Forgot Password?

0
View Post
Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Posted on Jun 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Brand strategy as a concept can often be bit murky or esoteric. Whether you’re an established business or an individual searching for a more prominent way to self-brand, it can be difficult to identify a starting point and select a course of action. Social media offers endless opportunity for engagement, so maintaining a cohesive presence across platforms can be daunting. It’s important to remember that your strategy is your anchor, and keeps your team in sync with how your brand interacts with the world.

There are also many tutorials out there, but the truth is that it just takes practice. Proficiency with social media is one of those things that comes through experience. To help get you started, here are some widely accepted components for a basic, well-rounded strategy:

Finding Your Voice

Establishing values early on is essential for staying true to your brand’s roots. Consistency and authenticity (ie: with dialect and tone) also help to foster trust that you are who you claim to be. With that, you develop a personality on social media that makes it easier for consumers to relate and entices them to engage more. People want to feel like the content they are consuming is genuine, and will likely form a positive association with your brand when that is the case. Again, finding your voice on social media takes time, but as long as it’s natural it will soon become second nature.

Tell Your Story

Here at HMG we’re currently in the process of a complete rebrand. When I joined the team in February, one of my initial goals was to increase engagement on social media. The first thing that came to mind was to tell our literal story by sharing what’s happening around the office. However, we also like to see what’s going on throughout the community, which helps to tell a different, more casual side of our story. Once some time has passed, share a few throwbacks to apply a very personal tone to your progress. People love to see others succeed—it’s both motivational and rewarding.

Engage With Your Audience

As you find your tone and start to post more frequently, you’ll see more engagement (trust me). Sparking conversations with your followers makes them feel valued and acknowledged, which creates a sense of community. Keeping up with platform updates will also help you to find new ways to interact with your followers. People tend to notice when a specific brand interacts with them and may become more likely to consider or recommend your brand as a result.

Post Regularly

Staying relevant is every brand’s top priority. Consistency plays a direct role in staying in the consumer’s top-of-mind—even if you only post twice a week. Although the more you post, the more engagement you will likely see. Scheduling specific days for certain content also makes producing content easier and less stressful. For example, I post every Monday. There’s usually a lot going on around here, but if it’s a quiet day in the office I’ll post a little motivation Monday (since we could all use that from time to time). That takes the pressure off if it’s one of those rare, still days in the office. Posting regularly also gives your followers something to look forward to. So if you’ve just hit a milestone with a cool project, share the progress!

Stand Out

Adding value to your content is the number one thing you can do that will make you stand out. This is another one of those easier-said-than-done things. Maintaining your personality throughout your content, while continuously sharing valuable information for your readers to digest will result in reciprocated engagement as well. Share insight, ask questions, ask others for their opinions and post visuals such as photos and videos. It’s always a great feeling when you know that you’ve delivered awesome content. On the other hand, sharing another’s authoritative content says a great deal about what you appreciate and support from your peers.

Social media opportunities are wide open for reaching new consumers. As simple as this all may sound, there are many things that even big brands forget to take in consideration. While it remains a relatively new tool for branding, it has also become essential for adapting to the latest trends, technologies and markets. Let us know how your brand strategy leverages social media in the comments below!

0
View Post
SXSW 2017: Key Takeaways on Digital Marketing

SXSW 2017: Key Takeaways on Digital Marketing

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

The world of marketing is ever-evolving, and though there is no universal marketing strategy that will “just work” for every type of company, some marketing professionals make it seem like they possess the secret formula. Now that digital marketing has taken over, there are many new aspects of marketing that we must take into consideration when creating our marketing strategies. I went to multiple masterclasses on digital marketing that were held during weekend one of SXSW, and I’m here to share my key takeaways on where to focus your efforts when creating your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing:

Lawrence O’Connor spoke on the fundamentals of marketing and shared in-depth, valuable information on how to understand your target market. While I found the entire masterclass extremely valuable, these are the key points I took away when focusing on digital marketing:

  1. Know your business. Ask yourself these questions: Why does my business exist? Why should anyone care? What am I not willing to compromise? What are my goals and how will I get there?
  2. Don’t skip testing and keep track of your data. Try both qualitative and quantitative testing. For qualitative you can focus on surveys and interviews and for quantitative focus on user engagement. When focusing on engagement, always pay attention to your analytics. If you are constantly recording your analytics, you will see what is working for you and what’s not.
  3. Recognize which platform your target market uses most. From your data, you will see trends emerge for where the most engagement is occurring. You can then increase your engagement with your core-users, through strategic interactions in social media.

