while the “kut” is short.

When it was founded, Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking. The subsequent updates and redesigns made it a leading social network in India and Brazil in 2008.

  • It was, at some point, the fastest and easiest social network to use. You could browse photos, check your friend’s profile and view updates faster than ever
  • The homepage was excellent. Large photos, notifications that are easy to access and fast navigation, it was all there
  • Being a Google product, Orkut also allowed for easy navigation to the other Google properties
  • Photos were easy to upload and share. You could select multiple photos and upload them all at once, reordering them as you please by dragging and dropping.

Other than that, Orkut also allows for extensive customization of profiles. You could:

  • Make your profile your own by picking your favorite theme and giving your profile a unique look
  • Do more than just write about yourself in the “About me” section. You could add a Youtube video or even embed apps
  • Find your friends quickly and easily. On Orkut, finding friends was one of the most important activities so the Orkut “find friends” feature was smart

Other commendable features of Orkut included:

  • A more dynamic friend list
  • Friends’ updates on your homepage
  • Posting scraps
  • Video chat

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5 Tools To Track Your Social Media Metrics

Posted on September 19, 2014 
Filed Under Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Twitter | Leave a Comment

Social media is now held to the same standard as print and broadcast in the count of essential marketing channels for businesses. As such, your social media ROI needs to contribute to your bottom line.

Social-Media-ToolsThe challenge is taking a look at your existing business goals and setting social media goals to complement them. For example, your business goal this quarter may be to generate a specific number of leads or it may be to increase your landing page conversion by 15%. And since social media is pretty top-of-the-funnel, the corresponding social media goals will probably revolve around increasing engagement and traffic to your site.

Social Media Metrics that Matter

So you are using social media to reach your business goals. Engagement is a great corresponding social media goal because it impacts a business three-fold.

  • It increases traffic
  • It grows brand awareness and builds a community
  • It shows your voice

But “engagement” is not a concept as simple as the number of followers you have on Twitter or Facebook. It’s a fuzzy word digital marketers use to mean “interactions with your brand.” On top of this, you have to account for the fact that every social channel is different and unique in its own way and engagement isn’t the same for each.

So how can you measure social media engagement? And which tools do you use?

The most important social media metrics are touted to be:

- Conversation rate

This is the number of conversations per post. So on Twitter, this is the number of replies to a tweet and on Instagram, it’s the number of comments on any pin, post or photo.

- Amplification rate

In social media, any post that’s retweeted or reshared is, in essence, being amplified. So think of this metric as the number of repins, retweets and/or reshares a particular post garners.

- Applause rate

Every social network has a touch point to show applause. For instance, Twitter has favorites and Facebook has likes. Applause rate is based on this concept. It’s the number of “likes” a post gets.

- Economic value

This is, quite simply, the sum of short- and long-term revenue and cost savings.

- Relative engagement rates

And finally, should you ever wish to compare your conversion rate on Facebook as compared to your conversion rate on Instagram, this metric averages the number of conversations you accumulated per post per follower for each of your social media accounts.

How to Track Them

Once you establish your social media goals, the next step is to set up tools to measure the ROI on your social media. Measuring your social media efforts is critical to assessing whether or not you’re making an impact to the business.

To measure the ROI on your social media as well as social media success, there is a number of social media analytics software that you can use. Some to consider include:

1. Mondovo

A social media analytics software designed to help marketers get in-depth analysis and insights into their social media performance, Mondovo’s social tools include Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Facebook Competition Analyzer and Twitter Competition Analyzer. Access all your Facebook and Twitter data from one location and benchmark your performance against your competitors. With these tools, you will be able to keep a tight control over the nittiest, grittiest details that contribute to social media success.

The tools:

– Facebook Analytics

View and assess the performance of your Facebook Fan Page. This includes but is not limited to measuring your page’s amplification, reach, impact and engagement trends, all in one place.

– Twitter Analytics

This tool is designed to let you view and understand your Twitter account performance. This includes but is not limited to measuring your account’s performance and engagement and keeping a tab on your followers, retweets, mentions and engagement trends. Measuring these metrics is essential to assessing the impact of your tweets on your audience.

– Facebook Competition Analyzer

In social media, it sometimes becomes important to benchmark your brand’s performance against competitors. With Mondovo’s Facebook Competition Analyzer, view and understand the audience and engagement trends of any Facebook page. This tool is designed to help you assess your position and relative performance compared to your competitors.

– Twitter Competition Analyzer

And finally, a tool very similar to the one we just saw above, if you want to analyze the audience, content and engagement trends of any Twitter account, Twitter Competition Analyzer is your solution. Stalking has probably never been this easy or this fun.

2. HootSuite

Offering 3 plans (Free, Pro and Enterprise), HootSuite is the preferred social media analytics tool of many marketers. With HootSuite, you can

- Manage your social assets

- Create engaging campaigns

- Find, track and nurture leads and customers

- Get to know your audience

- Be at the right place at the right time when your customers need you

Some of the products by HootSuite include:

- uberVU via Hootsuite: This tool gives you real-time data about your brand making it easy to track influencers, stories, trends and more.

