In 2017, social media is an integral part of growing a small business, website, or even blog. Effective use of social media will engage an audience and allow that engagement to spread amongst a wider group through shares and likes. While many people use social media on a daily basis, using it effectively to promote your brand does not always come easy.
Socially savvy websites, services, and blogs understand the importance of providing valuable content to a specific slice of online readership. Blatant self-promotion is often regarded with little tolerance by the online community, so learning how to share your content in a way that engages an audience while also freely promotes your work is a delicate balance.
The first step into the world of social promotion is to understand your audience and their social media habits. To do that, you must have a clear vision for your brand. Once you have a true grasp on what you wish to achieve, look towards your competition and see why your potential readership is attracted to them. See what your competitors are offering and think about what you can do that’s unique.
Audience engagement is rooted in consistency. If you are able to consistently provide insight and value to your consumers via comprehensive market research and high-quality services, your audience will grow. Knowing when and where your audience is online will better allow you to promote and share your brand via social media, which, in turn, will drive trust within your consumers. Share at the right time!
Once you’ve figured out your audience, it’s time to focus on the content; this begins with an attention-grabbing headline. This does not mean a misleading, clickbait-esque headline, but one that your audience will genuinely be interested in. Think about every word used, because each one matters. Make it clear what your brand is, and what the post in question is aiming to provide.
Brands are defined by the quality of their content. If all you’re doing is providing an audience with something countless other sites are doing better, you’ll be lost within the long forgotten recesses of the World Wide Web. Even digital marketing strategies such as effective search engine optimisation (SEO) have evolved in recent years, with a high level of quality being important above all else.
Create something worth creating. Once achieved, it’s strongly advised to follow the one-in-seven rule when promoting via social media, so not to turn your audience off. The rule is where you only promote your brand/business on one out of every seven social media posts. The other six posts are reserved to share your actual content. Promotion can be contained within an article or blog post itself, just not overtly being the sole purpose of frequent social media posts.
It comes easier than you might think for social media to turn on a brand. A great way to avoid this is to pepper your work with subtle calls-to-action, but making sure as not to come across as overly “sales-ey”. Ask rhetorical questions to couple these calls-to-action and you’ll actively strengthen your reader’s engagement with the article or blog post at hand, as well as your brand in general.
It may seem obvious, but advertisements matter. One of the most effective ways in which to advertise your brand is through Facebook. With 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a platform with a reach unlike any other. Running an ad on the social media juggernaut is a relatively simple process, and with a myriad of tools with which to target a consumer, you can reach out to your specific desired audience.
Ads of any variety work because of their visuals. Attention-grabbing visuals are the initial foot in the door for social media enthusiasts. This also goes for how you promote your work on social media. Tweets and Facebook posts with images get more engagement than those without, and sites such as Instagram rely on imagery almost completely. Create imagery that expresses your brand.
Social media was created for people, not businesses. So for social promotion to elevate your brand above the rest, creating a human connection is vital to your success. Don’t just state bland facts about what your site is all about; ask questions, and encourage people to discover how great your brand is on their own. Smart public relations will boost feedback, which generates trust and allows you to improve your content based on the needs of your audience.
Finally, it’s okay to seek professional advice – you’re reading this post after all. Social media is an ever-changing beast, so finding help is often invaluable. Brand assistance can come in several forms: services that recommend ways in which to strengthen your online presence and audience engagement, or paid promotion through sites which will write about your brand for a fee – be sure to track every cent you spend, especially if you have a specific ROI in mind.
When it comes to brand recognition, few tools are more powerful than that of social media. Promotion is an art, and by utilising the advice above, you are guaranteed to realise your brand’s true potential.