9 October 2015

By now any company worth their web connection understands the value of social media. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know that a cohesive online presence is vital for 21st century success.

The good news about social media?

Anyone can use it. No matter your budget or your size, social can send your brand into the stratosphere.

The bad news about social media?

Well, anyone can use it; so getting noticed takes nothing short of a military strategy and endless innovation. With millions of tweets, posts and images going out every single day, there’s no room for just being ‘good enough’.

So how do you make the most of it?

The first step is to know your brand inside and out. There are no shortcuts here: if you’re not living your brand values then all the hashtags in the world won’t help you. Consumers want authenticity and integrity. They can sniff out inconsistency from a mile away and it will break your brand faster than a Kardashian can max out a credit card. If you don’t feel like you’ve got the right handle on your brand personality, start asking people who do: talk to employees, customers, your family and friends. Find out what they think your business stands for and work from there.  

Of course, having a strong brand voice takes the right story and pitch-perfect copy. This is where it really pays to get it right. In other words, this really isn’t the time to set your repressed inner creative free. Let the professionals take over because wordy waffle and pages of paragraphs are the death of any post, no matter what platform you’re using. Keep the tweets short and the blogs brief. Most importantly, pay the experts to create clean, bold copy that really communicates the unique value of your business.

When you’ve got these basics in place, it’s time to step it up a notch and take advantage of what makes social media revolutionary. Social apps let you engage with your customers like no other tools. This frightens the hell out of a lot of businesses but it’s really an incredible opportunity: you can find out from your customers how to become the business they need, all without the annoying middle men. But starting that conversation means creating avenues for your customers to participate. So give them the chance to become part of the brand – whether you’re letting them see their grins on Instagram, making their name on YouTube or getting their feedback on Facebook. Remember, your followers are a fabulous resource that can give you a real time reading of how your campaigns are playing out and how your brand is being received. They’re a test lab for your wildest ideas, so use them! Let them take you viral and tag you across every platform they use. At the end of the day, making people part of your strategy is absolutely key – without the power of participation you’re just another billboard taking up space and waiting to be ignored.

Follow these tips and you’ll soon be feeling the benefits of a bullet-proof and totally kick ass social strategy.

How about sharing my tips with colleagues and friends on Facebook and Instagram – isn’t that what friends are for? Oh, and let’s connect @DanzShapiro, I always love to hear what others are up to #DS.comTribe