Build brand and audience through social media platforms

When strategizing about reaching an audience for your products and services, social media platforms rank among the most important tools available today.

The data shows that there are now more than
3 billion people using social networks across the planet. And these people aren’t just using social media to discuss their lives and follow celebrities. In fact, following brands now ranks higher than interest in celebrities, with research showing more people using social media for the former purpose than the latter. Instagram numbers reveal that 80 percent of subscribers follow at least one brand.

So, what are some of the benefits of engaging an audience through social media platforms? One of the most obvious and profitable is the ability to build brand awareness, letting people know about your products and services. Engaging people through social media is essential to building brand awareness and creating a direct link between you and current/future audience. The numbers don’t lie. According to Instagram, 60 per cent of their members say they find new products on that platform.

Other benefits include:

• Establishing yourself as the go-to resource in your field of expertise. Social media interaction allows you to connect on a personal level, through relevant news and information, with your followers, creating a level of trust that builds brand awareness and loyalty. Pushing information – and it needs to be impactful content – out through social media channels helps bring traffic back to your business website, or content hub, for a fuller exploration of what you have to offer.

Trust is enhanced by thought leadership, which builds credibility and brand loyalty. Research by Edelman established that about 50 per cent of B2B marketers believed thought leadership built trust, however more than 80 per cent of customers believed that to be so.

Additional research by Edelman revealed that technical experts are trusted by 63 per cent of people, while only 42 per cent say they trust businesses.

• A social media presence helps to humanize your brand. According to this research, more than 50 per cent of adults don’t commit to a brand until they see concrete proof that a business delivers on its promises. Social media platforms are effective tools to deliver that message.

• Being active on social media is a key strategy for keeping your brand front and centre; according to data from the Pew Research Center, social media users are active on the accounts daily, with many checking in throughout the day.

• Social media increases website traffic through a push-and-pull strategy: relevant content, including thought leadership tweets, reach the audience, building brand and loyalty, pulling traffic back to your website, or content hub, for a more detailed exploration of your products and services.

• It’s a great strategy for generating leads, boosting sales, promoting content and getting people talking about your brand. According to this research, about 20 to 50 per cent of purchasing decisions is driven by word-of-mouth dialogue.

• Other benefits include managing your reputation, crisis management and communication, and engaging with customers and audience.

If you aren’t using social media to build brand and audience, you are ignoring an effective marketing tool, and in the process probably losing business to competitors. Luckily though, you don’t have to be an expert in social media feeds or have your own social media resources. Devine Media Service has the solution for you. Contact us today.

The benefits of having a journalist build your brand and audience

The art of story-telling is as old as the ability to communicate verbally, and may even predate actual language itself, come to think of it. It’s not hard to imagine the cave-dwelling denizens of ancient days grunting and gesturing to get a point across. The most proficient of them probably told the best stories.

Of course, no one seems to know when people began speaking to each other in a structured language. Research estimates it could be as recent as 50,000 years ago or as far back as two million years. Whatever the timeframe, as long as people have been able to speak they have used language to communicate, make sense of things and tell stories of lives, histories, families and communities.

The more interesting the telling, or narrative, the more compelling the story for the audience, or in today’s parlance, the market. And if you want someone to tell your story with style, quality and impact, get a journalist for the job – or more to the point, a brand journalist.

Why? Well, effective communication lies in the telling. If you need some lights wired, get an electrician. If you want your story told so that it resonates with current and future customers, employ the talents of a brand journalist who will bring the principles of journalism to the table so that your narrative gets noticed.

There’s a term in the newspaper trade for information that wants to be seen as something more than mere marketing: advertorial. It’s vested-interest content contained in a story, rather than traditional ads. Why? Because advertisers know that readers are more likely to respond to their message if it’s presented as a story. That establishes credibility and trust.

Brand journalism goes beyond simple advertorial, uniting journalistic principles and skills with strategic corporate and business content and messaging to inform, entertain and engage – all with the goal of building brand and audience. The idea is to connect with the audience by not simply pushing out promotional material but instead thinking and acting like publishers.

Journalists think differently from a traditional marketer, putting audience and reader first. That’s why so many businesses are developing blogs. They see the benefits, including:

• developing a connection with your audience

• strategic messaging

• improving SEO with keywords in narrative

• building a reputation as a brand leader

• better customer relations

• supporting social media strategies

Brand journalism is a new way of approaching marketing and audience, developing content that speaks to your narrative while also impacting the audience through a ‘good read.’ Contact us today for more on how we can help build your brand and audience.

Media monitoring helps you stay ahead of the news and trends

If information is currency and knowledge potential and opportunity, then it stands to reason that the more information a business or organization has, the greater the potential for opportunity to be realized.

Media monitoring serves a number of different purposes, including:

• Staying on top of trends and developments that can and will impact your business and/or reputation, allowing you to proactively respond to complaints and/or customer/client worries

• Avoiding unwelcome surprises – being aware of what is being said helps you to manage the message

• Crisis management is much enhanced when you can lead the conversation because you know, through media monitoring, how the conversation is evolving

• Tracking the success of media campaigns, including the impact of press releases in getting news attention

• Identifying new business opportunities

• Spotting the influencers by finding out who is talking about your services/products, and connecting with them to get them talking about you

• Staying alert as to what the competition is doing, from product development to marketing campaigns

• Spreading the good news posted on social media by customers thrilled by the quality of service/product you provide

Once, not too long ago, monitoring the media meant reading a few newspapers, watching a couple of TV stations and listening to some radio channels. With the advent of social media and the explosion of online content, the job has become a lot more complex. The good news is that there are a variety of online tools to simplify that task.

Devine Media Service deploys these tools to monitor media mentions of your brand, compiling a report that measures the success of a marketing campaign, or threats to your brand. It’s about listening to what is being said, and interacting with that conversation in a positive and proactive manner.

Contact us today for more on how a strategy of media monitoring can assist you stay informed in a very competitive environment.

TIFT brings Barrie-raised author to town for illuminating chat

Andrea Curtis

An intimate one-on-one conversation with an award-winning novelist, lyricist, publisher, journalist, editor, literacy advocate and Barrie-raised writer, comes to Five Points Theatre next week.
On Monday, August 20, Andrea Curtis kicks off Talk Is Free Theatre’s 5th Season of Illuminating Conversations with a special summer edition.
Her first book, Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck, won the Edna Staebler Creative Nonfiction Award. The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement, co-written with Nick Saul, is an international bestseller.
This spring she released a work of young-adult fiction, Big Water, inspired by the true story of one of the worst shipwrecks in the history of the Great Lakes. Ms. Curtis also writes books for kids, including a new non-fiction work, called Eat this!, and What’s for Lunch? How schoolchildren eat around the world. Ms. Curtis will be selling and autographing copies of her books.
An Illuminating Conversation with Andrea Curtis happens on Monday, August 20, from 7:30 until 9 p.m. at Five Points Theatre, 1 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ON. Tickets available at www.tift.ca, Five Points Theatre Box Office, or at the door. The event is made possible with the generous support of McBride Robillard Financial Solutions Inc.