There’s nothing more frustrating than reading an article filled with advice you can’t yet use. You learn all the secrets to building a better blog, but then realize those tips can’t be implemented for another few weeks or even months. Meanwhile you sit around, wishing you could do more than wait. Sound familiar? If so, take heart. Not all advice is for the future. In fact, below are five specific, tangible ways to use social media for branding right now.
Here’s how you can start turning your social media efforts around now, starting today:
1. Use Consistent Design Across All Platforms
Think of design — from personal avatars to colors to the fonts you use on social networks — as the face of your brand. If you’re one face on Pinterest but another on Facebook, you’re having an identity crisis. Here’s how to fix that right now: Take five minutes to upload the same avatar and/or logo to each network. Choose the same, consistent wording across your profiles’ “about me” sections. When you ensure that each site communicates the same sense of who you are, you improve your branding immediately.
2. Provide Unique Content on Each Channel
While your profiles should be consistent across all channels, your content should be unique to each channel. Loyal fans following you on all networks shouldn’t have to hear about your latest blog post eight times in a row. Rather, you should be delivering unique types of content on each channel. For example, on Pinterest: pretty pictures relevant to your subject matter; on Twitter: interesting links and resources; on Instagram: behind-the-scenes images. This gives users good reason to keep up with you everywhere. Start this now by going to your profiles and sharing content that sends a strong message about who you are — and keep doing it over time.
3. Focus Your Attention
One of the biggest issues with trying to stay active on social networks is spreading your brand too thin. When you try to be active everywhere, you can end up not being active anywhere. So, take a little time to evaluate your online activity. Does it make sense for you to be on every network? Which ones hold the most value for your industry? Delete accounts you aren’t using in order to focus on the ones you are.
4. Stop Selling
This one is more about what you should immediately stop doing. Of course you want to use social networks to promote your brand, but go for the subtle type of promotion rather than the overt. Instead of screaming “me, me, me!” on your social profiles, stop selling. Nobody wants to hear a sales pitch on Twitter or Facebook; you’ll get further with customers by sharing content that clearly tells them what’s in it for them. Be interesting or helpful or funny or all of the above — whatever matches who you are as a brand.
5. Engage With Customers
Log into your social profile and respond to any questions or comments. On Twitter or Instagram, search for users with interests relevant to your subject matter and comment on their content. Look for ways to engage and connect with customers every day. This is something you can start today, but offers a big payoff down the line. When customers feel you care about them, they’re much more open to what you have to say.
Are the above tips strategies you’ve already been practicing? What will you do today to improve the way you’re representing your brand on social sites? As this post shows, there’s no better time to start than now.
Originally published Nov 1, 2013 1:00:06 AM, updated July 28 2017