Category Archives: Digital Media

The Art of Brand Social Presence

Let’s face it, creating and maintaining a social presence for a brand online is an art form.  There is more to it than simply writing a few blogs and posting some thoughts on Facebook.  Once you understand the basics, though, most small businesses can tackle this task fairly successfully on their own.

Today we’re going to explore the four basic elements of creating and maintaining a brand’s social presence online.

Outline Your Core Message

The first step, as with most projects, is the most critical. It’s the step that your entire online social presence will be built upon.  What is your core message that you want to convey to your audience?  Do you want to relay information about a new product launch or an upcoming sale or is your message going to be educational in nature?

Whatever your message, all content, either visual, social posts or traditional article-based content, must support this main message or theme and drive back to it.

Humanize the Experience

One of the simplest ways to get users to connect with your brand is to humanize it; put a face to the brand, company or product.  Think about it…consumers are people who are social creatures by nature.  It’s so much easier to be social and connect with another “human” than an entity.

If you’re a small-business owner, opt for putting your photo on the site or incorporate photos showcasing you or your staff interacting with other consumers on your blog or Facebook posting.   This simple act makes your entire brand much more personable and approachable.

Got products or services that target specific user bases?  Then give them names and create avatars to help personalize them.  Consumers are much more apt to connect with and associate themselves with something they can see and touch (even if only virtually).

Create Two-Way Conversations

A great way to maintain your social presence is to create a two-way conversation with your consumer base.  Don’t simply push information out…enlist feedback, suggestions or ideas from your consumers.  This not only allows them to feel more connected with your brand, but it’s also a great way of performing consumer research and finding out what your users really want from your product.

Another advantage to creating this two-way conversation is that it also creates additional, fresh content.  This content impacts your search results and your overall social presence, as the main search engines are constantly looking for fresh, relevant content.

The Importance of “Being There”

Now that you have your message, it’s time to get it out there!  As a rule of thumb, outside of your own site, you should try on a daily basis to hit at least one of the big three with your content: Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  The trick is to make sure you stand out from the other noise currently hitting the social airwaves.

Here are a few solutions you might consider:

  • Create blogs and social posts that announce your new product or sale.  Develop a message campaign that builds excitement, giving hints or sneak peeks, as the launch date approaches.
  • Create an infographic that graphically demonstrates why your product or service outshines your competitors or that visually explains why consumers can’t live without your product or service. (This is also a great opportunity to have a little fun and let your creativity shine!)
  • Use newsletters to bring information “you might have missed” to your audience.  In your bimonthly or monthly newsletters you can highlight blog posts, media mentions or customer testimonials that your consumers might not have seen if they haven’t been to the site lately.
  • Create an educational message or product announcement that is delivered by your staff, either with a visual scrapbook or a video series.

Experiment with a combination of methods and see what works best for your company.  The most important factor is that you stay consistent and true to your message.

Managing Your Brand’s Klout

If you and your brand are active in social media, then you most likely already know about Klout.  What you might not know though is what exactly Klout is, why it’s important and how can you best manage and impact your Klout score.  These are the topics around the “mystery of Klout” that we’ll be tackling today.  Ready?  Let’s dig in then!

What is Klout?

Klout is an online platform that measures a brand’s social media “influence” throughout the online world.  Based in San Francisco, the start-up was founded as a way to measure a user or brand’s performance on Twitter.  However, the platform has rapidly expanded and now includes activity on Facebook, FourSquare, Google+, LinkedIn and a handful of other social media sites.

To anyone in the advertising, marketing or social media professions, knowing your Klout score is like knowing your social security number or your height and weight – it’s just part of your statistical make-up and a fact about yourself or your company that you keep track of.

So before we go any further, let me explain why your Klout score is actually more important than you may realize.  Klout measures your brand’s overall social reach (i.e. how many people will see your message online).  The higher your Klout score, the more people you reach, and thus, the more people see and are potentially impacted by your message or promotional campaign.

How Can I Impact My Klout?

Now before you panic about what all it’s going to take to create a good score, take a deep breath and keep reading.  Klout measures your brand’s overall influence based on your ability to “drive action.”  So basically, it tracks not only how much fresh content you put out there, but also how much you engage with and interact with others; so really, the trick here is to simply manage your content and interactions.

The only extra step you’ll need to do is join Klout.  Once you’ve joined, then it becomes all about managing your interactions more effectively.

Knowing that most small business owners don’t have excess time to spend on social media, let’s look at those key elements that will impact your Klout score that you should focus on:

  • Build a relevant social network built around your target audience (i.e. folks who will respond to your message and serve as your brand advocates)
  • Create content with a relevant message and a strong call-to-action (i.e. talk about your services and what makes you different, then offer a promotional code or coupon)
  • Stay active on social networks 5-7 days a week (for you “do-it-yourselfers” out there, you can set up your content to post via programs like Hootsuite, which keeps you from having to post new content manually each day)
  • Focus the bulk of your messages on Twitter and Facebook as they carry the most weight when measuring activity and influence on Klout
  • Hand out your +Ks on a weekly basis for two reasons: it shows that you are active and, typically, if you give +Ks, then you’ll receive +Ks

Flaunt Your Klout

After you have been on Klout for about 30 days and are making an effort to drive up your score, it will then be time to brag about your Klout score socially! Add your Klout score to your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and let everyone know that your brand has a social media presence with true Klout!