Millions of users immerse themselves online each day, whether it is to check an email, catch up on their latest shows or do what we all do, spend hours on our dearest friends: social networks.
According to recent survey findings as stated by the Pew Research Center, Facebook is “… the dominant social networking platform, used by 57% of all American adults and 73% of all those ages 12-17. Adult Facebook use is intensifying: 64% of Facebook users visit the site on a daily basis, up from 51% of users who were daily users in 2010.”
With an astounding amount of users in your reach, it is important as a brand to stand out among the masses and utilize the free resources that are in front of you.
How you reach these audiences and stand out on this platform is a process, so here it is from my experience to you, plain and simple:
1. Create an Account: To many, this is a “ah..duh” moment, but you would be surprised at the number of brands and businesses that do not take advantage of this form of free marketing. Creating an account makes you a public entity that individuals can follow, like, and communicate with. Being available to your audience makes you more valid, trustworthy and accountable.
2. Develop a Plan: Do not go into social media blindsided, especially Facebook. Create and outline a plan of how you want to showcase yourself online. Pick professional images to use as your profile picture to establish a picture with a name, whether that is a person, a brand identifiable image or a logo. Update your brand description and fill out details such as your location and contact information so that individuals can easily navigate your page and contact you when and if needed. Finally, make specific goals to follow before you face social head on and specifically plan out how you will achieve those goals in a set timeline form. (i.e. We want 40 likes in 3 months, 2 posts every 4 days, etc.)
3. Create Content: Before adding friends or asking individuals to like your brand, have some content generated upon your page so that it is not “bare-boned.” Add some images, quotes, brand updates etc. to give an individual an initial feel of what you would be offering them if they liked your page. Ex: If you are promoting coupons, post several coupons from various outlets to garner interest among a broader audience.
4. Build Your Audience: Start with either friends or personal connections that you have. Chances are if they help you, you will either help them in the future or have helped them in the past. Send a simple message to them explaining your brand, what you would like to accomplish, and why they should like and invest their time into your brand and page. Also, within a page, Facebook gives you the option to invite friends as well to build your audience base. Take advantage of this! In order to be noticed buy others, you will have to build this foundation first and well.
5. Maintain Consistency: Show your audience that you are here for the right reasons and simply didn’t just create an account and walk away. Consistency can be made by simply posting something weekly, as long as it keeps coming. You may ask yourself, how do I have time to constantly be creating content? There are resources out there that are extremely helpful and insanely easy to use. Some of these resources include HootSuite and TweetDeck. These tools allow you to keep track of numerous feeds such as who is talking about you and who is directly talking to you. It also allows you to track analytics of your posts and the traction they receive. Another great feature is the ability to schedule your posts. This means that if you have a busy day of work coming up or you wish you target the late night FB crowd, you can manually schedule messages to go out on any day, at any time without physically making posts in real time. So easy, so fast, so convenient. Who wouldn’t love that?
6. Have fun: Finally, once you master the mechanics and have a growing following base, it is now time to embrace yourself to the fullest. Show a humanized side to your brand through images or interesting articles, be genuine and think outside of the box. Stay true to your brand’s social goals but never be afraid to keep your audience guessing!
Pew Research Center via http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/6-new-facts-about-facebook/