Social media is one of the most powerful branding mediums in today’s digital age. When social media first came on the scene, both major brands and small businesses were hesitant to get in the game. Today, however, just about everyone is leveraging this powerful tool. From social media’s beginning ages in Myspace for personal use to Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snap Chat. Social media channels now boast business features such as advertising and analytics. These new forms of reaching customers is causing a big wave in traditional business. Social media sites have birthed a generation of startups.

Social media allows you to follow up with people while also gaining access to their friends. It allows you to leverage social proof, as well as build a two-way street of communication. Businesses are now able to get to know their ideal clients in a more close and informal way. With barriers being broken down there are five rules to help you take advantage of social media for branding.

Rule #1: Post Consistently

The whole idea of branding is to keep your brand in front of people all the time.

When you post regularly, you’ll be seen regularly. Channels like Facebook and Twitter updates are given in chronological order. Posting during times of high traffic for your ideal clients provides optimal opportunities for you to gain new business. On the other hand, Instagram was recently updated and now shows posts in order of relevance to the user based off likes and probability that the user is interested in the content.

Posting consistently in this sense gives your followers a chance to indicate they are interested in your business. Content is king on Instagram. The quality of your posts as it relates to the services and products you provide will outweigh the quantity of posts in your followers daily feed.

Rule #2: Be Personable and Real

Nobody wants a corporation in their Facebook feed. But a CEO with a sense of humor? Absolutely. Remember customers want to get to know you and AFTERWARDS they will want to know what you sell. There is no better you than you!

Don’t try to appear professional. Instead, try to appear like a real human being. Humanization is becoming increasingly important as more competitors enter the market. When your client gets to know you, their loyalty will increase.

Share your personal thoughts, share your real personality and let your customers connect with the real you. Try posting your story. Being transparent about why became an entrepreneur and how your business came about is a great way to connect with your audience.

Rule #3: Bring Value to the Table

Don’t just use social media as a venue to sell. Use it as a venue to give. Give first and you shall receive.

Use social media to give away free content. Use it to reference other people’s great content. Use it to give away free products. By offering your potential clients a bit of your expertise you create an interest in your entire brand. Giving valuable information will make consumers want to purchase your full line products and services.

Make people look forward to reading your tweets and updates. This creates followers who are actively looking for your pages, product releases, and advice. Interacting is important as well.

Rule #4: Use Multiple Media

Don’t just share text. Share videos as well. Share Podcasts. Share infographics. Share teleseminars. Variety in your visuals will allow you to reach a range of clientele that learn in different ways. Some users may respond to certain types of posts and some others. Expressing your brand in different forms can also help show consistency in your brand and establish recognizable traits that your customers will respond positively to.

Share in as many kinds of media as you can. Social media has a very multi-media audience. The more different kinds of media you can use, the more likely you are to get viewers and shares.

Rule #5: Share Other People’s Posts

Don’t be selfish in social media. It’s common for marketers to want to keep their traffic to themselves. In social media, however, this will drastically reduce your reach. Platforms like Pinterest operate solely off “sharing”. The more pins you post to your boards from other boards the more followers you receive. Sharing is caring!

When you regularly retweet other people’s content, others will in return regularly retweet your content. When you share other people’s content, they’ll share your content. Creating a strong network of business owners will help grow your net worth. Sharing on social media is the equivalent of networking at in person events.

It’s not just an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” arrangement. It’s also a way of delivering more value to your followers. Instead of only sending your content, you also share the best of everyone else’s content. Everyone sees things differently and sharing content allows you to give your followers different viewpoints on one subject.

These five rules will help you navigate the world of social media branding. Try to utilize each rule at least once a week to give your pages some variety. Keep in mind that social media can be time consuming and is best used via scheduling and pre-planning content. You are a social media user too! So, join in and be sure to like other users’ posts, respond to comments and be a part of the community. Social media is here to stay; and given the millions of hours spent on social media every day, it’s a branding platform you can’t afford to ignore. Literally!

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