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Take 5: Strategies for Effective Social Media Branding

by Steve Graham

In 2017, there can be no question that having a social media presence is a necessary component of any businesses marketing plan. But crafting the right kind of presence is key. Try these tips to build and maintain your brand reputation across a range of social media platforms.

1.) Create a strong visual brand. Your company brand must be consistent and visually engaging across all social media channels. Your company colors and logos should match to avoid a disconnection with your viewers. Be bright and colorful. Change your profile images at least once a quarter to give a fresh look. Use your cover photo as a billboard to speak to your visitors. Use headline text in your images, but be brief and to the point.

2.) Enhance your bio/profile. Far too many companies make the critical mistake of filling in very basic company information in their bio or profile sections. When promoting your brand, it is vital to share information about your company, products and services. Use key words that effectively describe your company. Make sure you mention the services you provide and the customers you serve.

3.) Entertain, engage and inform. Do not be an overly aggressive salesperson in the room. Follow the 70/20/10 rule: 70 percent informative, 20 percent shared posts, 10 percent sales. Social media is a two-way conversation with your audience; ask them questions or share tips and information that may assist them with everyday challenges. Be a valuable source of information. Be personable. People want to see the personal side of your business. Post referrals for other businesses when you are confident they will deliver quality for your customers.

4.) Pick the right platform. It is better to master a few social media channels than to be bland on a wide variety of channels. There are so many options to pick from including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest to name a few. Survey your exist- ing clients and find out which social media channel they frequent. Study your competition and take note of how they brand themselves. YouTube offers a wealth of in- formative videos that explain the benefits of each social media channel.

5.) Address complaints immediately. Social media is a customer service portal. Customers now have direct access to your company. If they post a com- plaint, consider it an opportunity to address and resolve their issue knowing that other customers are watching your response. Respond quickly. If a consumer posts something on your social media feed, ask them to contact you ASAP to resolve the issue. Do not delete or ignore it—that can make the con- sumer even more angry and motivated to damage your brand.

Steve Graham is the president of Graham Communications.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March, 2017).
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