Are you building significant buzz, or are you posting only because you’ve been told how important it is?
If you feel like you’re floundering through the social media waters, here’s how to reel in your random acts of marketing and get your audience talking.
Define Your Why
What are the objectives for your brand? I’m not referring to business objectives; I’m referring to emotional objectives.
Everything we want to accomplish is because of a deep-seated, personal desire. What are your personal reasons for wanting to build your brand? These reasons are what will drive your social media following to grow and word to spread about what your brand stands for.
Your “why” is what you’ll use to build a community of like-minded people who will support your brand for the long haul. If you don’t have a clear definition in place, your audience won’t have anything to connect to or take action with.
Your brand is a representation of who you are as an online entrepreneur. Your “why” is what your following will use to identify with you and your brand. Without your “why” clearly defined, your “what” and “how” won’t matter.
Your “why” is what your audience will use to become inspired in their own lives and take action through your offerings. It will become their definition of the value your brand brings to their lives.
Clearly define your values and build your brand around those values. Create a point-form list you can refer to each time you update your social media accounts. This will ensure the content you’re delivering is always aligned with your message.
Define Your Purpose
Now that you’ve defined the emotional aspects of how your audience will connect with you, how will you take this information and turn it into stellar content and resources for your readers?
More than that, what is the purpose behind you doing so? What do you want your audience to do with this information once they learn it?
It’s no longer about why your brand is better than another – it’s about how you differentiate yourself from your competition, and the unique value your brand has to offer your following.
It’s about setting yourself apart, offering information, products and services beyond what your competition offers.
Define the most important elements of your brand, and prioritize them in order of importance. Making a mental note of the elements you want to become known for will help ensure your content is always on the mark.
Never (I repeat, never), deter from your purpose. Random posts that have nothing to do with your brand, regardless of entertainment value will confuse – and sometimes disappoint – your target audience.
Every single post has to be useful to your following in some way. Don’t waste a tweet on something random when you could use it to influence your target audience.
Your posts should always enlighten, educate, and inspire.
Set Specific Goals
What do you want your brand to mean to your followers? Answering this important question will help you set goals and make sure the contribution you want to make to your industry is met.
The more specific the goal, the more likely you’ll reach it. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
Start by creating general goals outlining the ways you’re going to influence your followers. For example, your general goal list might include:
- Blog Comments
Your S.M.A.R.T. goal list might include:
- Write two blog posts per week, and launch the blog posts on Mondays and Fridays.
- Post to Facebook 3 times per day: once in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening.
- Post to Twitter once per hour.
- Post to Pinterest twice per day: once at 2pm, and once at 4pm.
- Comment on one industry blog related to your niche per day.
By clearly defining your social media goals, you’ll be able to successfully integrate them into your daily social media schedule.
Once you’ve created a blogging and social media schedule for your brand, do everything you can to maintain it.
There are plenty of tools you can use to help you accomplish this. For your blog, use the Editorial Calendar plugin to plan your blog posts in advance. This will ensure your content stays varied enough to maintain your followers’ interest, but targeted enough to always maintain your brand’s message.
Do a daily check-in for blog and social media post comments to maintain reader engagement, and to confirm the information you’re providing is truly benefitting your audience.
According to Hubspot, companies that auto-publish to social media generate 50% more leads, so make your posts count!
Consistency is not only key in your social media scheduling, but in the level of information you provide to your following. You have to show, again and again, that what you say is what you mean, and what your audience believes in is important to you.
Consistency doesn’t just build your brand’s credibility. The repetition of your brand’s message will help your brand become top of mind for anyone who is in need of your products and services.
When you think of Nike, you think “just do it.” Every single ad, every single image, every single video, and every single product that Nike promotes to their target audience inspires them to succeed and simultaneously drives their brand messaging home.
With how fast changes occur in our lives, giving your followers a brand they can depend on will make them feel comfortable, secure, and inspired.
Define What Success Means to You
Obviously, your ultimate goal is to make a living through your brand, but in order to reach your ultimate goal you have to define what your other success points will be.
Building your brand’s following is one thing, but what will you do with your following once you’ve built it? With how much time you’re going to be spending on your social media efforts, you need to create highly specific benchmarks to define the ROI (return on investment) you’re looking to receive.
Otherwise, you’ll spin your tires, and your brand won’t stand out amongst those who are also looking to amp up their online marketing efforts.
It’s not about how many followers you have; it’s about how many quality followers you have – those who will stand by your brand, comment on your posts, and share your information with their friends, family, co-workers, and online following.
You don’t want to build a large following, and then think to yourself, “Now what?”
In order to grow your brand, you need to analyze where you currently stand – which social media accounts are receiving the most activity, the content mediums sending you the most traffic – so you can get to know your audience and learn the best ways to communicate with them.
Posting with purpose will help you build toward your ultimate goal of making a living doing what you love.
- Define your why based on the emotional connection you want to make with your audience.
- Define your brand’s purpose not on the purpose you want it to have for you, but the purpose you want it to have for your audience.
- Make every social media goal you set a S.M.A.R.T. one.
- Be consistent, both with your posting routine and your brand’s messaging.
- Define success benchmarks for your brand to help you reach your ultimate business goals.
What steps do you take to ensure your posts always fulfill your target audience’s needs?
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