Do you have a brand that you are looking to promote, but aren't sure how to get started? Social media is an excellent venue for marketing since it is largely free, accessible, and easy to use, and practically everyone is using some platform of it, so you have a large potential audience. What's not to like about all of this?
Unfortunately, not everyone naturally knows how to wade through this social media ocean. With so much to choose from, and so many strategies you could try, how do you know how to build up your following in a way that will actually promote and build your brand? If you find yourself confused about how to get started, don't fret. There are some simple steps that can set you on your way, ensuring you have a social media model that will do wonders you’re your marketing. You want meaningful engagement, which will lead to positive recognition of your brand. Let’s get started with some key things to keep in mind.
One of the most immediate things you need to think about when trying to use social media for marketing your brand is how many followers you have, and how many you hope to gain. If you are starting from scratch, you need to build up your following so there are actual users there to view your content and become exposed to your brand. Followers beget followers. Users see who their friends are following, so the more followers you have, the more other potential followers are likely to become engaged with your brand.
To begin, follow accounts in your industry to start interacting with users that already enjoy the type of content and products you put out. Comment on posts, ask questions, like posts, anything to get noticed. Publicise your accounts on your sites and bios, driving people to follow your social media accounts. Post at popular times of the day, late in the afternoon or on the weekends. Take care to grow your following, so you have an audience to engage with.
No matter what strategies you employ to boost your brand, your efforts will mean very little if you are sharing poor quality content. Highly shareable content that is engaging, informative and fun is so much more likely to help build your following than content that just falls flat. You want users sharing your content with their friends, which builds your brand recognition and exposes your brand to others or people who might otherwise be unfamiliar with your business.
For example, if you are in the business of flower arrangements, why not share articles on the benefits of fresh flowers in your home? Or if you work in cars, share content about the hottest car trends that year. Better yet, create your own company blog or website and share your own articles, containing good information that is entertaining and easy to read. Others will share this content in a way that reaches the maximum amount of people.
Great social media presence doesn't mean much if it does not garner you more business, support or following for your brand. One of the best ways to make sure your social media accounts are raising your exposure is to make sure you use links to bounce users around across your many platforms. This type of synergy creates more engagement and means your brand name becomes more and more accessible to users.
For example, your Instagram bio should link to your website. Your Facebook account should include posts linking to your blog. Your Twitter account should link to articles about your company. Cross promotion is the name of the game, and incredibly easy to produce using a multitude of social media platforms. Make sure everything is working together to create a strong brand presence.
Be sure to back everything up on your website and web pages as well. You don’t want links that don’t work or pages that take a long time to load. Some programs will be able to support your system better than others so be on the lookout. You can also get enterprise internet services by Frontier Communications or similar services for a company with a lot of bandwidth.
One immediate way to drum up engagement with your followers and potential followers is to host a contest of sorts. Everyone wants to be a winner, right? And that extends to social media. Hosting a contest guarantees users will participate in whatever frame you set forth. For example, offer a free product for comments. Ask for likes and guarantee you will gift one new follower a cash amount, or credit for your store.
A branch off of this tactic is to offer discounts or coupons, particularly for some sort of engagement. Offer a discount code when users share your account with friends. People will start to get involved with your brand in a hands-on way, and in the process, you get greater exposure and a larger following. Plus, your brand is shown to a greater pool of users, as followers of yours spread your brand to their own contacts.
Finally, never underestimate the value that users put into transparency. You always want to be straight with your followers. Today's social media users are very tech savvy and are typically quick to pick up on a scam or something that is not on the up and up. As such, be honest about your practices, your product, and your brand goals. If you are sponsored, be clear when a post is an ad. Let people know who you are working with and what your ethics are.
This adds to your brand in a positive way, as well. Users will associate your company with a good cause or up-front practices, so take pride in what you do. People will respond in a big way.
Everyone is trying to get in on the marketing game, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming and intimidating, particularly if you are a novice. Fortunately, social media is a fairly easy and effective way to get started with a marketing plan that can bring instant attention to your brand. There are some tried and true techniques here that will gain quick traction, and help facilitate a back and forth with customers and potential customers. Your brand will benefit, and your entire company will as well.
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.