Ahh, social media. While this topic may seem completely exhausted by now, it’s constantly evolving and changing. You really can’t stay away from it! Maybe your company has social accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, but you don’t post very often and don’t have a substantial following as a result. Or maybe you just don’t think social media is very important. But if you struggle with brand awareness and recognition and you can’t seem to lock down new customers, this is probably why!

Social media may not seem like a complicated concept anymore now that we all have our own personal accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and maybe even Snapchat… so, what makes a company account different? Well, there is a science to branding your company and image on social media. If you’re using social media, i.e. as immediate access to your customers, make sure it is to your advantage as an owned advertising tool.

Wondering what I’m talking about? Feeling overwhelmed? Prepare to be enlightened.

Here’s how to take full advantage of social media platforms…

It’s a new age. You simply have to have it. If a consumer searches your product category or your service industry on Google and your name pops up, great! (Especially since it means your SEO is effective). But, alas, as they continue to investigate your company, there’s no sign of a Facebook page. Or a Twitter page. Or any form of social media page for that matter. There may be a website (which can be enough for some people), but where is the personality? Where’s the bond?

It’s on your nonexistent social media pages.

People will find a different company to check out if they have social media pages and content to help paint the picture of what it’s like to purchase from this business. A website is great and can provide tons of information. But at the end of the day, people still want to see a human aspect behind the company. They want to see pictures and view your accomplishments, read about your community service, view the engagement you have with the public, and maybe notice that their neighbor follows you, too.

Create accounts, post often, mix it up, and promote your brand! This is the essential first step in ensuring you widen your brand exposure and market scope.

You have total and complete control over the content. You can make your company and everything it encompasses look as attractive as you could possibly want. You have control over the content produced, what is posted, how it’s posted, what the post includes (images, video, embedded links, etc.) when it’s posted, hashtags used… the list goes on! Create your own *free* campaigns by using a certain hashtag and encouraging others to use it in their posts about you. Show a variety of fun things your company is doing. This includes happy hours, community service events, team building activities, and more. Showcasing your workplace culture and the tight-knit community will also look attractive to potential employees. In all, you can control how your post will be perceived by your followers. You get to boost all your accomplishments and the positivity surrounding the company.

The engagement opportunities are endless. Consumers have been spoiled by the engagement aspect of social media, and they don’t want to be let down. Engagement with people on your social pages can be tricky, but, if done well, it can be truly invaluable and speak volumes about your customer service. A lot of people judge a company’s customer service based off of how quickly they tweet back or respond to facebook comments. (Notice: I said “how quickly”… because it’s already assumed your company WILL respond.) Whether it’s a complaint or a compliment, it should always be addressed and should always be addressed with a people-first attitude.

Don’t leave your followers and customers wondering. Check pages often to see the most recent comments and messages and answer every. single. one. This can be a laborious job, which is why it is sometimes someone’s entire job. The bigger the following, the higher the follower engagement. Make this engagement a positive and engage back. Make your followers feel special and favorite their tweets… acknowledge them! You’re a real person and you see them! People love that stuff.

You know the term “Word of Mouth”? This is how it’s done now. Building off an engagement that we just talked about, social media is the modern vehicle for word of mouth advertising. People don’t hold back online and can either blast or boost your company. At the end of the day, the average person is your biggest online promoter. People have tons of followers and friends and what they share is multiplied to even more people. Don’t lose sight of the magnitude of this exposure. Your company name can be shared online in the blink of an eye.

Don’t let it hurt your company’s image. Create fun, positive things that are encouraged to be shared. Respond to people’s posts about you with funny or sarcastic comments. Use a language and tone that connects you with your followers. They’ll be more likely to share your name. Relate to your target through your social posts. This will generate more word of mouth advertising on the consumer’s end.

It’s completely necessary for branding. A website represents your brand and might tell the story of your company. Social media brands the company even further than that. Show off the fun side of your company’s brand and image. Put faces to the business and highlight successes. Social media gives you the chance to get creative with branding ideas and helps keep you relevant. It’s a lot easier to update your social media than your website, so keep your brand fresh on here.

The whole point of social media is to create a branded image. Sit down and figure out what you want that to be, then represent it in your posts! Keep a common theme across platforms and establish brand credibility.

It doesn’t discriminate. No matter what products you sell or what services you offer or what industry you’re in… you CAN use social media to market yourself. Just like how there’s a lot of different kinds of people on social media with different interests; there’s room for all different kinds of businesses. Whether you’re a coffee shop, a landscaping company, a hotel, or literally anything else, you have so much to put online. Don’t limit yourself because you’re not a huge company or what you do doesn’t seem “relevant to social media.” Everything is relevant to social media, so go ahead and get that out of your head. Put your best foot forward, make an account and post away!

Wrapping it up…

Building out your business social media is very important. And although it shouldn’t be daunting, it is always evolving and popularity between platforms shifts, so stay on your toes. Don’t fall into a routine on your social pages. Keep things fun, different, fresh, quirky, and surprising. Get people to notice and stir up some buzz. The rest is history!