So you want to influence others with your brand? Well join the party! It seems these days everyone is an entrepreneur selling their own merch and gaining thousands of followers by the day. Meanwhile, you are sitting there with your Instagram page that just reached its one-thousandth post and is boasting a whopping two-hundred follower count–womp, womp, womp!
You are perplexed and frustrated! Your quality content goes unnoticed except for when your latest photo gets a like from your bestie…or your mom. Trying to follow the posting trends of seemingly successful pages, you are stumped as to why your content does not go viral. How does one nab those paid partnerships or gifted collabs?!
What is the secret to building your brand?
Granted, social media trends change rapidly. However, there are tried and true concrete tactics to creating a quality platform on which to not only build your brand but grow an organic following in the process. And that is the key to owning and maintaining a successful business! Truth is, there is no real secret to it! If you can muster up some old-fashioned (virtual) elbow grease and patience, then you will benefit from the essentials we have listed here to help you become a successful brand!
- GET ORGANIZED: First things first, you must organize your thought process. Plan out what type of business you are trying to grow, because remember your brand is your business and you are the boss! It can be easy to lose sight of your main focus for your brand. For example: if you are interested in becoming a beauty influencer do not promote things other than cosmetics or skincare (not at first). Remain consistent with your content. But be careful not to make your page all about sales and profit. Make it also personal because people appreciate relatable content.
According to Julie Solomon, entrepreneur and host of “The Influencer Podcast”, Instagram is the number one platform that most companies prefer for collaborations with social media influencers. That does not mean you are locked down to just one media platform though. It is beneficial to be a presence on numerous platforms, which can be overwhelming but is necessary.
- LEARN SOCIAL MEDIA: This one sounds like a no-brainer, but in reality, the main reason why so many influencer-hopefuls find it so hard to climb the rungs of the success ladder is that they often miss this step. They think they know how to post on Instagram or create a killer Youtube video, yet most people on social media do not know how to use the platforms to their brand’s advantage.
There are certain business strategies on social media!
For instance, where are you putting your hashtags? Placing them in the comments section versus your captions can boost the algorithm and get your content noticed more by other pages. But it is not just about the all-mighty hashtag. Your engagement with others is the key to your success! Remember that lesson you learned in grade school: treat others how you would like to be treated. It is the same with social media.
Your brand is not about you; it is about your audience! Show others you are interested in their content and we promise, you will receive the same attention in return. Building a brand is about connecting with others. Lots of people make the mistake of just putting out their content and hoping it catches everyone’s attention. But that is just not how it works! Think about it in terms of real-life: how annoying, not to mention difficult would it be to connect with someone who always talks about themselves and nothing else? Hit that like button, comment on others’ posts, and follow people even if they have yet to follow you back. Show genuine interest. Another key to using social media to your advantage? Avoid relying on static posts! Yeah, posting pretty pictures with motivational captions is appreciated, but if you want to make the popular page, you need to get comfortable with going LIVE. Create an IGTV weekly series about a topic of interest that coincides with your brand. Try to be consistent with the time you go live. Make those reels, and always utilize the story feature!
People want to see you in real-time action! Although this can be intimidating, going live is what boosts your popularity, and in turn, puts more attention on your brand. Incorporate interactive posts like creating polls or questions in your stories for your followers to answer. Your content should create a sense of urgency and pique curiosity to keep your followers engaged!
There are several courses you can take on how to improve your social media analytics, but if you do not have the cash to participate in one of these said webinars, you can always refer to good old Youtube! There are tons of videos from social media gurus who offer free advice.
One final tip on social media. Becoming a successful brand is about the journey not the destination. NO ONE becomes an overnight success.
Going viral is fleeting. So come prepared with the age-old virtue of patience. Buying thousands of followers will prove detrimental to your brand because the powers that be of social media have grown wise to this tactic and could even penalize you for owning a fake audience. It might take you more than a year to organically grow from 0-10k, but it will be worth it!
- OWN A WEBSITE: Internet fame across every social media platform is great, but if you want to stand out as a professional brand, there is no better way to do that than having your brand’s official website to direct your following.
Ever been skeptical of someone’s “business” card with only an IG handle as a listed contact? You think, “No website? Some business!”
Establishing an official website for your brand leads your following off of social media and into your brand’s world!
A website that is professionally crafted can provide legitimate assurance of your brand to your audience.
If you do not have the time to create or run your site, there are plenty of agencies that offer those types of services, such as Care Style Copywriting Agency.
- BUILD AN EMAIL LIST: No more swapping phone numbers? Fine, but make sure you get your followers’ email addresses! An email list is a vital asset to your business plan. With several social media platforms to choose from, it is easier to rely on the main contact source that rarely changes: the email address! This is where you can offer your followers (soon to be clients) more in-depth information about your brand, make business deals, offer discounts, agree on collaboration offers, etc. If you are an influencer trying to contact a company for collaboration, nine times out of ten the company will refer you to their HR email to further discuss business! Sending a DM for possible collaboration if nothing else will get you the proper email info! And why? Because companies know that although social media is great for connection, the real business is conducted off- platform and via email!
TO AD OR BLOG: Both avenues offer the different potential for producing traffic to your brand’s website. Want to create a continuous connection? Offer potential customers something valuable in exchange for their contact information while simultaneously producing leads to your site with Facebook or Instagram ads. Creating ads can prove to be costly, so if you would rather save money and build momentum over time, you may wish to consider implementing blogs about your brand which can help to generate sales, email signups, and engagement.
By: Dana Nuzzo