Creating Your Social Media Strategy:

Vin Clancy, social media expert and owner of Traffic and Copy, shared his insight on how to grow your business using only social media. Through his in-depth presentation covering social media strategies, the main focal points that stuck out for me were:

  1. Add value. Bring your expertise to the table and offer your knowledge. Nothing beats staying genuine and true to who you are.
  2. Show up every day. Posting every single day on social media keeps you relevant, and people will create a connection with you. Keep your content fresh and relevant, and focused when engaging with your followers.
  3. Use content scheduling. There are multiple websites such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Spredfast that you can schedule content up to months in advance on multiple platforms at a time. These are great tools to use when you are trying to reach your audience through multiple platforms, on a daily basis.

Both of these masterclasses dug way deeper into these marketing strategies and covered topics of which I could only scratch the surface with this post. These key takeaways will help in understanding the basics of digital marketing, and are essential to the early development of your marketing strategies.

0

The Guide to Take Big Brand Ideas by Rediscovering Your Own- Part Two: Fresh Content

Posted on Dec 05, 2012 by Amy Kauffman

There is a reason that there are thousands of articles online that address ways to improve your company’s social media presence — Social media is fun to talk about, tough to implement and an even bigger challenge for companies to be creative and stay consistent.

The truth is there is no cut and dry answer to social media. It’s subjective, ever-changing and ideas must be adapted to fit your business and brand. Wait, what was that? Yes, adapted means you have to do some work. Perhaps this is why so many struggle with social media. We hear words like “strategy” and “content creation” and we automatically cringe at the thought of where we should start climbing this beast of a social media mountain.  It’s simply too much work. Your company is not that complex, Right? (These are probably some of the same people who said four years ago, “I don’t have time for social media” or “My customers don’t use Facebook.”) Think again.

“Shop the World, Steal from the Best.”

You do learn some things in school. An advertising professor at The University of Texas said the above quote and it holds true for many aspects of marketing in any industry. (Don’t take the word “steal” literally, please.) Shop around for strategy and tactic ideas like Instant Profits with Instagram . Check out all kinds of brands and companies across the board, on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Note what you love and what you don’t. Take a look at regional competitors in your space and similar companies in your industry across the country. See how they engage fans from contests, images, blogs and other creative ways like highlighting clients or staff. Save pages that impress you and that you would one day like to achieve. Even if you aren’t sure how to implement something immediately, put it on a wish list so it can be top-of-mind when planning.  Social media is an a la carte approach, shop away.

Think Big, Be Simple, Stay Fresh.

This section is key to implementation. (Where most of us drop off, me included.) Don’t be overwhelmed or discouraged after looking at brands like Coke or Chobani; adapt (ahem, work) their tactics into your own social strategy. Note: Be sure to share unique content on each social media platform, not everything on Twitter needs to be on Facebook and vice versa.  Remember no company is too small to utilize these ideas; you just have to make them your own and don’t over complicate the concepts. Below are some items to think about and examples on what to adopt and why.

  • Relevancy:  This goes back to your audience. Take current industry news and re-write your own opinion in a short blog post or repost to your fans. You don’t always need to start from scratch or re-create the wheel.  If a story is timely, your followers will be more likely to engage.
  • Consistency:  This is about expectations. If you are consistent with posts, fans will know what to expect.  One good tactic is posting specific content each day of the week; you can try utilizing weekly hashtags the community will look forward to and share, posting tips or advice on certain days — make it fun, be creative, but be consistent.
  • Engagement: Remember, your job is to stimulate desire and action from your audience; how you do that is determined by your goals and creativity. Pictures and videos are one of the best ways to get instant engagement and can be an opportunity for fans to share among their friends.  Don’t constantly pitch your work , but this is a great way to do it, sparingly.  Offer a coupon, have a small contest or solicit feedback from your followers. Whatever combination you choose, offer value, be genuine and ask for engagement — your audience will respond.
  • Quality of Posts/Credibility: The more cohesive your approach is, the more credibility you will have. Want to become a credible resource? Provide advice related to your industry, share industry events, community happenings, quotes from experts and of course your own words as well.  Make sure you provide value to your fans and loyalty will follow.

Don’t be Afraid to Flop.

Social media is a living breathing strategy. You aren’t always going to score a home run but you have to start somewhere.   Now is the time when you can come up with actionable items. When you make your own rules, you are more likely to abide and succeed. The goal to creating fresh content and injecting big brand ideas starts by reevaluating yours.

Have some success stories of your own? More ideas to share?  Comment and help other professionals stay creative when delivering social media content.