I wanted a new way to share with university students the importance of arriving at the best level of prominence for branded content. Too much, and you undermine all your effort; too little, and you’re sharing content with little benefit for your brand.
What’s that like, I wondered?
It’s like a chef’s strategy in deciding how much of a potentially over-powering ingredient to add to a dish.
Using that model for inspiration, here are ten suggestions for finding the right brand prominence within your social media content. The goal? Ensuring authenticity and intriguing experiences for your audience.
10 Ways to Ensure a Brand Doesn't Dominate Its Social Presence
Determining Your Initial Brand Presence
1) Know your brand
A chef must fully understand a strong ingredient’s characteristics and how it interacts with other seasonings. So too, you need a strong command of your brand's core values, vision, identity, and strategic messaging goals. This knowledge guides you in developing and curating the right content blends that engage the audience and integrate your brand without overwhelming audience members.
2) Start with a little
Don’t go immediately all-in when you open an additional social media platform or introduce a new campaign. Introduce your brand and messaging subtly; you may even introduce content without any hint of the brand yet. Never overwhelm the audience with too much promotional content—at the start or ever.
3) Monitor what’s effective on each social media platform
Keep a close eye on what’s working on each platform and how your brand translates. Look for models among other brands that you can adapt to your own.
Getting the Right Level of Brand Content
4) Add your brand messages gradually
Expand your brand's presence and messaging gradually; that’s the equivalent of seasoning to taste for a cook. This slow exposure to your brand's offerings is more effective long-term than overwhelming the audience with full-on brand messaging.
5) Balance with your brand with other content sources
Chefs combine the right flavors to create new dishes. That’s your goal with your brand content mix. Mix in (in other words, curate) varied content from relevant sources to create variety and prevent your brand from dominating its own social media presence. Look for opportunities to educate, inform, entertain, and help your audience with topics related to their interests.
6) Dilute your brand if it’s becoming too dominating
If you’ve been over-sharing branded promotional content because of a campaign or special event, balance it through different content sources. Share user-generated content, testimonials, or partners and collaborator-generated stories. This will help dilute the brand-centric feel you've developed.
Monitoring and Adjusting
7) Solicit audience perspectives
Encourage open communication with your audience. Seek their opinions, preferences, and suggestions for content ideas. Use online collaboration or surveys to gather feedback on the content preferences.
8) Keep close watch on your mix as you go
Continuously monitor audience responses to your brand's content. Track engagement metrics, comments, and feedback to gauge ongoing audience reactions to your brand’s presence in the content mix. Adjust your approach based on what you see.
9) Practice and learn from experience
Achieving the optimum social media balance is an ongoing process. Try varied content mix strategies, analyzing the results and adapting accordingly.
10) Use milder versions of brand content
Try a more subtle approach to brand promotion if you need to get a more palatable mix. Forego direct advertising in favor of telling stories and sharing experiences germane to your brand.
The Formula for Social-First Content
Ultimately, the social-first content formula is built on:
- Starting your content planning with what interests your audience.
- Employing compelling communications formats and styles that resonate with audience members.
- Adding in the appropriate level of brand messaging that fits each piece of content.
Using this formula and these chef-inspired ideas for managing a potentially over-powering ingredient will lead to maintaining authenticity and creating an engaging online presence that uniquely fits and extends your brand. – Mike Brown