This guest blog features Cyndee Woolley, APR, an author and public relations consultant. You can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.BuildingBrandYou.com.
There are three certainties in life… death, taxes, and your Facebook newsfeed will continue to change!
I’ve spoken to many small business owners who obsess with jumping onto the next social media trend to stay visible and gain awareness. But, when you look at their existing social media accounts, there are less than 500 fans or followers who are not engaging with any of their posts.
Lack of engagement often comes back to three core questions:
• Do you have a brand that your fans understand?
• Do you have specific key messages that your customers or donors need to know?
• And, do you know how to share those key messages in an emotionally charged way to build relationships?
You do have a brand – in person and online
We all have a brand. Unfortunately, many businesses create confusing brand identities by trying to be everything to everyone. If your customers don’t understand you and what benefit you bring them, they will never engage with you.
Your brand is a reflection of every experience a person expects of you, and his or her emotional reaction to that experience. This experience transcends your logo and includes first impressions – even when they find you online.
Over 80% of US consumers have made a purchase online and according to Hubspot, 71% are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. With a mini-computer in their back pocket, you customers can engage immediately or write you off in a split second.
Your brand is expressed through many elements that demonstrate exactly who you are and how people can relate to you. Are you formal or casual? Do you serve young individuals or retired couples? Are you cutting -edge and creative, or solid and steady?
Take time to assess the brand you hope to project, then take a look at your digital assets to see if they really project that image.
• First and most important in this evaluation is simply opening your website up on a smart phone or tablet. The most impressive site could be losing customers if it takes more than a few seconds to load on your customer’s smart phone.
• Do you have links to your social media accounts, customer reviews and any tutorial reviews? Studies are confirming that the millennial generation is more engaged with “how-to” videos and dynamic content. They also want to see that their friends like your brand, so the social integration is a key element for success.
• Do the visual elements of your social media accounts compliment your brand or cut your head off? As technology improves and digital load times reduce, the visual element of the story has become more and more important.
Learn more about building your brand at Cyndee Woolley’s SoundviewPro course: Building Brand [You] .