NOTE: This article is taken from the FULL episode of Brand Up #1, one of my weekly shows. Click here to watch the FULL episode.
In this article, we’ll review 10 techniques to boost your brand online.
Having online visibility is a MUST in today’s market. A rock-solid online presence for your business and brand calls for notoriety and a lot of pleased clients. In fact, your main goal as an entrepreneur is making your clients happy and DOMINATING your space by having a kickass online brand.
Grab a drink and make yourself comfortable, because the techniques that I will be sharing in this article will EXPLODE the visibility of your brand.
As we all know, social media has the power to influence and manipulate all kinds of human behaviors. Here are some fascinating stats about the state of today’s connected society.
Stat #1: People Spend 2 Hours a Day on Social Media
Did you know that people spend on average 2 hours a day on social media? YES, 2 HOURS. Isn’t this ironic, when about 10 years ago people were making fun of this entire “social media thing”?
I remember some platforms before Facebook, like Hi5 and Friendster. I remember people saying, “I’ll never be on Facebook. I don’t believe in this Facebook thing” and here we are in 2015, spending enormous amounts of time on social media.
Personally, I spend hours a day using social media for work and because I need to interact with people.
Obviously, the younger generation spends more time than the older generation, but I remember having a conversation with some adult friends and some grandparents who said, “This whole computer thing, this whole social media thing is a fluke. It will never really connect generations”.
Look at us now. Who’s actually spending time on social media? Who’s actually interacting the most? It started off with teens and now even grandparents are using Instagram and Twitter. That’s how it has evolved.
This stat should be enough to make you realize that social media is an attention-generating machine. You have to get that. Maybe you don’t believe in Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook yet, but the last few years have really showed that these platforms are here to stay, at least for now.
Stat #2: Instagram is now BIGGER than Twitter
I remember signing up for Twitter around 2007. At the beginning, no one really believed in its power. I know that people were making fun of it, saying, “Oh, what am I going to post on Twitter?”… maybe something like “I just had a salad”.
I remember people posting pictures of food, just interacting with the platform and a lot of people making fun of that.
Fast forward to 2015, Twitter was the cause of Arab Spring, of dictators completely losing control of their country that they had been controlling for decades. Twitter was the tool that people used to communicate in desperate times in remote areas of the world.
People did it again about 2 years ago: everyone was making fun of Snapchat, saying that “it’s just for high school kids”. Now, it’s the fastest growing platform in social media.
It’s funny how platforms evolve and mature. These two stats are amazing, so keep them in mind and use them right!
For those of you that don’t use social media, you need to start today! Read this article until the end and you’ll see why.
There are some platforms that I personally did not really believe in, but they have grown tremendously and our clients use them on a daily basis.
As much as the “experts” want to predict and be right, we don’t know which platforms will still be around in 2, 5 or 10 years. That’s why it is important to be everywhere and on every single platform you can.
Now, let’s have a detailed look at 10 social media strategies to implement in your business.
STRATEGY #1: Human beings buy from human beings
I remember teaching seminars in Europe about 3-4 years ago and one of the attendees said, “I don’t use social media because I sell B2B” (business to business). I made fun of him in a nice way. I said, “Well, who orders from you, even if you sell B2B?” In the end, the person who decides to order your product or service is a human being.
Even if you’re dealing with a company or a big corporation that has a board, you’re still dealing with individuals. It’s essential to understand that whatever business you’re in, (if you’re a student, an artist, if a business owner, an employee, etc.), human beings buy from human beings and you should keep this in mind.
Social media is related to everything. For example, people go to restaurants based on online reviews. Nowadays, you should be accustomed to the idea that people make major decisions based on social media, on what they see on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Medium, or Tumblr.
All these things are based on what the brand is publishing.This is how “the game” is played. Before buying your products, your clients want to see concrete things.
STRATEGY #2: It pushes you to raise your game
Social media helps you and pushes you to play bigger and better. What do I mean by that? If you’ve ever had goals in your life (which I imagine you do), there is a lot of power in making them public.
For example, telling the world on Facebook that you want to “lose 20 pounds” will force you to commit to your goal more radically. you can’t hide anymore. If you don’t, you’ll have to face that when meeting up with friends, because they’ll remind you of your public commitment.
When I go skating or rollerblading, I post it online. When I’m travelling, when I go to speak at events, I post that too. When I have big and very long days, when I finish work late in the evening, I post that, because it really pushes me to maintain that rhythm.
