Most unbranded accounts can proudly say that they have way higher engagement rates
We’ve heard it before:
“Your business NEEDS to have a social media presence!”
In fact, a lot of business owners feel like they are standing naked in front of a crowd without a few social profiles on their belt.
We’ve also heard:
“Your business NEEDS to provide value to your audience!”
Sure — not many modern marketers would argue against that.
But let’s take a moment to think about why most businesses spend time and money on building out a social media presence.
For most of them — it’s a one word answer:
Ok — I’ll admit there are plenty of other reasons to fire up some hot social accounts.
But for the sake of this article, I want to subvert the common approach to building business social media profiles (that is to say branded accounts) and provide a few reasons why it is totally worth the effort to build totally unbranded social accounts.
All in the name of generating a few of those ever-loving leads.
1. Provide Value Without Restriction
If we all agree that providing value to your audience is important, there’s a lot to be said about creating a social feed based on a theme rather than a brand.
Let’s look at an example:
@BurgerKing’s Instagram feed pretty much looks like an endless scroll of branded advertisements.
I mean, I love hamburgers, but does anyone actually want to look at whoppers from 100 different angles?
Of course, they have a huge following …
But are they actually providing value to their audience? Or are they just dumping tons of money into their social media marketing?
The point here is that branding often strangles the true value of content.
Instead of just posting awesome content, branded accounts need to dance around their messaging and find a way to fit valuable content (the round peg) into their branded account (the square hole)!
2. Build A Truly Engaged Audience
A completely unbranded account also provides significant advantages to building a truly engaged audience.
A lot of marketers will recognise that looking solely at a metric like the number of followers is a very narrow scope of success on social media.
Sure, it’s a badge of honour to have tons of followers, but if they are all robots or random people who have no interest in what you are doing then it really doesn’t matter how many you have.
What matters is if they audience is engaged with the content that you share.
Do they like your posts? Do they comment or share them?
Are they foaming at the mouth waiting for your next tweet?
Most branded accounts would love to say that they do.
Most unbranded accounts can proudly say that they have way higher engagement rates!
Let’s look at an example:
Giovanbattista Cimmino from @GBCI is a master of this.
He has created multiple Instagram accounts (@milano, @parismonamour, @re_models) that are unbranded, value-first, and have garnered huge and very engaged audiences.
The posts all look awesome and people love them.
The reason for this is simple:
- The posts are value-first
- People can easily get behind content that doesn’t feel like advertising
Examples like this are exactly what spawned the power of influencer marketing.
Giovanbattista Cimmino has created massive audiences that brands would love (and pay!) to engage with for even just one post.
3. Promotional Posts With Impact
So we’ve established here that an unbranded account can provide higher-value content and build a more engaged audience…
But where are the leads?
This is the beauty of unbranded social accounts.
An audience that is actively engaged to a social feed is going to respond 10x better to any post that promotes a business.
Instead of drowning your audience with tired CTAs in a sea of branded content, an unbranded account can tactfully and effectively employ promotional posts that will get way better response.
It boils down to the word of mouth.
Instead of a brand shouting all day and every day about all the ‘amazing’ things they have to offer – this is an opportunity to provide a trusted referral (to yourself)!
Let’s look at an example:
This one post on an unbranded account smashes the engagement of any post on @thisissmiths branded social profile with 1000s more likes and comments.
The Big Lesson Here
Basically what’s described here is known as influencer marketing.
However, what I am arguing is that there is a lot of value for a brand to build their own influence so that they can market to that audience in creative and effective ways.
This will allow a company to own their own channel of influence that they can leverage against building real leads and impact for their business.
Of course, you can go out there and pay to get these kinds of mentions. But having total control over a social channel like this presents many more interesting marketing opportunities.
Not to mention that you have a better bargaining chip if you do choose to pursue influencer marketing as a consistent form of lead generation.
- Brand + Influencer Relationships
- Influencer + Influencer Relationships
Influencers want brands to pay.
Influencers want other influencers to collaborate.
Owning your own unbranded and influential social profile is like a back-door key to influencer marketing.
Not to mention that you might even have other brands coming to you for help with their promotion!
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