5 Tips from Social Media Week 2020 To Help Companies & Business Leaders Break Through
Social media has been part of our lives for over a decade, and it’s where consumers seek out information, products, and learn about your company. In fact, 52% of all online brand discovery happens in public social feeds, and according to Forbes, 78% of consumers’ purchases are impacted by a companies’ social media posts. Yet despite this, many companies—especially those without a B2C focus—still struggle to break through on social.
Less than a quarter of people trust what they see on social media, and data shows that 58% of the content generated by brands is not meaningful to customers. That’s why B2B and B2C brands can benefit from taking a person-to-person (P2P) approach. P2P content resonates better with consumers on social media because it’s helpful, authentic, timely, compassionate, and human. Plus, employee-generated content receives 8x times more engagement overall than content shared through corporate accounts.
Penthera attended Social Media Week 2020’s virtual conference this year for insights into how brands can be more successful on social media. Check out these 5 tips we learned on how businesses can leverage their employees as “influencers” to ensure high ROI, engagement, and brand loyalty.
1. Business leaders need personal brands.
People trust people, not companies. A study by BrandFog shows that 82% are more likely to trust a company whose leadership team engages with social media.
“Business leaders that we humanize have higher approval and trust ratings,” according to Steven Bartlett, CEO at Social ChainBrands. He gives the example of Elon Musk, who regularly posts on Twitter. Musk has 64% favorability with the public (despite consistently coming under fire for tweets that negatively affect the stock value of his company). In contrast, Mark Zuckerberg (who doesn’t post much on social media) has a 7% approval rating despite his conservative strategy.
Bartlett explains this is because we think we know Elon Musk, therefore, we can trust him. Elon Musk has developed a personal brand that offers the digital world a holistic representation of who he “truly” is. Personal brands are designed to blur the line between offline and online and “present” an authentic person interacting with their online community.
Anna Vatuone, a personal brand strategist and expert, says we must understand what personal branding is and isn’t.
Business leaders who aren’t working to build their brand are missing out on an opportunity to capitalize on digital real estate—and are potentially losing business in the process. The most effective way to build your personal brand is to share what you know over and over again. Doing so will strengthen your company’s brand and reputation.
2. Networks aren’t made equal.
Globally, there are 3.81 billion social media users, who on average spend 2 hours and 24 minutes using social media every day. But social networks aren’t one size fits all. Businesses must research what platform they’ll have more success based on who their target audience is and what kind of content they want to promote.
Each network’s limitations and strengths will determine your posting cadence, your tone, and the type of content you post. For example, Linkedin is ideal for thought leadership and conversations, while users on Twitter prefer real-time updates. That means when you post on LinkedIn, you may produce a lower amount of content at a higher quality, including statistics and fact-based concepts. In contrast, Twitter requires a higher cadence of posting, in which the copy must be enticing in fewer words due to its character limit. Understanding these differences will make sure what you post will resonate with each platform’s audience.
3. Winning the attention war on Linkedin.
Linkedin is key for businesses looking to target thought leaders and decision-makers. 90 million of Linkedin’s users are senior-level influencers and 63 million are in decision making positions. Yet, changes to the network’s algorithms in recent years has made organic reach difficult, meaning it’s harder for content to get in front of a broad audience. This is where P2P content can help.
By design, Linkedin company pages don’t perform as well as personal pages do. That means it’s far more effective for companies to have their employees post on their behalf. Further, comments and likes still have a disproportionate impact on reach on the platform, making posts with engagement 3x - 4x more effective. When Penthera ran a contest encouraging employees to engage with our LinkedIn content and post about the company, the company LinkedIn page saw 83% growth in impressions and 72% growth in followers.
4. Big ideas don’t always require a big budget.
Producing high-quality content doesn’t have to be expensive. In order to keep costs low or consistent it’s important to ask:
What assets do you already have that you can utilize? These can be pictures, quotes, PR materials. At Penthera we use headshots, executive interviews, product information, and more.
When considering investing in social tools (like Sprout Social or Hootsuite), will they bring value? Services that make content management and analytics seamless can help save your team time and make it easier to demonstrate success on social media. If a service will be used often and improve the quality of the content, add it to your social budget. Measuring how the efficiency of those services will impact your social goals is crucial.
Do we have room for experimentation? The only way you can grow on social is through strategic experimentation. Social media is trial and error based, and planning for errors (or learnings, as I like to call them) is extremely important for success on any platform. It allows you to learn and adapt to your audience, and optimize your content strategy going forward.
5. Benchmark to measure KPIs.
Many brands fail with social media because they don’t have an understanding of how to measure success. To determine if your social campaigns and objectives are effective, they must translate to KPI’s (key performance indicators). The four pillars to measure are awareness, consideration, conversion, and advocacy.
Social media is an effective way to communicate with customers and to reach new ones. Now more than ever, it’s crucial for businesses and leaders to connect with their audience from a safe distance and social media is the best way to make that happen.