Did you know that in 2014, 88% of companies used social media for marketing purposes? Fast forward four years to 2018, with the ever increasing popularity and use of social media, is it even possible to survive and thrive as a businesses without the use of these digital platforms?
When looking specifically at Instagram, which experiences the highest interaction rate when contrasted against Facebook, there are several key elements that I find beneficial in using to access an organization’s social media strategy — professionalism; interactivity; and frequency and consistency.
- Professionalism extends to the quality of content published, encompassing both photos and captions.
- Interactivity refers to the quantity and quality of interactions whether it be through reposting content, interacting with other users’ content — through liking and commenting — or replying to comments from users.
- Frequency and consistency is in regards to how often content is published to a social media platform and whether that number remains constant over time.
Genuine Health: Strong Social Media Presence
Genuine Health is a supplement company with a collection of protein powders, vitamins, and wellness products for consumer use. Initially drawn to Genuine Health because of its product offering, its Instagram has truly captured my attention.
Contrasting Genuine Health against the first of three key elements I believe are important to creating an impressive social media strategy, Genuine Health scores high on professionalism. Genuine Health publishes a variety of content utilizing high quality photographs accompanied by well thought out captions. Utilizing vibrantly coloured recipes, quotes, and short videos, Genuine Health’s atheistically pleasing content is incredibly visually appealing.
Further related to its content, Genuine Health exerts a high level of interactivity, frequently reposting others’ Instagram content.
Photo Credit: Genuine Health
Frequency & Consistency
Genuine Health maintains an incredibly consistent posting schedule, publishing a new piece of content every day to its Instagram platform.
The Human Bean: Benefit from a Social Media Presence
Statistics indicate that 1 in 3 Internet users go to social networks when looking for more information about a brand, with the same source indicating that 90% of marketers report that their social media efforts have resulted in increased exposure for their business.
With this in mind, let me first paint you a picture. A quaint, local coffee shop located in a town of 20,000 people, offering a variety of speciality drinks and hand-crafted baked creations and sandwich options. With ‘open mic’ nights and walls featuring artwork from local artists, combined with the constant hum of coffee machines and the quiet chatter of customers talking over their coffees. This is the whimsical vision of the Human Bean in Cobourg, Ontario. I’ve forever been attracted to this coffee shop due to the intangible charm that constantly lingers in the air.
The Human Bean has maintained ownership of a Facebook account and Twitter account, which has remained relatively inactive since early 2016 and late 2013, respectively. Trip Advisor boasts numerous positive reviews and photos for the Human Bean, with one individual citing the Human Bean as a coffee shop that is “aesthetically pleasing and Instagram-worthy atmosphere.” However, despite a coffee shop with incredible aesthetics, the creation of visually appealing products, enthusiastic visitors, and thereby opportunities to create visual content, the Human Bean is without an Instagram page.
Before discussing a proposed social media strategy for the Human Bean, you may be asking yourself, why does a coffee shop operating in a small town need an increased sense of visibility? Cobourg, situated along the beautiful Lake Ontario, with a well maintained beach is a popular tourist destination in the warmer months. The Human Bean is conveniently nestled in the downtown core, meaning that those staying on their boats in the marina, those staying in the local campground by the waterfront, or those simply visiting for the day, can easily access the Human Bean by foot. In addition, with a mass number of condos located along the waterfront and a community of active, local individuals who walk through the downtown core, there is a sufficient sized audience who have opportunities to frequent this coffee shop.
In the past, the Human Bean has utilized its Facebook and Twitter platforms to publish a majority of text exclusive posts pertaining to upcoming events — poetry readings and live music — along with new product announcements and specials, local Cobourg downtown events, and opportunities for artists to showcase artwork within the store. While the Human Bean’s social media platforms maintain a comedic and down-to-earth tone, its overall social media strategy could be expanded upon to in order to increase awareness, and visibility.
Social Media Objectives
An overarching objective for the Human Bean and one that the Trip Advisor comments seem to support, is for the Human Bean to be viewed as a Cobourg destination. This main objective can be achieved through an increased level of visibility among both tourists and locals. By being active and present within the social media environment, it will work to increase visibility among both those visiting Cobourg as well as those residing in Cobourg.
Social Media Strategy
Maintaining an active and present social media presence can be accomplished through executing the three key elements in order to create an impressive social media strategy:
Publishing high quality content — photographs and graphics — will work to deepen the already incredible reputation the Human Bean has garnered, while working to increase brand awareness. Maintaining a high level of professionalism in its social media interactions and content will in the customer’s mind, also extend to the quality of products, and level of service and expertise the Human Bean continually delivers. Attempting to capture the Human Beans’ coffee shop atmosphere and products in a digital manner, in addition to delivering novel and quality information to its social media accounts, will work to heighten the customers’ sense of connectedness with the store.
In addition, when in-store events occur, the creation of Facebook events in conjunction with social media promotion will help to widen the events’ reach, conjure interest, and ultimately increase event attendance and interest in future events. Customers, knowing they can obtain information about current events from the Human Bean’s social platforms, will result in users deriving value from following the coffee shop’s social media pages.
As illustrated by the Human Bean’s Trip Advisor page, individuals enjoy sharing words and photos of their positive experiences. Therefore encouraging the sharing of content from customers, as well as responding and reposting customer content will help to build a connection with its visitors and loyal community of followers and supporters. Potential customers will be able to get a feel for the atmosphere, and friendly ownership, even before stepping through the coffee shop’s front door.
Frequency & Consistency
By ensuring new content is published to its social media accounts at least once per day it will ensure the Human Bean remains relevant in the minds of its customers and potential customers. By consistently sharing menu updates, product specials, store announcements, customer quotes, and store images, customers will feel confident in relying on the Human Bean’s social media page as a source of relevant and current information.
Today, with the aid of social media, organizations are now able to target consumers both in the physical environment, as well as in the digital space. With an astounding number of businesses connecting with its consumers through social media platforms, the real question for a businesses quickly becomes can you afford not maintain an active social media presence?