Whatever your motive may be—to promote a product, gain a following, or enhance your customer base’s experience—social media can help. Dozens of platforms exist purely to help you generate visibility and business. While simply generating accounts on these platforms is a good starting point, there’s more to be done. Here are a few ways to up your game when it comes to social media.
Getting Started: Know Your Audience
Social media can help expand your private network, increase your referral rates, and introduce you to new people and ideas. If you’re not familiar with social media or where/how it exists on the web, here’s a good place to start: create accounts on platforms that will encourage your image. If it’s difficult to talk about your line of work in 140 characters or less, don’t use Twitter. If you’re lacking visual content, Instagram isn’t the platform for you. The following are some safe places for brands of all kinds to start on social media.
Facebook: Especially if you and your business are largely unfamiliar with social media, Facebook is a great jumping off point. With 1.19 billion users worldwide (73% being members of the adult populations), it claims the most evenly distributed demographics of any social media platform. Based on the numbers alone, Facebook is far and away the best platform to encourage brand awareness—and it’s great place for virtually any brand to begin its social media reality.
LinkedIn: Moving on from its first life as a mostly individual-to-individual platform, today, LinkedIn is a strong choice for businesses of all kinds to connect with the masses—to explain who they are, what they're doing, and even if they have any employment opportunities available. If you’re not quite ready to promote your brand on LinkedIn, this platform is also particularly useful for the expansion of personal networks. It’s quick to learn and offers multiple means for communication.
Google+: The technology industry in particular has found success with Google+—it provides users easy-to-use methods for connection, brand marketing, and content sharing. The Google Hangouts and Circle Communities functions in particular make this platform efficacious for personal communication and the expansion of professional networks. As is true of every platform, keep in mind who it is you are trying to reach; the demographics for Google+ are specific, with a whopping 67% of users being male, averaging around the age 28, and working in a technical field.
Provide Your Audience With Interesting, Shareable Content
Every piece of content you create, every photo you put out there to be consumed by the social media world should support your brand's image. If you don’t know yet what type of content is best received by your following, do a data analysis (they’re not as painful as they sound). You may find that the text you post garners only half as many likes and shares as your photos (posts with images attached have been found to generate over 100% more engagement than those with text alone!) Gleaning this type of information should tell you something, and you probably already guessed what it is: post more photos. While it is important to keep content versatile, images are easily consumed and regurgitated by viewers—which is exactly what social media is for: to help you be seen and shared.
Creating organic, true-to-your-brand content is what will attract people to you in the first place—and it’s what will keep people coming back for more. Promotional social media, while once popular, is now considered disruptive. With so much authentic content out there, promotional media now does little more than annoy. Offering your audience interesting tidbits that are only available on your feed will give them a reason to revisit, and likely share. Social media culture is a voyeuristic one: give people a behind-the-scenes look into your world and watch as the likes, shares, and followers flow in.
So there you have it—a few simple ways to begin building your brand on social media. When you look at it on a micro-level, you can see that it’s really not all that difficult… but it certainly does take work! And there are many other ways than those we mentioned that can help you build your brand—for starters, check out this article for more tips and tricks.
There’s so much to be gained from using social media appropriately, and creating and maintaining a stellar online presence. So what are you waiting for? Get started!
Can-Do Ideas is an Inbound Marketing agency specializing in Digital Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Avon, Connecticut.