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5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Branding and Sales Efforts

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Social media is a great tool for keeping brands connected to their customers, but it can also be a powerful driver of direct sales activity.

Do you use social media to attract customers and increase sales?

If so, have you made sure that your social media profiles are contributing to your sales funnel, instead of each being a standalone element?

Here’s how you can ensure your social media efforts are tied back to driving sales for your business.

1. Plan Ahead

When launching your brand, keep in mind that your website is going to be just one of many marketing channels. You’re going to need a range of online assets to maximize your visibility, and each of those assets will form another part of your sales funnel.

Given this, consistency is key, and you should look for a brand name that’s ideally available across all the major social media platforms as part of this approach.

This way you ensure that:

  • Each profile will be recognized as part of your brand, and hence contribute to the overall brand recognizability
  • Each profile will rank for your brand name, and will help you better control your branded search results 

Namify is a brand name generator tool which checks name availability across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest:

Namify

It’s a quick way to see how your name is being used, or not, which can help guide your initial branding approach. 

2. Build a Consistent Brand Image

Aside from your brand name, your brand’s visual identity (logo and colors) is another powerful way to build brand recognition, and increase your presence more broadly.

Human beings are extremely visual, and we recall and recognize things through visual associations. This is due to ‘pictorial superiority effect‘ which relates to the brain’s ability to retain visual information much easier than text:

Pictorial Superiority Effect

Given this, your brand’s visual identity should be consistent across all your social media profiles, tying into that cognitive response.

Consider visual consistency across:

  • Profile pictures
  • Header images of your channels and event pages
  • Your social media graphics
  • Your ads

Visme has a handy feature which stores your brand identity elements, and aenables your team to then apply these visual cues and motifs to every asset that they create. This will save you time by enabling you and your team to apply your branded visual elements to all your creatives with just a few clicks.

Visme

3. Align Your Social Media Copy with Your Landing Page

Social media marketing is interruptive. People generally come to social platforms to see the latest updates from their friends and family, and your product links and promotions interrupt their activity.

This is where a strong and consistent brand identity can help people more comfortable and confident when finding themselves on your page.

Think about every click that your social media update or ad is going to drive to your site. Why would this social media user want to continue interacting with your page, instead of clicking off to continue browsing their social media feed?

For example, in this Instagram ad, UPRIGHT uses the same visual elements in both the ad creative and the linked landing page:

Upright

By maintaining consistency, you’re not only reinforcing your branding, but you’re also providing more assurance to users that they’ve clicked through on what exactly they were after, while it also ensures a less disruptive experience.

4. Use Content Repurposing

Content repurposing is one of the most effective ways to create cross-channel brand recognizability, but instead of just re-using the same content across as many channels as you can, consider a more creative approach.

Each platform is different, and the ways in which people engage on each also varies, which means that you need to align with each app’s best practices to maximize your content appeal.

For example, you might:

  • Publish long-form content on your blog
  • Grab all visuals from your blog content and turn them into a (video) slideshow to use on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
  • Grab key takeaways from your long-form content (e.g. steps) and create a quick infographic to post on Pinterest
  • Take some key points from your content and turn it into a visual quote to use on Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin
  • Grab all your visual quotes and turn them into an engaging social media video

The more assets you create, the more unique updates you’ll be able to put together, with each driving more awareness for your brand, and more traffic to your site. And because you’ve used your original article as the foundation, people clicking your social media links will likely feel more comfortable interacting with your site.

There are multiple tools that can help you build an effective content repackaging strategy, including Canva, Visme and Haikudeck.

If you need help coming up with ideas on how to expand and repurpose your content, you can also run a quick search in Text Optimizer. The tool uses semantic analysis to suggest unique angles for you to use in your content repurposing strategy:

Text Optimizer

5. Personalize Your Landing Page

Marketing personalization means providing different user experiences based on each person’s previous interactions with your brand.

There are various ways to use personalization for your social media sales funnel. One of the most obvious methods is using the Facebook Pixel, which captures data on people who visit and interact with your website, then enabling you to reach out to them with more personalized promotions based on their specific actions.

Finteza is another marketing personalization tool, which enables you to adjust your calls-to-action based on the traffic source, location, and previous interaction of your users.

Finteza

Social media platforms can drive brand recognizability, and direct sales – and social media marketing is at full strength when used for both concurrently. Think of each social media function and update in terms of your brand’s identity: “How will it contribute to my overall brand image and how will it help grow my brand awareness?”

