Posts

Social Media Marketing, Emphasis on the Social

Social media has an important role to play for every business. During COVID shutdowns more than ever we saw that social media serves a window on the world. It is an important place that we connect as people, even when we can’t connect in person.

Your marketing needs to honor and elevate this need for connectedness. Our brands need to be social. We need to connect with people as people, not just revenue sources.

How to Market on Social Media

Build relationships. Use social media to connect, build relationships and communicate. Ask your network how they are doing. Ask for their thoughts and ideas. Acknowledge the world beyond your brand and the stresses as well as the celebrations we have in common.

Be empathetic. Show that you care about things beyond what is immediately important to your brand. Share a funny meme, just because. React to what your network posts. Create moments of community.

Be transparent. Don’t try to hide your motivations. When you are looking to sell, be honest that is what you are doing. When you are promoting something because it benefits you, be open about that too. Your honesty is integral to your relationship building online.

Plan for Success

With the principles of relationship marketing in mind, create your social media marketing plan. Don’t think you will remember all these important elements. Don’t leave your success to chance.

Develop a written plan to guide you day to day, week to week. A plan ensures that you implement all your good ideas using best practices. It defines your goal and how you will measure progress.

Importance of Being Consistent Online

A fundamental element of online marketing is consistency. You need to be painstakingly completely consistent so that there is only one you online – one brand, one identity, one message.

Inconsistency creates confusion. When people see information that is similar but not the same, it creates a question in their mind. Is that the same thing? Is it different. Questions lead to confusion, which is not what you need.

Inconsistent information also hinders your search engine optimization. When crawlers find different information, it dilutes the understanding of your presence. This can lead to duplicate listings and worse, reduced search rank.

Name, Address and Phone

A critical aspect of online consistency is your NAP – name, address and phone. Use the same NAP everywhere! Variations of your business name, can confuse people and search engines to think each is a different business. Ditto for addresses.

Branding

Be consistent with the representations of your brand as well. Use the same logo everywhere. If you revise it, go back and revise it everywhere. Don’t lead a trail of differing logos that muddy your brand identity.

Define your color palette and stick to it. Decide on a style of imagery. Use the same fonts and the same tone.

Messaging

Know your marketing message and stick to it. Whether you are doing an elevator speech at a networking event, creating a page for your website, or posting on social media, your messaging must be clear and consistent.

  • Focus on your value proposition
  • Use your keywords
  • Maintain a consistent tone

Consistency Creates Understanding

Being consistent with your brand fundamentals will help you gain traction online. Each time people (and search crawlers) encounter your information will build brand awareness and understanding.

3 Essential Ways to Establish Yourself as an Expert

Every business is an expert at something. Sharing that expertise online is a crucial component of marketing success. Your expertise matched to customer needs is the groundwork for business development.

There are three great ways to establish your expertise online: social media, LinkedIn and forums. In this post I look at each.

Social Media

All social channels are great platforms to share your knowledge and insight. Among your options, you can leverage the short format of Twitter, the visual format of Instagram, and the longer posts allowed by Facebook.

People use social media to learn things and to connect. When they find content of value, they can read, engage and follow for the longer term. All of these actions are a win for your brand marketing.

Be most effective by sharing a variety of content. You can offer your own words and images as well as share and engage with content from others. In everything you do, be sure to highlight your expertise and the key value of your brand.

LinkedIn Articles

LinkedIn is the social platform for professionals, but it deserves separate mention as a means to establish your subject matter expertise. Like other social channels, LinkedIn allows you to post regular updates. Added to that is the option to post articles.

LinkedIn articles allow you to do a deeper dive into a topic. The platforms’ tagging system exposes your content to everyone interested in the topics you choose. This is a great opportunity to expand your influence.

Forums

There was a time when most interaction online happened in discussion forums. Social media has eclipsed most of these, but there are still very strong discussion communities online. Quora and Reddit are two examples. There are also countless discussion forums supported by industry groups and professional organizations.

Forums allow you to ask questions and to offer answers. Both activities position you as an expert in your topic area. Taking time to make valuable contributions will earn you a following. When someone needs your expertise, they will know who to tap.