- Analytics: Helps you get all the data about your social media outreach and displays it in comprehensive and easy-to-read reports.

- Hootlet: Lets you post to multiple social networks with one click. This saves time and extends your reach.

3. SocialMention

SocialMention is a social media analysis platform that allows you to easily view and keep a tab on what people are saying about you, your brand, a specific product or any topic across the web’s social media landscape. It monitors Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and quite a few other social media networks to provide a real-time social media search and analysis service.

With SocialMention, you can also set up an RSS feed, email alerts or even add a real-time widget to your website. SocialMention’s Realtime Buzz Widget, for example, is a tool you can use to view the latest buzz about you, your brand or a product over the web.

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A Primer on Mobile Social Media Marketing

Posted on September 5, 2014 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Traffic Building, Twitter | Leave a Comment

Let’s start this post with a question!

What do you do on your smartphone most often?

- Email clients?

- Check the news apps?

- SMS/Text messaging?

- Take pictures and/or record videos?

- Gaming?

For those of us who are completely honest, there is no shame in admitting that, for the most part, our time is spent on the social networking apps behaving like “stalkers.” We observe and obsess over people, places and things that are meaningful to us.

Mobile-Social-MediaOn any given day, how many times do you honestly check your social apps to see what your friends are eating for lunch or whom they are hanging out with?

According to Adobe’s 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey, in 2012, there was a 31% and 180% increase over 2011 in smartphone and tablet users respectively in the United States. Consumers today are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to connect with brands through mobile-optimized websites and mobile apps.

Key findings of the 2013 mobile survey:

1. For consumers who have access to both a smartphone and a tablet, the device of choice remains the smartphone although tablets are rapidly rising in popularity.

2. Facebook is the dominant social network. It is accessed via mobile at 85%.

3. Twitter follows this number at 35% and Google+ at 21%.

4. The most popular social activity on mobile is to read status updates. Consumers are also using smartphones and tablets alike to view pages of their favorite brands.

In this era of emerging mobile-specific technologies, businesses have an unprecedented opportunity for brand differentiation.

Understand Your Audience Before you Address Them

Social media users fall under 3 different categories of people:

1. Thinkers

2. Questers

3. Leapers

For social media success, you need to have a cursory understanding of your target audience before you start talking to them.

- Thinkers

Thinkers use social media when they are contemplating whether or not to make a purchase. These are laid back people and are slow to act. 48% of Pinterest purchasers are thinkers that will favorite an item that they may or may not buy at a later date.

- Questers

Questers are people actively researching a potential purchase. They are information gatherers looking for feedback on items they are interested in.

- Leapers

Leapers are people who get inspired by social media to make a purchase. You may think of this category of people as impulse buyers. They take action quickly when they see something of interest.

These customer profiles are key to developing a successful mobile social media presence.

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How to Find and Connect With Industry Influencers on Social Media

Posted on August 29, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Twitter | Leave a Comment

Take a look through your Twitter or Facebook streams. Are your friends talking about the products and brands they are using? Chances are, yes, they are. How about you? Have you ever asked one of your social media peers to advise you on whether a new restaurant down the road is worth trying or not? Have you ever steered someone toward one specific product or service and away from another?

This is influence!

Social-media-influencer

Influence, on social media, is the ability to change how others think and act. Often people think the definitive characteristic of an online influencer is how many Facebook fans and Twitter followers that person has. That’s not technically accurate. It does not matter if you run a blog where you post content everyday about a specific subject. Influence is measured by a person’s ability to drive others to change their opinion and take actions.

So in truth, anyone has the potential to influence another. Influencers are not necessarily people with the most arbitrarily awarded +K on Klout. The challenge therefore is to find the right influencers to engage. Some people have enough pull to drive a spike in web traffic and sales with a single status update.

The point is: As a brand marketer, it’s important to understand that influence can come in several shapes and sizes. Sometimes influence is predictable. Some industry influencers have an established reputation that spreads far and wide. Other times, an algorithmic tool such as Klout or PeerIndex can help you find potential influencers who can sway others on a specific topic. This is of course not a surefire method but only a tool you can use for some help.

Connecting with Your Industry’s Social Media Influencers is a Multi-step Process!

1. Identifying Influencers

When researching your industry social media influencers, the most important consideration is that any influencer outreach should support your existing business goals. You can’t get started without knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Your objective may include one or more of the following:

1. Demonstrate credibility and thought leadership

2. Generate inbound traffic

3. Enhance your business visibility through content creation

4. Build customer relationships

5. Move community members through the purchase funnel

6. Test new products and generate honest feedback

To find influencers who align with your business goals,

  • Keep an ear out for conversations happening in your industry’s community, sweeping the social web to find conversations that matter to you
  • Search the communities you found above to identify who is sharing content and who is most active there
  • Dig deeper into these influencers by checking up on them on LinkedIn and/or Twitter.
  • With a good list of potential influencers, you can now narrow down on 10 or 20 so the number remains manageable. This may require further detailed information about your influencers or you can look at Klout for their influential topics and ensure they are relevant.

