So you’ve got an idea for a business you’d like to start…or maybe you’ve even started one, but now you’re wondering, “Well…what now?” You may have thought that just by creating a Facebook and Twitter page that people would come flocking to buy your product.
You’re asking yourself, “What are the best tips to help promote my super awesome brand?!”
I wish it were that easy, but really…it just isn’t. It’s a lot of hard work, consistency, and patience. This, normally, is where a Social Media Manager would take the work off your hands and let you focus on the other parts of your business.
However…if a Social Media Manager just isn’t in your budget (at least for now, while you’re starting out), here are the tried and true best tips for promoting your brand on social media. There are a lot of “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” of Social Media Marketing, and I’m going to try and explain at least the basics to you so that you can get a good and solid foundation started with your marketing strategy.
I’m serious…if you take away nothing else from this article, at least take note of the above. It will do wonders for your business. Right click and download the image. Print it out and peg it up on your peg board. Or tape it to the wall. Tape it to your rear view mirror, I don’t care. Just remember it.
Yes, that word that I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times. Branding, branding, branding. Well, I’m not going to get in to exactly HOW to brand your company (as that is a topic I will cover in the future), but I will give some important basics and how you can harness it to get your business known.
Detail your Customer Demographic
This is something you should do before anything. What are you wanting to provide and/or sell, and who would be your ideal demographic? Children, teens, young adult, millenials, folks 70+? This will greatly influence your brand, logo, color scheme, and tone. If you’re wanting to market to an elderly audience, you won’t want to use super bright colors and words like, “lit” or “woke”. Yet, if you’re wanting to market to a teenage audience, you don’t want to have neutral colors and speak like you are at a physics convention. Figure out who your customers will be and cater to them.
Spread your brand identity all over the internet
Now, I’m not saying to spam every forum, facebook group, twitter chat, or pinterest board all in one day, but you do want to get your name out there as much as you can. Think of it like the “rocks” campaign. What is that? Generally, each community has their own “rocks” activity. Local to me is “Woodstock Rocks”. Essentially, a family can grab a rock, paint whatever they want on it, write “Woodstock Rocks” on the back, and then hide it around the community for people to find.
Woodstock Rocks isn’t necessarily a business, but it has sort of become a brand, and a successful one at that. Why? Because I can be walking in to my local Kroger when a brightly colored rock catches my eye, wedged in to the crook of a branch. I pick it up, it gives me good feelings, and I post about the rock online. Then I encourage others to spread the word about the Rock campaign.
In this scenario, you want your brand to be that rock. When people come across your logo, you want them to feel a positive emotion towards it and recognize it right away. Kind of like the Nike symbol. Everyone recognizes that, unless you’ve been living under a rock (ha!).
Not literally, I don’t want to see through you. What I mean is, don’t be sneaky. Don’t pretend to have more views/sales than you really do. Don’t pull statistics out of your butt. Be honest with your audience. If you want them to buy a product from you, tell them why they should buy it from you instead of your competitor. Don’t just say “We are better than them because reasons.”
Find influencers to help promote your brand
I hope, at some point, you have heard what an influencer is. If not, in a nutshell they are people who the masses trust. If they say, “Holy Cannoli, this is the greatest product I have ever bought! Here’s a link to it!” people will trust their opinion without question and have a fairly high likelihood of clicking that link. Finding the influencers in your niche and becoming their friend will lead you to wonderful places.
Develop the Story of your Brand
My latest major project has been The Switch Effect. Yes, you’re going to hear me shamelessly promote this project throughout my articles and website because A) promotion! and B) it is a great example for what I’m talking about. The logo I created for the website isn’t super fancy and tagged with all the bells and whistles. It is simple. It is basic. And it shows who we are.
Simple and straight to the point; it describes the site and our story. We are a website dedicated to everything Nintendo Switch. Considering that this is what the Nintendo Switch looks like:
It is easy to compare to our logo and know what we are about. Now, I’m not saying to make it look like the product you are representing or selling. It just made sense in our business to do so. Make sure your logo is a quick snippet of who you are and what you do. If you are a fitness brand, you don’t want to have a logo of a mother holding a baby. That just doesn’t make sense.
Get your Social Media Profiles and Website to match
This is probably one of the most important aspects in branding; everything needs to align and have the same image. You want the names to match, the images to match, and the color scheme to match. Put your logo on everything. Literally. Everything. Every image you share, make sure it has your logo (or at least your business name) somewhere on it. Lastly, make sure the names are the same! Our company name is The Switch Effect, so why would we make our twitter name @switchplayer? That doesn’t align. All of our social media uses the same themes, images, and name. If you want a better glimpse of what I mean, check it out below:
Each platform not only has the same color scheme, but it has the same logo present, same talking tone, same theme, and (for the most part) same banner. This is how you want your Social Media profiles and Website to match!
Yea, yea, I know this probably seems like a pretty obvious thing and something kind of dumb to highlight, but roll with me. It’s incredibly important.
Share Valuable Articles to your Community
“Well, aren’t all my articles valuable?” I’m sure they are! As a writer, I’m sure that you, like everyone else, knows that some of their articles are just better than others. Some might be entertaining, others may be informative…but the best? The best articles are those that answer a question or solve a problem.
What problems does your target audience face (that is in line with what you do?). I’m sure my 18-35 year old gaming community faces plenty of problems with relationships and/or job seeking or whatever other life problem gets thrown at them. Answering these problems through my website, however, does not align with my company and really…who am I to give them relationship advice? I’m no expert. What I am an expert in (apart from Social Media Marketing and Content Creation) is the Nintendo Switch!