If you have trouble setting goals, use social media. It’s actually a good way to trick yourself into committing, because once it’s out there in the public, you can’t really hide anymore.
At the end of the day, it’s a commitment that you’ll have with yourself. I’ve seen huge transformation in the people who really made commitments on social media and then it forced them to actually follow them through.
STRATEGY #3: Play to dominate
You might have heard about my story. Long story short, I was heading for a professional tennis career. I was recruited by Roger Federer’s tennis coach at the age of 16 and so I went to train at the Swiss Tennis Federation. I was ranked number one in the country.
I was a Swiss National tennis champion and was ranked in the top 15 European players of my age, competing against all the guys you’ve seen on TV, like Nadal and Djokovic and a ton of others. Then I got injured. That was a big deal for me, because I’ve always had a very competitive mind.
I had to switch very quickly from pro-tennis to pro something. I have always been an entrepreneur, so the final decision wasn’t a tough one.
I remember selling magazines at school when I was 8 years old. My parents had a subscription to National Geographic. I would read the articles, summarize my favorite ones, type them up in this old Apple computer, print that and then sell it to teachers, schoolmates and classmates.
I was 8 years old, so I’ve always had the entrepreneur mindset in me, making money and building businesses, being entrepreneurial. The transition from pro-tennis to pro-business was so quick that I didn’t have time to be sad and sorry for myself.
If you really want to crush on social media, you need to be everywhere. Make use of the fact that everything’s free. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, LinkedIn. All these platforms are FREE. Some have a paid option, but this shouldn’t stop you from using them. I would recommend that you use all of them instead of using only one.
In fact, if you want to play the game, I recommend you do it with the mindset of wanting to dominate your space. Even if you’re an employee, there’s so much stuff you can do on the side. You can review football teams, or you can make or create a brand online out of you reviewing your favorite fishing competitions. Whatever the topic may be, there’s so much stuff you can do.
Don’t play and come up with the excuse of, “Well, I don’t really have time”, because everyone has time to be great on social media. Consistency is the key. If you really want to win this game, this social media game, you need to play to dominate, which means you need to understand every platform. You need to play on every platform, because every platform is different.
Think of Snapchat: You would never post polished and professional footage on it, right? This platform encourages people to discover “raw” and backstage-like footage of your life and your company.
If you are into posting funny content in order to attract younger demographics, you should try Vine.
LinkedIn is a more professional platform and you can use it to establish your expertise by posting articles.
Every platform is different. If you want to win, you need to play to dominate, which means you need to understand and spend time on all these platforms.
STRATEGY #4: Be consistent and play long term
As you might know, I run a online marketing and sales agency. We do a lot of social media for clients. If our clients are not on social media, we do our best to push them to sign up for all social media accounts because it’s the #1 key to building an influential brand online.
I spend a lot of time talking and explaining to clients that winning in social media will not happen overnight, unless if you’re running very specific campaigns. For example, you want to run a Christmas campaign, that’s maybe 7 or 14 days in order to boost numbers during that period. But if you really want to dominate social media, you need to think long term.
You need to think of it for at least 12 months. At least 12 months of branding, at least 12 months of regular consistent publishing. If you are a brand, you should get people used to seeing you online.
If you’ve never done anything consistent on social media, it might take time for your brand to gain traction online.
Moreover, if you want to target a larger audience, keep in mind that this will take time. Facebook has tremendous advertising capabilities. If you want to really push your brand, you need to have a budget to spend on Facebook advertising. You will get incredibly more exposure by advertising with a budget (even if it’s only $50/ day).
That’s what I would recommend. Understand that nothing is going to happen if you just post a few pictures here and there. We have a lot of people coming to us saying, “Oh yeah, you know I have Facebook, I have Twitter, I have Instagram” and then we look at the account and tell them, “Yeah, but you post like once a week”.
There’s no point in posting once a week, or just posting randomly. If you really want to brand yourself, you need to understand that it’s a commitment.
If you really want to have an impact in the marketplace and build an audience, keep in mind that it will take 6, 12 or even 18 months to really get traction. It is a grind. If you want to do it yourself, plan the whole thing strategically, or reach out to us if you want to see how we can take care of it for you.
For example, every week, post a long video. Do a live show on Periscope. Post videos every week and schedule them. Post a white paper, post a long article on your blog, post X amount of videos, X amount of pictures, X amount of shorter videos on Vine or Instagram.
