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Building A Social Media Strategy That Can Bolster Your Brand's Online Presence: The How-To A strong social media strategy plays a central role in the success of a brand's online presence, and, ultimately, the brand's online success.

By Samantha Billingham Edited by Aby Thomas

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According to Hootsuite and We Are Social's report, The Global State of Digital 2022, there are 4.62 billion active social media users in the world today, which represents 58.4% of the planet's population. As such, it's clear that a strong social media strategy plays a central role in the success of a brand's online presence, and, ultimately, the brand's online success.

In a world where the need to build a digital presence continues to grow, target audiences and potential customers can access brands by simply scrolling on their phones for a few seconds. With that idea in mind, here is a deeper dive into how brands can best approach the implementation of an impactful social media strategy to thrive in today's digital world.

1. Identify the right platforms In order to effectively measure campaign social media strategy success, the best practice is to start by defining your target audience, and then identifying the ideal platforms to reach them. At the very least, social platforms will have the basic details of their audience demographics, so understanding this information is an immediate advantage when deciding which channels to use when marketing your brand. For example, if a brand targets the baby boomer generation, choosing a social media platform to grow a page that is known to have a majority share of the Gen Z population might not be the most effective choice. Similarly, brands that want to connect with audiences in a real-time format often turn to my company, Twitter.

2. Drive online conversation above and below the line There are strong benefits to both organic and sponsored content. If a business is just starting out, it makes sense to begin with organic marketing on social media. On the paid side, we have seen many successful ad campaigns on Twitter that defined the brand's identity and enhanced public reputation in this region. Smart video partnerships like Twitter's Pre-Roll Sponsorship allow brands to connect with a single premium publisher with a custom alignment, allowing brands to access a specific audience and build guaranteed brand association. Meanwhile, marketers are finding the need to be even more agile with online marketing strategies than ever before, so the requirement for organic marketing techniques remains strong. There are often circumstances where trends in a conversation occur in the blink of an eye, for example, off the back of a brand campaign or live event. So for a brand to tap into that same consumer conversation, its drivers need to think and work fast, given that the topic will not have been included in the annual marketing calendar.

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3. Experiment with engaging content formats In terms of content performance, video remains king. Our data shows that there are more than two billion video views on Twitter each day, which is a number brands really can't afford to ignore. Social platforms usually have readymade content options for brands where they can enhance their social media strategy through paid promotions. For example, Twitter Promoted Ads can support a range of media formats that come in varying subcategories, including Image Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads, Moment Ads, and Text Ads. The beauty of some of them is that to the consumer eye, they appear native and a natural fit within organic content, so sometimes users may not even realize that the content is following a sponsored agenda.

4. Create tailored content for target audiences Understanding what content your target audiences want and applying it to your social media strategy will keep followers engaged. Social media opens the door for brands to speak directly to customers. The content posted by a brand tells its story, and can contain varying degrees of information, passion, inspiration and promotion, while helping to establish its position in the market.This means creating relevant, engaging and inspiring content for audiences can have a strong impact on public perception. When the Saudi national team qualified for the FIFA World Cup, KSA-based brands jumped into the conversation on Twitter to congratulate the players, including @McDonaldsKSA and @ShgardiKSA. This associated both brands with a globally trending conversation surrounding the World Cup, and importantly, appealed to their followers.

5. Craft a unique tone of voice and set brand pillars It is imperative to create a tone of voice that is distinct in a cluttered space when attracting new audiences and retaining them. Brands can succeed in their quest to engage people by featuring their service or product, but "selling it" shouldn't be the only objective. Brands that do well on social media tap into the wider context of where their product or service fits, and by posting a variety of relevant and appealing content. So, the focus of the product or service itself is still there, but in a more subtle way. If done well, you secure emotional engagement, positive brand association, and, ultimately, brand loyalty. In terms of choosing a brand voice, be sure to create guardrails to consider your customers and sector, checking out competitors' content, testing and reiterating. Deciding on brand pillars as part of a social strategy is essential for success. These pillars define how a brand is consistently communicating through messaging, which enables the brand's platforms to stick to a set agenda to authentically communicate with their target audiences. These are also used across a brand's website and in press materials, and can act as a reference point when curating annual marketing agendas.

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Samantha Billingham

Manager - Large Client Solutions, Twitter

Samantha Billingham is Manager - Large Client Solutions at Twitter. 
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