As of February 1, 2018, there are 2.13 billion monthly active users on Facebook. December 2017 showed that 1.4 billion people log onto Facebook daily. This is just one of the many social channels available to display your offering. Social media needs to be part of your branding strategy. It will help you to build your business if you do it properly.
Social media gives you the opportunity to build your brand awareness, provide value to your target audience, position yourself as the expert in your industry, build a relationship with your audience, and drive traffic to your website. With all of these benefits, it is hard to believe that many businesses are not leveraging it.
Building your brand requires consistency
In order to successfully build brand awareness, the posts that you publish on social media need to be consistent. Too many brands start a profile and then post sporadically. This is not going to build a loyal following. Once you start posting quality content, you start to build a following. This takes time to do organically. Your audience is getting to know you at this stage, and hopefully, they are starting to like you! Once you’ve proven yourself with your consistent posts that offer value, they ultimately start to trust your brand. As soon as you stop posting or deviate from your schedule you have lost all credibility from your audience and end up starting over again. Don’t put yourself in that position and continue to post on a consistent schedule.
Use what you bring to the table, every day
Providing value is often the challenging part of posting. Create content that helps your target audience. Compile a list of the questions that your audience is often asking you or other members of your team. Answer these questions, be a resource. Continue to offer value with the majority of your posts. We stick to the 70/20/10 rule. 70% of your posts should be value-added content. 20% of your posts you should be advocating others and sharing or engaging your strategic partners content and 10% of the time, your content can offer some sort of a sales pitch. You should NOT be selling your services or products the majority of the time with your social media posts. Nobody likes to be sold to constantly. You will not gain the trust of your audience if you are constantly selling to them.
You are the expert!
Positioning yourself as the expert is the absolute best thing that you can do for your business. This is not the time to be humble. Showcase the expertise of your team, highlight the certifications, awards, accreditations that you’ve received. Give away the answers. Think about all those cooking shows on TV, they are giving you the exact recipes and instructions on how to make an amazing dish. Now, how many times have you actually gone and made that dish? I know I’ve tried a couple recipes out and they are never as amazing looking as they are on the show. This is the exact reason why I still go out to eat and pay for a professional chef to make me a meal. Showcasing your abilities makes it easier for the person who is considering buying from you to make that buying decision. Social media is a resource to spread your knowledge. The goal should be to become the go to resource for answers that have to do with your industry. Let them know that you have the answers.
Don’t just automate – participate!
Engage with your followers and start building the relationship. Start a conversation with them, no different than you would someone in the same room with you. Social media is a resource for you to talk directly with your target audience. Let them know that you are there to listen and value what they have to say. The actions within social media (liking, sharing, commenting, retweeting, favoriting) are there for you to strike up a conversation with current or prospective customers. Social media is SOCIAL! Treat it that way.
Use social media as a tool to send people to your website. Consider social media as a ‘top of funnel’ tool. Meaning it helps to bring interested individuals into your sales funnel. It is not the tool that closes the sale. Your posts should include links that drive them back to valuable information on your website. Social media can turn a “Like” into a “Lead” and a “Lead” into a “Customer”.