Considering the bigger picture can have a big impact in boosting your branding and sales efforts.

Socialmediatoday.com

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The Drum | What Does The Growth Of Little Red Book Mean For Post-pandemic China?

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The Drum | What Does The Growth Of Little Red Book Mean For Post-pandemic China?

The shopping app proves that consumer confidence and community are key to a thriving business post-Covid, writes Michaela Zhu of Emerging Communications.

Little Red Book, aka Xiaohongshu, or more simply ‘Red’, is a leading Chinese social shopping app. With over 300 million users (and counting), western brands are taking notice – and with good reason.

Little Red Book first appeared in 2013. From modest beginnings focussing on female beauty products, the app expanded to help all kinds of global brands connect with Chinese consumers. Whether it’s holiday inspiration, university choices or luxury fashion, Little Red Book is now the go-to app for lifestyle content and shopping.

With a unique mix of social sharing, long-form articles, live-streaming and e-commerce, it’s a vital part of the Chinese social media landscape. What’s more: Little Red Book is the place for interacting with Chinese gen Z and millennial audiences. In July 2022, nearly 30% of Little Red Book’s active users were under 24 years. Another 40% of users fall into the 25-35 age bracket.

Discover how Little Red Book has transformed over the last few years, key trends, and how to integrate them into your China digital strategy.

How Little Red Book is changing post-Covid China

By 2019, Little Red Book attracted over 200 million users. Fast forward nearly four years, and the platform has maintained its grip on affluent Chinese consumers. It’s one of the few social media platforms where growth still exceeds 30% year-on-year. Little Red Book is here to stay, and in a big way.

This user growth has brought significant changes in content, especially as Chinese consumers adapt to post-pandemic life. Gone are the days when Little Red Book catered exclusively to beauty and fashion niches. Instead, people use the platform to make significant life decisions as well as day-to-day purchases. With content on entering high school, getting married and buying property (to name just a few), you’ll find almost every aspect of daily life up for discussion.

While the relaxing of Covid restrictions has brought drastic changes alongside feelings of liberation, there’s understandable uncertainty among Chinese Gen Z. Long-term lockdown life caused younger generations to pay close attention to their immediate environment. There’s a focus on simplifying their lives and recycling items, as well as yearning for distant places and global cuisines.

A related trend for Little Red Book is the growing Chinese travel industry. Unsurprisingly, the recent easing of travel restrictions resulted in a travel bonanza. For example, two billion trips are expected during this Lunar New Year period. These figures are nearly double the previous year’s and represent a 70% recovery on 2019 levels.

China branding: two essential trends

For content marketing in China, there are two major Little Red Book trends that any marketer needs to know. These are the recent surge in travel-related content and the shift toward new minimalism and ‘rational consumption’.

1. Exploring opportunities for the travel sector

With China’s international borders reopening, travel is no longer a far-away dream. Many Chinese visited their nation’s most popular cities during the pandemic years. Others opted for secluded opulence, spawning the growth of glamping as a trend. Indeed, this luxury camping culture saw ‘glamping’ searches on Little Red book increase by 746% during 2022.

In 2023, foreign countries are also a possibility. As a result, nearby destinations such as Tibet and Southeast Asia predict a strong rebound in the coming months.

Global brands such as Marriott Bonvoy are already capitalizing on these trends, hitting the mark with their China marketing campaigns. For instance, the 2021 Power of Travel campaign used 10 Chinese key opinion leaders to show how travel inspired their lives.

With influencers including Chinese gen Z creatives, families and business executives – the brand showed their relevance to the China market as well as inspiration for rediscovering ourselves through post-Covid travel.

2. Embracing minimalist and rational consumption

In the aftermath of an unprecedented pandemic and global economic downturns, people all over the world are simplifying and streamlining their daily lives.

China is no different, and its younger population has particularly embraced a minimalist mindset. This doesn’t mean stopping purchases completely, but instead shows a shift towards ‘rational consumption’.

Young people are especially shunning impulse purchase decisions, resulting in a decline in ‘hard selling’ and live broadcast sales events. This trend has worked in Little Red Book’s favor due to the platform’s focus on in-depth consumer reviews and trusted user-generated content. Put simply, it’s all about building confidence and community before purchases take place.

