Taking the first steps into social media can be overwhelming, especially when you’re representing your beloved business. As an SME, it’s likely that you’ve poured your time, money, and passion into your business. But, without a marketing presence, all that effort could amount to very little.
Social media is a brilliant tool for marketing. It’s low-cost, easy to access, and boasts a huge worldwide following — in fact over 66% of the UK population are active social media users. That’s a huge market to be missing out on if your business doesn’t have an online presence.
And of course, it’s not just about numbers. The fact is people are more likely to give their trust, and custom to brands who use social media. Almost everyone has access to the internet, so if they want to work with a brand, or engage their services, they Google them. It takes seconds to pull up social media accounts, websites, and reviews.
If the consumer can’t find your business online, they may move along to the next one.
So, it’s vital that you carve out your own piece of internet real estate. Not only will it connect you with a wide, often global, community it allows you to establish your brand.
Set Your Own Goals
Before you even begin your first forays into social media, it’s good to take an introspective look at your business. If you don’t have a solid idea of what your goals and core mission are, then how can your audience? To be on-brand you need to understand your brand.
What is it that your business offers? What’s your USP? Why should people choose you?
Once you have that in mind, it’s time to grab your laptop and get started.
Build Your Brand — Consumers like consistency. They want to know what your goal is, and what your brand values are.
Choose Your Social Media Platforms — As an SME, it’s unrealistic to juggle every social media platform. It’s better to focus down one or two that are a good fit.
Create a Clear, Concise, Catchy Bio — You should aim to make this informative, but light-hearted. Often people decide whether or not to view your page based on just this information.
Know Your Core Audience — Consider why people would be interested in your brand and tailor your content to fit that audience. You should keep them in mind whenever you create or curate content.
Make Your Mark
The internet is a big place. It’s a thriving global marketplace with literally billions of people, so before you invest money in branding you should check that no-one is using your business name.
It takes just minutes to run your name through Google and social media platforms to make sure it’s available and not already linked to a business or individual. If the worst happens and your chosen name is unavailable — think outside the box. Your branding is the first thing people will notice about you — so it makes sense to spend the time getting it right.
Some of the most famous brands out there — Apple, Starbucks, Google — are instantly recognisable thanks to their logos. In fact, logos are so instantly recognisable, there’s even a board game about them. It’s often the centrepiece of your branding, so it should be unique, and easy to identify and associate with your brand.
Logos have such a strong impact, it’s sensible to have them professionally designed to ensure they’re high-quality, consistent, and suited to the different platforms. You’ll certainly want some vector versions of your logo as well as transparent PNGs to suit both dark and light backgrounds.
Consistency Is Key
Once you’ve picked out the perfect identity for your brand — stick to it. Keep things consistent across all platforms so your customers will instantly know they’re official.
Consistency is not just limited to your visual identity and how your profiles look, but also the tone of voice and content that you create and share. But we’ll leave that for the next instalment in this series, where we’ll explore how to establish your brand’s online persona.
Need Some Help?
Everything we mentioned above, we do for our clients (and ourselves). Reach out. Let’s connect and start a conversation. Find out how Social INK can become your outsourced in-house marketing team.