Facebook is a social media platform too big to ignore. In March, Facebook reported that there are over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide.

Despite those numbers, it may be harder than you think to use social media to build your company’s brand. Facebook’s complex algorithms filter out 98 percent of a brand’s advertised content, so consumers only end up seeing two percent of a brands content. These odds are not stopping brands from having social media presence at the core of customer engagement strategy. Ninety-one percent of all retail brands have a presence across a variety of social media channels.

So how do you break through the noise and establish your brand’s story on social media?

I recently attended the 5th PRSA Social Media Summit, where communication specialists from notable brands delved into solving this puzzle. Here are my top three takeaways from the summit, aimed to help you beat the odds and win the social media branding lottery.

Pick Your Social Media Turf Carefully

Building a flourishing community on social media is not an easy task. Find out which platforms your target audience is using, and focus on those markets.  Melanie DiBiasio, Associate Global Brand Communications Manager at Ocean Spray Cranberries, explained why you will not find their brand on Snapchat.  According to DiBiasio, Ocean Spray Cranberries’ target audience is moms, since they are the member of the family most likely to pick out the juice at the grocery. Research has found that Snapchat’s demographics typically skew younger, while Twitter and Facebook are the go to platforms moms use to stay keep up to date with news and brands. So although Ocean Spray Cranberries has a lot to say and show, their content resonates better with their consumer on social media platforms that skew older like Twitter and Facebook than on platforms that skew younger like Snapchat.

It is Beyond Content. It Is About Listening and Engaging 

Social media at its core is about listening and understanding. Instead of getting distracted by all the noise, focus on how your audience is responding to what you are posting. You want them to comment and forward your content, proof they are engaged. When they respond, it is also an opportunity for you to respond and build a relationship with them. Amanda Goodwin, Head of Storytelling & Stewardship for Life Is Good, stressed that it’s not enough to post quality social media content. You need to follow specific steps before social media engagement can happen. First your audience must be aware of the brand. Then comes the opportunity for education.  If it’s done right inspiration will follow. Once the audience is inspired by your content, then we get to engagement and finally activation. Use your social media postings to get your audience on that path.

Be You

Goodwin also suggests making sure each of your postings reflect your brand’s core identity.

Life is Good started with two brothers who wanted to make a living by creating art. One recurring conversation about countering negative news led to the creation of three simple words. “Life Is Good.” The story behind this brand is what drives each posting and engagement, and since 1994, they have never strayed from their core identity.

Every company has a story, and with each post you should tell it. Engaging with a followers on a personal level allows for them to connect with your brand, and weave their stories in with yours.

As the numbers of users on social media continues to climb, use these tips to develop your company’s social media strategy  If you simplify your outlets, listen and engage with each post, and bring everything back to your brand’s core identity you can help your brand win the social media lottery.