By Lisa Hester, Senior Account Manager

It’s a pretty basic strategy for brands to have a strong social media presence for visibility and interaction with customers and potential customers. But what we do with that social presence is up for debate. As the means to make our brand’s social profile more sophisticated becomes increasingly doable, engaging in these new complexities seems like a natural progression.  But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. In surprising research results, consumers tell us more is not always better.

More than 1,000 U.S. residents ages 18-100 were surveyed recently to get their perspective on what matters most to them when interacting with brands. According to this research from digital asset management platform Bynder’s State of Branding Report, the majority of consumers engage with fewer than 10 brands on a regular basis, while one-quarter engage with 11-19 brands regularly. But what draws them to a brand is not complexities, but simplicity.

The consumers surveyed said the most impactful kind of engagement by far is basic visuals such as high-quality imagery and video (58.7%), over any other form of engagement, including interactive (17%), conversational (12%) and long-form (10%).

What’s more, these consumers said they are particularly bothered by these three company activities:

* launch technology that doesn’t make sense for their brand (27%)

* create an inconsistent look and feel of content (26%)

* implement irrelevant technology without enough investment (26%)

So before you delve into state-of-the-art technologies to boost your brand’s image and presence, consider first what is appropriate, fitting and brand-enhancing, not just what’s doable. And, first and foremost, take into consideration the brand’s audience. If millennials are being targeted, for instance, they are said to like personalization, but they also relish anonymity.

So, for example, is a vlog series or Facebook Live videos fitting for your brand? Does it make sense for your customers and potential customers to hear and see the brand’s leadership and/or employees share their enthusiasm for the brand, while educating the audience on its points of differentiation? Or is it not in keeping with your brand image and/or appropriate for your target audience? Are focus groups conducted solely online a suitable avenue for your brand to pursue? Would your target audience be receptive to engaging with your brand in this manner?

Finally, think not only about content and technology, but about the social platform itself. Is LinkedIn a more relevant platform for who you are as a brand than Facebook or Instagram, or would a combination attract various target audiences you have identified? LinkedIn is generally more suited to building your brand’s leadership as a thought leader and authority in the industry. It’s about professionalism and trust. So the messages and the means would not be identical to other social platforms.

Before you extend yourself on social media, let our brand experts at Rountree Group help you navigate the waters. We can provide a social media audit and share specific steps to ensure your efforts to attract customers and potential customers does just that, and does not instead drive them away. Contact Don Rountree at 770-645-4545 or to get started.