Social media websites are changing the way people communicate and keep in touch. You may already love to use websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your personal use, and you can learn how to use these websites to build a company brand for professional purposes. If you think you’d like to take your social media skills to the next level and work as a social media specialist for a company (or several companies), you can refine a few of your networking skills. While using social media to build a brand is different from managing a personal account, your enthusiasm for online interaction will guide you to effectively promote a corporate brand with impressive results.
Choose the Right Platform for Your Business
The fact is that different social media websites and apps are more appealing to some audiences than to others. For example, older groups continue to love Facebook, but they are also becoming more active with Twitter. Younger groups may use Instagram and Twitter far more significantly than Facebook. If you plan to pursue a career as a social media specialist, it is important to know which platforms appeal to which groups. That way, when you are interviewed for a social media job, you can tell the employer what platforms you would suggest for their company based on customer behavior, demographics, and interests. If a company has a very diverse or specific target audience, you might need to do a little extra research to find the perfect platform for reaching them.
Check Out the Competition
Once a platform is narrowed down, it is wise to look at what the competition is doing. If there is a company you are interested in working for, follow a few of their competitors or even your favorite businesses to see how they are using social media. Education through observation is a great way to get a feel for social media trends in the industry, what to avoid, and how to be original. The point of observing the competition is not to copy them, but to improve upon what they are doing, and learn from their mistakes.
Define Your Message
It is important to consider what information you want to convey, and you should make an effort to convey this through images and text alike in each communication you send out through social media. Make your information valuable to the target audience, but it is also beneficial if you provide your audience with information that they want to share with their friends and followers. When they share information, your message is reached to many others. This essentially increases your presence through social media while also building a brand. As a social media expert, you act as the “voice” for the company, so adding humor, personality, and life to your tweets, posts, and pictures will help you expand your reach. No one wants to follow a company who only posts press releases or product announcements, so balance the business stuff with the fun stuff so that consumers can actually interact with you on social media as opposed to getting boring messages from a robot. An employer will need to know that you are creative enough to grab customer’s attention with your posts while still getting the right message across, so practice maintaining this balance.
Get the Audience to Actively Participate
Every company wants active participation from their customers online in order to build relationships and maintain a positive reputation. If you can encourage participation and get followers to interact with the brand, you’ll have a lot of success as a social media specialist. While social media is largely a one-way method for your company speaking to the audience, you can encourage them to follow you for a discount, to retweet your information for special offers and more. You may also encourage their feedback through soliciting comments on social media sites. If you can run a successful Facebook contest, live Tweet an event, or get customers to participate in an online giveaway, potential employers will know that you are more than an entry-level social media aficionado.
There are a lot of components that go into building a brand, and social media outreach is only one of these elements. Whether your goal is to increase the number of followers, showcase the company’s products, or build customer relationships, fine-tuning your social media skills will make you an invaluable asset to any company. This is a marketable skill that you can use when you are applying for a new job, and documenting your efforts for future employers may help you to land an even better job down the road.
The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Kent State University who offer a public relations master’s degree and courses in using social media for PR.
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