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.