by Ben Laube, President and Founder of POLR Marketing (www.polrmarketing.com)
Developing and representing your brand effectively on social media is one of the most important tasks to consider when jumping into social media marketing. By doing so, you bring brand awareness and cohesiveness to your audience to build familiarity and trust.
Representing your brand on social media is fairly simple as long as your business has its ideals and image secured. On multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you’re able to upload cover photos. It’s important to use the same concept of design in each cover photo for visual brand cohesiveness. Though some dimension variations of the photos have to be taken into consideration due to the sizing limitations of each network, having the same graphic concept will help people remember your brand. It’s called “Social Branding.” Make sure your logos are consistent across the profiles, as well.
The next step is ensuring your brand’s “voice” is heard throughout the text of the page, as well as in the posts. If you’re a financial brand, you shouldn’t be using slang terms and Internet abbreviations such as “LOL and “JK.” Establish a voice that clearly defines who you are and the culture of your company. Remember, social media is essentially your online persona and face; let it represent who you are.
Having a cohesive social content strategy is another facet to strongly consider. What are you posting? How often are you posting? Are you posting the same content to specific profiles? Take a step back and decide how and what you want to post. Social media is about being social. You never want to bombard followers with promotion after promotion after promotion. Ask them questions; find out their opinions. Engagement is key: talking at your followers rather than talking to them is the quickest way to lose your following.
With the vast array of social networks out there, it can be a bit confusing as to which ones your brand should be on. You have to think strategically, and find the best fit to represent your brand. Many companies now believe they have to be on every single platform, but not every platform is right for every business. Here’s a quick rundown of the top platforms, what they do, and how they can be utilized by all brands:
Facebook: Facebook is basically the home base of all social media today. No matter the industry, your business needs a Facebook Page to interact with your customers and build a relationship.
Twitter: Twitter is the popular microblogging (140 characters or less) platform that allows users to reach out to others and find people with the same interests easily. It’s also a fantastic news outlet to syndicate your brand’s press, ideas and thoughts to the world.
Google+: Google+ is essentially the Google version of Facebook, but does have great collaborative abilities such as Google hangouts. Google Hangouts is a new messaging, video, chat, file sharing platform created by Google which is great for collaboration. In addition to being free unlike other services (Skype), Google Hangouts integrates well within your other Google apps and allows you to easily share information. Also, all Google+ posts are indexed by Google and show up in their search results.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the professional social media hotspot. This is where you can represent yourself and your business in a professional manner, building connections and further expanding your company’s outreach.
With those four main social networks being utilized by all brands, there are other popular platforms that many not suit every brand.
Pinterest: Pinterest is a fantastic way to share and explore creative ideas and visuals. However, if your brand isn’t a visually heavy concept; Pinterest may not work for you.
Instagram/Vine: Instagram and Vine are the mobile social network sensations that rely strictly on pictures and videos. If your brand doesn’t produce images, products, etc – these networks may leave you with lackluster results.
Now that you’ve chosen your networks, your social strategy and how to represent your brand online, here are few tips to ensure a positive social environment for your audience.
1 – Engage your followers with contests, questions, comments or provoking thoughts.
2 – Post on a regular basis
3 – Choose what type of content is most appropriate for your brand, and limit the confusion of posting anything and everything
1 – Over promote yourself. Remember, if you were talking to someone face to face and all they did was promote their business to you, it wouldn’t go over well. The same goes for social media. There is a healthy ratio we like to follow of 60% Conversation/Engagement and 40% Promotion. A healthy balance to keep your followers interested.
2 – Over post. It’s great to share quality content on a regular basis, but don’t post every hour. Remember, these posts show up in people’s news feeds and can be seen as “spam.”
3 – Don’t trash/criticize other brands on social media. It’s important to keep your brand’s online reputation and image seen in a positive light. Trash talking your competitors will only hurt you and turn your followers away.
Now go be social with social media!
About the Author:
Ben Laube is President and Founder of POLR Marketing, a growth marketing technology company. Through the use of content writing, pay-per-click, ethical SEO practices, web design & development graphic design, and strategic planning, POLR Marketing offers the services you need to help grow your business to the next level. To learn more about POLR Marketing, visit www.polrmarketing.com or call POLR Marketing at (407) 712-4836.