Using social media effectively is definitely something that requires practice and skill…
Social media – we love it and we hate it; we need it and we wish we never had to think about it ever again. Many of us definitely have a love / hate relationship with social media on a personal level and even more so, as it pertains to business.
As social media relates to brand building and branding, it can be a vital component of building your brand and evangelizing it to the masses. However, this is true only when a responsible social media strategy is created – based on the true and innate nature of each platform – and then the plan executed correctly.
There are 4 simple keys to remember when incorporating social media into your business and brand:
CONTINUITY & CONTACTABILITY IS KEY
Each and every presence you have on social media should reflect your image and brand both visually and contextually. All profiles should use the same language and voice, generally incorporating identifiable slogans and taglines. Your imagery should also be uniform—using the same color scheme on all profile pages, a specific image created in the right proportion for the particular platform, and your logo. Also, don’t forget to include a web address – to a specially-created information page with a contact form when possible – on all your profiles as well.
RESPECT THE PLATFORM
All social platforms are not created for the same purpose. They are not all advisable for all businesses and brands, either. Therefore, you definitely cannot implement a one-size-fits-all strategy for each platform you use and you shouldn’t use all platforms.
Think about your business and/or brand and where your ideal customer hangs out on the web. Which platforms are they using and why? What are they looking to find? How can you speak to them where they already are and what do they want? In each social media site you choose to use, give your potential customers value where they already are (and where they are looking for what you offer).
Also be sure to customize your message to the individual mediums and don’t rely on the same message to work in each different arena… take advantage of the niche look, feel, and opportunity each platform provides.
PULL DON’T PUSH FOR THE SALE
No matter what you are selling, you should never “sell” it directly via social media. Think about that word – “social”. People go to social media to be social – not to be sold to… Your “job” on social media is to engage with your potential customers and as with any relationship, do your part to provide value—through interaction, entertainment, and when appropriate, imparting your unique knowledge. Which leads us right into the next key point… If you can’t sell on social media, how do you make it work for you?
BE ENGAGING & INTRIGUING
Generally speaking, your goal in all your participation and interactions on and in social media is to be so interesting – so intriguing – that your audience will have to learn more about you. This is why your profile and branding continuity is so important and why they be strategically designed for each particular platform. This way, when you are so fabulously knowledgeable and enticing that others do decide they want to know you better, the “you” presented on your profile is your chance to turn those people from followers to a fans.
Susan Sly is a best selling author, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.