Build Your Brand With Social Media

By f4group, December 19, 2014

Before social media, one of the only ways to find customers besides advertising was word of mouth; social media has allowed word of mouth to go viral on the internet in a much bigger way. And you can get consumers to do your work for you.

That’s because social media harnesses that natural desire to give advice and show off our insider knowledge. These tools also let you connect directly with your current and potential customers. And we mean directly. Social media branding is not about fancy logos or slick copy; it’s quite simply about you. First, people get to know you; then, if they like you, they’ll check out your business.

Brands that have the best success use social media to form relationships with people. It’s about helping people by answering their questions or jumping into a conversation. Once they know you, they’ll subscribe to your blog or newsletter. Once they make that step, it’s a lot easier to market to them — and they’re a lot more open to being marketed to.

As you participate on different social networking sites, it’s important to create a consistent voice, whether it’s chatty and casual, highly informed, witty or serious. Whatever you do, don’t be too formal or try to sound overly professional. People want to connect with other people; they’re not as interested in the brand as in the people behind it.

The idea of writing makes a lot of small business owners break out in hives, but you don’t have to be Shakespeare. A great social media strategy is to simply post a link to other content with a paragraph about why you think it’s important. Don’t be afraid you’re driving people away from your own site. People who share information get the most benefit, you become an information broker.

For example, if you’re an accountant, link to information about changes in tax law or money management. These are things people may not understand and would want you to decipher for them anyway. You’re telling people, ‘I know about this.’

Getting Around Social Media
Every B2C company should have a Facebook page. But simply putting it up there and asking people to “like” you isn’t enough. You should offer valuable content and resources that will encourage people to come back and also to tell their friends. An application built into your page will set you apart; for example, a restaurant that lets hungry folks order directly from the Facebook page will keep bringing online traffic back and will have them sharing this useful tool.

While your company website should be your hub, don’t expect people to flock there. With so many ways to consume content these days — from Twitter to Facebook to Google News, you have to have a presence everywhere. You have to go to where your target hangs out online. You also don’t need to worry about duplicate content as most people will only look in one place.

Twitter is another high-profile social media service, but experts are divided about its utility. Use Twitter Search to find out if people in your sector are using the service. If they aren’t — and even if they are — It can be a huge time suck so don’t waste energy trying to accumulate thousands of followers. It’s better to have 100 followers who read and pass along content that to have 10,000 followers who ignore you.

3 Top Tips to Keep in Mind:

  1. Determine Goals for Your Social Engagement: Is your primary focus going to be on generating leads and converting sales? Or will you focus on customer service and building relationships? Knowing your end goal is important as it will determine the content you post.
  2. Determine Your Social Brand Persona: Focus on your values, then be aware of how this compares to your offline and traditional media voice. As marketers, we know how important it is to stay consistent across all platforms, and that does not change for social media. Remember: while tone may change between LinkedIn and Twitter, you should keep to similar themes and content.
  3. Engage with people that visit your social media page: If people comment on your posts because they agree or have a questions it will generate further engagement to answer them either by commenting back or contacting them privately depending on the subject.

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