Before I get to social media branding, let’s play “Best Case Scenario” for a minute:
Person A recommends your business to a friend of theirs — Person B — who needs what you’re selling.
So Person B does what most of us in today’s day and age would do — she goes to your website. (After all, your website is basically the online face of your company.)
Person B is impressed! She likes the design of your site, the way your site content “speaks” to her, and best of all, your pricing structure. So she makes an online purchase, or plans to visit your physical location, or does whatever it is she needs to do in order to get what you’re selling.
She becomes a regular customer and follows you on all your social media channels. Yay!
“Then why do I need social media branding?”
Realistically, the best case scenario isn’t that common. It takes repeat impressions for people to make a purchase. Those repeat impressions build a brand in the potential buyer’s mind.
Your company’s brand is basically how people — whether they be customers, prospects, family members, or people who have barely heard of you — perceive your business.
And they can experience your brand in many different ways: your website, your physical location, your products/services, your employees, your marketing efforts, etc.
Any or all of these can contribute to their perception of your business.
“But why should I focus on social media branding?”
- It’s free. (Other than the time you spend putting together your posts and posting them.)
- It’s instant.
- It’s a great way to engage with your customers and prospects.
- It’s easy.
- It’s where your customers and prospects are. (How many people do you know that don’t have a Facebook account?)
“OK, so how do I actually do this?”
You ask a lot of great questions! Of course, it’s universally recommended that you go into this with a plan.
Content Goals for Social Media Branding
Think about how you want your business to be perceived, and what the content goals are for your social media branding:
1. You want to be seen as an expert in your industry.
So you post relevant, current news and information. Sharing “what’s new” makes you look like a company that pays attention and knows what’s happening. To really boost the “expert” factor, put together an article or blog post or whitepaper about a trend in the industry and share it via social. (A series of these would kick it into even higher gear.)
2. You want to be seen as a smart choice to purchase from/do business with.
So you post (with permission) customer testimonials and success stories — as well as exclusive offers for social friends/followers, seasonal/holiday discounts, and other promotions that demonstrate the value of being connected to you. If you’re in a highly competitive industry, social media is a great place to talk about why prospects should choose you over your competitors.
3. You want to be seen as responsive.
So you post quick, well-thought-out responses to anyone kind enough to contact you via social media — complaints, compliments, whatever. “Engagement” (just a fancy term for “talking with people online”) is the ultimate goal of social media, because it’s the first big step toward a sale. Be friendly, be courteous, be informative. And get back to them as soon as possible!
4. You want to be seen as a fun (but dependable) friend.
So you post the occasional photo of your staff celebrating Halloween, informal Employee Profiles, fun videos from “behind the scenes” at your company, maybe even the occasional meme.
Pro Tip: Make it a meme that’s somehow relevant to your industry — not just Kermit the Frog sipping tea and saying something snarky. (Unless you manufacture tea for frogs.)
So there are some ideas for your social media planning. Take ’em, make ’em better, do your thing. Let people know who you are, what you stand for, how great your products/services are, and that you’re the best at what you do.
And please keep the emoticons to a minimum. 😉
I’m sure you have some great social post ideas. Feel free to share them in the comments below!