branding.jpgWhether you want to sell your product, provide a service or give people information, your customers need to know who you are. And what better way than through social media. It is one of the best ways to grow your business's brand at little to no cost. To learn how to build your brand by using social media keep reading:

Find Your Platform

Today, hundreds of social media sites are available to use. This can be overwhelming for small business owners or entrepreneurs in general. But with the world becoming so mobile friendly (phones, computers, payments, etc.), it is essential for businesses to develop a brand online and through social media. While it is not necessary to have a presence on all social media platforms, having one or two is important in building your business. See which social media sites would work best for your specific business below:

  • Facebook is the leading social media platform with over 59 billion active users. This platform has the widest range and most evenly distributed demographics of users but in recent years has begun to slow down. However, it is still considered the best site to promote your brand and business on. Every business should at least have a Facebook page.
  • Twitter is a great platform for businesses to update and share news in real time. With around 310 million active users, this platform is best for companies who have in-the-moment developments. Including images in tweets is also a way to increase engagement with users.
  • Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform with over 400 million active users in just under 6 years. This is the best option for those brands that rely on photos to promote their products or even services. For businesses that are targeting a younger age demographic (18-29), Instagram is the best option. Try user-generated content for higher engagement rates.
  • Pinterest is another fast growing site, with 100 million active users, and of those millions, 85 percent are female. This platform consists of photo sharing among users and recently a “buy” pin has been added. Don’t let the smaller user base deter your business from creating an account, because Pinterest has one of the best ROI’s and highest household income bracket ($100,000) among its demographic base.
  • LinkedIn is the leading professional social network platform with around 400 million active users. This site is purely used for networking professionals and the sharing of industry news. Tech represents the highest sector shared at 14%. 79% of LinkedIn consists of people over 35 years, which makes it the oldest aged platform among social media.

Be Active

It isn’t enough to simply have a social media account where you post one photo a month or tweet once a week. In order to be effective and build your business’ brand, you need to be interactive with your users and content. The amount you post depends on your platform but posting once daily should be the minimum for any social media account. Also, a benefit of having one or two social networks is the engagement that you will be able to control. Users like to see that you are involved with your content and their opinions, so try liking, sharing and commenting on your followers posts daily.

Be Visual

Add images to a majority of your posts for increased engagement. If you are already posting text a few times a day, try incorporating photos to catch user’s eyes. These statistics from the BufferApp show why visuals are the way to go when connecting with customers:

  • Visuals are shared 40x more on social media.
  • Visuals get viewed 94% more.
  • People retain 80% of what they see compared to read.
  • Visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text.
  • Viewer attention span is 2+ seconds with colored image compared to black and white.

Find an Influencer

Growing a following on social media can be hard for new businesses but getting help from an influencer could be the trick to build your brand fast. A social media influencer is someone who already has a following of users who trust their opinions such as this influencer on Starbucks Instagram photo. Their following can be relatively small (100,000 follower) or very large (1 million followers) but the cost of getting a celebrity influencer to promote your product can be anywhere up to tens of thousands of dollars. So as a business starting out, your best bet is to get an influencer who is on the rise instead of one who is well established.

Support Other Departments

Social media is a great way to get other departments within your business involved in the growth of your company, like customer service. When users have a good or bad experience with your product, they publically announce it on social media. That is where your customer service department comes in to either thank them for their support or address the issue and fix the problem. Customer reviews are important to address since 88% of people read reviews about a company.

Social media is an easy way to help even the smallest business grow successfully. While it can seem overwhelming and time consuming at first, it is a great tool to build your brand. First understand your target market and use the best-for-your-brand social media platforms to make the most of these tips.