Social media has leveled the playing field when it comes to marketing. Now, rather than competing with companies that have massive marketing budgets, small business owners are able to get the word out about their products and services as well.
To do so, your social media efforts must go beyond just posting and create an air of authenticity about your brand. Fortunately, you do not have to be a marketing genius in order to do so when you follow these tips.
Part of being authentic involves showing genuine concern for potential customers. Fortunately, social media provides you with numerous ways to do this, including:
- Giving others the chance to comment, like, and share your content.
- Starting conversations by replying back to comments.
- Posting pictures of people interacting with your brand.
- Offering contests, polls, and interactive games.
When it comes to building relationships, there is virtually no end to the way you can do so on social media. Just be sure to make connecting with others more about them than it is about you.
Remain Honest and Humble
No one will want to interact with you online if you insult their intelligence or are constantly bragging about your products or services. That doesn’t mean you can’t boast about your brand, only that you should make an effort not to be overly obnoxious when doing so.
Aside from being humble, honesty also matters. If you are going to be genuine, that should mean no overly photoshopped images or unreal stories that people will have a hard time relating to. If you post these things, others will no doubt spot it, and you will have a hard time building their trust after that.
Highlighting Your Company Culture
Giving people a “behind the scenes” look at how your company operates is one way to help them feel intimately connected to you. However, before you do this, you should ensure you have a positive company culture first.
What is company culture? It basically involves your company’s personality. Everything from your work environment, mission statements, core values, policies, and procedures can make up your culture and will either draw people to your brand or push them away from it. You may not have thought about your business’s culture much or might be unsure as to how you can develop it. Even so, once you understand the basics of company culture, creating a positive one is really not all that difficult.
Provide Valuable Information
Consumers are more likely to see you as genuine if you seem willing to help them rather than simply pushing products. One way you can do this is to provide interesting, informative videos on subjects related to your products and services – without trying to sell them anything in the process. For example, if you are an HVAC service company, you might provide maintenance tips for air conditioning units.
In some cases, it might be a good idea to provide information about how your products are made. When people know how your products are made, they are more likely to trust that they are getting high-quality items. They’ll also develop a sense of trust in your brand because they won’t feel as though you are trying to hide how you do things.
Post Regularly, But Not Too Often
It takes time to develop relationships on social media. Accordingly, you should create social media marketing campaigns with a long-term focus in mind. This should include regular postings so that people can feel you are a part of their everyday lives. Wait too long and consumers can easily forget you ever existed.
While regular posting is good, it is entirely possible to overdo things. Post too often and your contacts will feel as though they are being bombarded by spam, even if you are not attempting to sell them anything. If you post several times each day or have a tendency to overshare things, you might actually be turning folks away.
It’s important to strike the right balance between posting too much and appearing to have gone AWOL. What works well for one company may not necessarily be ideal for you either. Listen to feedback from those you interact with on a regular basis, and pay attention to the number of likes and shares you get as well. If there’s a lull in activity, you may need to adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
Authentic Social Media Efforts Require Authentic Personalities
What is the best way to build an authentic brand on social media? That would be to just be yourself and show genuine concern for those you hope to turn into paying customers. After that, everything else will take care of itself.
Jen McKenzie is an independent business consultant from New York. She writes extensively on business, education and human resource topics. When Jennifer is not at her desk working, you can usually find her hiking or taking a road trip with her two dogs. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie
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