Everything needs to be planned. You have to understand that it is a long term game and like any long term game, you’ll need to have a strategy. You can’t wing it, you can’t just post a few things and hope that something will work.
The timeframe that you should set to get attention on social media is 6 to 12 months. If you’re looking at it saying, “I’ll just test it out for a few weeks”, don’t do it. You’re better off doing something else, because it’s not going to serve you.
Play with it. Dominate or don’t do it at all. But if you don’t do it, your competition will do it. When your company fails or crashes and you’re looking for a new job, employees who have a social media presence will have more job opportunities.
You need to be consistent. You need to come up with a plan, exactly in the same way that you create a marketing schedule or a sales schedule for new products. Think long term!
STRATEGY #5: YOU are the product
When a small business selling a widget comes to us for help, they ask “what should we brand, the product or the company?”
In my opinion, products have a finite time of existence. If you’ve invested all your time in branding the product, what happens when the product dies or the market chooses another option? But if you invest money, time and energy in branding YOU, what happens?
You can sustain and grow your brand over months and years.
People buy YOU. Hiring managers will look and check your social media profiles to see what kind of person you are.
There is an interesting stat that I saw in the dating world. A lot of partners Google or go on Facebook to see what kind of person you are before going on the first date.
If you want to raise money for charity, or if you want to raise money for your business and you have nothing online, it’s tough to convince an investor to say, “Yeah, this is what I do. I’m the real deal”. If someone goes online and types your name doesn’t see anything – you don’t exist from his point of view.
But if you come into the room and you say, “Yeah, I’m looking for an investment of X amount” and they can type your name on Google, find your Facebook, your YouTube, your LinkedIn, your blog and you have all the social media by your side, you can prove that you have a brand and that you are an authority in what you do. You are the product and even if you’re selling something, that people have to buy YOU before buying the product.
One thing that’s consistent and constant is YOU. If you’re branding yourself as a website, let’s say, “besthealthadvice.com”, I would rather brand you. If your name is “John Taylor” then your brand name should be “JohnTaylor.com”
You need to brand YOU, because products come and go. You’ll never know what can happen to the website or to the product you are selling. Take the time to brand YOU instead of branding something else. It will have a better impact on what you do in the future.
Just look at the guys who started very early on YouTube, they all have millions of subscribers, make a lot of money and have a very strong brand. If you’re a student, if you’re an artist, if you’re creative, if you’re a business owner, if you’re an entrepreneur, whatever you’re doing, YOU are the brand. When you have klout (influence and weight in social media), it gives you leverage in negotiation and you have more power in any business decisions that come your way.
STRATEGY #6: People will buy YOU
If you have online presence, you have influence. If you know how to use it well, you might get a lot of collateral benefits.
If you’re unknown, if people can’t find you online, it’s very difficult to stand out. The new currencies of the internet are attention and influence that you have on social media. Even though you can’t deposit likes, followers and fans in the bank, social media will give you more leverage when you’re dealing and negotiating business ventures.
If someone looks at you, or if you’re a service provider and you actually publish content online for free, people could find you easily. If you have good reviews and testimonials, you stand out. YOU are the product.
As much as people want to brand the product that they’re selling, like lamps for example, the reality is lamps will come and go. But if you start branding YOU today, it’s just a huge advantage.
I saw a statistic that says “56% of restaurant choices are impacted by reviews online”. Think about that. More than a half the decisions of where do you want to go to eat are based not on the food, not on pictures and not on the location. They’re based on reviews that other people have left online.
If you see bad reviews, you’re not going to go, but if you see a restaurant or a place that has amazing social media presence, great pictures, nice videos, backstage footage showing happy employees, you will definitely go and check that restaurant out.
I’m going to predict this now on the record. I think that within 5 to 10 years at most, brands that don’t have online presence will suffer and crash more and more.
For example, I have at least 10 social media apps on my phone. Whether you like it or not, that’s where the world is going. Today, you have a decision to make:
Do you want to play that game and dominate?
Or do you just want to sit back and suffer the consequences?
If you don’t do it, your competition will. And they will get the influence and the revenue.
STRATEGY #7: Build an audience
This is a big one. The key is to have as much exposure as possible online. Facebook and YouTube are great, but you need to find a way to monetize your presence. You need to make money to pay your bills.
The best way to do it is to build the audience. Let’s say you’re doing YouTube videos. You need to get that segment of viewers to sign up to your e-mail list.
