Summer Primer: Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

Gone are the days when businesses relied on traditional advertising to reach their audiences. Social media has taken over marketing to the masses. More than 70% of all Internet users actively use social media. So what better place to grow your business than using social media to build your brand?

building a brandHow? First you need to find potential clients/supporters. You can target professionals and their groups on LinkedIn. People who want to connect with family and friends are on Facebook. Those who want to share research, news and other info to a huge audience use Twitter. Those who want to show off their interests, talents and passions can be found on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Snap Chat and Vine.

So how does one go about building a brand on social media? Most users will avoid a message that remotely looks like an advertisement – unless, of course, it directly concerns them. Today’s mantra for success is to start conversing with potential customers. But never begin by saying, “Hi there, I have a fantastic product here. Would you like to know about it?”

That part comes later. The first part is to build a relationship with potential customers and gain their trust. How can you do that? By initiating a two-way conversation. Post, tweet or upload interesting stories or photos to draw their attention. If they leave a comment, write a reply addressing them directly.

Once they become friends, join your circle or become your followers, keep the communication channels open by liking and following their posts and comments. Chip in to offer expert advice and suggestions whenever you find a discussion going on. Use subtle ways to guide them to your website.

Your aim should be to get your followers to know you and become familiar with your brand. Once they know who you are and what your brand stands for, it won’t take them long to become your customer. No one likes being pushed to buy something. So concentrate on selling ideas and concepts rather than selling products or services.

Lastly, be honest and transparent. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: Never lie about your company and services. Never post messages that sound phony. Be truthful always. If you can do that, it won’t take long to win the hearts and minds of your customers. That’s what branding is all about.

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