Career

Cheat Sheet to Branding Your Business on Social Media

Content management takes time, there is a lot of trial and error and it is hard to predict what will go viral and what goes completely unnoticed. The best advice I can offer you to approaching content management is with a plan and a vision. 

As creatives, there is difficult tight rope to walk, making your employer happy and producing content that is engaging to your audience. Communications plans are very important to create direction for your business. Reflecting on your target demographic, understanding their buying habit’s their interests,all this is important information that will help you effectively connect with your desired consumer. 

A formula for disaster on social media, is too many cooks in the kitchen. Every time I have managed social media channels I have this issue. There is a constant battle. The person with no background in social media or marketing wants to tell you what they think is worth posting. A static image…not going to do well on social media….blatant product promotion…also not going to win over audiences…They are stuck on traditional marketing and they don’t get social media is dynamic, interactive and user generated. The audience dictates the content. Once they have triple digits on their Instagram post, that is not a wedding photo, their opinions may have some merit.   

Each channel is unique and each social platform usually reaches different demographics; this is something to take into account when posting. A perfect example of an effective social media campaign is Herschel Supply Co. They are probably one of the better social media case studies. Their social media campaign for Instagram doesn’t even highlight their products, they highlight a lifestyle. Their hashtag #welltravelled is curated so effectively, that they have 727,000 Instragram followers without following a single person. The majority of their posts are re-grams and majority of them do not include any traditional product shots. Of course they taper each channel to the audience. Their Facebook Page focuses on product and links to their website, their twitter has short to the point posts with hashtagged keywords and their Pinterest has a nice blend of product and special interest categories. Hershel is winning! They get social media and the are using it to its full potential. 

Getting Social

I highly recommend a dashboard program. There are lots of different ways to measure interaction and success on social media. When social media first become popular, a common metric was the amount of followers or likes. Google analytic and dashboard programs have broadened the possibilities, there is access to way more information, from number of clicks to recommended posting times. 

Sometimes I think my posts are ineffective, until I look at our social reports and see that although people are not commenting, they are clicking on the content. It is good to get to know the type of posts your audience likes and how to cater to them. A schedule is also a good first step. Depending on your business or service, it is a important to create a routine so consumers know when to expect certain content. 

Instagram

Instragram confirmed the introduction of ads October 2015, with very strict laws to preserve the Instagram community. Levis, Nike, and Starbucks have all been successful by posting high quality photography. Paid advertising is not essential for success on Instagram. Unlike Facebook, it is still a viable option to promote your business and get organic traffic to your page. 

When I am writing a communication plan, my goal is always to get the most user generated content and authentic images. Instagram thrives on artistry and originality. I am a self proclaimed competitive Instagramer, my life goal is to be a brand ambassador that travels the world…but seriously! I set goals for myself each month, I try to post every couple of days. I eliminate content that did not do well and create a formula based on content that does do well. I look for accounts where I can get featured and try to post the perfect photo to captured their interest. I am the target demographic of Instagrammer that you want to attract for your business. I focus on quality and unique content. If you can get your audience to create interesting and engaging content for you, that is half your job done. Regramming also helps promote your brand and introduce more people to your it. Be sure to tag the user, so it will show up in their tagged photos. 


Facebook

I call Facebook the Mom-Medium, because we all have that mom on Facebook that comments on every single thing that you post, invites you to play Farmville and posts at least two memes or cat pictures a day. Tap into this, because they are most likely the individuals that are going to get you more exposure. Facebook is really pushing paid advertising, so it is difficult to generate organic traffic. Moms who are always on Facebook are your gateway. This is the person you need to keep track of. 

YouTube

Surprise, Surpise, guys love videos! Who would of thought. When a man sees the a video on his Facebook feed, he is most likely going to watch at least the first three seconds of the video. Easily accessible content, is the best way to put together a video. Depending on your industry, if it is can be entertaining, that is a added bonus. Jumping on viral trends or popular key words is a good way to get exposure. One of my favourite viral series, is the Blendtec’s “Will it Blend” series. Such a cheap marketing campaign, blend an iPhone 6, get over 4 million views. Every time a new Apple product comes out, they just throw it in the blender, put together a video and the views come rolling in. Apple consumers always go online to see the functions of new Apple products and Blendtec’s videos slide right into the keyword search. 

Twitter

To me, Twitter is the ugly stepchild of the mainstream social media family. The only time I enjoy using Twitter, is when I live tweeting during The Bachelor. It does have its purpose though. Twitter is useful for quick, to the point messages. Research the right hashtags to use and make sure you shorten your links. It is also important to find the right users online to interact with. You can build list in Twitter of people that may be useful for content, people that you feel are target customers and opinion leaders to make online connections with. Klout rating can help you decipher the opinion leaders. The higher the Klout rating, the more influential they probably are on social media. Hootesuite is a good dashboard tool to use to monitor this. 

For other tips for entrepreneurs, check out my post: Tools for Small Business Owners. Social media is supposed to be fun, so get creative and have a good time. An important thing to remember, social media doesn’t always equal sales. Being active on social media is for brand recognition and interacting with your consumers. Like most mediums there are advantages and limitations. If you need help marketing your business, check out my website for a list of my services. 

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