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100 years ago, there was more of a wall between brand and consumer.  Brands were less personable and sometimes harder for the consumer to reach.

Those days are long gone. Now people not only want a business that they can identify with but one that they can champion to their friends as well. With the business landscape becoming more competitive by the minute, you can’t afford to ignore these shifting sands if you want your business to thrive.

That’s where social media comes in. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are low-cost, high-efficiency ways to get your brand out in the public awareness while also building trust with your consumers.

Shockingly, Small Business Trends recently reported that a whopping 24% of brands have zero social media presence. If you’ve been avoiding social media for your business, or simply haven’t been utilizing it to its fullest potential, here are a few tips that will help.

1. Create Meaningful Content

One of the big things about social media is that it’s viral. People see something, they like it, they share it with their friends. This has the dual effect of people engaging with your business while also evangelizing to their friends and creating potential customers for you.

The only way they will do that, however, is if the content you produce is both meaningful and relevant. Think outside the box to provide interesting, informative, funny, or enticing content for your consumers. Use infographics (especially on a visual medium like Instagram) and create bite-sized snippets that people can share. At the core of every marketing strategy is something that’s worth sharing, so take some time to make yours is the best it can be.

2. Engage with Your Fans

People who follow you on social media do so because they want to engage with the person behind the company, so don’t be afraid to step out from the shadows and talk with your customers. Do a live Q&A with your fans, show them behind-the-scenes pictures of your operations, converse with them in the comments, and offer promotional details online. The key to success on social media is found in one word: engagement. Social media is also a great place to hear feedback, address concerns, and encourage customer reviews. People use reviews to help determine their purchasing decisions, so you want to showcase positive experience on your Facebook business page and other social platforms. 

3. Put the Brand First

People may become familiar with the face of the brand (such as Steve Jobs with Apple), but you always need to remember to put the brand first in your marketing materials. Create an eye-catching and succinct logo to share on your page, use hashtags that voice your brand, and make your branding materials (cover image, logo, bio) consistent across platforms.

4. Look Legitimate

Sometimes, it’s great to be sure that the business you’re engaging with on social media is legit. This can be hard for some people, especially if they are freelancer or perhaps don’t office. For freelancers, it can be great to have a professional email, links to a portfolio and testimonials For business that don’t quite have an office, it can be helpful to attain a virtual address. Many business these day take advantage of the convenience of having the same address tied to them and their employees when they all might be telecommuting or traveling. It can be seen as more legitimate on both your website, your google business page, and especially on social media. And additionally, it can even potentially provide tax benefits if done right.

Social media is a fantastic tool if used correctly, and it’s not rocket science to figure out how best to optimize it. All it takes is a little bit of patience, some dedication, and the willingness to develop a relationship with your fans.

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