You know what it’s like: sitting at the computer and staring at the “Social Media Slot Machine” with continuous updates from Facebook friends and the stream of tweets trickling down your screen… Not knowing what to post or even just lurking on different sites trying to learn how to get your customers involved with what your company is doing online… There’s a better way to interact online than silently stalking competitors to understand their strategy!
Here’s where we suggest you start.
First, think about your company (you may need to get out a sheet of paper to track this conversation in your head), and REALLY think about it. Lay out all your marketing messages, brand promises and mission statements and get down to the core of what your brand represents. Conjure up what it means to be a part of the company – to be involved in the everyday excitement of working with colleagues and having the opportunity to build relationships with new clients. It may help to think about the concept behind:
- Brand Vision- What do you want to accomplish through social media? Do you want to teach your customers about your company? Or, do you want to educate other professionals about your industry? Picking the core vision will help when discerning what content to post online.
- Brand Audience- What audience do you want to listen to you? Identify the key customers your company should broadcast its messages to.
- Brand Personality- It’s more than just your company’s voice, it’s what that voice represents. Think of that ultimate employee who exemplifies the company’s values in everything he or she does on a daily basis. Whether it is in their communication mannerisms or the activities they participate in after work… Speak from this voice!
The next important step is to become an active and consistent presence online. By making daily updates on social media channels, customers following your company will begin to develop an understanding of your brand. You may be asking yourself, “I don’t even know what to post! How can I find something that will engage my followers?” Well, the good news is you don’t necessarily need to be the opinion leader yet, but you do need to have an opinion with what you choose to post. Find articles and online sites that correlate with the vision of your company and make sure they are fitted to enlighten your specific audience. As mentioned earlier – “customers following your company will begin to develop an understanding of you brand”… Therefore, make sure posts are ON BRAND!
Consistence and stability are both key to maintaining an authoritative position online. When sharing information, keep an even flow of communication from your company to your users. Sporadic postings may conflict with your company vision and users may lose interest in keeping up with your news feed.
Social media sites have provided companies of every size the ability to target and communicate with their customers much easier than ever before… Remaining consistent across all channels is a fundamental principle to actively connect and provide value to others. While these are only the first steps on the path to utilizing social media to its fullest potential, they are core concepts to understand and implement into your online branding strategy!
So, what do you think? What are issues you’re facing? What are some tips YOU can share with others?