I was recently invited to join Kelly Mitchell on her podcast Breve TV where we discussed how brands are communicating via social media.
It was a lively and fast-paced conversation that explored how brands, both large and small are managing, monitoring and directly engaging with consumers on a daily basis. You can see the complete broadcast here.
As I prepared for the show, I realized that managing the online presence of a brand is not too dissimilar to that of managing your own personal online presence. Each requires that you are actively engaged and eager to listen, react and respond on a consistent basis. It also necessitates that you maintain an insatiable desire to understand and satisfy the needs of your target consumer.
So why then is it so difficult for so many to find their voice, their rhythm and their groove online? I believe they are missing a few key ingredients.
A Clearly Defined Brand
Your personal brand conveys a powerful message to consumers. It is the image that connects potential buyers with your product or service and expresses why they should work with you.
With the evolution of social media, your brand now lives offline as well as online. It exists in your daily conversations and is evidenced in the content you share. From images to status updates, consumers are forming an opinion and making a decision that affects your bottom line.
There is no better person to communicate your vision to the world than you. Determine what makes your brand special and commit to sharing that day-in and day-out.
A Hit or Miss Social Media Strategy
Before you dive in, know the answers to the following questions:
- Is your goal engagement, brand awareness, sales or all of the above? Determine what benefits you are looking to receive and how you can amplify your message by increasing conversation across multiple social media channels.
- What are your consumers looking for and how will you provide answers, solutions and a compelling product that solves their needs on a consistent basis?
- What topics are your target audience passionate about and what do they love to talk about?
Missing a Social Media Voice
- First and foremost, finding your voice entails knowing who you are and what unique abilities you bring to the table. In essence, it means taking a look inside and truly appreciating what makes you, YOU. Once you have a firm grasp on what makes you awesome, translate that across your social networks in a real and authentic way. Remember, social media moves at a rapid pace. If you are not a direct reflection online of who you are offline, your message will get blurred and sharing that message unfailingly becomes very difficult.
- Never forget that social media is all about being social. The quickest way I know how to find your voice is to get involved in the conversation. Sure it can be scary to put yourself out there, but dipping your toe in the water is the best way to understand whether or not your story or voice is resonating with your target audience. If also allows you to determine whether or not the content you are sharing has struck a chord.
- If you are building your personal brand under the umbrella of a national brand, it is a must that you align your voice with the company culture. Weave who they are and what their sole purpose is into the social media fabric of your own brand persona.
- Be consistent with your efforts. Find the tools to make your daily interactions easy and somewhat effortless. We are all running through the day from one task to the next. Finding time to be engaged requires support tools that will allow you to monitor what is being said in and around your name and company.
- Learn from the best! There are so many great brands out there from Disney to Skittles who are making a huge splash in social media. Study your own competitors that are leveraging social media and determine what distinguishes them or sets them apart. What do you like and what could you do better?
No Social Media Strategy
The myth of social media is that you automate everything and somehow a reputation is magically built. While it is true that certain tasks can be automated or outsourced, conveying your brand personality and message is something you need to own.
While automation may save you time in the long run, think of what you ultimately lose by not being active and involved. As a business, the goal is to connect with the right consumer. Social media allows you to meet them where they spend the majority of their time in a way that we have never been able to do before.
If you truly want to see a return on your time and make social media a successful part of your marketing strategy, then you must join the conversation. How will you do that today?