We often discuss ways to promote your business through social media, but there may come a time when you are encouraged to promote yourself as a business or brand representative. A common misconception is that you have to be popular or funny to create and maintain a useful social media presence. This is absolutely false! Another common misconception is that you have to be everywhere on all social media platforms. This practice can not only be time consuming, but also exhausting. We recommend choosing your preferred social media platform (or two) and then own it!
Our biggest recommendation when it comes to promoting yourself on Facebook is to create a separate page for yourself as a business or brand representative. It’s best to keep your personal and business “self” pages completely separate. There is a difference between a “page” and an actual “profile”. A page is public for all people to see, where a profile can be kept completely private. If you do decide to use your personal profile to represent the business side of yourself, always be mindful of what you are posting as well as what your friends are posting to your page. If you choose to promote yourself through your personal profile, we insist on the Timeline Review setting which means that you review each post from your friends before it posts to your timeline. One of the best perks of having a separate public page for your business include the awesome analytics that come with it so that you can gauge the interaction happening on your page!
This one can be a bit of a challenge if you aren’t already familiar with Twitter and how it works. There are so many who have a Twitter account, but use it incorrectly. We can’t blame them for trying, but there are some things to keep in mind if you choose to set up a Twitter for your business or brand. First, you have to think about what you want to use it for. We recommend starting by following industry related profiles and businesses that you admire. From there, just listen! Check out the lingo, the hashtags, the content, the engagement and then begin to build your voice. Over time, you will get the hang of it. A Twitter account without a plan can be a waste of your time.
Perhaps you sell a physical product. Are you a designer? Do you write a blog for your business? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then that is where Pinterest comes into play. Pinterest is a photo sharing platform and is best suited for anyone “crafty”, technology savvy, artists and bloggers. If you want to sell products, Pinterest is the place to go to quickly covert browsers into buyers. If you do decide to incorporate Pinterest, be sure to add the “Pin it” button to your website.
This platform is there for anyone who’s business or brand involves a lot of visual appeal. It’s the perfect way to add a “human” or relateable feel to your brand by telling your story through lifestyle shots and short snippets of video. It’s simple to use and can link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Like Twitter, we recommend getting started by following others in your industry and businesses that you admire. Pay attention to the images, videos and hashtags. Take a look at what is getting the most engagement and keep that in mind when building your presence on Instagram.
Believe it or not, there are some people who do not like social media (you read that right)! That’s where LinkedIn can be beneficial. It’s the perfect platform for those who only want to target business-minded users. Once you take the time to create an all-star profile and search for new connections, you can almost leave it be as it takes on a life of it’s own. However, you do have the options (like other social media) to post and upload content. You can also join industry related groups and contact clients. Small efforts tend to go a long way in the world of LinkedIn. Basically if you are only going to pick only one social media platform for your business or brand, may we suggest LinkedIn!
To sum up, the best way to gain clients across social media platforms involves three key factors. First, be a resource, not a salesperson. Social media users never want to feel as if they are being sold to. Second, always share your own passions and interests, not just related to your line of work. Lastly, listen to your following and stay in touch with past and present clients.
Next week in Self Promotion & Branding Through Social Media: Part Two, we will discuss common Do’s & Don’ts.
Do you currently promote yourself or your individual brand on social media? What is your preferred platform? In what ways do you increase your following?