With 86% of Americans online today, it’s vital for businesses to have a social media presence.Social media allows business owners to connect with current and potential customers by opening the doors to conversation and information.
But building your brand’s social media presence can be intimidating. How do you get started? Here are seven insider tips for developing a social media presence for your business.
#1: Know Your Goals
Knowing your objectives is simply about discovering your intentions. These days, just being on social media just to be on social media isn’t enough. You need a plan.
Is your ambition to build awareness about your brand, develop better engagement and rapport with your community, or position yourself as a market leader?
Maybe you’re looking at the bottom line and just want to generate new leads.
Either way, you should know your objectives so you can measure your success. Once you identify those, you will understand the different types of content you will need to create to achieve those objectives. It’s just like that old saying: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Don’t plan to fail.
#2: Define Your Voice
Nobody wants to talk to a brand that sounds like a robot, and no one wants to be treated like only their money matters. People interact with brands that communicate like a real person and that make their audience feel valued.
There’s a very methodical reason Starbucks writes your name on your drink order. It’s part of a customer experience that makes you feel known, wanted, and accepted.
Even Merriam-Webster has a unique brand voice. In fact, the dictionary is hilarious.
The tone you use when posting your content represents your brand’s persona. Your business should have its own distinct voice and style.
As social media becomes more and more inundated with users, it’s important that you stand out from the crowd, and a unique, human brand voice is the first step.
#3 Know Your “Who”
Who are you trying to reach? And who will your “who” reach? Once you identify your who, their who, will become your who. Welcome to the Dr. Seuss Social Strategy!
But seriously, here’s what that really means: you have to know who your target audience.
Once you identify your target audience, you will better understand their interests and habits. This is important if you want to advertise using Facebook’s Like Audiences, or if you just want to increase engagement on your posts.
The beautiful thing about social media is that everyone is on it. No matter your business’s target demographic, you can find it online. Define your “who” and zero in on that audience.
#4 Be Human
People admire authenticity. Being relatable online will attract visitors, encourage engagement, and build relationships. If your online voice sounds like a robot, your engagement (and overall online presence) will suffer.
Far too often, we miss out on the most crucial aspect of social media – the fact that it’s social. The entire idea behind social media was to build communities, develop relationships, and further dialog amongst one another.
Don’t be afraid to be overly human and authentic as your brand. Everyone already knows there’s a human behind the screen creating the content.
#5 Create Memorable Experiences
This is your chance to wow your community. On social, it’s important to remember that users share memorable experiences, which means customers share memorable experiences.
Start by considering the experiences your customers most engage with in your business, especially if you have a physical location. (Do they all take pictures by that stuffed bear in the corner?)
Once you understand the experience people most enjoy about your company, work hard to bring that experience to all your followers online through your content.
I used to run social media for a local coffee shop, and I remember peopled loved the latte art created by the baristas.
So, I quickly developed a plan to share those pieces of art on a frequent basis and encourage others to share their own. Guess what? The account began to grow at an unimaginable rate.
Your memorable experience doesn’t have to be a mind-blowing, viral campaign. It can be something as simple as sharing milk designs in coffee. The most important thing is that it’s real – well, real and interesting.
#6 Plan Your Content
94% of small businesses are now using content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, yet only a small percentage of 13% claim it to be very effective.
What this says to me is the influx of content production does not seem to be working. Simply publishing content, for the sake of publishing content is not enough.
Content must serve a purpose. It needs to align with your objectives, match your voice, resonate with your ‘who’ and be human enough to relate with, all while being memorable.
I know that sounds overwhelming. But there’s a way to simplify all that: planning. Here’s what I tell everyone when they ask me why they should plan content:
1: Organization – Every good strategy is organized
2: Time – Time feels like a mythical creature for the most part, but is one of the most valuable assets to your small business owner / marketer. Time is money. If you can save time on the content creation, you have more time to invest in the things you do best within your company.
3: Consistency – Consistency is the key to social media
Publishing at a steady rhythm is good for traffic and even better for analyzing that traffic’s behavior.
The best way to maintain a consistent publishing schedule is by having a surplus of publish-ready blog posts in your arsenal.
Use tools like feedly to discover fresh new content and a social media caledar like Buffer to plan the content. If that all sounds like too much work, you could always give us a call to discuss how we can do the planning and managing for you!
#7 Measure Your Efforts
Posting updates is only half the job. The other half is measuring your efforts and the effectiveness of your posts. Honestly, the most basic way of knowing if your content is converting is to begin to study up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Linkedin Analytics.
Analytics are provided by each platform for free, and they will quickly become your most valuable tools as you begin to grow your social presence.
Building your brand’s social media presence can be tricky. With these insider tips, you’ll be on the right track to social media success.
For more information on how to build or maintain your social media presence, contact us here, or sign up for our next Digital Marketing Bootcamp webinar. Don’t worry, it’s free.