How To Spark Brand Mentions On Social Media

Brand mentions on social media can drive significant results for your business.

58% of consumers follow brands through social media. Imagine your brand getting mentioned by tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people. Or getting lots of replies from potential buyers to your social media posts. It’s possible.

People go to social media to talk about things that they find exciting, sad, or useful. You can have them talk about your brand if you know how to make that happen.

Here are five ways to explode your brand mentions on social media:

1. “Create a scene” during an industry event

Industry events are already popular, drawing large, attentive audiences. You can do something remarkable in the context of an event to expose your brand to a lot of relevant prospects.

Think of the industry event like a cube of sugar thrown onto the ground. Within minutes, the cube is covered with ants.

It’s the same with industry events. Although the exposure you get from them is short lived, you’re bound to have an impact on a few key players when you create a scene during the course of the event.

For example, Social Media Week is one powerful event in the digital marketing space, especially in the social media niche. TopRank created a list of 50 social media marketing influencers and featured Twitter Marketing Pro Madalyn Sklar in it — alongside 49 other influencers.

Sklar then shared the post on Twitter using the official Social Media Week hashtag, #SMMW18:

Image of Sklar appearing on Social Media Week

Her tweets would normally get one or two likes, retweets, or replies in 24 hours. But this one was quite different. Sklar got 23 likes, 3 tweets and 4 replies (or brand mentions) in three hours.

These aren’t very big numbers, but it’s a significant increase in relative average engagement.

TopRank had other featured influencers share the post on social media using #SMMW18. Social media guru and founder of Up My Influence Josh Elledge didn’t just tweet the post with the #SMMW18 hashtag, he pinned the tweet so it gets more exposure.

Josh-in-toprank-list

Imagine the buzz created when 50 industry influencers are tweeting about them using the hashtag while Social Media Week is going on.

It’s a good example of creating something remarkable around popular industry events. A list of 50 social media influencers publishing while Social Media Week is going on is a powerful strategy to build brand mentions for TopRank.

However, before capitalizing on any event hashtag, you want to be sure the event is big enough and its hashtag is popular enough to drive your much needed social media brand mentions. This is where social monitoring tools come in.

For example, using the Keyhole (disclosure: I’m working with this brand) social monitoring tool, you can see key data about Social Media Week’s hashtag and then judge whether the event hashtag is worth creating something big about, or not.

Image of setting up #smw2018 as a new tracker
Want to see the popularity of an industry event’s hahstag? Try Keyhole.

From this tracker, you’ll find that between February 23 and February 26, posts about #SMMW18 have reached over 6 million people on Twitter and Instagram.

Once you’ve seen the quality of the engagement an industry event has and it meets your needs for exposure, you can go ahead and create something exceptional using the event’s hashtag.

It’s a powerful way to drive brand mentions.

Another strategy to drive social media mentions using influencers. It’s a strategy most brands are using these days, but how do you ensure you’re doing it the right way? The key is to avoid using all types of influencers.

2. Avoid using too many influencers

For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, you get a $6.5 return. That’s quite a huge profit.

But, you don’t need all the possible influencers out there. While this may sound counter-intuitive, it can help increase your ROI and cut unnecessary costs.

Maybe you’ve seen stories and case studies of how influencers have helped your competitors (or any brand at all) grow, and then you feel you should get your hands on all the influencers you can think of. The more the influencers, the more your reach, right?

Well, not exactly.

You want to be sure you’re spending your advertising budget on influencers who actually have your target customers as followers. Social media marketing veteran Neal Schaffer mirrors the same idea

To begin, use listening tools and do keyword searches to learn who in your industry is talking about topics or products relevant to your business.

In a bid to use all the influencers you can get your hands on, you may end up using some who don’t have your target audience as followers.

Instead of spreading yourself thin in that way, cut back and work with just the influencers who can expose your brand to an audience hungry for your content or product. You will increase your ROI when you focus only on influencers who are followed by your target customer.

A baby-clothing brand, for instance, is better off using baby or mommy influencers, not a popular Instagram travel star or a pop singer.

A good example is how mommy blogger Laura (@bump.today) featured three baby-related brands in one post:

Image of tweet from bump.today

Goldfish, lili.lane and Little Blessing Co. are all brands selling baby products. Goldfish sells baby food, the shorts on the baby are from lili.lane and the top is from Little Blessing Co.

These brands are going to be seen by Laura’s followers who are mostly moms — the target customers of the brands mentioned.

Now, how do you find specific influencers who your target customers mostly follow? Truth is you can simply do a google search like [industry term] + [influencers] and you’ll find a lot of options.

But a better way is to hook up with influencers who already talk about your brand on social media. Or, consider working with influencers who talk about your industry — even if they’ve never said anything about you.

Again, you’ll need a good social media monitoring tool. Using Keyhole, for instance, I can find influencers already talking about a brand like Gucci by tracking their hashtag — #Gucci. I just need to go to the influencers tab and I’ll find them there:

Image of Keyhole’s list of users using the hashtag Gucci

Want to find relevant influencers for your business? Try Keyhole.

