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Social Media

The 4 Essentials to Building Your Brand on Social Media

Image credit: Entrepreneur
Contributor
Search, Content and Social Marketer

Whether you want to sell products, gain subscribers, persuade followers to a point or sway the hearts and minds of readers to your cause, they’ve got to know who you are in the first place.

Your ability to encourage any of these actions comes from your brand’s authority -- and one of the best ways to build that is through the savvy use of social media. In fact, recent research from Econsultancy shows that 71 percent of brands plan to invest more heavily in social media in the coming year to reach new followers and build brand reputation. 

Want to join their ranks and become known in your industry? Here’s everything you need to know about using social media to build your brand:

1. Choose networks that support your brand image.

According to Convince and Convert, 22 percent of Americans use social media multiple times a day, making it one of the best mediums on which to build your brand. There are literally hundreds of social networks out there, but most of them aren’t worth investing your time and energy.

Related: 5 Ways to Use Data to Inform Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Instead, find the platforms that support your brand image, taking the following factors into consideration:

2. Provide valuable and shareable content.

It should go without saying, but you’ll create a much stronger brand reputation if you focus on creating useful content that viewers will want to share, rather than cranking out content to meet arbitrary publishing calendars or that covers subjects only you’d want to read.

Keep the following principles in mind as you craft content for social sharing:

One of the easiest ways to create content for deployment on social media profiles that’ll support your brand building efforts is to see what types of posts others have been successful with and put together your own, better versions.

Say, for example, that one of your competitors has received good social traction with a blog post titled “12 Strategies for Increasing Website Traffic.”

Instead of wasting your time building content around unproven topics, you could release a stronger content piece on this same subject. For instance, you could put together a post titled “102 Strategies for Increasing Website Traffic,” or you could go through your competitor’s list of techniques and put together your own guide that goes into more depth on how to put these principles into action.

To find the content pieces that are performing well in your industry, use tools such as BuzzSumo and sort based on past social engagement. To learn more about implementing this technique, check out the Backlinko blog’s guide on the subject.

Related: 4 Do's and 4 Don'ts for Businesses Using Social Media

3. Leverage influencers.

Publishing killer content to your social profiles is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. If you have a relatively unknown brand, your voice is likely getting lost in the noise. While you can eventually build your own audience through the creation of great content, this strategy is going to take time.

A much faster approach is to leverage the audiences existing influencers in your industry have already built. There are a few different ways you can do this:

The goal of all these different actions is to get them to share your content piece with their followers via social networking. It can take time to build up the kinds of relationships that lead to influencer sharing, but if you’re consistent about producing quality content, your efforts will get noticed.

4. Use social campaigns to promote content.

Finally, keep in mind that, in an age of diminishing organic reach, paid campaigns -- especially those run through native advertising platforms -- may be one of your better options for building your brand on social networks.

A growing number of brands use strategies such as contests and other social media campaigns to successfully gain visibility and generate leads.

To take advantage of this effect, provide your audience with valuable incentives that encourage user participation and make sure that your campaigns offers value to all participants.

While social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach new leads, it’s easy to waste time or alienate people if you don’t use it appropriately. That’s what makes having a sound social media strategy in place so important.

If you make it a priority to consistently share great content and leverage the power of existing social media influencers, your brand building efforts are bound to pay off in the long-run.

Related: 3 Reasons Fake Fans Cause Real Problems for Businesses