Creating, strengthening, and maintaining your brand is one of the most important things any business can do. It doesn’t matter if you are a small company, a big company, or somewhere in between. Your brand is the first thing your customers will think of when they hear your name.
A carefully crafted brand can give you a leg up on your competition, encourage people to come back, and differentiate you in the marketplace. But regardless of how well your brand is created, it must be reinforced everywhere your customers come in contact with it.
These days, many of your customers may only know you from what they see online. That means that one of the most important places for you to use your brand wisely is social media. Your social media content must be high value, build community, and be consistently engaging. While that may sound like a tall order, some simple rules can help you achieve that goal.
Understand your Brand
You may think you know your brand, but do you really? Write down your brand vision: does it make sense for who you are and the culture of your company? If you don’t believe it, then you can’t expect that your customers will. If it’s not what you want then start working to make it reflect the brand vision you do want.
Know Your Audience
You can do everything right with your content but if it’s not what your customers want you are wasting your time. If you don’t have a clear picture of how to best serve your customers with social media, then you need to find out now.
Today’s social media users are seasoned and sophisticated. They can spot a fake a mile away. Regardless of what kind of content you are posting it has to reflect the real you, and it needs to look and sound human.
Regardless of what platforms you are using they need to share a common message and flavor. Of course, you can tailor your content to the type of information that is best suited for unique social media feeds (i.e., Twitter versus Facebook versus Instagram), but all content should be true to your brand and culture.
You can’t build a social media following if you rarely post. Develop a strategy that keeps you front and center of your community’s feed on a regular and consistent basis. Respond to comments and questions promptly and let your visitors know that you appreciate their feedback.
You owe it to yourself and your company to be a watchdog over your brand. Monitor what is being said about you online and keep an eye on what your employees are posting when they are representing the company. Your brand image is your business’s lifeline and if it is not managed carefully and nurtured regularly it can do you more harm than good.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.