As a business owner or manager, using social media marketing for your brand can dramatically enhance and build your audience and customer base.
Sometimes even beyond your wildest dreams, goals and aspirations!
Yet it’s no good to just dive in and use social media in the same way as you might for personal reasons.
In fact, not only can embarking on social media for brand marketing without insight or prior experience be challenging; it can actually damage your brand if you don’t do it effectively and follow some simple guidelines.
There are some specific fundamentals of social media marketing that you need to be aware of, understand, and comply with if your efforts are going to stand you in good stead.
Consider these fundamentals to not simply be guidelines to follow if you feel like it, but rather rules or even “laws” of social media marketing.
Abiding by them will help you build a strong social media foundation on which you can provide value to and serve your clients or customers, generate new leads, promote your brand, and improve your profitability.
One of the golden rules for social media marketing success for any brand is to listen more and broadcast less.
Your audience is, in fact, more important in the overall equation than you are. After all, if you lose your audience, what have you got?
You need to look closely at your target audience – their comments, whether they are sharing your content, what type of content they share (if this is visible publicly), and join in discussions to determine what is important to them.
With this knowledge, you can create content that will resonate with your target audience and kindle conversations that inspire them rather than just adding more online “noise”.
- REMAIN FOCUSED
You have one area of specialty. This is true for all of us in almost all cases.
So don’t try to be a proverbial “jack of all trades” or, heaven forbid, put yourself across as an expert in an area that you do not have real, tangible, legitimate expertise (and if you do think you’re an expert in an area, make sure this is truly the case before you start broadcasting it).
You will please more consumers, generate more genuine followers, maintain fan and customer loyalty, and provide much more value if your social media content marketing strategy remains focused on your niche.
Your brand has greater likelihood of success and perceived authenticity when you remain focused on what you truly know and do well.
Admitting you are not an expert in other areas will give you better results than blowing your own horn where it isn’t warranted.
- BE SHAREABLE
Your greatest asset for brand building with social media is your shareability.
When you post or publish links to high quality content that people want to see, they will share it with their own friends (or followers) on their own social profiles – as well as via email and in their own blogs if the content is really great.
In many ways, a “like” on Facebook or Instagram is quite passive on the part of audience members – it takes very little to hit a like button – but to actually be bothered commenting or especially sharing a post says a lot about its quality and its impact on an audience.
Why does this matter so much? When your content is shared and discussed, it opens it up to a much wider audience.
This wider audience will ideally deliver your brand with new interest, new fans, and new customers – who themselves become lead generators for you. Hence your reach can grow exponentially.
- BE ACCESSIBLE
You need to publish content regularly (but don’t bombard your audience with too much content).
Mix it up and don’t always post the exact same kind of content – people like to know generally what to expect from you, but a surprise here and there is a good thing.
You also need to be available to your audience – by participating in conversations on your social page, responding to queries and complaints, and otherwise being there.
If you appear to be “missing in action” without explanation for any more than a few days, your fans will move on – it’s the nature of competition in a saturated market and this is particularly the case on social media.
- OFFER VALUE
You need to be doing more than simply promoting your services, products, and yourself.
Otherwise audiences will quickly weary of this, become bored (or even annoyed), and stop visiting your page.
They may ignore your posts. They may unfollow you or even unlike your page. This is a disaster for your social media marketing strategy. So offer real value.
Keep posts directly relating to promoting your products or services to no more than thirty percent of your overall content.
Develop relationships by creating and curating interesting, informative content – memes, images, links to blog articles, infographics, and other fun snippets.
Run polls and invite your audience to have their say.
By creating great content and focusing less on conversion, you will generate more word-of-mouth marketing and your brand will be perceived in a more positive light.
- QUALITY TRUMPS QUANTITY
So many people with social media profiles believe it’s all about the number of followers they have.
Doesn’t 10,000 followers sound much better than 1000? It may seem so.
But the reality is that in the vast majority of cases, pages with huge numbers of followers don’t actually benefit if these connections aren’t regularly interacting with the page.
Worse yet, many “likes” or “followers” may even be fake – and this is incredibly detrimental to a page’s authenticity and image.
Aim for high value, targeted connections that will comment, share, and otherwise interact with your profile and your business.
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR AUDIENCE
This point partners with my first point about listening. Your job on social media is not to broadcast – you are not on the radio or television!
Social media is just that – social. Would you ignore someone who phoned and left a message, sent an email, or even reached out to you face to face? What would this say about your brand?
It’s critical to acknowledge others on social media as well. Social media is all about relationship building, so at the very least, like comments, respond verbally where appropriate, and thank your fans and followers on a regular basis.
Reply to negative as well as positive feedback and always maintain your brand identity in all communications.
“Do unto others…” If you want others to interact with and share your content, you need to do the same for them.
As I mentioned earlier – it’s not all about you! Spend at least a little of your time on social media sharing relevant, high value content created and shared by others. Always cite your source and give credit where it is due.
- BE PATIENT
We’ve said it before: social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Like SEO, for example, results are never going to be instantaneous, and an ongoing strategy for your branded social media efforts is essential.
To achieve real results, you need to commit to social media brand marketing over a long period of time and without an endpoint.
You need to constantly be assessing and analysing your approach and your results, making changes where necessary and continuing parts of the strategy that work.
Use social media marketing for your brand to significantly build your audience and customer base and enable them to understand and appreciate how they need your brand.
How to get more engagement on social media … follow these simple tips!
LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals and business connections. Ideal for building your professional profile, it can be harnessed for job seeking, recruitment, networking, and building valuable professional relationships and connections.
DID YOU KNOW: Numerous LinkedIn users join the platform then fail to fully leverage their contacts on the platform.
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SUPER HOT SOCIAL TIP: Try our free LinkedIn course
Not only do we share a bunch of valuable, relative and useful info on our blogs, but we’ve got a free 4-week LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of this platform especially for B2B enterprises. If LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, take a look at this course to raise your profile, generate leads and boost your business – so LinkedIn can start working for you.
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Whether you are a large business, a small business, or a sole trader, these ideas can be tweaked to suit your own brand and they can work really well for your own individual campaign.
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And if you get it wrong, it won’t only not work for your business and demonstrate a return on your investment; in fact, social media mistakes can actually harm your business.
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