How To Maximize Social Media Marketing For Your Brand And Business
Effective social media marketing is much more difficult than most people think.
Unlike using a personal account on a social media network, social media marketing for business requires a preformed plan of action.
- First and foremost, a social media marketing strategy for business should incorporate all of the necessary aspects of marketing a business on any platform, online or offline.
- Your business needs to have a clear identity along with a mission statement and statement of purpose.
- You need to have a complete understanding of what makes your brand unique as well as how your brand will relate to your target audience.
- Furthermore, you need to identify specific demographic data for your target audience such as age range, gender, income, interests, values, etc.
Once you have that set, the dynamic world of social media will allow you to continually reevaluate and optimize your campaign and keep your audience engaged.
Turning brands into communities
The gold standard of branding is to build a widely-known persona around a name or symbol.
For example, most people know what a Rolex watch is and the status associated with owning a genuine Rolex. One of the most loyal communities is built around Apple products. For many loyal customers, Apple has turned laptops and smartphones into a persona.
In some cases, brand names have taken over correct terminology in everyday speech.
For instance, many Americans hear the word “tissue” replaced by the brand name “Kleenex.” It is hard to build a community around people that purchase tissues for sneezing, but the name recognition for Kleenex promotes the brand by dominating the market in everyday semantics.
How to make social media the perfect platform for your online community
First, it is important to recognize that your social media marketing campaign centers on your brand and your business. Social media platforms give marketers a great opportunity to use different kinds of online media to help convey the persona behind the brand.
When coming up with a plan for social media marketing, ask yourself:
- “What kind of information does my target audience want to know?”
- “What type of media will my target audience best respond to?”
- “How can I build an engaged community around my brand?”
- “Is there something related to my brand that is part of something more meaningful than my product line?
Almost all people have that middle school kid inside of them that wants to be part of a bigger group or community, whatever that community might look like.
Whether your target audience wants online social opportunities, involvement in philanthropic efforts, up-to-date industry information, or to be a part of a niche community that they feel can better identify with how they perceive themselves, you need to find a way to weave your brand into that overarching theme.
Build trust within your brand’s industry and niche
Establish yourself as an authority in your brand’s specific niche by giving your audience what they need.
Many comments commonly used on social media networking sites for personal use are fine in that context, but your audience might see them as spam when used for business.
You need to act as the persona behind the brand, and you need to make your audience feel like they are part of a meaningful and active community that they do not have ready access to elsewhere.
For example, asking your friends or followers questions that are commonly asked elsewhere (e.g. “What did you do last Friday?”) does not typically provide value or encourage conversation.
- Instead of posing generic questions, focus on content relevant to your niche.
- Share resources from other notable people in your niche or a closely related industry.
- Keep things fun, fresh, and relevant to your niche.
After all, that niche is what your brand and your social media community at large is based off of. Focus on it.
Stick to your brand and your mission statement
Be the go-to brand for your specific niche.
Be the best in the world at providing parental consultation for children with Autism, be the best auto mechanic in your metropolitan area, or be the best center for corrective vision surgery in the world.
Instead of trying to please a large audience, build a community around a special audience with common interests and specific needs.
A well executed social media marketing strategy will represent the voice of your brand and your values as well as educate and engage your audience, expand your footprint and positively impact your bottom line.
Ralf Skirr's comment: Excellent article and highly relevant for small biz owners. Small biz owners are more likely to struggle with their branding than big businesses, with 7 figure marketing budgets and brand agencies.
Defining what you stand for and who you want to reach needs to precede your social media activities.
The reality is different, of course. More often than not we find ourselves visiting Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest browsing randomly and posting random updates.
This Blog, InternetBusinessMastermind, is an example, too, for how not to do it. While I have a general idea of where it is going and who it is supposed to talk to, my readers probably have not.
My 'intended' branding hasn't yet trickled down into the choice of articles, or the about section. As a result my social media strategy and connections are unfocused as well.
As readers you will see a focus in branding in the upcoming weeks, and you might just use the chance to re-think your own branding and social media strategy.
- What do you stand for?
- What does your business stand for?
- And who, exactly, are you talking to?