Digital MarketingSocial Media MarketingThree shoestring social media strategies to amplify your brand presence

Three shoestring social media strategies to amplify your brand presence

60% of social media marketers say they lack sufficient funds to do their jobs. Ideas / examples of social strategies that work -- without breaking the bank.

If you’re looking for a way to quickly grow your brand’s audience, there’s a good chance you’ve been tempted to overspend. After all, more influence costs more money, right?

Considering that 60 percent of social marketers already say they lack sufficient funds to do their jobs, the last thing they need is a directive to spend more on growing an active audience.

There’s a place for those paid Facebook and Instagram ads. However, your primary marketing strategy can be more economical.

There are ways to keep your spend low and still grab your audience’s attention on social. Social media is leveling the marketing field for brands across many industries. Even craft beer brewers are tapping into the low-cost, high-impact channels available on social media to compete with macro-brewers.

Given the near-ubiquity of social media today, 69 percent of American adults use it as compared to 5 percent in 2005. It’s hard to find a more accessible audience, as craft brewers and many others have realized.

One question remains, how do you improve engagement so a greater portion of this audience looks your way? Boosting audience engagement on social media doesn’t have to be costly.

Here are three simple, powerful social media strategies to amplify your brand — without breaking the bank

1. Let your fans contribute

Because we’re talking about audience engagement, let’s start with the best kind, sharing and celebrating your audience’s contributions. User-generated content has been shown to produce 6.9 times more engagement with your brand than your own content. And you don’t have to spend time or resources creating it.

There are plenty of openings for you to invite your customers to get creative in promoting your brand. You can load up on likes, as Netflix did by sharing a fan photo of a baby dressed as a ‘Stranger Things’ character.

Or you might try boosting your followers through a coordinated hashtag. For instance, Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign generated 500,000 photo shares and 25 million new Facebook followers for the beverage brand.

2. Go to the hangout spot

Mark Bradley, president of creative agency Bradley and Montgomery, advises channeling brand loyalty into strong advocacy using what he terms ‘leverageable loves.’ Sometimes, a tactic as seemingly simple as suggesting a relevant hashtag will go a long way toward fostering engagement, that is if you know what makes your customers click. To take that strategy a step further, fixate on media preferences to maximize engagement.

“Loyalists are more inclined to become brand advocates when it helps them validate their own sense of identity,” writes Bradley. “Focusing on platforms where your customers already have accounts and build their identities is an effective way to align your brand’s sense of purpose and forge a shared meaning and deeper trust.”

He points to Starbucks’ @Tweetacoffee campaign, which capitalized on its customer’s large presence on Twitter to spread the brand love. By engaging followers via their desired media channel and encouraging them to give coffee to friends, Starbucks brought in about $180,000 in purchases. At least 27,000 users engaged with the program, at little cost to the company.

A more current example is @PlayStationUK, which PRWeek recently honored as the best brand voice on Twitter. The brand’s playful tweets and clever use of characters showcase a customer understanding that sometimes racks up tens of thousands of likes.

3. Make a home movie

The power of video is undeniable: A staggering 92 percent of mobile video viewers enjoy sharing these videos with others. This is the low-hanging fruit of audience engagement.

Don’t get bogged down by the idea that your video has to be a glossy production. Wildly successful viral video creations are as varied as their viewers. Facebook Live, IGTV, and Snapchat offer engagement opportunities even for low-budget videos.

What’s most important is to create videos that are consistently engaging and interesting, like the popular ‘tipsy tricks’ series from cosmetics brand benefit. Hosts offer their 60,000 Facebook Live viewers makeup tips based on audience preference, and they keep them returning each week by creating regular content.

Regardless of the specific tactics you choose, there are plenty of ways to amplify your brand without breaking the bank on ads or influencers. While there are plenty of fancy microphones out there, sometimes a megaphone is all you need.

Tiffany Delmore is the Founder and CMO of SchoolSafe. 

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