How To: Using Social Media To Promote Your Brand
If your business is at all concerned with marketing, chances are you've had conversations about social media. It would be foolish to ignore the possibilities, with roughly 2.79 billion active social media users in 2017. Opinions about using social media in a business environment range from confused and daunted frustration to overbearing click-happy content creators who annoy their customers away. To find the happy medium and make your business social media savvy, just recognize social media to be a helpful tool to get your information out there to your audience. Here are some simple tips to help you easily promote your brand on social media:
Make sure your branding is consistent. What exactly does this mean? If you're active on more than one social media platform, make sure your information is consistent across them all. This means that your logo is easily recognizable, your font is the same, you use the same color spectrum in your images and logos, and your language (essentially, your online "voice") is harmonious. Write a clear description of who you are so that your audience understands your purpose. Authenticity and truthfulness is crucial on social media, so be clear about whoyou are. No one wants to spend time trying to discern what you're all about. So you have a nice photo of a plant? But you're in the business of helping entrepreneurs apply for grants? Try again.
Choose the social media platform that your audience also chooses. This is the same basic marketing rule as used by a hot dog stand set up outside a bar on a Saturday night. Make yourself available to your audience on their turf. If you're selling business-to-customer, you'll likely have the best return by marketing on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. If your customers are teenagers, you may have luck on Snapchat as well. If, however, you're a business marketing to another business, you will have a higher return by being active on professional networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
Act appropriate according to your social media platform. Try to discern the best practices for each social media platform on which you're active. For example, Facebook is a great space for sharing stories, articles, images, and videos. A 2017 study found these to be the most engaging social media content. Instagram is also a great space for images, small videos, and short captions. YouTube is an excellent platform for videos, and you can use call-to-action words such as "subscribe," whereas other platforms allow you to “follow”, “like,” or “connect.” Twitter is useful for sharing quick relevant information and links. Try to determine how to curate your content so that it fits well with the platform.
Connect with influencers. Don't be shy to follow leaders and innovators in your industry who already have a sizeable following from your target audience. You can learn tips from them, and re-sharing or responding to their posts may attract their audience to your own brand. Re-sharing also allows you to post content and make yourself relevant without obtrusively promoting yourself.
These tips can be treated as helpful guidelines to keep you from feeling anxious about staying active on as many social media platforms as possible. As with many things in life, quality is more important than quantity. Stick to your most helpful social media platforms in order to engage your target audience and be true to your brand. Your social media presence should portray what your customers already know: that your business is relevant and engaging.