Using Social Media To Grow Brand Presence
Using social media with the right strategy can have a considerable impact on brand awareness. We saw this happen for one of our clients, Board Game Extras, where their online brand presence grew considerably over their first year of using social media. As part of an in-depth analysis we undertook in tracking the impact of their digital marketing activities, we saw two significant factors in Google Analytics that hinted at an increase in awareness of their brand name.
Firstly, direct hits to the website (typically where visitors have typed in the website address or used a saved favourite to visit the site) had increased by 60% over the year. This shows more and more people were aware of the business and visiting the site directly to purchase their board games and accessories.
Secondly, there was a significant increase in hits from Google organic search results; this is where visitors have used the Google search engine to find the site. Through looking at the keywords used in the search engine, we could see that hits on the Board Games Extras’ website had more than doubled (a 139% increase). These hits had primarily come from searches on variations of the company name. Often people will just type the name of the business into Google rather than typing the whole web address directly into the address bar. These results show that more and more people were aware of the business name and using it in Google to visit the site.
In total, website hits increased by 77% over the year. A look at the marketing activities that took place during that time shows that the most significant activity was the introduction of social media. This was introduced gradually over the year as a fifth marketing channel to further engage potential customers online.
Social media was used to promote useful information relating to the board games sold on the site. For example, top tips on how to improve gaming strategies were provided and information on how different accessories could extend the playability of games. Social media was also used to complement existing marketing activities. For example, Board Games Extras was exhibiting at a consumer show and engaged with the social media profile of the exhibitor. This meant that visitors to the exhibition could interact with the company online both before and after the event.
From the Google Analytics stats we could also see that social media was having a direct impact in terms of extra visits to the website from social media platforms. Ecommerce stats showed it was often leading to sales with a conversion rate in line, or close to, other online marketing activities. From this we know that Board Game Extras’ social media activities are definitely engaging their customer base.
It is difficult to measure the exact influence social media has had in growing Board Games Extras’ brand presence. The fact that there has been good engagement directly from social media to the website means that some followers, who now know and like the site, will have started to go there directly. They might be doing this either by typing the web address straight into their browser or by searching for it using Google, In addition, they may have helped spread the word about the website by mentioning it to some of their friends. However, from evaluating the social media activity overall, and from looking at where the business was a year ago compared to where it was 1 year later, it is safe to say that social media has played a major part in helping to grow the online brand presence of Board Games Extras.
Chris Wood - digital marketing specialist
NB it should be noted since this was blog was originally written, it’s no longer possible to effectively track the keywords used in Organic searches in Google Analytics. Google now only reports approx. 10% of this data due to various reasons that restricts them on this. However the data is still useful to look at over longer time periods to gain some idea of the keywords being used in search engines by visitors to the website.