Chances are, your business has a presence on at least one social media platform today. With over 3.6 billion social media users worldwide, the world is now at our fingertips. As found in a recent research report, people are now spending more time in apps than they are watching TV, averaging nearly 2.5 hours each day on social networking sites.
The popularity of social media platforms provides a huge opportunity for businesses and coaches to grow their brand awareness, develop relationships with their customers, and drive sales and leads. It can be utilized to connect with friends and family, to find inspiration, to consume news and information, and more.
So, how can your business take advantage of the power of social media to grow your brand? As Ray Allen, former professional basketball player, says, “You don’t need a corporation or a marketing company to brand you now: you can do it yourself. You can establish who you are with a social media following.”
To build a strong brand on social media, you need to have a strong plan and set measurable goals. From identifying your target audience to planning out your content, here are four tips that any business can use to grow their social media presence.
1. Find Your Target Audience
Whether you are looking to build your social media strategy from the ground up or you have been an active user for a while, the critical first step to growing your social media brand is to find your target audience.
Conducting a social media audit will allow you to gain a better understanding of where your customers and prospects are engaged and what types of content they resonate with on each platform. Additionally, it will allow you to gain insights into what your competitors are doing and how they utilize social media in their brand building strategy.
One method to consider is taking an omni-channel approach to your social media strategy. This means utilizing different social media platforms to reach different audience segments. Doing so will allow you to accomplish different business goals on each platform.
This is important because it will influence your content strategy and help you determine where to reach your audience. The last thing you want to do is invest valuable time into posting on channels where you will not find your customers. Determining who your target audience is, and what platforms they are engaged on, is imperative in building your brand.
2. Develop Cohesive Branding
Once you’ve determined where your customers are engaged, look at your social media platforms holistically. When a client or prospect visits your profile on any given platform, are they presented with the same overarching message and brand voice?
From your logo to your bio, your overall brand and voice should be cohesive across each of your accounts. By building a strong brand persona, you are building strong brand recognition and a positive brand association. Additionally, a strong and consistent brand voice will influence people’s perception of your brand.
Everything you post online acts as an extension of your business. Careful planning and establishment of this brand voice across each of your platforms is too important to overlook.
A cohesive brand voice is especially critical for enterprises who operate out of multiple locations and may utilize multiple accounts on each social media platform. Every location in your franchise will have its own personality, but each should be reflective of the overarching brand.
3. Consistency is Key
Not only is consistency important from a branding perspective, but it is also critical from a content perspective. Yes, you want to avoid over-posting and flooding your followers’ feeds; however, you also want to consistently share content to keep your followers engaged and your brand top of mind.
One way to help develop a consistent stream of content is to build out a social media calendar. Planning content in advance ensures your content remains high quality and engages your audience. Experiment with your posting schedule to determine which days and times see the highest levels of engagement. This may take some trial and error and will need to be adjusted over time in response to changing algorithms, but it will help you maximize your reach and attract more prospects and leads.
4. Set Social Media Goals
Once you’ve established your plan, how will you determine if your social media strategy is a success?
It’s important to understand that you can’t track what you can’t measure. Just as you set goals for other areas of your business, create a set of specific and measurable goals for your social media strategy. Here are some metrics you may be interested in tracking:
- New Followers: how many new people are you attracting to your profile each week?
- Mentions: how many times are people mentioning your brand on social media?
- Shares: how many times are people sharing or reposting your content to their own profiles?
- Conversions: how many new members have you brought in from your social media efforts?
For franchises, you may also be interested in tracking franchisee recruitment or mentions by location.
When determining your goals, it’s important to remember your overall business objectives on social media. Are you looking to increase your brand awareness? Or, are you looking to engage with an online community? Keep these questions in mind as you grow your presence on social media.
Social media offers an inexpensive, yet effective way to engage with your clients and prospects. So, it’s important that you take advantage of its strengths to build your brand online. Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness or introduce new prospects to your facility, social media provides a great opportunity to showcase your brand and engage with your target audience.