I want you to meet Sydney Weymouth, my Social Media Manager. Sydney has worked with me for over 4 years, and she played a huge role in getting me to the #4 spot on LinkedIn's Top Voices 2019 List. She might not want to brag about herself, but I certainly will! She knows how to push the limits of social media strategy and her work has been featured in Vogue, People Magazine and Business News Daily.
So today, I've asked her to take over my blog to give you the tips you need to push the limits for your own brand on social media.
Hey! Sydney, here.
I've been working in the Social Media world for over 7 years and let me tell you, social media has evolved.
What was once an entertainment medium for the average consumer has now grown to be a primary focus within progressive businesses and their overall marketing strategy. With over 3.725 billion active social media users, the positive impact of social media on your brand should come as no surprise.
How many times have you found yourself asking:
“Which platforms make the most sense for me or my business to be on? I feel like I need to be on every single one.”
“What type of content should I be posting? How can I make it go viral?
“How do I get to a million followers in 5 days?”
Stop. Pause. Breathe.
If you’ve been following Daymond’s teachings for some time, the principles of finding success on social are akin to those in developing a meaningful brand.
3 Steps to Build Impactful Influence and Improve Your Social Media Strategy on Social Media:
1. Develop a clear, consistent message
2. Establish meaningful relationships
3. Define your approach and take affordable steps
Creating an effective social media strategy takes time, practice, and patience – but half the battle is taking the first step and implementing a proven process. Take the following best practices as a simple, actionable journey you can embark on TODAY.
1. Develop a clear, consistent message
In short: who are you and what do you stand for? A strong social media presence starts with a strong foundation to build off of.
It takes less than 5 seconds for a first glance at your page to determine if a user will become a loyal listener or move on to a competitor. Almost instantaneously consumers ask themselves: “What value do I gain when following this person/company?”
My advice: brainstorm on what your message is by reflecting on your company values: What do you stand for? What’s your mission? What do you want to portray to your audience? Once you narrow in on what your differentiators are, you’ll find the creative flow you’ve been seeking to craft original branded content that resonates with your target audiences.
Be mindful of prioritizing your platforms, for each one has its own set of strengths and user expectations. Tailor your messaging and objectives by channel but maintain a consistent voice and brand identity throughout.
ACTIONABLE ITEM: Revisit the basics of your current social media pages. You’d be surprised how much this can impact a consumer’s view of your brand.
- Is your avatar appropriate?
- Does your bio describe your business in a short summary?
- Is your contact info up to date?
- Is there a link to your website?
Daymond talks about developing clear and consistent messaging in his upcoming book, Powershift. That’s something I’ve learned through 7 years as a Social Media manager too. And when I see people struggling with social media, it’s usually their main issue.
Taking these initial steps will provide a rapidly positive shift in enhancing your pages’ professionalism and sharpening users’ understanding of what separates you from the crowd.
2. Identify touchpoints and establish meaningful relationships
Social media is more than just content – it’s a way to connect with your customers and build brand loyalty. (Click to Tweet!)
Put yourself in the consumers' shoes for a minute: Have you ever reached out to a brand or have one proactively reach out to you? Did this change your perception of them? Were you put further or closer to that brand emotionally?
According to Sprout Social’s “Creating Connections: What Consumers Want From Brands in an Increasingly Divided Society” report, 76% of people are more likely to buy from a brand they felt emotionally connected to on social media than a competitor. What’s the takeaway? Spend time on content development in line with your brand but invest more energy into connecting with your audience on a personal level.
People on social media inherently seek a sense of community and commonplace. The more energy you invest toward building meaningful relationships, the more they trust you. Consequently, the more digital currency you build. However, keep in mind that digital currency is a numbers game, but not one you need everyone to buy into. Don’t forget it’s your target audience that matters, finding success within it, then build to scale.
ACTIONABLE ITEM: Designate one post a week that contributes to a rich conversation and take part in the dialogue. The same etiquette you’d use for clients in real-life applies to the digital ecosystem – don’t be rude!
3. Define your approach and take affordable steps.
Once you establish your messaging and have a clear idea of your target audience(s), the next step is the most difficult: defining your approach and taking action.
The first step: Figure out which platform makes the most sense for your brand. Despite what you may think, you DON’T have to be everywhere at once. Take some time to research the strengths of each, as well as where your competitors are, and own that space. Then, once you’ve found your rhythm, you can start to dive into building influence on another (but only when you’re ready).
The more specific your social media strategy, the easier and more effective it will be to execute. (Click to Tweet!)
Implement this formula:
1. Define your business objective (ex: “Grow my brand”)
2. Associate it to a social media goal (ex: “Brand Awareness”)
3. Develop the metrics by which you’ll measure (ex: “Followers and Impressions”)
It’s only when you determine your SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely) when you can then clearly define your strategies and layout a bespoke content blueprint.
Remember, your competitors have the same objectives in mind. Your competitors can also be your most effective beacons of inspiration. Note their successes and discover ways how you can do what they do, better.
ACTIONABLE ITEM: Review 2-3 of your competitors' pages and monitor their methods: What’s working? What’s missing? What platforms are their customers most engaged on? Once you complete this audit, develop a plan on how you can adapt their best practices to your strategies and tactics.
Lastly, once you start this journey, track your progress and results. Once a month, review your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), find what worked and what didn’t, and correct your approach with the data in mind.
Social media is constantly evolving. The era of capturing attention through the TV screens in our living rooms has long passed. The screens in our hands have become the new era of TV and arena of attention. The only way you’ll capture it is to stay ahead of the trend, and most importantly, not being afraid to fail.
I'd love to know what other questions you have about social media!
LinkedIn: Sydney Weymouth