So a problem many in my target audience have is, “What game should I buy next?” or “What’s the latest announcements?” or even “Which game case should I buy?” These are all problems I can solve, and frequently do. We review ever Nintendo Switch game we can get our hands on. We give a thorough and honest review, and at the end of it, we give it a rating.
Based, not only on the very in depth and informative review we give of the game, the rating we give the game helps our audience decide whether or not they want to purchase the game instead of purchasing without any information. If they purchase a game that we have rated 1 star but they “heard” it was the best game ever created, there is a high likelihood that they are going to be sorely disappointed – a problem that could have been solved by simply reading the article.
Create unique content
No, we aren’t all special snowflakes, but we can be creative. As with my project, video game review sites are a dime a dozen, so what makes users want to visit The Switch Effect instead of a different or even a bigger website?
We create unique content. One way we do that is by creating opinion pieces on the latest information. However, the main way we create unique content is with our tone and information given. We decided, as a team, to have our tone be family friendly while verging on the “adult humor” side. Kind of like how Pixar has always hidden little gems that only adults will notice. We use family friendly language, but we like to include our own personalities and humor in our reviews. I’ve read reviews on other websites and many times they read like a text book and, frankly, that’s boring. I want to entertain my audience, not help them fall asleep.
Another way our content is unique is by providing a link in every review (and often news pieces) to exactly where they can purchase the game and also how they can get in touch with the development or publishing company behind the game; we provide the website and as many social media links as we can find for any given company. It helps connect our readers with the creators of the wonderful games we review…plus I like to think that they appreciate the little extra effort to promote them.
You can have 6,000 followers and it can mean absolutely jack. If you have 6,000 followers and get 1 or 2 likes or comments per post…all this means is that you’re targeting the wrong audience or your audience just isn’t enthusiastic about your content (or doesn’t care).
So what can you do to encourage your followers to give a crap about what you have to say? Quizzes, games and polls will get you far. People love giving their opinion. Especially at the bottom of articles, encourage people to pitch in. “We would love to hear your opinion, please comment below!” “Are you going to be buying this game? Why or why not? We would love to hear! Let us know in the comments below or let us know on Social Media!”. Create a call to action to encourage engagement.
Another way The Switch Effect has encouraged engagement is buy playing a game called “Caption this Image” where, essentially, we post a random video game screenshot to our social media and encourage our followers to submit their funniest and most ridiculous captions. It’s great entertainment for all, helps increase engagement, and helps bring more people to our account where they will also see the other content we promote.
Go. Freaking. Crazy. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags…use them all! Normally, I will post my image with the caption below it and then use the first comment to include my 30 hashtags; this helps keep the flow clean and not cluttered with hashtags.
Use Webstagram to find the best instagram hashtags.
Twitter is a great place to microblog and doesn’t necessarily always have to be you sharing content, but just sharing snippets about what you’re doing, planning, thinking, etc. While hashtags are popular on Twitter too, don’t use more than 2-3 hashtags in a tweet. It overcrowds it and, analytics has shown, that people will quickly skip over your tweet. Choose your hashtags wisely.
Another great piece of advice is to take advantage of trending hashtags. You can see these on your web browser and can tag your tweet, so long as it is applicable, with some of the popular hashtags like #fridayfeels or #throwbackthursday.
No…just…don’t do it. People don’t like hashtags on facebook. When people search for content, the search will look for words in your posts, not hashtags. It is unnecessary and looks cluttered.
Similar to Facebook, just don’t do it. Hashtags mean nothing on pinterest and, once again, analytics show that people are more likely to skip over your pin if it includes hashtags.
#don’t #use #them #for #every #word #in #your #post
Posting times for each social media platform is a hell of a lot more important than you might think. Posting willy nilly and expecting your content to go viral is just….it won’t go viral and less people will see it, ok? So take out a piece of paper and write this down. Memorize it. Live by it.
Monday through Friday are the strongest days with Monday being the strongest of all of them.
2am, 8am, and 5pm are the busiest times on Instagram, so you will want to try to schedule your posts around these times.
What reigns supreme?
Color themes & schemes work very well on Instagram. ‘Gramers like their aesthetics.
Use Emoji’s as much as you like
Feature your products sparingly
Monday through Thursday are the strongest days with Thursday being the strongest.
Thursday at 12pm is the strongest day and time of the whole week, but really any weekday between noon and 3pm will give you the highest activity.
What reigns supreme?
Engagement, images, and video’s. Tweeters like to engage with entertainment. Post a funny image, hold a caption contest, do something that will make your followers like you.
Every day is Facebook day! Yes, Facebook is pretty damn active every day of the week (y’all posting your pastor’s sermon on facebook during church? Naughty, naughty you!). Monday through Friday, though, are the strongest days.
It’s relatively safe to post any day between 9am and 3pm, but Monday through Friday at 3pm will be your best bet.
What reigns supreme?
Video’s dominate facebook. We are lazy on facebook. We don’t wanna read or try to decipher an image; we want video. Keep it short & sweet and you will see a great return.
Friday through Sunday are the strongest days for Pinterest. It makes sense; the majority of pinterest is for crafting, recipes, and DIY projects, so people are going to pay more attention to it on their days off. Saturday is your best day, though, so plan accordingly.
Friday through Sunday between 2pm and 9pm are the most active; obviously Saturday between 2pm and 9pm is your best bet.
What reigns supreme?
Obviously, images. Pins firstly show the user an image (so make sure you pay attention to which image is being shared as the focal point) followed by your pin description. Take your time to write an engaging and informative pin description. Don’t just put a title; people skip over that poo.