This is part two of the Small Business Branding for Social Media series. Read the first post in the series Part 1: How to Build Your Brand With Social Media.
The steps you take to define your brand are the same steps you need to take to market your business and build your brand online using social media. For entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, information marketers, and business owners who already have their brand established and defined, social media is a critical tool to add to your marketing strategy. Social media, with its extremely rise in popularity over the past two years, is a marketing area that has been proven effective in enhancing, expanding, reinforcing, and building brand visibility.
If you haven’t yet dedicated the time to refining and focusing your brand strategy, social media is must have tool that will help you further research your target market, learn what you audience wants, and test your marketing messages in an interactive community. Here are 6 quick tips for small business branding using social media:
- Keep your message focused and consistent. If you’re a financial advisor on one social networking site, and a personal trainer on another social networking site, your credibility and expertise in both areas will be challenged. By keeping a consistent message across all social media sites and platforms, you build brand recognition and brand equity that will pay off over time.
- Proved value you audience will appreciate. Think about the information you post to your social networks. Think about whether it will add value to your audience’s day or not. Providing links to valuable articles and resources, providing a tip or trick, sharing an inspiring quote, sharing your recent blog post, etc. are all ways to help your audience and share your expertise.
- Showcase your personality. If you are using your profile for business, think about your non-business posts and ask yourself if it will help you audience get to know you and your unique personality. Share posts that give your network a glimpse into your personal life and what hobbies you have etc. These posts will provide opportunities for your network to connect with you on a deeper and more meaningful level.
- Remember to be social. Social networks are just that – social networks. If all you do is post information and links and you never take the time to interact with your audience, you are missing the most important part of building a successful social media brand – building strong relationships. Social media is not about tracking how many followers and friends you have. It is about building solid relationships. It takes two people to have a conversation and to keep a friendship alive and if all of your conversations are one-sided, you’ve got some work to do! CAUTION! Don’t over share! We don’t need the details of last’s night’s intimate encounter, your daily sandwich selection, or twenty-five posts about how cute your kid is. It is critical to strike a balance between personal and professional posts. I find that one personal post for every three business posts works well for me.
- Keep your avatar consistent and make sure it looks like you. Using a photo of your dog or cat is useless to your network and frankly, it makes you seem unprofessional and silly. Likewise, changing your headshot all the time can confuse your online audience who recognize you by your avatar. And, using a logo is inappropriate unless the account is strictly information from a business. Remember that social media became popular because of the personal nature and the relationship aspect and a cold logo doesn’t inspire friendships or relationships.
- Help others build their social media brand too. When you read a good blog post, article, press release, or social networking post, tell other people about it and share the link. Similarly, when you see a great post, “like” it, forward it, retweet it, or comment on it. Show the person who posted it that their content does matter and that you care. If you find great content and social bookmarking links are available, use them! Trust me… your efforts will come back and you will earn more raving fans!
- Where Start Ups Fail: Social Media Brand Design
- How To Use Twitter Lists
- How To Build Your Brand With Social Media (Part 1)
- Reasons Behind Unfriending People On Facebook
- Why Your List of Top People to Follow on Twitter Stinks (And How to Fix It)
- When Linking Your Website To Social Media Sites Is Bad