Although originally intended for personal profiles, businesses have found social media platforms to play a vital role in their branding and marketing. According to Josh Webber, founder of The Society and Big Red Jelly, startups should consider making their own public profiles for mass visibility for the best price imaginable — free!
Webber is so confident in the importance of social media’s role in a new company, his own company, Big Red Jelly, has a specialty for the field. If used properly, social media lends a bigger client base, mass exposure, brand awareness and the ability to analyze a population of consumers to any entrepreneur. You may be familiar with running your own private account on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, but there are some differences you must consider when using these apps and websites for professional purposes. In case you missed it, the following are the top tips Webber shared during his Workshop event at Lassonde Studios, “Becoming a Social Media Master.”
“The more specific you get, the bigger your audience will get.”
Counterintuitive as this statement may seem, Webber is implying that niche businesses eventually find a more loyal and grand client base than those that attempt to appeal to the masses but never catch attention in any specific interest community. When creating your accounts, imagine your company avatar, create a person who adores your brand and learn everything about them from their fundamentals to typical lunch spots and afternoon activities. From here, you can better market your company to attract their attention. As your company evolves, allow this character to do so as well.
“What is ‘brand?’ It is what customer one is telling customer two about your business.”
As much as you attempt to craft a particular image for your company on these platforms, the human aspect of “word of mouth” still plays a role. The human filter will deem your company’s validity, so create content people will actually enjoy and pay attention to! If you think your startup does not have the scope to do this, take a look at the TSA’s Instagram account or Wendy’s Twitter page, and reconsider what is possible. If you can entertain, you can sell.
“Your personal brand is extremely important.”
Creatives have transitioned from portfolio to personal website, but why not everyone? At this stage, you are your business. A personal website should have your photo, resume, current projects and anything else to tell your story. Most people tend to neglect blogging, yet few realize that one of the most significant players in social media, Facebook, is just one big blog. However, there is a key difference between a blog and any other social media: Facebook owns your follower; conversely, you can leverage your email list and blog following.
“The fundamentals of marketing and business remain the same.”
Become involved online in new and creative ways beyond the big platforms of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. Original marketing starts in new places. Have you ever thought of using Pinterest, VSCO, Tumblr, Etsy, Reddit, Google+, Flikr? Learn your advantages and disadvantages as well as you know your client base. Strategize, update and stay relevant! Few people and brands go viral, but many still reach success by employing the same strategies that guarantee longevity used in newspapers, magazines, fliers and other traditional methods.
You are not 100 percent unique, but this is a good thing! There are plenty of people with your passion and the advent of social media has made reaching out to those people even easier! Using the internet as a marketing tool is more than just using the right hashtags and getting on the right search engines and must be treated as such. Find where your company’s focus and the market’s needs intersect, and advertise the overlap in an innovative and engaging way that shows off your brand’s mission. This task is both daunting and rewarding, but when has any aspect of your entrepreneurial journey not been this way in the first place?