In our majorly digital society, social media branding and advertising has become more prevalent than ever before.  

Not only is it the more cost-effective option for digital marketers, but it is also the better option for customer engagement and building brand loyalty. In fact, 73% of marketers consider social media marketing to be either "somewhat effective" or "very effective". 

On social media, brands are expected to be socially conscious, whilst maintaining authenticity and relatability — a mark that many often miss. 

From a consumer's point of view, they are met with brands either trying too hard to fit in or those that rely on overly businessy messaging. Coupled with the influx of ads, this can lead to feelings of brand fatigue or boredom and, eventually, result in consumers ignoring your messaging — and you don't want that.

So what can your brand do to keep your following engaged, without bombarding them online? Here, media update’s Taylor Goodman looks at four must-have tips. 

Ready? Let's jump in:

1. Be interactive

You can avoid being a faceless and unfeeling brand online by engaging with your followers… it really is that simple. 

Effective ways for brands to interact with their followers is by responding to the inevitable queries or complaints that pop up in the comment section. You can also ask questions (hello polls) or run competitions or giveaways. 

Want to take things a step further? Different ways to interact with your audience include: 
  • behind-the-scenes posts: This post format gives your followers a peek behind the curtain of your daily operations. This approach humanises your business as it puts faces behind the brand and helps you connect with your followers on a deeper level.  
  • interactive videos: Video is all the rage right now, so why not up the ante with interactive videos? These are essentially videos that include quizzes, play certain sections based on the viewer's choice, or contain click-through to certain landing pages. 
  • Lives / Spaces: There is no better way for a brand to interact with its audience than by having a conversation with followers. This can easily be done via Instagram Live or Twitter Spaces. 
Interacting with your audience helps to set you apart from the pack. You're not like one of the suits trying to push a product; no, you're a cool brand. 

Many businesses think it's enough to simply be on social media — and they're wrong. You need to give your followers a reason to follow you, or else what is the point? 

2. Customise your messaging 

Want to stand out from the crowd online? Then you should be a listener, not a talker. What we mean by this is that you should know as much about your audience as possible and customise your messaging accordingly. 

A simple way to gauge how your followers perceive your brand is by using a social media auditing tool. This tool will not only alert you of any mentions of your brand online but gives you insight into the sentiment of these mentions. 

As you learn more about your audience, you will know more or less what they would want to see from you in the digital space. Additionally, studying your audience means that you will also have insight into what times are the best to post, or which channels / platforms are most fruitful.

The second step to being able to customise your messaging is by knowing your brand. Ask yourself the following to gain a deeper understanding of what you hope to achieve: 
  • What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • What are your unique selling points?
  • What is your brand's story? Does it even tell a story to begin with?
  • What are your company values and goals? 
Once you answer these questions, you will have clarity on what your identity as a brand is and what your messaging should be. 

3. Don't be intrusive 

There's nothing worse from a consumer's standpoint than scrolling through their favourite social media platform and being met with ad after ad after ad. 

Globally, 42.7% of Internet users use AdBlockers. This proves that many consumers will go the extra mile just to protect their peace online. 

This rise of ads on social media isn't necessarily the issue here, however. Rather, it is the intrusiveness of branding. This is the root of brand fatigue and can lead to your audience getting bored of seeing your content quicker than ever. 

So, how can you avoid being intrusive on social media, you ask? Well, a good place to start is by avoiding spam

Be more mindful that the content you post is personalised, appearing on the appropriate channels at the right time and relevant to your audience. Put yourself in the consumer's shoes: Would you really want to be seeing the same thing, multiple times a day, daily? Definitely not

4. Think outside the box 

Want to set yourself apart from the crowd and beat brand fatigue all at once? Be unique

By creating creative campaigns and social media content, your consumers will be left feeling intrigued and wanting to know more instead of wishing you would just go away

Although there isn't a surefire way to get your social messaging to stand out from the crowd, you can work towards this over time. 

Ensure that your aesthetic is streamlined and highly visual, but also ensure that you add value to your followers' lives with storytelling and consistent brand messaging. Don't be afraid to try something new and get brainstorming!

What do you want to see from brands on social media? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want to learn more about improving your social media content, then be sure to read these Four tips for writing shareable social media copy.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy.