How many hours do you spend scrolling through social media? Have you ever stopped on a picture of a latte or sunset and knew right away what company or friend posted that picture without seeing the user? This is brand recognition - the extent to which a consumer can correctly identify a particular product or service just by viewing the product or service's logo, tagline, packaging or advertising campaign.
Studies have shown that the average user spends over an hour and a half on Instagram and Facebook, and that’s just the average user. This doesn’t include us “super users” that probably spend closer to 3+ hours scrolling and social networking. Platforms like Instagram have made it easy and accessible for your business to reach your customers and new audiences, you can now market on a budget just using a photo and caption. But what steps do you need to take to build your social media brand?
- Be User Friendly
Have a username and use hashtags that your customers will understand and easily find on Instagram or Facebook. Create in-store signage to promote your Instagram handle and hashtags so that customers can easily search for you while they’re in line or sitting at their table.
- Get a Schedule
Studies have shown that posting 1-2 times per day with curated content that will benefit your audience, is the best goal. The minimum that you want to post per week would be every other day. Anything less than this, and you won’t be keeping your customers engaged. Once you have decided how many times you want to post per week, create a social media schedule that will plan out your posting dates, photos, and captions.
- Be consistent
If you’re not passionate about social media, hand off the responsibility to a manager or key-holder who loves taking photos and writing captions. You want a consistent voice and feel with your posts. It is also important that someone is taking responsibility of your account to ensure that when customers have posted questions or feedback responses are quick and friendly. Remember that you’re building your Instagram for marketing, your using it to build your community, your fan club, your loyal brand.
You also want your photos to be consistent. You might want to collaborate with a local blogger or photographer to take photos of your restaurant and food to use on your feed. Having quality images is what will set you apart from other business'.
- Interact With Your Customers & Reward Them
Who doesn’t love winning a giveaway? Post a picture on Social media announcing that your customers could enter to win a free night out by simply tagging a friend in your photo. Each tag is an extra entry. This helps you build your brand and grow your following.
Respond to customers when they comment on your post. Take the time to like and comment customers who have tagged a photo of your business, if the photo matches your feed then repost it. Communicating to your customers on social media goes a long way. It makes them feel involved and a part of the community that you're building.
The marketing rule of 7 states that a customer needs to see your brand 7 times in order to trust it. If you post valuable content on Instagram 3-5 days a week + interact with your audience, you can very quickly reach that rule of 7 marker, building your fan club and customer retention.