The tool shows me Twitter and Instagram users with thousands and millions of followers who are talking about Gucci. I could also sort for influencers with the highest engagement rates by clicking the AVG ENG tab:

Image of Keyhole's list of users using the hashtag Gucci sorted by engagement

So before doing a wild search on Google for relevant influencers to promote your brand, you could save time by employing the powerful search capabilities of a social monitoring tool.

Use it to see which influencers are already praising your product.

These people have more experience with your product, and if they’re so popular that they ignore influencer marketing deals, you’ll be able to get in touch with them fast.

3. Know where target customers post from

There are now more social networks out there than ever before — obviously. Therefore, it’s vital that you know which platforms your target customers use the most.

You can, of course, be “everywhere” if you want, but you would be better off focusing your advertising efforts on relevant social platforms that will drive more brand mentions and ROI than others.

So how do you find out where your target customers hang out the most? Again, you need a social monitoring tool to find this out.

Take Ralph Lauren, for instance. Most of the fashion brand’s customers and retailers use the #RalphLauren hashtag to post the products they buy from them.

If Ralph Lauren were your competitor, you could track which sites and which parts of the world mention their hashtag the most — using Keyhole:

Image of Top Sites and Location on Keyhole dashboard

The results show most of the hashtags come from Twitter, which means most of the brand’s customers would be found on Twitter. Instagram is next on the chart, then eBay and so on.

This way, you can focus on driving more brand conversations from Instagram since that’s where most of your target customers are.

4. Discover which days your target consumers are most active

Social media never sleeps, right? True.

When Americans are sleeping, Asians and folks from other continents are wide awake tweeting and posting on social platforms.

In a recent Forbes article, Hootsuite’s Founder Ryan Holmes says:

[There is] a growing realization among businesses that social media is the single most effective way to reach audiences, with teens with teens (i.e. tomorrow’s consumers) now spending up to nine hours a day on social platforms.

However, while social media platforms are always active, there are days your audience is more active than most other days.

If your target customers appear to be hyperactive (in a good way) on certain days, it could mean those are the days they’re not bombarded with their jobs, family, or school (if they’re students).

You want to take advantage of these days and engage them.

Statistics show that posting on social media on specific days improves results. Hubspot, for instance, found that tweeting on Wednesdays gets more engagement than other days.

Image of the top day to post

However, not every research or study is exactly right for your business. You should check when your target customers are most active. You can do that with any good social monitoring tool. When they’re most active is the best time for you to post.

If you’re tracking your own social media account (or a competitor’s) using Keyhole’s Account Tracker, you will be given optimal posting times for that account based on engagement, taking out all the guesswork.

For example, you can use Keyhole to find what days of the week that retail brand ASOS gets engagement the most on Twitter:

Image of Keyhole's post optimization
Want to see your competitor’s best engagement days on social? Try Keyhole.

If ASOS was your competitor, you can see the days their customers are engaging with their tweets the most, and days they got little to no likes, retweets or replies.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the Hubspot’s statistics I cited, but your business may be getting most of its engagement on other days of the week. You need to track and compare to the most effective with your outreach.

5. Exploit User Generated Content (UGC)

If you’re not familiar with the term, UGC is: content (reviews) on social media generated by customers about your product.

90% of shoppers say user-generated content (UGC) on the Internet influences their decisions to make a purchase. And here’s how the rate of that influence has grown in recent years — according to data from Reevoo:

Gif of using influence of UGC on customer purchases

People trust other people recommending products to them more than advertising that comes directly from the brand.

HubSpot’s CEO Brian Halligan advises businesses to think about how to create a earned media (AKA User Generated Content) strategy…

My encouragement to service providers would be to…think about “How do we create a modern, earned media strategy?” Because that’s what really works in social media – it’s more content creation on the earned media side.

And rightly so. Whose recommendation are you more likely to trust — the brand’s or the consumer’s? Chances are high you’ll go for the latter.

A customer saying something about you on social media can spark conversations that promote your business.

And then, surprise of surprises, you find yourself receiving orders from the friends of a customer who just tweeted or posted about your product on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.

But how do you get consumers to become advocates for your brand and say nice things about your business on social? There are several ways to go about this, a few of which include:

  • Contests: Ask customers to share your product with a specific hashtag, and they get the chance to win a prize.
  • Offer discounts: Encourage consumers to share your products with their friends and win discounts.
  • Fun hashtags: Consumers, especially millennials, naturally want to share new products they buy or love with their friends. Give them a happy-sounding hashtag to do this.

However, to make the most of UGC, you should consider sharing them on your timeline. That is, after customers post something about your brand, don’t just be happy you’re spoken well of, retweet or repost the UGC. This will improve your reach and will likely get you more brand mentions.

Wrap up

Brand mentions can drive huge results for your business. Afterall, more mentions naturally mean more popularity. And more popularity leads to better brand awareness and ultimately sales. Use the strategies above and you can drive social interactions about your brand or product like never before.

Featured Image by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

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