The age of swapping Twitter handles instead of business cards
It’s no secret technology has rapidly and quite assertively incorporated itself into every component of our daily lives. People have begun to measure their social standing (and at times, self worth) in dimensions of followers and Instagram likes. We post a picture with the willful expectation of receiving an adequate number of likes. We send a tweet in hopes that people will agree in the form of favorites or retweets. But where does business stand in this dynamic generation of mobile devices and social media obsession? Businesses are now taking full advantage of the global reach that social media has provided.
Social media is still in the prime of its youth, and how to use it properly is up to interpretation. With that in mind, we have compiled three effective strategies when using social media to help brand your business and build a following:
Know Your Business’s Social Media Scene:
While it may be tempting to create a social media account to market each and every aspect of your company, it’s not exactly a “one size fits all” situation. Each company has certain aspects that will either sink or swim on social media, and to be effective, you must pin point your strong suits. So, how do you know which platforms will gross the most success in branding your company? To truly understand how strategy converts into a following, one must appreciate the purpose of each social media site. For example, websites such as Instagram and Pinterest have a massive following. It is common to assume that they are effective platforms to grow a business; however, Pinterest and Instagram are primarily, and almost exclusively pictures (with the exception of captions, and pictures of quotes). As a result, if your company lacks the capability of looking aesthetically pleasing, then you really have no need for sites like that. Posting a picture of your logo, or the outside of your building probably will not generate much of a buzz when your audience consists of brides-to-be, party planners, and DIY moms. Use sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread relevant content that targets the strengths of your business. Focus your energy and creativity building a following on a site that will capture the right market.
Facebook and Twitter have more flexibility. These websites allow not only images, but written content that can reach an astounding number of users. Do not be discouraged if at first glance your company does not scream jaw-dropping content. Every company can transform itself into readable literature. The number one mistake (in my opinion) that companies make when writing social media content? That as exciting as it may be to you, your Twitter and Facebook followers are not interested in your revenue growth in the past year, or your business meeting a few hours ago. Writing social media content has to be strategic, relevant, and clever. To do this, it’s essential to find topic areas that pertinent to your business, but not limited to your day to day business transactions. Let’s take TD Bank, for example. They have over 25,000 followers on Twitter. I know what you’re thinking…they’re a bank, what could they possibly have to say that intrigues 25k plus twitter users? They post articles about digging yourself out of debt, helping your kids budget their money, and inspirational quotes from employees. While these may not be specific to TD Bank, it’s relevant, interesting, and contributes to the success of their brand. Look at your business in broader light, and draw inspiration from topic areas that are not limited to your product line or services.
Interact & Engage
Sadly enough, I happen to have a favorite food-chain business twitter, and it’s Taco Bell. The irony of it all? I don’t even eat Taco Bell, yet I follow it on Twitter and often share some of their posts. So what does Taco Bell do right in the Twitter world? They interact with their followers. When a fan tweets at them, it is not ignored. As a result, the company has accrued over 1.27 million followers. If you mention their company, they’ll favorite it. If you say something funny, they might retweet it. When fans interact with a company, it builds brand loyalty. Social media allows companies to go beyond the business-to-customer interactions and truly build relationships with their consumers. Gaining a following on social media may seem simple, but keeping that following takes patience and effort to connect with your audience.
These strategies are certainly not scientifically proven, and unfortunately there are no scholarly articles discussing sure fire ways to increase your social media following, but each of these tactics can be a catalyst in boosting your presence online.
– Written by Samantha Tiscia, ZGM Account Manager