From selling products, to providing a service, to running an online magazine or information site, reaching any kind of success online is dependent on people knowing and respecting who you are. That’s where your brand comes in.
The likelihood of closing a sale or creating a consumer rests in your brand’s authority – and there’s no better way to build that name than through social media marketing. In fact according to the Pew Research Center 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, so the potential for generating traffic to your business cannot be overlooked.
If you want to build your brand using social media, here are 6 important steps:
The Right Platforms with the Right Name
One of the key elements of branding is consistency, so if your website is called Widgets R US, but your Twitter handle is Widget Man people are going to be confused by your brand. Furthermore certain social media platforms are more fitting for certain businesses than others. Pinterest for example is great for online stores because you can share photos of products with a direct link back to the product page. You should however always maintain a Facebook and Twitter account because these are by far the most used social media platforms.
Define Your Brand
What’s good about social media is it forces you to describe your business in only a few characters on your profile pages. But don’t waste these lines with something generic. This may be the first thing a future customer will learn about your business, so you need to be able to define your whole brand in an striking and clear manner.
Formulate a Strategy or Hire a Professional
Nobody should go in to a new marketing campaign blind. It is important to know your goals, formulate a strategy to reach them, and have a mechanism for measuring success. Hiring a professional internet marketing company to handle your social media presence is a wise way to ensure you’re doing it right. But there are still some basic principals that everyone should understand.
Interesting and Shareable Content
Social media marketing is not just about linking to your products or making press releases, posts need to be interesting enough that your followers will want to engage and share them with others. This will increase your brand image and exposure. Of course this is easier said than done, but a link to the “Top 10 Cleaning Tips for Busy People” will draw more of a response than a link to your vacuum cleaner sales page. You need to find the right balance between hard-selling and community engagement.
Promote Your Accounts
Even though you’re using social media to market your business you should also use your business to market your social media accounts. With every sale, email, offline letter, or interaction, you should make note of your profile names or links. This marketing loop will keep your brand in customers’ minds.
If you want brand authority, you should demonstrate authority and leadership in your posts, and if you’re in the right niche you should be an expert anyway. For example if your market is hiking equipment, you should be able to post in an informed and critical manner regarding the latest hiking news, and be ready to offer detailed answers to people’s questions about hiking and hiking products. If your competitors (or worse your customers) are more knowledgeable than you, they’re not going to want to spend money at your store.