social branding

Social Media For Beginners

Learn how to use social media for beginnersWhether you started a blog to promote your real estate business, restaurant or flower shop, one thing is clear: Social media is a key ingredient in your overall marketing efforts. As outlined on countless blogs and sites, social media plays a big role in “search” and in being found online.

In other words we no longer can do one without the other. They both go hand in hand. So let’s take a look at a few social media for beginners tips to help you use social media as part of your overall blog marketing arsenal.

5 Social Media Tips for Beginners

1. Integrate Social Media From The Beginning

Don’t wait till you’ve become established and popular. Add social media to your blog from day one. You never know who will be listening or who might pick up an interest in your site and want to connect with you via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus. So we consider it a smart move on your behalf to include social media on your blog right away from day one.

2. Make Your Content Easy To Share

There are lots of plugins, add-ons and widgets that allow you to place Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook on your blog. However some work better than others and some are more streamlined than others. Find the tool that works best for you and your specific blog design, colors, size and so on. Also it might be best not too add to many buttons and widgets, as a reader might get confused on which one to use. Make it easy: the easier the better. Never underestimate the power of EASY.

3. Use It Yourself

Are you an active user of one (or more) of the social networks? We understand that each one is time consuming and therefore you might not be able to contribute regularly to each. In this case, it might be necessary to “cherry pick” and decide which one you prefer and will become an active member of. Whichever one you choose, go for it – at full throttle.

Need help with Facebook? This quick and easy to read report will give you the facts.

4. Keep Up With Changes

Another constant in social media is the myriad of changes that take place. Facebook alone is known for their constant upgrades and changes. This can be hard to manage and or keep up with, however no one wants to be “behind the ball”. So in this case, one thing you can do is to subscribe to the various blogs and sites that keep up with the changes for you. Mashable comes to mind, they usually report on the various changes from the big three in social media.

5. If You Don’t Have Time, Outsource Social Media

If you simply do not have the time to incorporate social media for your blog at this time. Then it might be necessary to outsource the task. Look in the various job boards that have job listings in social media such as the Problogger Job Board. This one only charges $50 for a listing that last 30 days. A good deal since this is a job board visited daily by web professionals who are experienced and savvy with social media.

Using a blog today to promote a business has become commonplace and for good reason. It works. When used correctly and strategically it can bring you traffic, sales, clients, prospects, leads, etc. When combined with social media it can bring about untold wonders.

Guest article written by Missy Diaz who works for various clients including a website builder tool on the web.

Social media for beginners

Branding Strategy is Foundational, Not Random

If you’re a small business, you’ve probably heard the buzz bandied about on the web about branding, personal branding, social branding, etc.  Branding, branding, branding!

The buzz is actually for a good reason.

Branding is important.

In fact, a good branding strategy is what your business should be built upon.  When you lay out a branding strategy for your business, it suddenly becomes so much easier to make decisions regarding where you want to go in your business, the message you want to send out, how you will interact with your customers, how you will handle negative feedback, etc.

It also helps you nail down the image you want to project in the form of packaging, like logos, taglines, slogans, brochures, your website, etc.  When you know the ultimate destination, it’s much easier to map out a road to get there.

That said, if you did not create a branding strategy as the foundation of your business, but are keen to rectify it, there’s always hope.  You can make the decision today to make branding a priority when it comes to your business and start thinking about just how you want people to see you.

The sad fact is that even if branding isn’t important to you, and you don’t think you need to do it… you kinda already are.  Whether you know it or not, the things you do in your business or for your business impact the way your clients and customers perceive you and your business.

And if you’re not at the helm, directing them where you want them to go, then they’ll see you however they please, whether it’s complimentary or not.  Like it or not, you’re branded in one way or another.  It’s up to you to choose the reality you want.

Key Questions to Consider When Creating a Branding Strategy

First of all, you need to know your audience.

  • Who are you marketing to?
  • Who do you want to do business with?
  • What are the types of people you want to convert into paying clients and customers, and ultimately brand ambassadors that sing your praises?

Know your offer.

  • What sort of services or products do you offer?
  • What sort of packages?
  • What is your pricing structure?

Know your USP.

  • What about your company makes you different from the competition?
  • What makes you great, and how can you prove it?
  • What’s your mission or goal with your business?
  • How do you want to be perceived?

Know your morals and ethics.

  • How will you handle negative feedback?
  • How will you handle customer support issues?
  • How will you conduct your business?
  • How much “under the hood” are you willing to reveal about your business practices to your clients/customers?
  • What sort of guarantees are you willing to offer your people?

These are just a few of the things you should be thinking about when considering your brand.  Of course there are other considerations as well, but this is a good benchmark to get you started.  Once you figure out the why’s, where’s, and how’s of your business and the image you want to project… then the path to getting there becomes much clearer.

Consider the Great Brands

All good brands stick in your head for a reason.  When you think of their product or service, the only name that comes to mind is THEIR name.  Why?  Because they’ve successfully branded themselves in a way that’s connected with you emotionally somehow.

Think of Nike and all those Just Do It commercials.  Because of those, when we think Nike, we think Just Do It.  It’s because Nike created a movement with their branding, geared toward athletes and wanna be athletes, with an underlying message of if you want to be someone, if you want to be great, just do it.  Don’t be afraid, just do it.  And wear Nikes while you’re at it.

Or consider Zappos.  They believe that your culture is your brand.  If you get your culture right, the rest will fall into place naturally.  They’re not just about retailing, or selling shoes and clothes.  Their brand is about their culture and creating a spectacular customer experience, with superior customer service.

They believe that a company should be built on core values, and on core values you can commit to. Not just values that “sound good” in theory.  In short, they practice what they preach.  They focus on making sure their customers are well taken care of, and as a result have built an almost cult-like following… and brand ambassadors galore.

So your take-away today should be that a brand isn’t just about creating a cool logo or design, or introducing a new product.  It’s about the foundations your company is built upon, the core values that you commit to each and every day.  It’s your mission, the integrity of your business practices, and yes, even about you as a person.

It’s never too late to begin a good brand strategy, and it’s vital to remember that if you don’t do it yourself, like it or not someone else is doing it for you.

Cori is a wildly hire-able freelance ‘ghost’ as well as the creative brains and dubious brawn behind her blog Big Girl Branding.  If you’d like to harness her creative brains and dubious brawn to guest post on your blog, just stalk her on Twitter and ask her.  I’m “almost” sure she doesn’t bite. Well… like 95% sure.