Ask 10 different businesses why they use social media and they’ll give you 10 different answers. To generate sales. Brand our business. Find customers. Increase clicks to our site.
If you don’t have a good understanding of why you’re on social media, you can’t really develop a solid social media plan.
And while certainly you want to drive traffic to your site, I’d say the easiest thing to do with social media is brand your business.
What is Branding?
Branding is what you do to establish your company as an expert in your industry. It’s showing you know what you’re talking about online, and getting other people to follow you and tell others how smart you are.
A good social media strategy should cover just how you’ll brand yourself on social channels:
- Share content from your own blog
- Start discussions around industry topics
- Contribute to other conversations on topics you’re an expert on
- Guest post on other blogs, then share that content
The list goes on and on, but my point here is: know how you will brand yourself and put it in your social media plan.
Creating a Good Social Mix
The most successful social media users vary the types of content and updates they share. No one wants to see link after link autotweeted, nor do they want a litany of unanswered questions posted by you.
Instead, make sure your social media strategy includes a mix of:
- Relevant links to content (yours and others’)
- Direct interactions with other users
- Fun! It doesn’t always have to be serious
Also, start following more people — but the right people. On Twitter, click Discover, then “Who to Follow” to find people talking about things relevant to you. Search for keywords on other social sites to find people who are a good fit for your audience.
Measuring Your Branding Efforts
After you’ve done all this on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and Facebook, how do you know if you’ve done a good job?
There are a few ways you can measure your success.
- Your number of followers: this comes with a caveat: sometimes you have irrelevant followers who are kind of spammily following other users on social sites. But in general if the number of followers you have rises, you’re on the right track.
- Klout: while it’s a bit of an ego tool, Klout can give you a sense of how influential you are. It gives you a number, ranking your social interactions, as well as the number of social shares you have.
- Interactions: are you getting responses to what you’re sharing online, or are you talking to yourself? It takes a while to get people engaged, but once you do, you’re off to the races!
Social media is a fantastic tool for establishing your expertise and branding your company. Just stick with it. You can’t necessarily measure the ROI of branding, but if you’re consistently driving traffic to your site or blog and getting more interactions, you’re doing it well.
Want more about how to develop your social media strategy? Attend our free webinar on July 9, 2013 at 1 pm Eastern called “Using Social Media, The New Word-Of-Mouth Advertising.”
Photo: mkhmarketing on Flickr