Surprising Benefit of Social Media
Social media is very useful for establishing and maintaining business relationships and spreading awareness of who you are as a business and what you offer. However, have you ever considered using it as tool for developing and refining your brand? Here are some suggestions for using it for this purpose:
Simply by posting content regularly you will start to refine and develop the language and images you use to convey your business (like anything else doing it regularly will help you get better at it). Once you’ve posted at least 10 times you’ll be able to review how your social media pages look and whether it’s reflecting your business accurately. Consider what the colours, images, language etc. are conveying about your brand and whether the posts are engaging, friendly or too wordy and unclear. If this is too hard to identify by yourself (which can easily happen for most of us because we’re too subjective about our own work) then enlist the help of someone you trust or a specialist in this area to provide objective feedback.
Once you’ve identified the posts that you believe do convey your business in the right way use them as a template for future posts. However, if you discover that none of them look or sound right experiment with different content and then review those posts too after you’ve done about 10 of them. Keep reviewing and refining until you’re happy with the style and language of your posts and don’t be afraid to experiment with them (after all if you really don’t like a particular post you can always delete it).
Check your consistency
Being consistent with social media isn’t just about posting regularly it’s also about presenting a consistent image so that people recognise your posts easily and if they like the content and style will follow your pages and keep coming back for more (knowing exactly what to expect each time). Whether it’s consistency in your business processes or your marketing it all helps create trust with existing and potential clients.
Again to determine whether you’re being consistent, scroll back through your posts and decide if they have a common theme. Is the language, colour and imagery consistent or does it look and sound like different people are posting? Periodically (as with any marketing) you may tweak your image a little (e.g.: maybe changing it each year to stay current with visual trends) but as long as your message and business personality stays fairly similar it will come across consistently. And of course when you do feel it’s time for a change of image and you’re not sure how your followers will feel about it why not simply ask them and engage their support in the process?
Say what you do
This may seem fairly straightforward but being very clear about what you do is sometimes actually quite difficult to achieve, especially as we can often get caught up in the romance of very descriptive language that sounds catchy rather than simply telling it like it is. This is where the short description boxes on your social media pages are really helpful as the limited space forces you to be very concise in what you write. And whilst it may be very easy to simply pop your tagline in there make sure it’s clear about what you offer (e.g.: I can help with…. or “We can supply all your golfing equipment”). Or you may want to promote the fact that you are the place to go for certain items (e.g.: “Largest supplier of plants in …..” “Biggest range of furniture in ….”). Play around with it until you find the right language to describe your business accurately (and don’t be afraid to do this a number of times as sometimes it does take a little while to get it right and to be honest I’m still tinkering with mine!).
If you need inspiration look through similar social media pages (or ones you admire) and see how they describe their businesses. You could also workshop it with your business colleagues (if there are others in the business with you) or alternatively simply start jotting down thoughts as they come to mind and workshop them by yourself. If you word it correctly this short description of your business could easily become your elevator pitch for networking events, a sales pitch for potential clients or possibly a new tagline for your business. Workshopping this short description box will help you get very clear about who you are as a business and what you offer so make sure you take advantage of it.
Listen to your followers
One of the advantages of social media is being able to see very quickly what resonates with people via the likes, comments, shares and reach. Pay attention to the tone and perspective of these successful posts as well as the content and imagery. For example, maybe you wrote a post about your product using less formal language or maybe you shared a personal story about your service (instead of listing its benefits) that worked better than your traditional style of posts. Periodically review which posts are gaining more traction and use these as a template for future posts.
Defining your brand and being very clear in presenting your products and/or services can sometimes be a tricky thing to get right, however, your social media pages provide you with a free tool that allows you to develop and explore this important aspect of your business (whether you’re a single operator or a large business). And even if you decide to utilise the services of a social media expert to manage your pages it’s still worthwhile experimenting with it yourself first as the knowledge you gain from the experience can be useful for all your other marketing and promotional activities and ultimately add to your ability to generate more business.
Photo credit: iStock.com/tumsasedgars