I was recently invited by The Innovation Village Kampala to speak on how to use social media to build your business/brand at their The Idea Cafe. It was such an honor to be recognized as a successful entrepreneur with something to offer through the milestones and achievements of Paple Rayn. I got to meet an amazing team of panelists with whom I shared the floor and picked up a thing or two. Aaron Musoke; Content Manager Blu Flamingo and Joshua Mugisha; CEO Brighter Monday
Here are a few of my tips on; How To Grow Your Business On Social Media
Create strong social profiles and pages.
The starting point for growing your audience on any social network is strong profiles and pages for your social accounts. This requires including branded cover photos and profile photos. It also requires filling out all of your details. On Twitter, that’s as simple as a 160-character bio, website link and location. Facebook wants a short description, website link, address and phone number. In short, fill out as many fields for your social profiles and pages as you can.
When it comes to your posts, your message and how frequently you use social media, keep consistency in mind. It is truly the key to success with any social media campaign. Make a plan for what you’re going to post and how often you’re going to post, and stick with it. This should ideally be a few times a day or a week, depending on your goals and your following. You can’t go from posting once a month to five times a day and then back and expect to have an engaged following.
Format content to optimize for each platform.
Maintaining accounts across all of the major social media platforms doesn’t mean posting the same thing on four different sites every day. It means formatting content specifically meant for each platform. You need photos for Instagram, long posts for LinkedIn, videos and memes for Facebook and short and snappy announcements for Twitter. All of your posts should be different, even if they are delivering the same message.
Push on those networks that really work well.
There are some networks that are going to work better for you than others. When you find that network that really works for your specific type of business and your specific type of customer, then you need to really push on that network and take advantage of the opportunity. For a fashion business, I would highly recommend Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
Make sure that your content aligns with your message.
When it comes to building a strong social media presence, getting likes and follows is great. However, it’s about more than just the number of responses each of your posts get. You may be tempted to deliver a post that simply gets a lot of attention, but that will do nothing for your brand if you don’t make sure that the content aligns with your message. Everything needs to fit within your brand identity and promote what it is that you’re trying to say to the world.
Find a balance between popularity and business.
Your professional social media site is supposed to be about your business, though you still want to make sure that it’s getting the attention you want it to get. Simply put, you want to be popular on social media. However, you need to find that balance between popularity and business. You need to have a little bit of both and mix the more fun side that wants popularity with the serious and informative side that boosts the reputation of your business.
Use social media to amplify all of your business and marketing efforts.
You’re going to have business and marketing plans outside of your social media campaign. After all, a successful marketing plan is varied and robust. A solid social media plan only adds to your efforts and makes them more successful. It’s an affordable, yet greatly under-utilized platform that can help with virtually every aspect of your marketing plan — and something that you need to start using now.
When you share photos and videos, be sure to use hashtags in your captions. Hashtags are utilized by Instagram users to find visual content on specific topics. As people come across your photos and videos in a hashtag stream, they will be able to click a button next to your name to follow you.
Don’t Over look Visual Branding
Visuals play an important part in social media branding. If each of your profiles looks like they’re owned by a different company, it creates a disconnect for your users. You want your branding to be consistent across all channels. This will help people immediately recognize your company no matter which site or app they’re using. When people look at your company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles, they should notice the consistency.
Use the same logo/avatar
You should be using the same avatar for every social network. The easiest option is to use your logo or a symbol that represents your company. People should see your avatar and immediately associate it with your brand.
Develop Your Voice
Your brand’s personality should be reflected in your social media posts. That means developing a social media voice. This is the way your brand communicates in Tweets, Facebook posts and Snaps. Finding your voice can take some time, but you’ll settle into it eventually. To find your social media voice, consider these three main elements:
- Your company culture:What is the culture like at your company? Your culture is what you stand for, what your company is about and what makes you special. For example, Under Armour’s culture is all about performing to the highest level and being innovative. The use of hashtags like #IWILL in social media posts shows that the company’s social media voice is a direct reflection of its culture.
- You audience:Speaking in a way that your audience connects with is very important. That could include using certain lingo and references that are popular in your target market.
- Authenticity:Whatever your social media voice develops into, make sure it’s authentic to your brand. Trying to sound a certain way just to fit in can backfire.
Be Consistent With Your Topics
Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are very good for curating content from around the Web. Curating is a great way to help you build authority in your industry as well as provide a steady flow of social media posts that aren’t self-promotional. Finding blog posts, videos and other content to share with your audience sounds simple enough. However, many businesses go into it blindly without creating any type of guidelines as to what topics to share.
As a result, your Twitter Timeline can become filled with a random mix of Tweets about five or six completely different topics. Avoid that mistake by streamlining your efforts.
Pick a few topics that are closely related to your industry. For instance, the popular career site Monster.com Tweets articles about employee satisfaction, career advice and workplace culture. All of these are directly related to its brand. If Monster started adding Tweets about investing and personal finance, it would seem out of place. But by focusing on its main areas of expertise, Monster’s brand has become a go-to account for people’s interest in career related content on Twitter.
Engage, Engage, Engage
If the only time you post on social media is to share content, it’s like having a conversation with yourself. As we alluded to earlier, in the beginning stages, your brand will be unknown. You can start building awareness for your brand on social media by engaging and interacting with other users. It’s as simple as replying to Tweets and commenting on Facebook and Instagram posts.
I hope these would shed some light on how you can up your business using social media. In the famous words of Aaron Musoke,
“We don’t go on the internet, we LIVE on the internet”
Therefore, take full advantage of this.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have an awesome Monday!