Social Media and Branding: Top 9 Tips to Let Your Online Visibility Do the Selling for You
One of the biggest perks of social media is letting your online visibility do the selling for you. This requires a strong online visibility strategy and marketing.
What’s Your Brand to the World?
If *shrug* is your answer and you are saying “No one understands what my brand does”, then how would customers value things they cannot identify or understand? That means your brand is undervalued.
Know what your brand means to the world and then make it stand out and sizzle in the spotlight. Start by understanding where you are today, your current capabilities, your current expertise, what you hope to achieve, and what’s practical. Position your brand to resonate with your ideal customers but be true to your vision. As you embark in your journey to discover or redefine your brand, trust should be conveyed and encompassed all that you do when you represent your brand, your vision and your value. That is, fit trust into your business and relay that trust through your marketing plans.
What Can You Do?
1) “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Steven R. Covey. The capacity to understand and be understood is the foundation to all businesses. Everyone is in the same boat and it’s time for you to pick up a paddle. Your brand identity and reputation depends on it. Before you can attract the most lucrative of opportunities, you must first seek to understand everything around you. Understand your market and customers. Understand your ideal customers – know who they are, their profiles, their expectations, where to find them, how to connect with them, and so forth. The more you uncover this vast and valuable insight, the more you learn, know, and grow your business.
2) Work on your branding. Take the time to invest in your brand image. If you’re new to the market but aren’t sure how to market or if you want to rebrand but aren’t sure how or even know why you want to, then you would need to start researching. Understand your expertise, your service offerings, and your shortcomings. Your branding is important – don’t rush. You don’t want your brand to come crashing down with a thud. This is exactly what would happen when you don’t work on your branding image or rush into getting your products or services out without having a strong branding strategy.
Do your due diligence and thorough research. Seek other’s advices. Ask your target customers. Look at companies whose pages are having a lot of followers and active postings. What are they doing differently? How are they positioning themselves? What do the followers have to say? Are their biggest pain points being addressed? The flip side is to also look at companies whose pages are not getting a lot of attention. Why is that? What can they have done better? These are just a few questions that your research should entail. Eventually you will start to learn everything you would need to know about social media and marketing – what to do versus what not to do.
Remember it takes time to see results. Soon, you will start to get a feel of whether to brand or rebrand from the ground up.
3) Create a great profile. Your profile page is the first thing they see and is often the first big impression you make. It should convey each service or product you’re offering so people know who you are and what you offer. But, you don’t want it to be from just another yakking marketer. You want it to become the “voice” that people listen to and a friend that people want to connect to. Your profile should reflect your true vision and integrity, never to compromise it.
Your profile says a lot about you. It provides your current customers and future prospects with the information they can use to make smart decisions. The content of your page should contain key words that make them want to stop, look, and swear that you’re talking directly to them. You’ll be perceived as a leader in your industry and the go-to person. You don’t want a profile that people know there’s a pitch attached. Craft your profile so that they want to follow you not run from. Using smart social media will turn your followers into fans and fans into customers.
4) Create a post that engages. The headline of your post is probably the most important part. It gives off the first impression. It determines whether someone will read or spread your post. This is one way to identify the real problem or opportunity because you’re engaging the right people in the discussion.
If you want your post to be engaging, start off with a question or a quote that people can identify with or relate to. Ask them to comment or subscribe. Ask them about their own experiences. Get them talking and returning to your page. Remember, a good post should be engaging, entertaining, and fun. Make it a two-way street by actively communicating with them.
5) Update your status regularly. Social media marketing requires actively updating your status regularly but don’t overwhelm your fans with irrelevant information or constant babbling and don’t make your status sounds like a sell pitch. If you have something newsworthy such as a special promotion, a major milestone, a celebratory occasion, a grand opening, or a philanthropy cause, do share.
6) Create a poll or a survey. Get feedback and use that to continue to enhance your brand, your products and services, build loyalty, and gain opportunities. This will let your followers know that you care to hear from them – that it’s all about them.
7) Use success stories , testimonials, and case studies. These should be part of your marketing strategy. When people share their success stories, they are doing the selling for you. The great thing about these is that they communicate incredible results without making people feel manipulated or coerced into buying something. People like to feel connected, to be able to relate to those who are in the same boat, and to know that they are not alone.
8) Be consistent. If you’re using multiple social media outlets, make sure you’re consistent – consistent in your terminology and in how you represent your brand. How else would people know who you are and what you do? Maintain credibility and avoid confusion by having the same username and profile. Use strong key words that are searchable and get people to come to you.
9) Differentiate yourself. To the world, you’re not unique. What you sell or offer is not unique. What you can do, however, is differentiate yourself or your brand from the rest. What give you the ability to differentiate yourself is your confidence – confidence in the depth of your business knowledge, technical expertise, and delivery of products and services that meet the needs of your customers. Have the confidence that if you asked a question, challenged the status quo, or questioned the value of an idea that you’re on solid ground because of the breadth of your knowledge. It’s your opportunity to propose ways to make things better, to solve a problem, and to leverage your knowledge base.
By following the above suggestions, you either come away with the confidence to move forward now, or you come away with a clearer understanding of what you can do to enhance your knowledgebase and boost your online presence. Your motto should always be to work smarter, not harder. Nowhere is this truer than in using social media to your competitive advantage.
Before long, you’ll establish a strong foundation and relationships with your customers and prospects. You will also see the points of convergence that unify you and them. The need and drive of social media pervades your business to continue to grow, learn, network, adapt, and innovate.
I’d like to hear from you, your thoughts, your experience…it’s all about you. Does this topic strike a note with you?