Promoting your business on social media is a great way to get the word out, but are you maximizing your profit potential by building a brand?  Creating a brand is a powerful way to generate more leads since it allows you to instill a broader awareness of your company and product in the public mind.  How do you build a brand?  It’s a complex process involving distribution, consistency, and connection.  It also takes some degree of intuition and luck in order for it to pay off.

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people
photo: Ed Yourdon

Step 1:  Join social media sites.

This includes not only obvious sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but also other sites like YouTube which have a social dimension and which allow you to spread the word by providing useful content.  Joining these sites is only the beginning.  A well-managed social media campaign can become a full-time job, so it helps to have someone on staff who is dedicated to maintaining your social media presence.

Step 2:  Create a consistent image.

This means that you should present yourself in the same manner on all the sites you join.  Choose a business name and stick with it.  Create a logo and use the same logo everywhere.  When you’re able to customize pages (and on your own website), use the same color schemes and fonts.  Do everything you can to make your brand instantly recognizable.

Step 3:  Interact with customers.

Building brand loyalty is a matter of not only providing a valuable product or service, but also interacting in a positive way with your customers and with other businesses and members of the public.  Don’t just push your product on people; have meaningful conversations with others.  Not all these conversations need to be about your product nor should they.


Step 4:  Offer incentives.

Provide customers who interact with you with discounts and other incentives to purchase your product or refer others.  You can set up deals for people who interact with you on specific websites.  The best way to do it is to provide coupon codes to customers who provide you with testimonials, generate direct sales through referrals, and share your links and posts.

Step 5:  Combine your efforts.

The hidden power of social media marketing comes through the integration of your efforts.  Don’t just leave the different elements of your campaign separate and disconnected.  Find ways to pull them together.  For example, repeat the testimonials which customers leave you on Facebook on your sales page on your website.  Or repost your YouTube content on Facebook.

While this is a simple five step process as we’ve presented it, make no mistake—social media marketing isn’t easy.  It’s a lot of work, and it’s generally most effective for companies which already have a somewhat established presence (online or offline).  It’s more difficult for startup companies to drive sales through social media than it used to be years ago when social media was relatively new.  One great way to get an extra boost in your efforts is to contract your social media campaign out to a social marketing company which employs full time experts.


Guest Blogger Bio:

Lilly Sheperd, an occasional guest-blogger, geek girl. When not blogging or rushing with the Zerg on Battlenet, she likes to travel and read a lot, especially about tech and science.

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