Your brand’s reputation online is more important than ever. The 2014Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that 65 percent of online users rely on web search to find information on people and companies. One of the tools that helps businesses with this purpose is social media. Scratch that; it’s currently THE tool for businesses.
Around 92 percent of the marketers surveyed for the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report called this tool vital for their businesses. Moreover, 90 percent revealed that social media increases their exposure, whereas 69 percent praised it for its ability to develop loyal fans.
So, clearly, if you haven’t already done so, you should begin branding yourself through social media. Here are four tips to get you started.
1. Carefully select the social media platform you’ll use.
There are many social media platforms for you to pick from to begin your branding journey. However, you need to carefully choose the right one to prevent yourself from being spread too thin. Opting for multiple platforms at one time will negatively impact your brand since you won’t be able to reach your potential audience. To help you decide on a platform, here’s a quick look at three big ones:
Facebook. Facebook is the biggest social network in terms of name recognition and number of users. Through this platform, you have access to more than 1.55 billion users as well as a range of tools that could boost your business. If you’re new to branding via social media, this is where to start. Not only can you share photos, videos and updates without worrying about limitations, but Facebook also allows you to advertise your business with a well-made platform.
Twitter. Despite the 140-character limitation, Twitter is a great platform for posting updates, videos, images, polls and much more. Though trickier, it’s one of the best social networks for interacting with other users, and has more than 320 million active users worldwide. As a result, it’s the best choice for marketing brands as well as for handling their customer service.
Pinterest. You may have expected to see LinkedIn in third place, but the truth is, Pinterest has risen to the top of social networking tools for branding. The platform offers digital bulletin boards that you can use to organize collections of pictures featuring your offerings, your work space and the people behind the company. However, Pinterest is more of a niche network, as a majority of its users are women and the most popular categories there are related to fashion, food, beauty and exercise.
2. Keep imagery consistent throughout your social media accounts
Branding is all about imagery. From your logo to your brand name, and all the way to your profile picture, everything should be instantly recognizable. You should also create a unique identity through your design. For instance, you can use the color palette and style of your logo to design your pages and establish your brand. For inspiration, check what the leaders of your industry are doing, and take a page from their books.
3. Create valuable and shareable content.
Most businesses make the mistake of producing content only they’d want to read, or else they simply meet the deadlines marked on their publishing calendars. What you should be focusing on is how to create useful content that your readers won’t think twice about sharing. You can find out what engages your audience by asking its members directly or by checking out what your competitors are doing. However, don’t share blindly or plagiarize, as these moves will affect your branding efforts. Instead, consider the following expert tips:
- Make sure that the content you share supports your brand image. One factor you should definitely try adding to your posts is humor. However, make sure that it goes down well with your audience.
- Take care that the tone and content you post is relevant to the brand. You cannot post a blog just because the topic is trending or you have personal interest in it. Everything you post should be relevant to your website. Consider: How would your visitors feel if you wrote about ghosts on a website dedicated to finance? Any post discussing an irrelevant topic will be met with criticism, no matter how well it is written. Even if your visitors have interest in knowing about ghosts, they would still consider the post irrelevant and spammy and might also decide your website to be unreliable.
- Find out which content will gain the most visibility on your social networks. Use analytics to figure out whether your audience prefers blogs to images for instance.
- Don’t shy from using visual content. Images guarantee up to 94 percent more views. Even Twitter content with images receives twice as many views as text-only posts.
4. Take part in the discussion.
One of the important ways of generating a fan base and building your audience is to socialize your content. So, first, you’ll need to get in touch with the social influencers in your field as they’ve already established their brand. Then you can mention their names in your posts, inspiring them to connect with you and, ultimately, share your content with their followers. You should also take part in the discussions to show off your expertise even as you create a bridge between you and your audience.
So, take heed and follow these tips. Because if you ignore social media marketing, your brand may well begin vanishing in no time. Get busy. Get your brand name out there.