A business’s brand is its identity—the people who comprise the business, what it stands for, the image they put out, and so on. While business owners control their branding, what they attempt to portray isn’t always how consumers perceive them.
Ideally, you want this perception to be consistently positive, to the point they automatically associate your logo or brand colors with quality customer service and reliable products.
One way a business can maintain this association of its brand with positive experiences is through social media. Using your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram handles, owners can continually engage existing customers and obtain feedback about their experiences. Social media is also an ideal place to woo over new clients from the target audience and increase brand followers.
However, it’s not as easy as just sharing a random post here and there. As a business owner, you need to make a plan or at least work with someone who can.
1. Look at Competitor Profiles
Search for your more prominent competitors’ social media profiles and carefully examine how they are set up. Take a look at the handles, images, and names they use. Also, look at their more popular posts and try to understand why people responded to them as overwhelmingly as they did. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can try to replicate the ideas behind those posts that led to high engagement.
Be sure not to plagiarize entire posts. This could cause severe reputational damage that proves difficult to repair. Inspiration is not the same as plagiarism.
2. Use Ads When Necessary
Social media ads are a great way to reach out to your customers in a typically unobtrusive way. They could be scrolling through their Twitter timeline idly when your ad appears, sandwiched between posts from people they follow.
When you’re creating social ads, you can filter your audience by location, age, or personal interests. This ensures that your ads appear in the feeds of people who are likely to click on them. You can also set how long it will run, ensuring it doesn’t appear for too long and seem too pushy or spammy.
3. Create Unique Branding
Whether your business is just getting off the ground or has roots offline, unique branding is imperative on social media. If you’re already established, you must ensure that your social media reflects the branding you’ve already built. If you’re just getting started, you’ll have more flexibility, which at times may seem overwhelming.
Branding on social media goes beyond the product you offer. It covers visuals, posting schedules, tone, and so on. For example, a cohesive editing style or color scheme in images can really bring your visuals together. How often you share, where you share, and the words you use all go into creating branding as well. Aesthetically attractive and engaging profiles and pages naturally attract followers.
Social media offers you the chance to create unique branding that sets you apart from the competition. It also allows you to communicate this branding with a more personal touch. It may be helpful to find a New York-based agency to create branded and social content, especially for those just getting started.
4. Look for Trends
While keywords are the lifeblood of search engine optimization, hashtags hold the same importance when grabbing social media users’ attention. Whether you want to grow your following on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you will have to go through the almighty hashtag.
Hashtags are used by all social media users when they want to get information on any given topic. Simply put the hashtag into the search bar, and you will see a list of suggestions with similar spelling and how many posts there are under that particular hashtag. This will give you an idea as to how popular that trending word is. You can find hashtags manually or rely on tools that fish out keywords and hashtags from various social media platforms.
5. Consistency is Key
For you to be able to build a steady following on any platform, you need to offer your followers value consistently. You will find this difficult to sustain if you don’t have a content plan. Your plan contains a breakdown of topics and sub-topics based on keywords and hashtags in your niche.
It can also have a posting schedule that details the frequency with which you intend to publish new posts on your platforms. If you are not solely responsible for creating, editing, and publishing posts, this plan will also show which member of your team is responsible for what.
All these decisions, including when posts are scheduled for publishing, should be determined by your target audience. Once this audience gets used to coming to your pages and finding fresh content at a particular time of day, you need to ensure they’re not disappointed.
6. Stay Responsive
One of the easiest ways to maintain your blog or social media followers is to respond to them whenever they give you feedback on your posts. Not only should you respond, but you should also respond promptly. A follower shouldn’t have to wait days for your response on a point they raised.
With half the people accessing the internet and social media doing so from their mobile devices, your follower will be waiting for their phone to vibrate moments after they post a comment. If you’re able to offer this gratification consistently, you can begin to cultivate a sense of loyalty in your followers.
Take Your Social Media Seriously
Social media can be an effective, inexpensive way to get the attention of your target audience. Research has shown that people spend at least two and a half hours on social networking every single day. Invest in a comprehensive social media marketing strategy that helps you consistently engage your target niche across all platforms.