If you could personify your brand, how would you describe its personality? Its goals? Its desires?
Personifying Your Brand If you could give your business or brand three personality traits, what would they be? Caring, compassionate and optimistic? Funny, outgoing, positive? Stern, factual, and polite? Trendy, outrageous, and exclusive? We’ll dig deeper into this concept later, as it’s important for your brand’s personality to shine through in your profile and your posts. But, as you are thinking about your brand’s personality, above all else, make sure that you are honest. However, you choose to personify your brand, be honest.
Social Media Profile Photo Tips
You have a bit of range here, depending on your needs. If you are a personal brand (speaker, consultant, Realtor, singer, author, etc.) or a storefront, go ahead and use a great photo of yourself (or your storefront). If you choose a portrait, perhaps brand it by wearing colors that align with your other marketing materials.
Feel free to have fun changing your photo seasonally
Add a bit of holiday cheer, or springtime symbolism, or a great summer background (but please — no vacation photos, super casual photos, or photos with a buddy who has nothing to do with your business.
And no pets, unless relative to your business.). It’s recommended that you avoid using a logo, unless the logo is on a product, such as a shirt you’re wearing, a mug, tote bag, background chalkboard, etc. Even then, you’ll want to be wary, as logos make you less relatable. Avoid slogans or any text images that require squinting to read. Branding Across Channels.
As you create profile pages, it’s important to keep your goals in mind , who are you trying to reach, and what are you trying to convey. It doesn’t make much sense to use a dry, factual mission statement as your bio if you are trying to reach younger audiences. And it goes both ways; if you need to reach business-minded folks, for instance, don’t use LOL-speak, slang, or another trendy lingo.
Try to keep your bio and informational sections short yet relevant
Don’t rewrite an entire history of your company, and don’t talk about your latest news. Define your band and selling points into an easily digestible paragraph. Keep in mind: Sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter only allow a certain amount of characters, while Facebook and Google + offer much more range.
Just because space is available, it doesn’t mean you have to fill it. By making your bio brief, you’ll be able to easily brand yourself across multiple channels by using the same bio on each page (or at least keeping them as similar as possible). Keep it simple and aligned with your mission, and you will grab your target audience’s attention.
•Think about your brand’s personality
•Use a fitting profile photo: Perhaps a portrait, snapshot, or branded merchandise, but no slogans
•Craft compelling, honest content to attract your target audience
•Ask yourself — will this information help me reach my goal?
•Keep it short and sweet so that you can easily brand across channels and for better mass appeal
What Should I Post?
While there is no single, one-size-fits-all rule for posting, there are several guidelines that, when followed, can lead to a greater return on investment for your brand.
Crafting Strategic Content Developing your content strategy will help you organize what to post, when to post, and how to find your voice.
Here are some key guidelines to streamline your social marketing and make the most efficient use of your time.
Remember the “Cocktail Party” Rule When you’re at a cocktail party (or really, any social setting at which you’ll mix and mingle with people you’ve never met), you’ll probably abide by some socially acceptable rules. When you are introduced to someone, for instance, you don’t spend the whole time talking about yourself, or telling people why you’re so great. If you do, you’ll notice that the person with whom you’re speaking may be looking for an escape route.
Or, worse, might just leave in the middle of your conversation, if you’re very persistent. People don’t want to hear others go on at length about themselves.
Well, it’s the same online. If you constantly post updates about yourself, or try to sell, or always use cliché marketing speak, you’ll turn away your audience. Instead, have a conversation you have a captive audience; keep them interested by delivering interesting, relevant information in a tone that suits your brand. If you run a hardware store, your audience might want how-to tips and do-it-yourself weekend projects. If you own interior design business, share tips for home staging or upholstery trends.
If you are in charge of marketing a coffee shop, try posting interesting facts about coffee, recipes with coffee as an ingredient, or events that take place in your shop’s neighborhood. Every now and then, throw in a self-promotional post (for your events, mission, etc.); especially if you have new and exciting news to share.
Experts recommend you keep it an 80/20 balance, with 80% of your posts being geared towards engagement (sharing interesting photos, informative links, etc.), and 20% aimed at marketing, selling, and promotions. Seek to be a resource for your audience, and you will keep them engaged with and interested in your content.
Create a Content Calendar
Proper planning is a key element of a successful social strategy that often gets skipped right over. Instead of wasting time every day by searching and pulling up last minute content to share, having a plan of pre-scheduled posts can ensure you are better organized, can save you time, allows you to keep in holidays or important dates in mind, and gives you the freedom to spend your mornings on other work. And it’s simple to do.
•Open up a digital spreadsheet (I prefer Sheets on Google Drive because you can allow others to view and edit if need be, however, an Excel sheet is fine, too).
•Along the top row, you’ll list headers for several columns. Start with the following headers: day, date, the name of social platform 1, the name of social platform 2, (and so on until you’ve listed each platform), issues, notes.
•Fill in the days of the week and dates down the first two columns. Leave a few spaces in between each day (I leave four).
•Change the color of any holiday or special event date to red. In the notes section, indicate what the special event is. (The notes section will come in handy for any reminders you’ll want to remember at a later date, or for indicating when a new platform was first implemented, etc.) Find Content to Share Next, you’ll have to find content that your audience will want to engage with. There are several ways to do this.
If you want to share links, check out Feedly, Huffington Post, Upworthy, and any industry blogs related to your field (marketing, dentistry, beauty, etc.) or your target demographic (parenting, gaming, hunting, etc.).
For photos or infographics, try free stock photo sites like Death to Stock, Unsplash, Canva, and Pablo. To share quotes, try Brainy Quote, Good Reads, and other legitimate sites (Forbes, Entrepreneur) that strive for accuracy. If you are unsure that someone actually said a quote, give it a quick Internet search.
Otherwise, if you incorrectly attribute a quote, usually there are one or two people reading who will have no problem with publicly shaming you.
The Planning Stage Using the strategies you just learned, try to plan the next two weeks of content. Here’s an example, to provide you with a visual and help you get started.
Example Business: Creator of an organic skincare line.
Social Marketing goals: Brand awareness among 30–50 year-old women Social platforms, based on (hypothetical) market research: Facebook — post 2x daily Twitter — post 5x daily Pinterest — post 4x per week (Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat) Instagram — post 3x per week (Tues, Thurs, Sat) YouTube — post 2x per month
•Create a goal-based strategy
•Remember the “Cocktail Party Rule”
•Create a content calendar
•Find and create content to post two weeks ahead