Business owners typically prefer search engine traffic over social media referrals for good reason. Search engine visitors have a higher intent to purchase which makes it easy to convert.

But if you have not invested in social media yet, think again. According to recent studies, over a quarter of all site visits come from social media sources. Although visitors from Facebook and Instagram may have lower intent to purchase compared to search visitors, they present a unique opportunity for you or your business to build a brand.

Successful branding contributes to a larger chunk of direct or repeat sales which are more profitable in the long term than direct visits to your sites from search engines. In other words, your social media marketing can help you establish a brand that can be quite profitable in the long term.

However, what works for one social platform may not be effective on another. In this article, we will pick out the top five largest social media networks and discuss strategies to establish a brand over these services with the help of content marketing.

Facebook Strategy: Post Content That Drives Shares

One of the key metrics to evaluate the success of your social media branding campaign is to measure follower engagement on your posts. Posts that receive a high number of likes, comments and shares tend to get seen by a lot more people that help grow your brand. It goes without saying then that the content you create needs to catch the attention of your followers. Here are a few ways to do this.

Visual content: Visuals captivate audiences better than text. Facebook users like consuming images and videos and producing such content can be highly effective for your branding. Red Bull is a good example of this strategy. All their Facebook posts are viral videos that emphasize their brand positioning of energy and athleticism.

Questions in posts: Triggering a discussion on your Facebook page can be one of the most challenging aspects of Facebook engagement. One strategy that works in generating comments on your posts is asking questions. For better branding, you can also consider highlighting thoughtful comments made by your followers in a subsequent post. This helps create a sense of belonging which also improves your brand.

Facebook comments in blogs: If your content marketing strategy includes a lot of long-form text, you could build traction to these pages with the help of Facebook Comments. This plugin allows users to comment on your blog posts with their Facebook accounts. As a result, comments on your blog posts also get shared through the commenter’s Facebook timeline to their network. This helps with better visibility for your posts.

Instagram Strategy: Focus on Compelling Images

Unlike Facebook, Instagram is a purely visual medium. Consequently, the engagement rates on Instagram can be much higher and therein lies the opportunity to build your brand. There are a few strategies to stand out from the crowd and showcase your brand effectively on Instagram.

Hashtags: Instagram allows users to follow posts by hashtags. By tagging your submissions with the hashtags that your target audience follow, it is possible to be seen and engaged by these users. Although many marketers recommend using 5-10 hashtags per post, studies show that using as many as 30 (that is the maximum number of hashtags you could use per post) hashtags maximize visibility and branding for your account.

Influencer marketing: Another wildly successful Instagram branding strategy is the use of influencers. Instagram sees over one billion monthly active users and there are millions of micro-influencers on the platform – these are essentially users with a sizeable following of users interested in specific niches like fashion, fitness, travel, etc. To build a brand, you may partner with micro influencers in your niche to spread the word about your brand to their followers. This strategy requires sustained efforts that can help you grow followers and branding over the long term.

Twitter Strategy: Be Everywhere All the Time

Twitter’s 280 characters limit may seem like a handicap at first. However, this is one reason why the platform is so valuable for your brand’s content marketing strategy. There is not a lot that can be said in 280 characters. What brands do instead is to invest in high-quality content marketing that are then promoted via tweets. 280 characters is just about the ideal length to trigger an interest among your followers.

Automated tweets: Unlike Facebook and Instagram where you are not advised to post the same content twice, success on Twitter depends on how well you repeat your submissions. Tweets tend to get buried relatively fast. The best way to gain maximum mileage for your content is by spreading your promotion over several times of the day so that it reaches all your followers.

Tweetable content: Embedding ‘share’ buttons on your blog post is one thing. But to make your content truly shareable, it is important to include several ‘tweetable’ snippets through your article. This way, readers who like your content may quickly click and tweet your article to their followers.

LinkedIn Strategy: Post Content in Stream and in Pulse

LinkedIn is a social network that you must not miss out on if you are seeking to build a personal brand. The Microsoft owned professional social network is the ideal platform to build professional relationships and also to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.

Pulse: LinkedIn Pulse is the platform’s very own content application – it is similar to except that it is powered completely by LinkedIn users. Building a personal brand requires persistence and consistency. Identify topics that are of interest to your audience and publish content on these topics on a consistent basis. This helps you build a following and authority in the long term.

Timeline engagement: LinkedIn has gradually evolved from a professional network to a social timeline of posts from people in your professional circle. Besides publishing articles, it is also important to constantly post your thoughts, and ask questions on industry topics to your readers. This helps you nurture a discussion which helps build your brand as a thought leader in your space.

Content marketing is not all about blog posts. It includes all forms of content that can help engage your audience and spread the word about you or your business to your target group. The strategies mentioned here in this article can be quite valuable for independent marketers as well as businesses to establish a brand and establish their authority.