Treat Your Social Media Like the Storefront You Want Customers to See Your virtual storefront needs to be as inviting as a real one.
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Running a startup in the social media space has led to numerous conversations with founders, professionals and others about the significance and value of social media. Social media is the digital representation of your brand. Whether you like it or not. It's the easiest way to communicate with your customers, users or fans of your brand. It's also the easiest way to shape the perception of your brand. I began to realize some intriguing similarities between how a business owner would treat the physical representation of a business such as a storefront and its representation on social media.
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Related: The Modern Storefront: What Instagram Could Mean For Your Business
One of the most exciting moments for a business owner is naming his or her business. It's typically an "AHA" moment when the right words roll off your tongue. Then you start to immediately think about the next steps in protecting your name. But what about social media handles on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc.? It's important to make sure you reserve the name of your business on all social media platforms as soon as you can. This goes for your personal brand online as well. The brand consistency makes it easy for your fans to be able to discover your brand and engage. I've seen businesses (personal and company) begging Instagram owners with particular handles to retrieve them.
Related: 8 Ways to Pick a Great Name for Your Business
Location is critical for any storefront. Deciding where to establish your business has an impact on the type of customer you will attract, how your storefront is perceived and how respected it is. When considering "location" for your social media content consider what your primary platforms are.
If you are creating content geared towards business professionals perhaps you should consider making LinkedIn a primary focus. That isn't to say there aren't business professionals on Twitter or Instagram, but there's a chance you can build an audience more quickly through Linkedin with written content appealing to a "business-centric" platform. If you are in the fashion industry or building a attractive aesthetic is important Instagram should play a role. Knowing where to focus your attention is crucial. Long form video content may make Youtube compelling. On the other hand short digestible video clips may be better served on Instagram.
Related: How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
Think about all the business establishments you have gone to. If the decor seemed off or the branding wasn't well put together it would be quite noticeable. Whether it was the color scheme, logo, lighting, etc. These all play a role on our thoughts about the business. It can be somewhat of an indicator to us as to how seriously the company cares about its perception and may even affect our spending behavior. The same applies to social media. How carefully a brand depicts itself on Instagram gives users a good idea of how seriously they take their brand and its perception. On Instagram use consistent editing with regards to content (video or images). Consider following a particular style or format and stick with it. On Twitter use hashtags associated with your brand to help people keep tabs.
Related: 20 Tips to Organically Market Your Brand on Instagram (Infographic)
Consistency is key. Imagine going to a restaurant and every time you went they didn't have what you wanted on the menu. "Sorry we ran out."
It would be pretty annoying and not to mention frustrating. Or every time you went to your favorite boutique shop for that shirt you want to wear on a date and they don't have it in stock. On social media if you aren't consistently creating and posting it makes it difficult to justify users or fans coming to your page. They never know if there will be content for them to consume or if you are just on hiatus. It doesn't always have to be original content. You can repost content and give credit to the original creator as well. Just make sure to have a content creation schedule and stick to the schedule.