• Michelle McCoy

Build Your Social Media Presence in 8 Steps

It’s the age of the startup, and it seems like everywhere you look people are launching their own business. But for many of you, the marketing process seems like uncharted territory and very overwhelming.

Establishing and developing your brand’s online presence is crucial in building your online identity. But knowing where to start can be tricky. Here are 8 easy steps that will help any new business establish a brand identity and a establish a strong online presence.

STEP 1. Establish your USP

This first tip is very important. Your unique value proposition is a statement about who you are and why your brand is different from its competitors. Until you’ve established your UVP (unique value proposition) your marketing efforts will be unfocused and marketing funds wasted.

USP: Why does your company exist? What does it provide that other competitors simply don’t, and how does that benefit your clients? Once you have established this point, every part of your marketing process should aim to highlight and reinforce this idea.

STEP 2. Follow industry leaders

Every industry has its leaders, and following them is a great way to start. This will keep you up to date on important industry developments, but you can also re-post their content to establish authority for your own brand.

STEP 3. Use hashtags smartly

A lot of people use hashtags incorrectly, please make sure you're not one of them! Hashtags are not a way for you to get cute with yourTwitter feed. They are a keyword search for social media. And essential when connecting with your audience.

Establish a range of hashtags to use to describe your product and industry. A number of services exist to help you figure this out: Hashtagify.me and SproutSocial both allow you to find the hashtags that apply to your market and also identify associated tags. By finding out what terms people are using, you’ll maximize the exposure for your own posts, and even tap into new audiences.

STEP 4. Integrate trending topics

Smart marketers understand that it pays to keep a finger on the pulse. If something is big news, you can bet your audience will enjoy engaging with it.

A cheeky nod to the latest trending issues not only makes you appear informed and on the ball; it also allows your brand to hack into some of the hype already happening, for no extra cost.

STEP 5. Create and publish brand quotes

In marketing, it’s no longer good enough to tell your customers why they need your product , the real trick is getting someone else to do it for you. Why not create your own quotes from the news and relevant blogs that support your brand message?

A quote like this not only builds a market for what you’re offering, but also serves as interesting content that your audience can share on their own platforms, thus amplifying your message for free.

And best of all, since the quote comes from an external source, it is far more effective for advocating your product than your own voice. Quotes truly are a silver bullet when used right.

STEP 6. Use case studies

It’s time to get honest, your audience doesn’t care about your business. It does care, however, about you can help them. Use case studies to get your point across and gives your audience something to relate to.

Case studies are incredibly effective for explaining precisely how your service can serve your clients’ specific needs. Posts not only serve to promote your brand, but generates a market for the product among different audiences.

STEP 7. Write great content

Building authority on social media is an uphill climb, but definitely worth the effort. What do I mean by building authority? Establishing yourself as a source of useful information for clients allows them to build trust in your brand — meaning you’re more likely to get their business when it’s time to buy.

What’s the best way of doing this? Creating relevant content is a sure way of building trust with your audience, while also promoting your own product. Articles, how-to guides, videos, and graphics are a great start, brand perform great on social media.

Having great content is your best hook for social media, but can be very time consuming. Thankfully there’s a loophole ...it doesn't have to be yours!

You can curate relevant content from across the web. A number of services exist to help you find content by keyword and post it directly to your social platforms ... try Feedly or SwiftSocial. Try different formats like video (another type of content) and websites like BuzzSumo can show you which formats perform best in your industry.

STEP 8. Talk with your audience

People love social media because it removes the barriers between the audience and your brand. Don’t be afraid to interact with your followers and encourage them to interact with you. Start by posting questions, competitions and funny content...this is important for establishing trust and following.

Aa greater online presence allows you to build relationships with these heavy hitters in the industry and could lead to some extra coverage for your brand.

The Take Away...

And there it is! Follow these 8 essential steps to building your brand on social media. It’s daunting to launch a new business, but by balancing a systematic approach with a bit of creativity, your online brand will be off to a great start.

  1. Establish your USP

  2. Follow industry leaders

  3. Use hashtags smartly

  4. Integrate trending topics

  5. Create and publish brand quotes

  6. Use case studies

  7. Write great content

  8. Talk with your audience

Michelle McCoy has been developing and ranking websites, shopping accounts, and map listings for over fifteen years. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with "the hubby," "the kids," "the dog" and she loves her Ohio State Football. She coaches youth soccer, basketball and enjoys running through the mud.



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