Getting started with social media for new business owners is tough and finding ways to get your brand ahead of the rest in a sea of similar business is a tough task. Social media is the ultimate killer app for career building, professional networking and reputation development. With social media, It’s all about using the right tools to develop a good network by showing your expertise. In this vein, we’ve put together the best techniques to build a reputation and grow your brand through social media
Re-access the social media reputation of your brand
The first step when building a social media reputation is to find out if your brand hurt or help your reputation. “Valuable brands are those that fill a need and remain consistent,” says Brendan Wilde, Marketing Manager for OpenHost. “You should review your online presence with a critical eye, if I find it difficult staying unbiased, get an impartial person to do it and give you honest feedback.”
Search your brand online
Make a list of all your social media profiles such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Youtube, Facebook, among others. Use a search engine to look for your brand on different browsers since each one churns out different results and go 6 pages on the search result to get a good picture of how your brand is represented online.
Review each site profile
Consider the purpose of each site and review your profile on the site. For example sites like Instagram and snap chat geared towards millennials will carry a casual tone with trendy images they find attractive.
Develop an extensive social media strategy
Developing an all-inclusive social media strategy is an effective way to manage your online reputation. Ensure you use the popular platforms geared towards the brand you’re trying to promote, engage your audience and always monitor your accounts.
Pick the right platform
Start with one social media platform, that is popular with your target audience, as you get better with managing one account, slowly integrate other social media platforms. A good place to start is Facebook or Instagram and you could integrate Linkedin, Vine and other social media tools later.
Create and control the conversation
You can exchange ideas with your audience based on the content you post instead of spewing adverts that are off-putting. Posting articles, videos, photos, blog posts is a good way to get the audience talking. People love posts they can identify with so do your research to find trendy content that will keep the comments rolling.
Nothing keeps people coming back for more like success stories from people who have used your product/services and were pleased with the output. Let people post videos, photos or small testimonials and watch how interest grow for your content.
Create a blog for your brand
Blogs are a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site and build your profile as an industry leader and expert. You share content with your customers and client who gradually start to trust your opinion on a field of the subject. Your post should be easy to understand and relatable to the target audience. It should also be interesting enough to spark conversations and shares to outside sources.
Build relationships with your audience
People who are successful with social media are those who use the platform to build distinct, personal relationships with the target audience so they feel special. Send personalized messages but retain a professional tone, follow the conversation and comment where you think a reader might have the wrong opinion of your brand, answer messages and stay connected to your audience.
Remember that the people on social media are real people so don’t post content like it’s an advert but let the tone be natural. Simon Sinek posits that people buy “why you do it” not “what you do”. Be ardent about what you do and it will be contagious with your social media followers. Marketers who are passionate about their product and the community they serve are more likely to be more successful than those who aren’t.
Facebook users watch 100 million hours of videos every day and 82% of Twitter users watch videos daily. Sharing videos will help you engage your followers so consider social video ideas such as entertainment, culture, response, promotional, customer testimonials and shout-outs. The length of the video shouldn’t be longer than 2 minutes to retain the attention of the viewers. So you could record one video on YouTube and share it across your social media platforms for maximum exposure.
Tag people you’ve quoted in your posts
Folks always want recognition for effort so create quote graphic, tag the person who quoted or the brand and if you use guest bloggers, tag them too as it would reflect when people search them on social media.
Curate trending hot topics online and share it with your audience
This is a proven way to share valuable content everyone wants to see, especially within your industry, even when it’s not your content. Your followers want to see the important stuff and if they trust you to deliver and you gain a loyal fan base that checks in on your page daily for trending content. Coshedule offers a working formula to create a social media mix for to help you find the best content for your page.
Pay attention to what the community says
A good way to receive feedback is from those who have used your service or are familiar with your content. One simple way to stand out on social media is to pay attention to the community by replying to comments, listening to constructive criticism to help your brand get better.
Create content beyond their expectation and you will stand out from your competitors. Help your audience by providing ‘how to’ content and link them with experts who can provide further guidance. Improve a life and all your followers will remember.
Most brands spend time on their content strategy yet forget to create visual content. The best brands have a strong visual presence and tweets with more visuals earn 150% more retweets. All your posts will stand out from the flood of updates that fill people’s timeline if you share images as images result in more shares, likes and comments and this lead back to your profile. Be consistent; use fonts colours, logos and icons people associate with your brand so it stands apart as your own unique style.
Unleash your personality on social media and treat your followers like they’re your close friends. Offer behind the scenes access to what goes on with your brand, follow your soccer team and talk about them as you would a beer buddy and people will throng to you. If you’re an expert on something share it with the world from your angle and join in the conversation with the fans so it feels personal.
Inform and entertain more than you advertise
Subtlety is key on social media, even when you’re trying to maximize profits, it shouldn’t be the focus of your posts. The 80/20 rule is a good policy to keep in mind; 80% of your content should be eye-catching, entertaining and informative while only 20% should relate to your services.
Avoid poor grammar and use slangs only where appropriate
Poor spelling and grammatical errors reduce your credibility. To avoid them, proofread your updates in a spreadsheet or using tools like Grammarly to check for spelling errors. Depending on the audience or type of posts, use slangs where it will enhance your post and resonate better with your audience.
Don’t abuse hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to follow the conversation or join the conversation. Two trending hashtags relevant to your blog post or your own custom hashtags is an effective way to connect your posts across social media. Don’t abuse hashtags by turning every word into a hashtag.
Every post should stand out
Social media never forgets, so ensure that you don’t share the same post more than once as you could lose followers who find this in poor taste. If you must revisit the same post, find a new spin on it so it feels fresh and funky.
Write emotional headlines to increase click throughs
If you use the social media mix and share your own unique content, you can increase your social shares, retweets, traffic and increase SEO value by creating emotional headlines and using them across your platform. Three successful headline formulas include
What is the best….that will…
# ways to ….
Use social media tools to increase your following
Social media tools like Facebook Groups and Hosting Twitter Chats are fantastic ways to build your fan base. Create a Facebook Group to engage your followers; you can ask questions and keep the audience informed on your upcoming projects. Twitter offers brands the chance to host Q n A sessions where fans can join a live question and answer twitter chat with the brands or people they follow. Choose a hashtag, set the time and let followers know how long it will last.
Host social media contest
The goal of a social media contest is to boost engagement by encouraging people who enter the competition to follow your brand, share certain posts from your page to theirs and increase your fan base.
Building your online presence doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, your brand is likely to gather more followers if your posts are natural, conversational and maintain a comical side where possible. You can’t do any of this if you’re not loose or having fun when creating content for your followers to enjoy.