Social media is a powerful tool. A huge number of people, myself included, have gotten jobs, met lifelong friends, and engaged with valuable clients over social media. Personally, as someone who has friends from many parts of the world, social media is the only way I can connect with certain people.
That being said, it’s easy to use social media as an individual. But what about using it to promote your brand or your business? It’s not all that different, but there are a few key differences.
The Difference Between Personal And Professional Social Media
For one, personal accounts are typically used for leisure. You can share your thoughts and experiences without having to care all that much about how others see you. Your pictures don’t need to be the highest quality, and your copy doesn’t have to be spotless.
But it’s a different story for business social media accounts. It’s important to have an established brand that you adhere to. And it’s also necessary to track how others view you. As a business, metrics matter.
These differences can make it difficult for some business owners to begin building their brands on social media. However, as I said earlier, social media is powerful. Once you learn how to use it, it can serve as a valuable tool for your business!
Here are some tips for using social media to promote your business:
1. Join the right platforms
To start, you want to make sure you’re on the platforms where your target audience spends the most time. For B2B businesses, that platform is probably LinkedIn. If you’re running a small Etsy shop for handmade jewelry, consider Instagram and Pinterest.
If you haven’t already, take some time to develop a client persona. This will help guide your choice of social media platform and other aspects of your marketing.
Aside from being where your target audience is, also think about the kinds of content that will help your brand shine the brightest. If you sell a physical product, consider promoting your business on an image-sharing platform. Professional service businesses would benefit from networking platforms where text posts are the norm, like LinkedIn or Quora.
Not only should you meet your audience where they are, but also make an effort to choose the platform where you can best answer their questions.
2. Remember accessibility
As a business entity on social media, it’s crucial to maintain peak professionalism. Part of being professional on social media is making your posts accessible.
No matter what kind of content you produce, always remember to make it accessible. Accessibility looks different depending on your platform and content type. Here are some examples of making content accessible:
- Video content: Add captions to videos including as much information as possible/appropriate
- Images: Include alternate text to describe the content of your image in your description or caption
- Text posts: Check spelling and grammar, and avoid using special Unicode characters
If you’re interested in learning how to make your posts more accessible, you can refer to this checklist.
3. Be engaging to get engagement
This may seem a little obvious, but you have to invite engagement to receive it. In terms of setup, that means keeping comments enabled. As for your actual content, you want to have lots of content with open-ended questions that your audience can reply to.
This also means that you need to be committed to engaging with your audience. React to others’ posts and reply to people whenever it’s appropriate. You can even go as far as following people who follow you. This will encourage more people to interact with your accounts.
Engagement is great because not only does it help get your brand in front of more eyes, it also helps you develop your relationship with your audience.
The unique advantage of social media is that you can get to know your audience more personally. Unlike in other forms of marketing, the users you interact with are much more than names and email addresses!
Making a genuine effort to get to know people will make them want to learn more about you, too.
Twitter Chats are a great example of using social media to get more personal with your audience. Interacting directly, and in real-time, with your audience is a great way to attract followers, build a community, and ultimately drive traffic to your site.
4. Don’t forget the “social” in social media
Similar to the last point, make sure you use social media to engage with your audience. Social platforms aren’t a place to simply advertise.
Make sure you spend your time having conversations! Use social media as a way to educate your audience. Posting educational content is much more effective than simply trying to convince people to support your brand.
Digital Doughnut suggests that businesses follow the 70/30 rule.
“70% of your posts should be about interesting news/information that is taking place within your industry and the remaining 30% of posts should be content that you have produced and is more focused on your business and its work.”
Following this rule also allows you to give back to your audience by way of supporting their content. You can gain recognition in your niche by tagging and reposting relevant content.
Having conversations about other people’s content makes your online presence more inviting. Just as in regular conversation, people don’t want to engage with someone who only talks about themselves.
5. Add some personality
Don’t be afraid to deviate from the script to set yourself apart! Your business, your brand. How you would like to present your business on social media is entirely up to you. Getting more personal reminds your audience that there are people behind your company.
When running a social media account for a business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sterile business-speak. It’s great if that way of writing fits your brand. But if that’s not for you, then don’t feel obligated to follow suit!
A great example of a brand with personality is Semrush! Their social media team does an amazing job adding personality to their content. Their Twitter feed is filled with bright graphics, GIFs, and memes. And their copy is light-hearted and fun!
Of course, businesses must remember to keep things professional. But that doesn’t mean you have to be boring! Throw in some emojis and exclamation points if you feel like it. Don’t stop your personality from shining through.
Bonus Tip: Track your interactions with influencers
As you build your online presence, you may want some help with getting your name out there. That’s where influencers come in! Influencer marketing is a useful tool for putting your brand in front of more people.
Success with influencers is hinged on your relationships with them. You may not find much success in immediately making an ask. Nurturing your relationship with influencers by interacting with them and supporting their work will increase your chances of collaborating with them.
Nimble recently launched our Lead Pipelines feature to help users track their leads in a customizable Kanban board view. This feature works great for tracking influencer relationships! You can learn more about this feature in this blog post.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into creating your online presence as a business. While you may be able to get by with just your website, social media can take your business to the next level. If you follow these tips, you can use social media to set yourself apart from your competition!
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