Because of the complexity involved in maximizing your social media presence, this post is going be broken into two parts:
- Establishing your online brand
- Maximizing your Social Media presence
Establishing and Boosting Your Online Brand
Before we can jump into how to maximize your Social Media Presence, we need to discuss the precursor – how to establish your online brand.
With the birth of your company, comes the birth of your brand. This brand is how your customers will recognize and perceive you, and it determines the context in which they’ll interpret your messages.
A good example of strong branding is Apple. Apple has positioned themselves as a high class, high quality brand for creators, influencers, and change makers. All of their marketing campaigns – whether it be online ads, TV commercials, magazine inserts, etc. – support this branding.
For example, virtually everyone knows the conceptual differences between a Mac and a PC due to Apple’s extensive “Hi, I’m a Mac” campaign from the early 2010’s. This campaign portrayed PCs as old, tired, and out-of-date. Macs, on the other hand, were portrayed as young, hip, and full of energy.
Define Your Brand
The first step to establishing your brand is to define what exactly you want your brand to be. What qualities or values do you want people to associate your company with? Who are the customers that you’re trying to reach? What sets your company, product, or service apart from the competition?
Dig deep to answer these questions, refer to your Marketing Plan, and be as detailed in your answers as possible. The goal here is to really define what your brand is, how it is an extension of you, and how it differs from your competitors.
Tell Your Story
What is your story? How did you get to where you are now, and why did you begin your company? As you use social media to publicly answer these questions, you will shape and define your brand in the minds of your audience.
Having an inspirational story will help to inspire those who are investing in and engaging with your business and will also do wonders in getting your name out there.
Make a Website
If you don’t already have a business website, make one. There are several easy-to-use tools that can help with this. For example, services such as Shopify or SquareSpace handle all of the back-end website management, and provide simple, intuitive tools to construct a simple, but attractive website.
If you’d like a bit more into the design process, or would like to harness marketing strategies such as SEO, you can contact an agency such as Epowet Digital Services, to assist in building a custom, professional website. How you make your website is less important than making sure that you have one.
It used to be that businesses were defined by their storefronts or office buildings. These were visual reminders of the businesses value, products and services, and the place they held in the community.
With the advancements in technology things have changed. The new venue for business is online, and that starts with a branded website. You need a website and a dedicated URL that can represent your business online in the same way that having a storefront used to represent a business offline.
A Facebook page is not a website. An Instagram profile is not a website. If you do not have a website then you’re just a hobbyist – which is fine if that’s what you want to be. But if your goal is to be a respected, established business, then you need a website.
Maximizing your Social Media presence
Building Trust with Value and Consistency
Monitor Your Social Media Presence
Once you’ve defined your brand, you should discover what people are already saying about you. Take some time to Google your own business. Read any reviews you have, or any comments or posts made in relation to your business.
This information will give you a starting point and allow you to encourage or correct the perceptions of your business that already exist.
The best thing that you can do for your brand, is to provide value for those who are willing to engage with you. The most common way of providing value is to post things that are either useful, inspiring, or entertaining.
Furthermore, this value can be in a number of different formats, such as:
- Short text
- Articles/Blog posts
- Interactive mediums (games, quizzes, etc.)
There’s a balance you have to achieve. It’s important that you always understand that when you post or engage on social media you are representing your brand. As such, your content should always be relevant to either your company’s value offerings, or the lives of your customers.
Going off-brand by posting non-value-adding content can harm your brand’s perceived trust-worthiness. It can be good to post some personal content – “behind the scenes” type of stuff. However, avoid anything that seems frivolous, ornery, or petty. Social Media is like your dinner table – avoid talking politics or religion, unless your brand is directly tied to those topics.
Use your Social Media Presence to Generate Traffic
Later in this book we’ll go into much more detail about how to generate traffic and sales, from Facebook and Instagram. However, in this chapter, I’m going to provide you with some basic concepts that can (and should) be applied to all social media platforms.
Incorporate High Quality Visuals into Your Posts
First impressions are important. The cliched statement “don’t a judge a book by its cover” is rarely applied in real life, and the first impression you make on your audience is very important. If you make a bad impression on some in the beginning, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to recover and earn their business later on.
The human brain uses only about a hundredth of a second to judge an object and studies have shown that posts with visuals have 600% more engagement than those that rely on text only. With that in mind, it’s important that you use high-quality visuals in your content. The more aesthetically appealing and attention-grabbing your post is the better.
Make Your Posts Easy to Share
Simply put, the more captivating and engaging your post is the more likely it is to be shared. As you post your content, you should always strive to reduce friction – anything that would prevent a piece of content from being shared.
For example, you can put plugins and social media buttons on your blog posts. Doing so will make it easy for your audience to share your content, and can help to increase your traffic.