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How to Avoid Fake Reviews on Facebook & Twitter

Posted on August 22, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Twitter | Leave a Comment

Before making a purchase decision, people read reviews, feedback, testimonials or opinions on the web. If the reviews are positive, there is a greater probability of purchase. However, if the reviews are negative, people are likely to move on to something else. Therefore, positive opinions or reviews play crucial role in financial gains of individuals, organizations, and businesses. But, unfortunately, this leads to shady practices, like the posting of fake reviews, or opinion spamming.

fake-reviewsThe term opinion spamming refers to unethical activities such as posing fake reviews that mislead the consumers, for example: writing good things about a product that doesn’t merit the glowing review. Fake reviews also come in the form of negative opinions about competing products and businesses. This damages the reputation of the competition. It becomes obvious why detecting fake reviews is critical for both the consumer, and a business.

Detection or identification of fake reviews or opinion spamming involves the use of relational modeling, graph-based methods, pattern discovery, and supervised learning. Some of the signals that can be used include:

  • Relationships: The complexity of relationships that exists among the entities (products, stores, etc), reviews, and reviewers
  • Product related features: Some of the features that could be considered include sales rank, sales volume, and product description
  • Reviewer abnormal behaviors: The public data that is available from online sites, like first reviewers of the product, frequency of posting, time of posting, reviewer id, etc. In addition to these features, the opinion spamming detection algorithm can also discover uncommon characteristics of these fake reviews. Another indicator of abnormal behaviors is the private/internal data of websites such as the reviewer’s physical location, time taken to post each review, IP or MAC addresses, etc
  • Review Content: Some of the important detecting features include lexical features like parts-of-speech, grammar, words and grammar, or other lexical attributes. Style or content similarity of reviews obtained from different reviewers can also indicate opinion spamming. Semantic inconsistency is another feature that can be used for detecting fake reviews.

In addition to the above, you can also avoid fake reviews by avoiding fake accounts that exist on social media.

This is done by checking for the blue verified tick prior to liking or following a business’s, celebrity’s or brand’s social media profile or page. Both Twitter and Facebook now feature the blue verified tick. The blue tick badge that appears next to the profile name shows that the profile or page has been verified. Therefore, you must understand that a profile or page of any business or individual having lots of followers, likes, or positive comments, does not necessarily indicate its validity or genuineness.

facebook-verified-page

Vine, a video app, also features a verified tick. If the Twitter account of the business or the individual is verified, then the Vine account will be automatically verified. However, another renowned social media network, Instagram, doesn’t feature verified badges. If you are in doubt, you must check the account’s official website. Genuine Instagram accounts always show links to business’s official website.

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How to Use Visuals to Market Your Business on Social Media

Posted on July 30, 2014 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

Humans are wired to respond to visual stimulation. As historically recorded, thousands of years ago, people narrated their lives in cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Today, art, books and various multimedia platforms have created a new narrative landscape populated by brands in many shapes and forms.

visual-branding

Everyday, the average person is exposed to hundreds of different advertising messages from hundreds of different brands. Of those, people tend to be most attracted to brands with authentic narratives and compelling imaging.

In the current digital era, social media is no doubt a great tool to increase your online presence. The problem lies in the fact that as more brands jump on the Internet bandwagon, marketing clutter can make it harder for your brand to stand out and compete.

Effective Visual Branding on Social Media

1. Build a Brand Narrative

- In the following video titled ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’, author Simon Sinek explains his simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership. Addressing the question of why Apple always seems to surpass other computer brands, Sinek postulates that Apple’s success as a brand can be attributed to the fact that Apple believes in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. And did you notice the high quality and neatness of their photography?

The take-away: Determine why your brand is great and the kind of narrative you want to share with the world will emerge. Invest in high-quality photography, digital imaging and graphics.

2. Make Your Brand Memorable

Did it ever happen to you that you are spending an amazing day at the beach and suddenly, bursting out of the ocean, you feel like a Coke?

It’s not a coincidence!

Coke uses ‘red’ to associate excitement with their product.

Big brands have realized a long time ago that colors can impact how they appeal to their target audience. Color is more than just a hue. It makes a statement.

But you do need to be consistent with your use of colors. Social media includes virtually anything you post online. This includes but is not limited to tweets, Facebook posts, shares and web content. A brand’s authenticity relies on consistency.

Here is an excerpt from KISSmetrics’s infographic that gives some general guidelines on how colors affect American online shoppers:

colors-affecting-purchases

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