In 2018, when internet access is wide spread and social media literacy is expected of all, your business is not complete without a ‘brand’. This is more complicated than simply having branding – your logo, and associated slogans and wording is an aspect of your brand but, these days, by no means the full story. Your brand is your business’ personality: it’s every way your customer experiences your business, from what you might think of as traditional branding to the copy on your website and the way your customer service agents behave. Having a reputation for punctilious and generous customer service affects how people perceive your company and therefore your brand, which can attract not just customers but the kind of customers you want: used to be listened to, expecting a high-quality service and therefore potentially willing to pay higher prices.

Amid the constant legwork of running a company – opening new markets, designing new products, making hires and refining your processes to avoid waste and inefficiency – you need to be working on building an audience for your brand.

Today we’re taking a quick look at a few ways you can do this, effectively and creatively, so you stand out from the crowd.

Data, Data, Data

To begin with you need information to base your plans on. Even if you represent the ideal of the customer you’re trying to sell to, you don’t necessarily know the best way to reach a wide market and engage with all those consumers successfully.

Working with a market research team to follow a programme of surveys and testing will provide you the consumer insight you need. This is more than just the results of surveys: this is data interpreted by experts to give you proper predictive power.

Planning

Armed with your consumer insights, you can plan a timetable of social media engagement that will reach exactly the audience you need it to. You can plan campaigns and specific posts around calendar dates, whether your audience will be most hooked in by a photo caption competition for St George’s day, or photographs of your products bedecked in Easter decorations. You can also ensure you’re catching your audience at their most receptive time of day, whether that’s commuters on their way to work, people looking up for a break at lunchtime or taking some spare hours to browse Instagram in the evening.

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