Rapid growth of social media ushered a truly golden era for businesses both great and small – especially the latter. If you’re just starting out with the barest minimum of resources, you don’t need to rack your brain about where you’d get money for a massive ad campaign on TV (only to get barely glimpsed in the endless ocean of already existing ads) – social media will do just fine for establishing your brand’s image and a connection with customers. Play your social media cards right, create an image and a story that speaks to your target customer – and people will recognize you among the overwhelming diversity of faceless companies and value their relationship with your business. Here’re four essential steps to initial success in SMM.
1. Create an Engaging Brand Personality
A brand establishing its presence on social media (and in customers’ minds) is like a new face at a party – if you want to be remembered, recognized and liked, make sure you let your personality shine through. It’s how you look, how you talk, and what for you showed up in the first place – your image, tone and language, your set of values and the value you offer to people. Maintain a consistent image throughout all social media channels you use, and stick to your mission in every content marketing campaign. Otherwise, the audience will likely get a gut feeling that the integrity they once loved about your brand is disrupted – and the once-thriving trust may wither.
2. Employ Different Types of Content on Different Platforms
For your brand-customer relationship’s sake, don’t fall into the easy trap of posting similar content across every social media platform you use. First, it is plain lazy. Secondly, users’ demographic on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat et al differs considerably, so you should focus on those platforms which your target audience uses the most actively. Thirdly, different platforms serve different purposes – to attract hordes of new followers, to reach out to regular customers, etc., so tailor your content and your communication accordingly.
3. Tell Captivating Stories
People are long sick and tired of aggressive ads plummeting at them out of the blue, no matter if they want it or not, totally out of context of their lives. People yearn for stories to which they can emotionally relate and which would be meaningful against the backdrop of their experience – that’s why your brand’s social media activity would hugely benefit from skillful storytelling. It’s also important to employ multiple media – anecdotes about how you started out can get your brand personality across in an easy way; short and amusing comic strips can demonstrate your suggestions of solving clients’ problems; video snippets of your business’s everyday life add that much-cherished human touch; and satisfied customers’ feedback makes for great stories, too.
4. Be Unique
Make Oscar Wilde’s aphorism your motto: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is taken’. Make sure you generate quality content that reflects your character and values. It’s far from a good idea to post pictures or videos that just barely refer to the industry your brand belongs to. It’s worse still if these are hackneyed, going through their zillionth iteration across social media like in samsara circle. However, if some of your own content proved to be especially valuable for the audience, there’s no crime in recycling it – it actually is a viable content creation technique.
When all is said and done, successfully establishing a relationship with customers via social media is, in the words of Stephen Covey, about ‘personality ethic’ and not some tricks and quick fixes. You have your image and mission, you walk the talk – you win customer loyalty. Good luck on this path!