If you were doubting the power and reach of social media, look at the following statistics:
- Facebook has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently was quoted saying the company suspects that number will rise to over 5 billion users by the year 2030
- Twitter has 271 million active users per month
- LinkedIn and Google+ have over 300 million active users each month.
There is no denying that social media is a giant force in the online world, that is spilling over into everyday life and interactions.
The movie you saw at the cinema last week, the restaurant you took your wife to yesterday, every neighbour on your street, all are likely to have a Facebook profile of their own. In fact, when you meet someone today that does not have Facebook, it’s almost jarring. The phrase, “Can I add you on Facebook?” has become synonymous with “Can I have your phone number?”
Because of the driving force that social media has become, businesses or organizations can’t afford not to use these platforms to improve their branding. It doesn’t matter how obscure your product is or how niche your market be, it will find an audience somewhere on social media.
The following are 10 tips any business can use to improve its branding.
1. Approach each platform differently
When creating social media campaigns and advertising your business or product through social media, it is important to fully understand that not all social media sites are alike.
The same principle applies to their users – they are not alike, nor do they visit each platform. Because of this it would best behoove your business to tailor each post you make to whichever social media platform you are posting to at the time.
If you are tweeting something on your company’s Twitter account, you may have it automatically synced to your company’s Facebook page – – so that new Tweet pops up at the top of your company’s Facebook page. Yes, this can be convenient… but, it could also backfire.
Twitter operates in the 140 character per post world, which streamlines what you can say, often times tweets are pithy and humorous, and full of buzz words to create a call to action, whereas Facebook posts do not limit what you can post.
Also, some sites are much more visual, such as Instagram or Pinterest. (pinterest 80% female)
If you want to know the social media sites, you should get to know their userbase, and then go from there. You may be eager to throw darts all across the board, but, sometimes it is more beneficial to focus your efforts to one area.
2. Learn how to utilize Hashtags (#)
To the social media novice, a Hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#” sign, as in “#10SocialMediaTips”. Hashtags are the basic building block of Twitter, however they are also prevalent on other social media sites such as Instagram.
Hashtags allow your posts to not just be limited to your followers. Including one in your content makes it accessible to all other users interested in that topic. A simple search will show users each piece of content containing that specific hashtag.
Choosing the right hashtag can greatly extend the reach of your posts to thousands, sometimes millions, of potential fans and customers. To make your posts automatically recognizable to your followers, use a hashtag that relates to your brand or product consistently.
3. Develop a schedule
Develop a posting schedule and stay true to that schedule. For example you might choose to post something new on Facebook everyday of the week, that may or may not be related to your field.
Monday’s you might choose to post a “Joke of the Day”, Tuesday’s might be a “Trivia Day”, Wednesday’s could be a give-a-way of a product your company sells, and so on and so forth. Feel free to incorporate those hashtags we discussed in point 2 – #MondayFunday or #TuesdayTrivia.
Your fans and followers will grow accustomed to the schedule and start looking forward to it each day or week, this in turn will help you increase your fan base and increase the amount your content is being re-shared online.
4. Constantly re-evaluate your approach
You should always be willing to adapt and change. If you’re getting less and less views, impressions, or posts from fans, figure out what you did right during the successful weeks.
Or, look at more successful profiles from businesses in your niche. What are they doing right, or what are they doing wrong – learn from them.
5. Keep updates brief
People tend to have a short attention span, so it’s usually best to keep your updates or videos short and to the point.
If you have more to say or would like to provide your followers with more, direct them at the end of your short post or video to go to your main website to “learn more” if they are interested. Always try and post an actual link, you want to make it as easy for them as possible.
6. Direct users to your website
As mentioned above, it is vital that you direct your fan base and followers from your social media platforms to your actual website.
It is at your website that you are more likely to get the most business and sales. So, with every post you make, or comment you make, end it with a simple reminder to go to your company website for more info.
7. Solve Negative Feedback
If you find out your business is getting negative comments or feedback from an individual or group of people, don’t respond negatively or rudely. Instead seek them out directly and ask them personally how you can resolve their issue.
For example, if you own a restaurant, you may choose to give them a coupon for a free meal or starter on their next visit. This will show other followers how courteous your business is.
8. Interact with followers
This is a simple tactic to gain and keep followers: engage with them.
Any time someone posts to one of your social media pages with a comment or question, respond directly. If a fan tweets about your business, take the time to engage with them.
You may also choose to participate in online forums or communities that are a part of your company’s niche.
9. Try shortened URLs
When posting any hyperlinks on Twitter, post a shortened version of the URL to save space, and allow you to post more info, content, or an image.
This is a helpful strategy to always follow, because it not only saves space, but it looks cleaner. There are several short URL generators like Bitly.
If you want to customise your own branded domain links, follow this guide.
10. Create a strong Call to Action
With all the effort you’re putting into marketing your business, it could be all for nothing if you don’t have a clear call to action on each page you’re promoting.
Insert clear buttons for users to “Learn More” about your latest service, “Sign Up” for your company newsletter, or simply “Buy Now” when showcasing a product. It’s a simple addition that has enormous earning potential.
But do not stop here! There are so many other ways to get your business’ name out there. Yes, it can be difficult and time consuming to traverse the uncertain waters of advertising through social media, but, when has running a business ever been anything but difficult and time consuming? Keep pushing forward each day, stay consistent, connect with your customers honestly, and do not be afraid to fail. Your business can have the impact you desire, you just need to get started, and do not wait until tomorrow, start today!