I’ve been speaking to Chris Perkins, Outsource Marketing Director at One Objective. His friendly and informal way of telling me why social media content and campaigns must be included in business strategies really struck a chord.
I’m delighted to share with you Chris’ expertise and insight (all 20 years’ worth!) in business planning and branding. Seriously, this is one blog you need to read to learn about the importance of integrating brand into social media!
Business Planning – what exactly is that?
When people think of marketing, they think of things like advertising, digital marketing and more increasingly they think of social media marketing.
Business planning is taking that all important step back to really think about your branding, how strong it is, what it’s saying and what it’s doing. To make sure that your marketing is really effective and doing its job you should have nailed your branding first.
Think of your brand as your rock in the centre of all of your marketing activities. If you’re a small business, you need this rock before cracking on developing your content. You need to step back as Chris advises and really consider your social media and business strategy.
Before you write any marketing content know the answers to these questions – if you don’t, you’ll struggle to come up with anything that’s going to have a real impact:
“Why am I doing this?”
“What am I going to do?”
“What should I say”?
“Which platforms are best for me and my brand”?
“What am I trying to achieve?”
Chris’ expertise is helping business owners answer the final question to identify what their single one objective is. It’s key that you have a solid business plan which sits behind your social media marketing strategy.
How do you build a brand?
Forget the notion that your logo is your brand. It’s so much more than that.
- A brand defines your personality.
- A brand defines your values.
- A brand defines the way your customers feel.
And what better way to communicate your brand and what it stands for than using social media – hurrah!
Open up a new document on your PC, or grab a pen and paper, and write down your brand personality and brand values. This will make such a difference to your brand communication when you start to plan your social media content.
Don’t continually sell on social media
I’ve said this so many times before. Companies that continually sell on social media rarely see success or see an increase in sales. It’s easy to understand why too – social media users head for their phones, tablets or laptops to check in with their friends and family, they don’t want to be sold to.
But use this to your advantage. While your potential customers are in a relaxed mood, they’re actually in the right place to be influenced and take note of social media posts that resonate with them. When your engaging and informative posts hit the right spot, you’ll stop your potential customers from scrolling.
Chris agrees that it’s poor practice to be always selling and says that social media posts are an amazing way to build your brand and raise brand awareness. And when this is done right, it will turn into sales.
How do you communicate your social media brand effectively?
To get your brand personality across in social media posts consider the way you talk, the language you use and the tone. Oh, and be consistent – this is crucial!
Let’s set the scene to get you visualising this point: imagine you’re on a date. First impressions matter! You’re assessing the other person’s personality to see if you like them. Obviously, they’re doing the same to you. You have to be yourself and present who you are – if you try to be someone else it’s just not genuine and this will come across, ending the relationship before it’s even begun.
Business relationships are no different. Be true to your brand always!
As your professional relationships blossom, your potential customers will want to learn more about you and head over to your website (your company’s shop window) and likely to commit to that sale.
Let’s talk a bit more about consistency and being genuine
Chris and I can’t stress enough the importance of consistency – don’t forget that your brand must remain the same throughout all of your marketing materials.
Your potential customers may hear about you from a variety of sources and it’s highly likely that they’ll head to your social media accounts to check you out. As they scroll and see your previous posts your consistent brand will appear credible, trustworthy, likeable and the content will always resonate.
When you create great customer experiences and consistent messaging – you are creating powerful social media marketing content.
Top tip: Check that the messaging in all of your social media content reflects your brand personality and brand values. Inconsistency is a sure-fire way of confusing potential clients as to who you are and what you represent.
Having that solid business plan in place will make sure that your social media marketing strategy, your marketing plans and PR activities fit well together.
How do you want your customers to feel?
Is this something you think about? If not, you could be missing out – and so could your potential customers!
Have a think about this and create a robust list to refer back to – title it: “How Do I Want My Customer To Feel In Every Interaction”. Consider not just your social media content, but all your other methods of marketing including your website – remember, the way they feel must be consistent.
Setting targets (quality over quantity)
There’s nothing more motivational than hitting targets. If you don’t have achievable steps in your plans, it’s easy to lose that forward drive and the passion you once had when setting up your own business.
Try not to think about success in the number of followers, but concentrate on more tangible business objectives, things like:
- The reach of your social media posts.
- The amount of business enquiries you receive.
- Reaching your ideal customers and having just them interact and engage with you.
More from Chris and how he can help you identify your brand
Chris helps people just like you create a strategic 2-year business plan that’s easy to implement based around setting, and measuring, goals covering all of your marketing and PR strategies allowing you to run your business your way – and the right way!
If you’d like to hear more about Chris and how we can help to move your business forwards head to One Objective. And the great news is that Chris has some free tutorials including one to help you write your mission statement, define the way you want your customers to feel, define your personality and define your values.
I hope this has given you lots of food for thought! I’ll sign off now so you can get planning!
Bye for now, don’t forget to join me every Monday live on YouTube for Social media tips and advice.