Why Using Social Media is Important for Your Business (and Why Consistency Matters)
Hermle Business Marketing Blog v.1
It’s 2018, so chances are, you’ve been using social media in some form or another for your business—and most of us are constantly refreshing our personal feeds. There are so many social networking platforms to choose from, and beyond catching up with old friends or seeing photos of your extended family members (which are all fun and help us stay connected in so many exciting ways), social media can be one of the most valuable marketing resources you can use for your business—and best of all, it’s free!
Before you jump on to your newsfeed and start posting away, it’s important to mention a few key things that will help you really develop your brand online. Having a successful social media presence isn’t about who has the most followers or likes, but rather it’s about finding your TARGET audience—those who really connect with your brand, your message, and, ultimately, your product. It’s important here to note that this isn’t something that happens overnight—finding your ideal audience takes TIME, but because these people are truly and genuinely interested in what you’re doing, they will have an exponentially greater ROI (more on this later) than an empty follower who never takes the time to truly engage with your posts.
In order to grow your online presence and reach that target audience, it is vital to achieve something called brand consistency. As you continue on your path to grow your following, the more you post, the more you’ll start to truly understand and realize what it is that your audience is connecting to—did you try something different that caused a sudden spike in engagement? Did you see your previously stagnant following jump? Take note of when these things happen so you can better provide the content that appeals to your target audience and give them more of what they want to see from you, while continuing to stay true to your brand.
Here are some top tips for maintaining Brand Consistency:
- Images are Important
Think before you post, especially when it comes to images! We live in a high definition world where everyone is constantly consuming media through their smartphones or high-resolution desktop computers, so make SURE that the images you’re posting on social media are high res. This means zoom in—do they look blurred, or grainy? Is it easy to see what is going on, or is it really a jumbled mess? Post photos that are clear, brightly lit, and properly focused (both from the lens and the content within the photo). For added brand consistency, try to develop some sort of color scheme that correlates with your brand and incorporate as many photos with those colors as possible. As an example, if your brand is very feminine, you may want to use pinks and floral patterns in many of your photos—try making an effort to always wear a pink shirt, or paint your nails pink, or have a pink coffee mug when you post your #CoffeeTime photo on Instagram. Consistent colors and content will help your target audience connect with your brand and it will make it easier to recognize the content as yours, which increases your engagement and hopefully leads to more conversions.
- Caption Everything
Whenever you post a photo, make sure to always, always, ALWAYS include some sort of caption or message with your post. This is the best way for your to connect with an audience and build brand consistency. Think about how you already consume social media in your personal life—you scroll through your newsfeed until something catches your eye (usually a photo), and then you stop to read the post. If it connected with you in some way, you’ll engage with it (by liking or reacting), and maybe you’ll leave a comment or share with your own friends.
If you have a photo but aren’t sure what caption to give it, consider telling a story instead; why does it matter what you’re posting? Why are you posting it? Why does THIS photo matter? Try to do more than just a simple phrase or short sentence—remember that you’re trying to invite your target audience to share your moment with you and remind them WHY they are following you in the first place. You don’t have to be a wordsmith to accomplish this, but make sure to fully think about your captions and ask yourself, “Is this going to have the impact on my audience that I want it to have?”
BONUS TIP: Pick one day per week to plan out your social media posts. Select your photos and sit down to think about your captions. Draft them out so that you aren’t overwhelmed when you’re busy trying to do a million and one other things for your business throughout the work week. Take advantage of social media schedulers so you can upload your posts in advance and still space them out enough to not flood your audience. Be sure to save a copy of your posts somewhere—you can type up a Word document, paste it into a Sticky Note on your desktop, or save it in the Notes on your phone—in case the social media app glitches and your scheduled post gets lost somewhere.
- Don’t Be an Online Catalog
Especially in business, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that every post should feature our products—you’ve put a lot of effort into your work, and we all need to make money, after all! Rather than just blasting your audience with products you want them to buy (or services you want them to pay for), instead, make sure to connect with your audience on a personal level. Post about your employees, your pets, your kids, your travel—something from your life! It might sound silly and perhaps even ‘unprofessional,’ but your target audience wants to connect with you on a human level. This will build their trust in you, and when they trust you, they will remember you when they come up with a problem that can be solved by your product/service, which will ultimately lead to a sale! Try to challenge yourself when you’re planning out your posts for the week and include at least ONE photo that has nothing to do with your work or products. Ask your followers to comment on it and share something in return, and then see what happens with your engagement. Remember, if it doesn’t work, you can ALWAYS delete the post and try something different!
4. Connect with Your Audience
This is what it’s all about, right? Creating meaningful, genuine connections with those who are interested in the message your brand has to offer? Social media is a two-way street, so while you’re working on growing your business, make sure to meaningfully engage with your audience. Don’t just ‘like’ their comment and expect them to be a loyal follower! Instead, respond with a meaningful comment, reach out, ask questions, send some encouragement, and otherwise genuinely connect with those who are following your brand online. There’s a reason it’s called social media, after all!
Hermle wants to help you grow with your business, which is why we’re working on a brand new business guide newsletter filled with meaningful tips and insights for successfully marketing your business to your ideal audience. If you have any questions, problems, or struggles when it comes to branding, pitching, or growing your following, let us know so we can be sure to talk about it in an upcoming newsletter!