Branding rules for social media managers

Although much of social media is uncharted territory, that doesn’t mean all brand managers should behave like pirates. To increase engagement, consider these guidelines—and tactics.

This article was originally published in July 2016.

How a brand is perceived online has a lot to do with its presence on various social media platforms.

If consumers feel overwhelmed by a campaign’s approach—think popup ads and spam-like postings—there tends to be backlash. If brand managers aren’t readily available to respond to questions or ease worries during a crisis, consumer loyalty might wane.

What can you do to ensure success when integrating social media into your next marketing endeavor?

For starters, target your efforts by channel.

TubeMogul’s “Brand Marketer’s Guide to Social Media Advertising” breaks down how to do that by asking two simple questions:

  • How can marketers efficiently optimize their efforts across multiple social networks at once?
  • How can marketers measure the impact of their social campaigns concurrently with other digital channels or even traditional channels like television?

Data suggest the best brand awareness comes from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, in that order. With that in mind, here’s how to tailor your strategies for each:


Facebook’s audience is the largest of any social media channel.

Keep in mind that bigger numbers often mean great chances to tap into unique niches. Because of that, TubeMogul advises broadening your approach. Avoid using a single tactic to reach the billion-plus people active on Facebook every day.

From the guide:

Just because Facebook generates a ton of video views doesn’t mean it’s the only KPI that performs well. Turn an arresting social video asset into a direct response ad with clever text and a [call-to-action] button.


Of Instagram’s 300 million-plus daily active users, data say 65 percent are women, many of whom say they prefer to engage with brands on this channel over other social media platforms.

Even if your approach involves sponsored ads, TubeMogul suggests developing posts that feel natural or woven into a user’s experience.

Sprout Social’s Dominique Jackson says:

Instagram Ads have a completely native feel. Aside from a few small details, your ads look exactly like a regular post. Instagram gives [marketers] the ability to reach more people than you can organically, since people who aren’t following you can see your ads.

Be mindful of Instagram’s hyper-interactive audience. Forrester data show that Instagram posts generate 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook posts, and 120 more engagement than Twitter posts.

“Create video and display ads that align with Instagram’s curated platform for an ideal native experience that is perfect for branding,” the guide states.


Many marketers would say that Snapchat has been their bread and butter for engaging with younger audiences.

ATTEND FROM YOUR DESK: Learn to connect with millennials, with expert Michael Parish DuDell, named a top millennial voice by IBM.

Because of its user base, video content on this platform is extraordinarily valuable.

Snapchat’s director of operations and strategy, Steve Hwang, told AdWeek that brand managers should think “local” when targeting millennials there.

Here’s more from AdWeek on integrating storytelling with video:

Snapchat’s core group of 18- to 24-year-olds hate feeling like they’re being marketed to. Instead, they want to watch videos and look at photos their friends are sharing.

Data show that more than 85 percent of active U.S. Snapchat users are under age 34. To reach them, TubeMogul’s guide advises being creative, authentic and bold with your content:

[Make sure] ads seamlessly appear within users’ or premium publishers’ stories. Swiping up on the ad reveals extended content such as a longer video, an article, or an app install.


Influential social media users are extremely active on Twitter.

As the platform continues to redefine itself and struggles with expanding its user base, marketers shouldn’t lose sight of its purchasing power.

From TubeMogul:

Sixty-seven percent of users are likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter. Approximately 33 percent of Twitter users follow one or more brands on Twitter. Of the users who follow brands, 90 percent admitted to following the brand for discounts, coupons, or cost saving promotions. Give them what they want!

If promotional marketing isn’t part of your strategy, perhaps it’s time to pursue a partnership with a celebrity-like user. Similar to Snapchat, younger users seek to connect with brands on this platform, as long as it feels authentic and natural.

“Vine stars are hotter than Hollywood A-listers for millennials,” Twitter’s Stephanie Prager told AdWeek.

Because of that, AdWeek predicts Twitter will dig deeper into pitching brand managers on the benefits of “influencer marketing.”

To succeed on each of the big-four social media platforms, it’s wise to plan and evaluate your efforts one network at a time.

PR Daily readers, how do you adjust your marketing approach across a variety of social media platforms?

(Image by greyweed, via)


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