In todays times, the way forward is without a doubt social media. It may seem a bit deluded, but in the end of the day, it's about embracing modern society and going with the flow.
Many companies use social media to promote their brand (as well as themselves personally) on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and the marketing aspect of building a business has definitely exploded in importance nowadays. Having a website is of course an important step, but getting your brand ‘out there’ can be promoted vigorously by handling your social media accounts correctly – and its actually quite easy!
Facebook is probably the biggest platform of them all. Most companies have a ‘facebook page’ where contact information and continuous updates are posted to keep customers and clients ‘in the loop’. Competitions and promotional offers are a big deal on Facebook, and with enough likes and shares, your company can easily get around and in time people will become more aware of your existence. But how do you go about building a strong and popular facebook page?
Firstly, it is essential to have an easy-to-navigate website. It might be possible to run your business from social media, but an informative website with a contact form and details about your company, will make your brand stronger.
Then it is important to make people aware of your companies facebook page. It is a good idea to ‘invite’ your friends from your personal account to ‘like’ your company page and then ask them to ‘share’ it as well. This is also known as a ‘domino-effect’, and once you get the ball rolling – it just keeps going.
Make your page exciting. Get competitions going, announce promotions and new happenings within your company. This way it never gets boring, and the more traffic you have on your page, the more other possible customers get involved.
Promote your facebook page on your company’s website, and make a direct link accessible. This way, people viewing your website can be put straight through to your facebook page and will be able to see how popular your company has become.
Snapchat was once-upon-a-time a more personal social media platform, where you could send instant pictures directly to your chosen friends. As the platform has grown, it is now possible to make a ‘story’ which you can make accessible to everyone – even those who are not on your contact list. Snap chat is used mostly by private people, socialites, famous people etc, but it is becoming more and more popular for established brands, to get on the wagon.
I would personally advise, that this is the final step of your social media branding. Snapchat can be added to your company once you have mastered the other areas, since it is a more ‘fun’ way of interacting with customers. For example, it can be used to live stream what you are doing at markets, at events, and gives customers and clients a more personal insight to the business – much like the story feature that has been added to Instagram recently. If you want to promote a snapchat profile, simply write the username in your account information or make a post where you announce that anyone is able to follow your companies daily life on snapchat, by adding the user name.
The way in which companies and brands market themselves nowadays has changed a lot over the years, a long with the growing need of easy communication platforms, and a different way of life. If you master these social media platforms, you will without a doubt develop your brand and reach out to a lot more potential customers, along with a better turnover financially. It is extremely important to embrace these trends and changes, and keep up to date with what’s hot and what’s not. Even the older target groups use social media – so every little bit of promotion helps when it comes to becoming social media sassy!
Instagram is getting bigger and bigger, when it comes to social media platforms. Private people, bloggers, celebrities and companies rule the world of Instagram, and even the phenomenon of becoming ‘insta-famous’ is expanding. I have a personal tactic when it comes to expanding your following crowd on your personal and business Instagram account.
The most important thing is to make the account ‘public’. This can be done in the settings menu.
In your profile text, tell your followers who you are, and what you do. For example: “Susanne – wife, mother and business woman living in Dubai. CEO of rocktheworld.com” or "Rock your Business - Guiding you to become a Super Hero in just 2 days"
Here you can also put in the email address of your company – just to hype it up. DON'T BE SHY - BRAND YOURSELF/BUSINESS!
When posting on your personal profile, remember not to OVERLOAD your account with pictures of the products you sell until you have started to promote the brand officially (continue reading). Post only professional pictures, show your followers that you are serious, and find your filter and style to stand out from a lot of other personal accounts.
DO NOT use tags such as #likesforlikes #followforfollow. These hashtags are a big no no. They make you seem desperate for followers, which is not what you want to put across to people.
DO NOT buy your followers. There are numerous deals, where you can buy your followers in order to seem more popular to people viewing your account. If you see someone with 78,000 followers, you automatically think that this person must be interesting. NO! It is very obvious when people have purchased their followers – 78,000 instagram followers and only 102 likes on a picture is NOT realistic.
Use hashtags that promote you as a person/business, and where you are in the world. In Susannes case these could include, “#business #likeaboss #femaleboss #independantwoman #mother #shoes #sandals #mydubai #dubaibusiness”. There are so many you can use, and it’s a good idea to look at similar profiles to see how they hashtag. Also read our blogpost about How to Rock your Instagram!
Follow other profiles that interest you. Be active on their profiles, so that they become aware of you (read: it's ok to spam a little bit). This is an easy way to get new followers.
Once you have gained a good amount of followers (I would say 700+), introduce your business account on your Private Account. This can of course be done before you expand your following crowd, but it is definitely a plus if you already have a ‘fan-base’ who enjoys following you as a person. If you don't know how to get followers, read our blogpost How to Rock your Instagram!!
When you are Instagramming from your business account, it is VITAL to separate your personal life, and be professional. This being said, you can still use your personal account to promote your brand – but not vice-versa.
As mentioned, it is a good idea to create a ‘theme’ when posting on your account. Ideally, use a similar filter throughout, similar lighting etc. This makes your profile aesthetically appealing. Some people prefer minimalistic pictures, and others prefer colourful and vibrant pictures with high contrast. Make sure you understand your brand, and the feeling you want your customers to associate with it. Is it calm? Is it happy? Is it energetic? Do you wan to promote a peaceful feeling? If you do not ask yourself these questions beforehand, your profile can quickly become messy, which isn’t a plus when it comes to impressing new customers.
Collaborate with influential people. This is especially a good idea, if you have not promoted your personal account ‘enough’ so that it can lift your brand alone. Take contact with bloggers, insta-famous people, TV-personalities etc. and sponsor some of your products to them. In exchange, these personalities will promote your brand on their social media pages, which automatically will draw attention to what it is you sell and without a doubt increase your sales. This is a very cheap and effective marketing tool! Choose these personalities carefully, and make sure their followers are the kind of people you want to attract as future customers.
Instagram has recently updated their services, and now you can also keep your followers updated via live pictures/videos, very similar to Snapchat. This is also a way of keeping customers updated about what is going on in the company. Eg. Promotions at stores/markets. This will get you more personable with your customers, which is always a big plus.
Last but not least – keep your instagram account up to date. By up to date I do not mean ‘spam’ your followers with 5 pictures a day. 1-2 pictures a day is enough.