Like it or not, everyone is on social media. Here are a few tips on how you can maximize the benefits of social media to help strengthen your company’s brand identity and directly engage with your audience.

1) Know your audience. Who do you do business with? Who is your main customer base? Do they like baseball? Football? Do they drink Coors Light or craft beer? You need to know their interests to properly engage them. Even if what you know about them seems irrelevant to your business, it’s not. Salesmen soak in the info they get from you during small talk, and the successful ones learn how to turn it into a sale.

2) Stay consistent. This doesn’t mean be boring and do the same thing every time; it means stay true to your brand identity. Keep the same color scheme and fonts as your website and printed materials. Share relevant, timely events that stay true with your brand tone. Make sure the people handling your social media outlets are aware of your brand guidelines and keep things consistent.

3) Link back to your website. Social media gives you a great opportunity to lead people to your website. If you have a blog, share your blog posts. If you have an event calendar, share the events. Linking will increase your website’s traffic and increase your search engine rankings.

4) Post pictures. Maybe an event or social gathering happened at your shop, or maybe something funny happened that was caught on film. For restaurants, it could be the chef’s newest creation.  If it’s entertaining or appetizing, post pictures of it. Posts with visual content are shared over 40X more than posts without visuals. While you could post videos, pictures are recommended because viewers get an initial reaction, they don’t need to wait for something to happen and be disappointed if the climax is a dud. However, if you do have a video worth posting, don’t be afraid to. According to Invodo, over half of professional  marketers worldwide claim that video is their best return on investment.

5) Educate your followers. Show them what you know. Teach them something, even if it doesn’t seem like important information. If you own a restaurant, show them a signature recipe or two, but keep some to yourself (everyone needs some secrets). Showing your customer base why your burgers are different and therefore better than the shop down the block goes a longer way than telling them. If you own a department store, share how valuable your employees are. Make them human. If you are in the fence business, show how your materials are sustainably sourced. Show the history of fences and their many uses. Remember, education is key.

6) Stay current. If something new happens, share it. If your restaurant created a new a new signature dish, share it. Share the menu design as well. People want to be the first to know things, so if you can get your message out directly to your audience, they will feel closer, like they’re a part of your overall brand.

These are just some simple brand strategies your business should use to utilize the power of social media. If you’ve found other effective means that aren’t listed here that have helped to grow your brand image through social media, please share them in the comments box. 

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