Social media is a platform for branding - personal and business. Your views, news, achievements, philosophy, personality is all reflected in your social media performance.
Unfortunately, some performances are not stellar.
Some of you out there are not leveraging social media to best benefit your brand. You are not tailoring hashtags. You are not leveraging brand imagery. You are not posting consistently. You are not generating original, timely content. You are not connecting with the very demographic that may be your best social ambassadors. You are not sharing tips and strategies that can best promote you, your business - or your market. Worse...some of you are simply not showing up socially at all.
Social media platforms present limitless opportunities for engagement. An effective social media approach differentiates the little known expert from the social media influencer. Social media is not an 'extra' that should be a last consideration as part of an overall marketing or communications strategy. Social media needs to be a primary core mechanism - driving marketing directives and optimizing thought leadership.
What are four sad ways your social media may be hurting your brand?
1. Your social does not exist. You simply are not showing up for social branding. You have no Facebook or Twitter. You view Pinterest as a silly waste of time. You don't get the importance of maximizing your LinkedIn profile or pumping up your Google+ account. You don't even have a Google+ account! You view social media as a trend - not a decree. This is a major mistake. By not recognizing the imperative nature of social media for branding today, you are limiting your online authority and seriously hindering your ability to reach the masses.
2. Your social is not solidifying your brand's message. You are social, but not really. You view social media as a must, but you don't go the extra step in truly branding your social content. You don't hashtag. You don't develop infographics. You fail to take the time to create stimulating visual content. If your social posts are not connected to the comprehensive branding and marketing messages of your enterprise or personal endeavor, you are selling your social short. Your logo and branded images should be spectacular - fresh, lively and consistently creative. Your posts should trumpet your market position and expertise. If your social updates are lackluster and unfocused, why bother? Each social update presents an opportunity to support and even elevate your brand - if you embrace the opportunity.
3. Your social is antisocial. Your social media is in place and you do post regularly. But you don't engage your followers. Your followers and connections can be great brand ambassadors. Sharing fun videos, contests and entertaining observations allows your social media to present a personal flavor. Remember, social media is an extension of your customer service initiatives. You want to increase the exchange opportunities between you and your social friends. Social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, allow you to show your friends and followers that you hear their views and appreciate their perspectives. The Twitter universe is a ripe arena for immediate recognition and response. Don't view your social media as a one-way conversation. Don't ignore tweets that may be giving you prime opportunities for reaction. Show your social followers you are listening to them - play, respond, interact. The more social your social media is, the more brand loyalists you create.
4. Your social is devoid of original content. Listen, social media takes work. You need to produce original content to maximize your branding on social media. Share your blog - or blogs. Create entertaining infographics. Populate your social platforms with content that expresses your expertise in diverse ways. Simply sharing content created by other sources is not effectively conveying your own unique views. Creating content is an effective way to create social media worth sharing - generating more social ambassadors happy to help you share your brand.