Today a lot of businesses big and small are creating social media accounts. And with good reason. In the past businesses would take a professional approach when interacting and delivering content to potential customers relating to them like they were robots. Social media makes it easy for people to contact the business and in turn to deliver rapid responses and post important updates. Humanizing your brand helps people to relate to your business and see it in as an entity with its own personality and makes the customer more trusting of your brand. People will be more willing to engage and interact with you too.
Below are some vitals and ways to build your brand effectively and build a rapport with your customers.
Optimize Your Presence and Promote your Accounts
Firstly when writing your profile make sure to put keywords in where you can. Doing this will help people find you and make your presence more visible, as well as giving an accurate and succinct description of what you do. Keep your branding theme and colours consistent across your social media accounts so they’re instantly recognizable and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and give your brand it’s own quirky personality.
Promote your different accounts across each other. This will help gain followers/fans across all platforms and grow. Don’t forget to write about it in your blog and post visible links on your website directing people to your social media accounts.
Competitions and Giveaways
Reward followers and fans with giveaways and competitions. A popular one on Instagram is to write the giveaway information in the image and ask people to hashtag, tag, share and follow you for a chance to win. This proves very popular because people love free stuff and at the same time they are promoting you to their followers. Promote sales on your social media accounts too garner more interest and to send customers to your website.
Cross Promotion, Exclusives, Shout Outs and Reviews
This is where things get interesting and adopts a sort of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality. Everyone wants more followers on social media. People also like free stuff. If you are starting out one of your pages such as Instagram or Facebook you could send a sample of your products to an e-celebrity and kindly ask if they’ll review it on their blog if they like it or make a post about it and link to you. Target e-celebs with the right public image relevant to what you’re selling who would have followers with similar interests who are likely to engage with you. Once they post their review post about it too. This will help them gain more followers but more importantly show people your brand is trustworthy having been positively reviewed by someone.
When you gain a decent amount of followers (in the thousands) you can contact pages with a similar number of followers or even a bit higher to see if they would do a “shout out” for you, where they will make a post about you and tag you to help you gain followers. Of course you will be expected to make a shout out in return! While this is a great way to get new followers don’t get too spammy with continual shout outs- make sure your brand is still the main focus. Again make sure you are targeting pages whose followers would generally be your target market. If you don’t have that many followers you can always try and if they’re nice they might just do it.
Know a store with a lot of followers that you could perhaps get some of your products in? Offer them an exclusive product or several that you will promote often for their store on your social media accounts in exchange for promotion of your items on their accounts, this is very similar to shout outs. Again similar to shout outs and exclusives is cross promotion where you will promote a product from another store in turn for them to promote for you, instead of seeing competition as the enemy see them as a potential brand builder and customer hub! Instagram has a big culture of one brand helping another for more followers, so this is a good place to start. Facebook is also good for this too.
Communicate with your Followers and Ask Questions
Interaction with your customers helps build your brand. If you are very busy set aside a time or two times a day where you sit down and respond to your followers and answer any questions you have. Always maintain and positive and neutral demeanour and don’t engage in arguments if someone is upset with your business. Maintain level behaviour and be apologetic.
Asking simple questions not only helps engage your followers but it also can be used as a marketing tool to gain information about a product or service you are offering or considering of offering. It doesn’t always have to be though, nor does it even have to be relevant keep it light and playful and ask things such as “Where can I get the best ice cream in Melbourne?” or even just “What are you planning for the weekend?” will help followers engage with you and build rapport.
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are all great platforms for these. Try and engage as often as you can with your followers. A few weeks ago on a public holiday I was out in the city and was wondering if a certain shop was open I posted the question on their Instagram and got an almost immediate response so I made the trip over to their store. If I hadn’t got a response I don’t think I would have bothered to go check myself. I also wouldn’t be likely to find such information on their website.
You Don’t Have to be a Business to Build a Brand
Remember you don’t necessarily have to sell things to build a brand. You could brand an individual item you might be preparing to launch or getting funding for or even one that’s launched. You could be an enthusiastic blogger with some unique qualities such as your style that you would like to build a greater fan base around. Branding can apply to any one of those things but a successful formula is the same mentioned above with time, dedication and drawing all these techniques and elements together.
Disclaimer: This article was produced as part of a learning initiative for our graduate program. The tips and facts presented are not necessarily shared by roi.com.au
Have you successfully built a brand or are beginning to? Would you like to contribute tips or just tell us about your brand? Let us know in the comments below!