Standing Out in Social Media

With so many places to share content online, it can be overwhelming to even imagine where to start when promoting your personal or professional brand. There are a variety of ways to make your messages highly visible and I have prepared the following list to help you get started.

Create Quality Content
Who knows your industry better than you? Potential clients and customers are not browsing to become experts in your product or service. They are looking for someone who knows what they are doing and can meet their needs in a swift and cost-effective manner. Your messages, whether on Twitter or Instagram, need to reflect your competence and establish you and your organization as industry experts and leaders.

Be Consistent
Nothing derails a marketing initiative more quickly than inconsistent messaging. At best, no one notices that your website is as professional as they come while your social media presence has an odd, out-of-place conversational style. At worst, your mission statement is different on your Facebook page than on your website. If this describes you, stop reading, open a new tab and fix it immediately. I’ll be here when you return.

Strive for Accuracy
Text messaging and other technological advances have made our lives easier, but have also made it easier for us to make careless mistakes when it comes to our online content. Budget enough time in your professional social media activities to proofread your work before clicking send. There may not be anything worse than being called out on your company’s Facebook page for an utterly needless typo. Then again, imagine how many mistakes no one brings to your attention. Go ahead and check your last ten posts if that makes you feel better.

Include Pictures
There is literally no excuse for not having a base of images related to your product or service. Most smartphones come equipped with high-resolution cameras and, if that’s not your thing, you can grab your old point-and-shoot camera from 2005. It will probably do the trick. If you feel more comfortable going the professional route, hire a photographer to capture the best assets of your organization. This will leave you with a large pool of high-quality images that you can use indefinitely (although I strongly recommend annual portfolio updates; after all, your business isn’t in the same place now as it was one or two years ago, is it?). The best photos feature people–customers, employees, etc.– enjoying the benefits of choosing your company’s products or services to meet their needs or improve their lives. This is the basis of emotional branding, something that can give you an even better edge in your overall marketing strategy. Currently, photographs are given more prominence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and these posts statistically generate more viewer engagement. The trend suggests this will continue.

Post Regularly
There is nothing I hate more on a brand page than to click the like button only to never hear from that company or organization again. Part of your marketing strategy must be determining which social media outlets will provide the greatest yields for your brand. Most small businesses cannot afford to hire full-time social media managers and this means that whoever is tasked with the company’s social media activities will need to budget his or her time wisely in order to get any real value out of this work. One Instagram account with a strong follower base and high level of engagement is worth 100 Facebook accounts with likes from outside your company’s market and posts that are irrelevant and confusing. Start with what you can justify financially and then branch out.

Follow these steps to establish a foothold in the social mediascape and you will be surprised at how quickly your posts generate engagement and sales leads. I will be proud of you and you will be proud of yourself. Go get ’em!

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