Building an online presence through social media channels and services is the best way to get your business’ message across, establish your brand in the modern day market, and boost customer experience. Social media is today’s radio, newspaper, and TV especially for business ads. It is today’s most widely used medium for providing customer support, distributing content for marketing, social selling, and building your audience.
Indeed, having a solid presence in social media today will help garner massive attention and engagement to your business in a short span of time. But for new ventures and small to mid-sized businesses, social media can be pretty scary because making one’s business closer to their customers can mark a sense of vulnerability to their brand’s overall standing. The truth is, although social media is not as simple as counting from one to ten, nor is it as complicated as a Math 55a problem, it still requires careful preparation and a surefire strategy to ensure your social media branding is on-point and in-line with what your business aims to represent.
What are these important factors that businesses should prep prior to building a social media profile?
Creating a social media profile requires intensive outlining of and summarizing the expenses you are willing to exhaust to make your online branding successful. Monitor your current budget and try to calculate how long you can use it for your campaigns. Check if the budget is scalable and if it can still be doubled as you move forward with your online marketing and social media strategy.
Most of the successful brand names we know of today were never chosen at random. Think hard and generate a name that suits your brand like a glove and represents the message you aim to convey. A brand name sets the tone for your business. It likewise says a lot about the values you uphold along with the tone of communication you are projecting to your target market. List down the names you come up with and evaluate each in terms of spelling, pronunciation, appropriateness, appearance, and relevancy to your customers. Do an extensive research and see whether your chosen trademark is original or if it is already being used by a different brand. Once you’ve decided on a most befitting brand name, make it consistent in terms of the color, design, and how it is presented overall. Moreover, it sure will not hurt if you do a little testing with your existing audience to see how your brand name will genuinely appeal to them.
Your brand name will not be as successful and effective without a strong logo to support it. A good logo must instantly capture and represent what your business aims to stand for. It needs to be catchy, recognizable, and imprints well on your audiences’ memories. When designing your logo, consider color schemes that have not yet been owned by other brands. Experts claim that well-coordinated colors on a logo affect brand awareness by 80% due to the fact that color is the very first thing our brain perceives before we can decode words. After picking the right color, choose distinct typefaces customized to fit the overall nature of your business and pair it with shapes that are easily recognizable to the eyes. Finally, make sure the final combination for the logo reads well in print, on packages, online, and looks excellent in both colored and achromatic variations.
Ideally, your company profile should be short and concise. It should communicate what your objectives are while effectively setting you apart from businesses offering the same services or products as yours. On the other hand, you can still be a little more descriptive if you wish to add a brief background of your company’s humble beginnings and unique history.
A well-designed live website that works hand-in-hand with an excellent social media campaign is a killer combination in today’s digital marketing. Your website will serve as a platform where you can showcase the products and services that you offer. It has to deliver good UX through exhibiting rich and valuable content, a simple yet striking design, and the perfect balance of functionality.
Ad strategies that are well thought out help substantiate what your social media services’ objectives and your brand’s key targets are. Aim your advertising efforts at generating more revenue for your business and eventually building a system for sustainable return on investment. As your roadmap to success, it will translate more clearly your purpose for launching an online presence while helping you gather a deeper insight on the progress and methods of your competitors. That said you must fashion your promotional plans in such a way that it thoroughly imparts the concrete benefits your services can bring to your customers and to the market at large..
You don’t have to create a profile on all social media platforms available or that would be overkill. It will just be a waste of time, money, and resource at the end of the day. For you to figure out whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, for instance is the most suitable channel for your brand, consider studying the demographics of each. Knowing the unique audience reach of every major social media channel enables you to have a bigger picture of the people you are reaching out to. For starters, Facebook remains to be the leader in marketing among other social media websites; with its audience comprising mainly of 18-29 year olds based in the US. Instagram likewise has the highest number of users along the same age range, while Twitter is continuously emerging as the number one option of businesses and end-users for social customer service.
Customers dislike unoriginal content and monotony when you try to reach out to them. Use your social media channels and services to reflect the distinct culture that your company has. What makes your brand exceptional? Is your business promoting innovation through your products? Or are you encouraging your customers to take on a pro-active lifestyle and an environment conducive to productivity? Don’t focus solely on self-promotion. Instead, take your social media profile as an opportunity to show your brand’s authenticity and honesty. In line with that, choose topics that are closely related to where your areas of expertise lie. Create your own templates for the graphics or images you share on social media too. This will further solidify how you present your brand online.
Creating a social media team will be very beneficial especially if you plan to run more than 3 platforms for your business. A reliable group of experts will capably handle and manage the online reputation and image of your brand; thus, choosing the right individuals for the job must also be in accordance with your current budget, the resources you have, along with your existing manpower.
Once you’ve checked everything on the list above, start promoting your profiles to your existing customers, colleagues, and business partners. Link your page to your website, do a cross-promotion through your brand’s other social networks or disseminate the information via print ads. It pays to not assume that people are already aware of your channels because that is the first step to letting the world know that your brand exists.
The 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your social media services and strategies should be concentrated on boosting end-user value and delivering the support that they need. On the other hand, the remaining 20% is where you should exhaust your efforts for brand promotion. It would also be beneficial if you use your brand’s social media channels to drive traffic back to your website either through organic or paid strategies. Analyze and measure your efforts through tracking clicks, conversions, and impressions accumulated through your social media promotions.
As a marketing tool, your social media profile should regularly exhibit a variety of content to generate higher traffic. Don’t be afraid to switch from plain content to case studies, demos, How To’s, images and infographics, links, micro blogs, product reviews, testimonials, quotes, company news, and lists. Another key thing to remember is that the social media audience is a group of highly visual individuals. Meaning, they process data faster and engage better with content that’s paired with either an infographic or a video. It’s been said that by 2018, 79% of internet traffic will be comprised mainly of video content, so invest on high-quality and relevant video outputs for your posts.
Besides regularly sharing content, much attention should be driven towards building relationships with customers and fellow business owners. Take the time to reply to their tweets, Facebook comments, and private messages. Encourage your audience to contribute in advertising your business by inviting them to join upcoming events you may have or by holding contests for a more effective promotion of your products. Connect with influencers or established corporations too and learn from their examples. Linking your business with big-time brands that have a huge following will help boost your impression to the social media audience at large.
All in all, your social media channel and services should serve as the bridge for you to listen more carefully to what your customers need, demand, and truly have to say about your brand. Therefore, you must see to it that the kind of influence you leave through your online presence is authentic, relevant, and is directed towards a symbiotic relationship between you and your audience.
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