For more in-depth insights into Chinese social media trends, download our guide to getting started with Little Red Book.

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8 Core Disciplines for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

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8 Core Disciplines for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

Are you looking to create an effective social media marketing strategy? Want to learn the core disciplines you need to pay attention to?

The team from MDG Advertising share their social media tips in this infographic.

They break things down as follows:

  • Strategy
  • Auditing
  • Technology
  • Paid media
  • Content development
  • Customer response
  • Compliance and risk assessment
  • Measurement

Check out the infographic for more detail.

A version of this post was first published on the Red Website Design blog.

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Five Ways To Make Your Startup Stand Out From The Competition

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Five Ways To Make Your Startup Stand Out From The Competition

Making your business stand out from others in a crowded marketplace is key to its success. High-quality products and services, a smart pricing strategy, and effective marketing are just the basics. The most successful entrepreneurs have a few extra tricks that separate their business from the rest of the pack.

Tell a strong story

Businesses need to do two things to succeed; be relevant and distinctive. As Steven Hess, founding partner at WhiteCap, explains, doing one without the other will lead to failure. “Being relevant on its own leads to a focus on price and an inevitable sublimation into the sea of sameness, and customers will not look for you,” he says. “Being distinctive without solving a problem leads to gimmickry and longer-term weakness. You have to do both, and one way of uniting the two is with a strong story.”

This could focus on the founder’s story, what led them to set out on their business journey, how they identified the problem they are solving, and how they are solving it uniquely. Stories can also be drawn from customers; how are they using your products or services? What problem does it solve for them?

“You also need to look at how your competitors are presenting themselves and then present yourself in the opposite way,” says Hess. “This will feel uncomfortable, and most businesses fail at this point. Why do ads for cars, financial services, estate agents, etc., look the same? It’s because most of us don’t want to stand out. We’re afraid to fail and be seen to fail. But if we are not being seen, being distinctive and solving a real problem, we’ve already failed.”

Focus your messaging on customer needs

A company’s messaging has to be focused on its potential customer’s biggest wants and needs. It should clarify what people will get if they buy from you, what transformation they will see, and how they will feel afterward. “Most importantly, it should communicate what people will miss out on if they don’t buy from your startup,” says business growth consultant Charlie Day. “When you shift your messaging from simply trying to grow a business and make money to focusing on your customer’s biggest wants and needs, the sales and growth will come, and it will set you apart from others.”

Target an underrepresented audience

This can be a powerful way for startups to stand out. “By focusing on a group that larger companies often overlook, they can differentiate themselves and appeal to a unique and untapped market,” says Vladislav Podolyako, founder and CEO of Folderly. “And by providing solutions to the specific needs and challenges of this audience, startups can establish a strong reputation and build a loyal customer base.”

For example, a fitness startup targeting older adults can stand out by offering specialized classes, products, or resources. By providing solutions to the physical limitations of older adults, the startup can differentiate itself from other companies, address the unique fitness challenges faced by older adults, and build a loyal customer base.

However, as Podolyako points out, this strategy must be carefully thought out. He says: “The startup may be associated with an older audience only, so you should work with PR agencies to get the positioning right and potentially think about creating a sub-brand.”

Differentiate your social media strategy

A unique voice and communication style will make you stand out on social media. However, it’s not just what you say but what you do that makes the difference. “If everyone is offering ‘how to’ tips on LinkedIn, create some short form behind-the-scenes videos. If everyone is doing special offers on Facebook, publish some tip-based stories,” says Catherine Warrilow, managing director of Daysout.com. “Make yourself accessible for customer support on the social media channels used by your audience, for example, via What’s App or Messenger.”

Respond promptly to customer calls

Making it easy for customers to contact you and get a response is vital for customer engagement and retention. Yet, businesses are surprisingly poor at answering their phones, listing phone numbers on their websites, and responding to voicemails. It’s a massive turn-off for customers, as a survey by global communications company Moneypenny revealed, with unanswered phone calls topping the list of consumer gripes, cited by 43% of respondents, followed by annoying hold music (35%).

Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Moneypenny, says: “Customers use the phone when they have an urgent or sensitive issue to discuss, so companies cannot afford to provide a poor call experience; business will be taken elsewhere. By mastering the art of call handling, businesses can keep their customers happy and loyal and boost the bottom line in the process.”

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