Believe it or not, there’s a wrong way to do social media. Whether you like it or not, most brands need social media (good social media) management to be successful. It’s not as easy as it looks.
These are three simple, yet powerful steps you can take on your journey to brand awareness and social success.
1. Start with community
We talk to clients about “reverse engineering” their social presence. By this I mean you start building your community before you build anything else. The truth is that today, it really should actually be the norm, not the exception. Gone are the days where you don’t have to fight for your place in the sun.
“80% of marketers indicate that building brand communities has increased traffic.” (Hubspot)
Stop stressing out about your logo, your color scheme, setting up your website, or even getting your first customer. Remember that no one knows you and no one has any reason to trust you. Stop planning and start being part of the conversation.
You need to figure out on which social platforms the important conversations are happening and then open those accounts. Next, do you research into how these conversations are happening and start inserting yourself into the fray.
This builds trust.
This builds authority.
This builds brand awareness.
This actually builds brand awareness before there’s even a solid brand in place, which is what you want! Why wait to gain attention until the moment you’re ready to sell? You don’t have the necessary authority at that point.
Derek spent over a year building The Modern Marketer community on Instagram. We had nothing to sell them; he just continued to provide the audience with value, he talked to them, and he even helped them with their own businesses.
The hard work needs to be put in before you are ready to conduct business.
Here are some ways you can be a part of the conversation on different platforms:
- Facebook. Find groups based on your niche. Don’t promote your services or products. Simply talk to people and offer value.
- Instagram. Do your hashtag research. When you turn around and utilize those hashtags, be sure your posts are both aesthetically pleasing and value. Instead of just doing all the talking, invite your followers to leave comments. Interact with them. When you comment on the posts of others, don’t just say dumb stuff like “great feed” or “cool post”. If you’re going to bother saying something, make sure you’re adding value and showcasing your expertise.
- Twitter. You may only have 140 characters to work with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say something valuable. Be sure to interact with influencers and jump in on relevant Twitter chats when you can.
- Pinterest. This platform is less about conversation than it is about relevance. If you have a thorough understanding of your buyer, you can create boards that attract that buyer and show that your company’s voice is one they should be listening to.
- LinkedIn. Certainly this platform is about networking, but it’s also a great place to distribute your content. Start by expanding your network every day and engaging with the content published by others.
- Snapchat. Post consistently. Show your value. Have fun. Promote others. Ask for feedback.
2. Start your writing
This subheading definitely sounded like “Start your engines!!!” in my head as I wrote it. Go back and read it again, and make sure it sounds that way to you too.
So after you’ve put in your time on social media, you’re ready to start producing content. No, not everyone needs a blog, but in terms of being influential on social, having this kind of long form content helps.
Why does it help?
Well, first of all, if you hadn’t already noticed, the above section was utterly littered with one buzzword in particular: value. Everything you do as a business needs to be built around offering value.
(If you don’t know, now you know, Marketer….)
“Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads.” (Source)
Why is that?!?!
Well, it’s easier to get people’s attention when you have something to say. It’s even easier to keep them hanging around if you have something valuable to say.
If you’re doing all the right things with your content creation—and that’s a conversation for another day—then people will want to read it. There’s nothing with sharing the content that others have created via your social platforms. (In fact, it’s encouraged…. Get social, yo.)
Yes, SEO will help you get web traffic, but having a blog is actually more important for your social channels. You’ll have a much easier time getting prospects to click over if they see you’re answering questions they needed answers to…. Sometimes questions they didn’t even know they had.
If blogging isn’t your thing, you could also make sure you’re writing valuable long form content on your social profiles. Either way, have something to say and say it well.
3. Start getting your post on
The first step is essential because why even bother writing or posting if you don’t have anyone paying attention? It would be a serious waste of your time.
The next step, well the importance of that one is obvious. You can have a ton of people following you, but you won’t influence them if you don’t have the content to back you up.
So now, armed with a community at your back and content that will bring value to their lives, you’re ready to rock.
Start getting your post on. This means:
- Create awesome graphics. There is a sea of garbage out there. Be a beacon of light, drawing people to you and your brand.
- Encourage engagement. Actually, don’t encourage it, make it necessary. Without engagement, your social profiles are basically dead fish. Create polls. When you post your blogs, ask the audience to share their opinions. Tell them to share with or tag a friend who might find the content helpful. It’s simple: make them interact with your content.
- Be strategic. You can’t be everywhere at once, so choose wisely. Pick the best platforms to utilize and make the most of the time you spend there.
- Stay consistent. Nothing is going to kill your influence like posting a bunch and engaging people…. And then you fall off the map. Consistency is a huge part of being a social success.
Back in the good ol’ days, getting ranked on Google wasn’t rocket science. Now, it’s more akin to a rocket scientist trying to climb Mount Everest. All the while drinking water from a fire hose.
Your social distribution strategy has to be on point or you just won’t get the necessary reach. More than that, you won’t have any influence in your industry or on your intended audience.
Within 12 months of launching on Instagram, The Modern Marketer had upwards of 25,000 followers. That’s no small fete, and it didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen with blog posts and SEO or even with advertising.
We grew our brand by making human connections, posting great content, as well as by being strategic and consistent about distribution.
These three steps are key to a successful social media strategy, a strategy that’s going to help generate revenue in the long term. And that’s what we’re all after at the end of the day, right?
Director of Digital Media at DPA Marketing & Media. I'm an online marketer by day, a writer by night, and a parent to 3 amazing little people always. I love hiking with the fam, creating epic content, and hotels that deliver cheeseburgers to your room at midnight.