A modern business operating without a social media presence can often be seen as “outdated” by consumers. That’s not to say that every business needs to have a presence on every major social platform, but some kind of social presence – even if it’s just on a personal/brand ambassador level – is a smart strategic play in the overall branding game.
Follow these simple tips to make the most of social media while building your brand.
- Social engagement goes both ways
Business owners often make the mistake of blasting promotions and talking sales in social media. That’s a bit like walking into a cocktail party, interrupting a group of people, and pushing your product in their face as you scream about deals.
Social media is a two-way channel for conversation, not a one-way avenue for pushing products and services. Good branding starts with being human, treating people like humans, and having a meaningful dialogue across a variety of topics. Customers eat that stuff up.
- Be Transparent
Sugar coating your brand and personality, then providing a completely different experience on the business side, is a classic bait and switch that can destroy your brand. When you’re engaging your audience in social media, be authentic and be transparent. Don’t be something you’re not, and don’t misrepresent your business as something it’s not. If you make a mistake, admit it openly.
- Make it about the customer
Your goal is to make sales, but you’ll make more sales through human connection and helping than running promotions. Focus on what the customer needs, listen to their conversations, read what they write, ask questions, share relevant news and info and make the socialization about them. That keeps them coming back to your social channels, engaging you, and sharing what you do with others as they become cheerleaders for your brand.
- Have a crisis response plan
You will inevitably experience a customer meltdown. There will be someone that will turn to every social channel they know – especially the big ones – and launch a witch hunt against your business. Establish a plan on how you and your employees respond to negative incidents in social media, and make sure those responses are public so everyone viewing it can see your level of professionalism.
And never, under any circumstance, should you delete content that is posted by your, your staff or your customers. The only exception is content that is highly inappropriate (sexist, racist, or a personal attack including exposure of personal information, etc.)
- Share and share often
Use your social channels to share everything that your company does and is involved in, right down to the silly details. Did you get a new label printer? Take a video of your first run of labels shooting at. Got a new awning or store front signage? Take pictures of the installation and the finished sign with your new logo. Product launches, company news, fun facts and personal stories all give your biggest fans something to talk about and share to help you grow your brand and keep the engagement level high as you continue branding in social media.