When it comes to social media, it isn’t just enough to be on it. You need to know how to be effective with it. If you’re not using social media to build your brand, you are missing out. Assuming you don’t want to ignore a market of that size, you should be asking yourself: How do I build my brand on social media?
1. Pick the right social media platform.
There are literally hundreds of platforms, and more spring up all the time. Not all of them are right for all brands. Facebook is by a wide margin the biggest and most-used network, so most brands will have some kind of presence there. However, if you sell to other businesses, LinkedIn may be a better choice. Likewise, young consumers are more likely to be active users of Snapchat or Instagram. See what kinds of people participate in the major social networks and dedicate your brand building efforts to the ones that are popular with your customers.
2. Provide valuable and shareable content.
Publishing killer content to your social profiles is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. If you have a relatively unknown brand, your voice is likely getting lost in the noise. While you can eventually build your own audience through the creation of great content, this strategy is going to take time.
3. Be active.
One of the most well-established rules of social branding is that you must be consistently active if you are to effectively build your brand. A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not going to accomplish much, if anything. For this reason, it’s best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.
Posting nothing but blurbs about your brand’s features and benefits is not likely to lead to engagement. Your brand’s social media feed must include a healthy portion of posts about interests that your customers have but that are not merely promoting your brand. For instance, a food brand could post recipes or a financial services brand could post household budgeting tips. And make sure your engagement is two-way. In addition to posting your own content, like, share and reply to others’ posts.
5. Be visual.
Posts that include photos get much higher engagement than text-only posts. So include images whenever possible. A video, in particular, can encourage engagement. And don’t be afraid of using color to help you stand out in the stream of postings.
6. Be consistent.
Create a strategy for your social media brand-building efforts, advises Sprout Social, maker of social media management tools. And make sure that every post you make supports that agenda in some way, even if it is not a straight-up plug. Avoid random posts that don’t connect to your overriding goal of customer engagement with your brand. If you use colors, select the ones you will use in advance, making sure they harmonize with and amplify your brand logo.
7. Get influencers to help you.
Starting a social media brand from scratch can be labour-intensive and take a long time. If you can piggyback on already-established social media participants, it can greatly shorten the time, energy and other resources the task will consume. So share, like and reply to posts from well-connected participants, and be sure to thank them if they share, like or reply to one of yours.
8. Use social media for other types of communication that help your brand.
Social media is increasingly important for customer service and support. When customers are happy or unhappy with an experience they have had with a business, today they immediately turn to social media to report that to, potentially, millions of other users