Establishing Your Brand-Using Social Media Effectively
Promotion, promotion, promotion. It’s very much like location, location, location. In our work–whether that’s writing blogs, promoting a book, selling a product or running a business, you have to establish your brand and then get your message out to the widest audience. The tools you choose are important but what and how you share is of equal importance.
It’s almost impossible to do business on the internet without using social media. And, to a beginner it’s often confusing. Becoming comfortable with social media requires you to learn the vocabulary, find extra time in an already busy schedule, design your pages and plan your content. For starters.
I’ve been blogging since February 2009 but I still have lots to learn. I started a new blogging venture this spring-The Diva of Dating. My goal is to offer advice, support and resources for women and men over 50 who are single and dating. It’s a natural next step, drawing on my dating experience and my writing. So, I’m going about promotion with a different angle, as I look at building subscriptions and start to develop an e-book. The audience is new, requiring me to search actively for my readers. In some ways I feel like a newbie…all over again. New Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Google+ profile and a Google+ page ( the page requires you to have an individual profile first), Pinterest and more to come.
It’s taking a lot of my time, but it’s adding to my skill set as a freelance writer and social media consultant/manager. Yesterday I spent some time with a friend/client who is in a similar spot. She’s beginning the process of branding herself and her work. She has a blog but isn’t comfortable with Twitter or Facebook Pages. Her eyes glazed over when I mentioned StumbleUpon. She’s going to focus on a few basic social media tools to begin with–a blog, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I’m just beginning with Pinterest and I encouraged her to go there as well. The Diva of Dating is using it because the readership will be predominantly women and that site is more women-focused right now. It will work for my friend as well, she is a cook and food is a great visual–ideal for Pinterest.
The conversation wasn’t as simple as telling her she needed to be on those sites. We talked about ways to share content and how it could be customized to each individual SM site. You can just write a blog post and then paste the link on Twitter and FB. But if you want to interact, to build trust in your brand it will require more effort. All the linking in the world won’t help if the content is bad or your approach isn’t sincere and consistent.
For a beginner, the path to understanding all the available social media sites is complicated. It requires finding your clientele–meaning you have to identify those people first. I’ve been doing a lot of tweeting, but have come to the conclusion that my target audience–women over the age of 50–aren’t spending a lot of time on Twitter. What I’m finding there are other writers and biz people targeting the over 50 crowd as well. This will be different for my friend as her audience has a broader age range and will seek her product in different ways.
Social Media Examiner has just published a great article, How To Promote Your Blog With Social Media. I used their suggestions on Google+ for my new page. And, the suggestions for Twitter and HootSuite will help my friend effectively share her content. The author uses screenshots and very basic explanations–it’s perfect for newbies as well as the more experienced blogger or business owner.
The early days of a branding campaign are fun. They’re also challenging. It can be exciting to learn new things and it can be scary. I spent hours getting the fonts, layout and some simple code set up on my new blog. But, oh what a feeling of satisfaction it was to find and code my own social media sharing icons! To hit the save button and then refresh the page and see that I had gotten it right! Wow!
The key is to start off slowly, taking time to find the right resources and learn how to do social media. Or find the right expert, like me, to help you. My friend is starting off the right way. Before she evens gets her domain name, she’s being strategic about tying everything together. I can’t wait to see how she does!
And, as for The Diva of Dating? I’m having fun and learning some new technical skills. At this point, writing content is the easy part.