I understand that thinking about social media is very different than thinking in terms of driving revenue, because I come from that world of direct-response marketing.
Build your audience. If you have YouTube followers, get those subscribers on your e-mail list. Why? Because then you can market to them, you can send them new stuff, new content, new promos, etc.
The problem with only having followers on one platform is that, if you posted something on another platform, most of them won’t see it. They won’t see it, because they’re not on the other platform. You really want to take that audience and move it from one platform to the other.
When you can move the audience from YouTube to an e-mail list, you can e-mail that list and send them to Facebook. From Facebook, you can send them to Twitter and that’s when you have the whole network working for you. Think about that, build the audience and then get it to subscribe to your e-mail list.
STRATEGY #8: Become a publisher
By becoming a publisher, you need to turn your company into a content-machine. For example, you can do it in the same way we are, which is by putting on weekly shows. You need to be a publisher of something, you need to become your own media company, because the truth is that you create authority by publishing. You can be the biggest expert in neuroscience, if you haven’t published anything, no one will know about you.
People who publish the most have the highest perceived authority in the marketplace. Again, all these platforms are free, you can type up an article, post it on your blog, on LinkedIn, on Tumblr, on Medium and on Facebook.
These are like five platforms to publish your content. If you love flowers, talk about flowers, if you love technology, talk about technology, do reviews. If you love coffee, review coffee beans. You need to publish something. Find out what you love doing and turn into epic content.
STRATEGY #9: Adopt platforms early
Obviously, we can’t go back in time, but you want to be a first mover. I could have moved much faster on some platforms. I haven’t moved fast enough on some of them.
On some platforms I literally signed up in the first few days, while on others I waited and I regretted waiting. I would make a lot more content, have a lot more exposure, make a lot more money, have a lot more influence if I had been one of the first few people to sign up on Facebook, for example, or the first person on Instagram, etc.
Now, that’s what I’m doing. I’m a very quick mover. I like to play a lot with all these platforms and you can find me on pretty much any of them. Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Medium, Beme. Beme just came out two weeks ago or last week. I have an account, I was like one of the first ones who signed up on it.
You need to be a first mover. If you’re the first one to sign up, you can actually get the username that you want. If your name is John Smith, chances are that all of the social media handles would be already taken.
The fast-moving people get to choose their usernames. That’s one thing to really pay attention, fitting into your brand. If on Twitter you are called “John Smith”, and then on Facebook you’re called “thefitnesslover99ha”, on Instagram you’re called “yyphotographyheronyc1” and you have different usernames for every platform, where’s the consistency in branding? You need to have consistency.
Adopt platforms early, then use their functionalities.
Snapchat is one of the biggest social media platforms. You have to be on Snapchat, because it’s not just for teenagers who are 12. The demographic on Snapchat is getting older nowadays.
Look at Tumblr, which isn’t a new platform, but people are starting to use it more and more. They have 120,000 new accounts a day, which is more than Facebook, so that’s interesting. You want to be first, you want to be the first mover.
STRATEGY #10: Use video
I know a lot of people are saying that video is king, and that’s because it’s true. Here’s how I recommend using video in your marketing. I love the ghetto videos, what I call “TMZ-style videos”.
I love the videos where you just take your camera and you’re walking around, shooting while you’re walking. People think that you need to be perfect and polished, but that’s completely wrong.
If you look at what’s been happening in the trend with all these new platforms like TMZ or BuzzFeed, you’ll see that they don’t have the best content. Their footage is very amateurish, but people have learned to appreciate it, because they want to see that authenticity.
Use video in a way that pulls people into your lifestyle. People don’t want to see perfection online, they want to see realness, raw content, truth, authenticity. If you have a business, shoot videos with your employees in the office.
Take your phone and walk around the office and record a simple video. If you’re shipping out products to customers, shoot videos when you’re packing everything up and say “hey Judith, I’m sending this out” and post that video on Facebook.
You need to create raw content. People love seeing amateur footage and authentic stuff online and the interaction is higher with videos that look less professional.
You don’t need to produce videos for weeks, like 10 years ago. Use simple videos for branding, use videos to post testimonials, post videos that show the backstage and bring your audience into your life.
All in all, social media is vital in building the visibility of any kind of business. The more platforms you use, the more chances you’ll have of dominating your space.
Now get to work and execute these 10 concepts, and let me know about your results.
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