This is a guest post by Danielle Beck-Hunter. Danielle writes for ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. As a writer, she has helped clients from various backgrounds grow their brands.
If you’re looking to grow your brand, but don’t know what to do to gain online influence, you’re not alone. It’s a common problem for business owners. Social media can be intimidating, especially when your lack of online presence alerts potential followers that you might not be very credible.
Ensuring the professionalism of your online accounts is important, just like everything else involved in running a business. Whether you’re purchasing insurance for your company vehicle, or you’re making your first hire, running a business requires intentionality and precision.
We all know quality when we see it. A social media page gives the biggest first impression. There’s no way around it–you need an effective social media presence. Whether you’re growing a personal brand, or promoting a product, these tips will help any business owner utilize their social media platform to boost the quality and reach of their online influence.
Tip #1: If Your Audience is Everyone, Your Audience is No One
This tip is number one for a reason. When creating a profile, social media platforms ask their users questions to calculate the kind of content they would like to see. The answers help the platform find a new user’s place within their online community. As you create your brand it’s important to know who your target audience is. You can have all the most effective content tools you want, but without the right audience, you’re aiming at a moving target.
Your target audience is the group you are most likely going to connect with. Your audience will hopefully connect with your brand enough to want to share with friends who have similar interests. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for companies who specialize in healthy dog food to advertise to bird owners. That’s an obvious example, but you get the idea.
Be specific with your brand and message in order to appeal to your audience. This is easier said than done since most of us have multiple talents we wish to explore. But being able to create a foundation for your brand’s primary focus will ensure a credible base for your other ventures.
Tip #2: Post Regularly: People Can’t Follow What’s Not There
Keeping a consistent post schedule isn’t as easy as it sounds. To optimize the potential reach of each post, it takes time to study when the peak days and times of your page and the site are. If you’re not a techie there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of tutorials for tools that can increase audience engagement.
Think of logging into your social media page like you’re walking into a party. Work the room, and shine by being yourself. Even posting the things we do that seem pointlessly average can be enough to keep up with what can seem like a nonstop demand on our lives.
Every day can’t be a photoshoot, (especially if you’re running a business outside of social media), but making a point to post a few times a day gives your audience something to constantly engage. Keeping a schedule also shows future investors that their efforts in working with you won’t be wasted.
Tip #3: Do Your Research and Keep Your Credibility
Have you ever said something with incredible confidence only to be proven wrong? The good thing about being wrong in the midst of conversation is that it can open the door for discussion. Each person has the opportunity to present their reasons for their beliefs, and the awkward moment eventually passes. When you’re dealing with correcting something wrong online, it’s not as easy. Plus, as time goes by, you could be losing more followers.
Take the time to double check your facts, your usage of terminology, and spelling before hitting the post button. It can not only save you from embarrassment, but also maintain your audience’s trust. When your followers know you are credible, they are more likely to share your content and look forward to your next post.
You can be yourself and still have a professional attitude about social media. Yet you have to be mindful that with social media, you are always giving someone a first impression. Your posts are your “brand memos” to everyone who comes to your page. You should want each one to grow your brand more than the last.
Tip #4: Don’t Just Post–Engage with Your Audience
Social media isn’t one sided. What you say to others and how you engage with them is just as important as what they say to you. To be influential, you have to make contact.
There’s a stigma around people with popular accounts. It’s almost like they’re untouchable. But the idolization of stardom has changed. Social media can make it seem like a famous person or celebrity would be your best friend.
Keep your posts genuine by being specific in your responses to your audience. Engaging with others online gives you room to be creative and share content. It may seem like it has nothing to do with what you do, but it can absolutely be connected to your brand.
When people feel personally connected to you, you’ll be on your way to having your own online community. Sharing messages and responding to comments are easy ways to increase interactions with your page. You’ll keep your audience’s attention and attract new followers. The more you interact with positive accounts surrounding what you do, the more people will take notice.
Tip #5: Remember to Utilize Links in Your Posts
A paragraph of hashtags isn’t the only way to get more eyes on your page. Make sure to add links in your bio that give new followers more content they can relate to.
Simple links that can direct someone to seeing your city, a website, or getting into contact with you will expand your reach. When people follow your brand, they like to see where you started and what influences you. By adding more links, you become an influential presence by connecting your followers with others who’ve inspired you.
Tip #6: Last But Not Least: I.E.E.
IEE stands for, inspire, educate, and entertain. All of your content should focus on at least one of these elements. People often criticize social media, saying it’s aimed at the self-absorbed. Successful people know that whether you’re online or offline, you gain a loyal following by giving, not taking.
The more you give of yourself, the stronger your connection with your audience will be. Then more opportunities that will present themselves. It may take some time to build, but a consistent audience is the goal. In time, it will turn into a platform where you can grow your brand while promoting others you work with. Remember, your network turns into your net worth.