Aside from their regular nine-to-five jobs, each professional holds a second work title, which occupies the remaining, and sometimes traditional, hours of the day. Each person is a brand ambassador of their own life. Social media has allowed users, if not forced them, to put their best face forward 24-7, 365 days a year. To maintain this image, people must work tirelessly as content creators, producing the perfect image, video, or update that highlights the best moments of their lives. Lately, this sentiment has started to change as social media users are beginning to recognize the harsh repercussions of projecting enviously perfect lives. People are now opting for #makeupfreeselfies or getting candid about their mental health issues with their followers. As one builds their personal brand, they end up having to wrestle with the concept of authenticity. This becomes an even bigger challenge when managing a business’s brand.
Every business should be active on social media, regardless of the type of work they do. Online media platforms can expand a brand’s marketability, which in turn means monetary benefits. For those trying to build a brand, the challenge is determining what kind of content to produce. This may be easier for a landscaper whose work relies heavily on visuals or for pool installers who may also find it simple to post before-and-after photographs of their projects. However, generating original content is a bit more challenging for pool liner and steel manufacturers due to the lack of visuals in their work environment.
Create an authentic online presence
Drawing viewers online may be difficult, but not impossible. It just requires a little more creativity and persistence, especially for those who are unfamiliar with social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These channels are ideal if a brand wants to create their online presence. Each platform comes with its own set of instructions. As a collective, they all share one implicit rule: “be authentic.” Just as individual account holders have begun the trek toward more self-reflective and honest online presences, businesses must do the same. There is no difference between how one should treat their customers in person versus online. Online exchanges should be treated as an extension of in-person interactions. That said, one can still be authentic and professional while creating fun, engaging content for viewers.
Grant Cardone, a businessman and best-selling author, was able to expand his brand into the marketplace in just five years because of the large amount of content he produced on a multitude of platforms. He recently hosted one of the world’s biggest business conferences in Miami, Fla., which saw nearly 35,000 attendees. He uses each platform’s features to the fullest to maximize his viewership and reach. Cardone’s YouTube channel comprises videos, ranging from real estate and sales training, to motivational talks, luxury tours, etc. The social influencer is constantly producing versatile and engaging content for his viewers. His success largely depends on his authenticity. The content he publishes is the most genuine representation of his personality. By staying true to his character, Cardone has been able to communicate this particular message to his followers. Through his own achievements, his brand’s message reflects his desire to help others become financially successful.
As an aspiring business content creator, one must also find a message they wish to present to their customers. In this case, the content is reflective of a business rather than a person, but one can still personalize the information they present. Whether it is ‘great customer service,’ ‘quality products,’ or ‘killer sales,’ a business must have a set idea of what it wishes to communicate to its customers. Framing the content around a certain goal makes brainstorming easier. It also gives customers an idea of what they can expect from the brand. One’s commitment to presenting this message is an extension of their company’s promise for quality customer service, which is usually seen in personal interactions, not online communication.
Post eye-catching content
Once the framework is designed, it is time to start posting. If one is unsure where to begin, they can refer to businessman Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, which provides a thorough understanding of how one must communicate on each platform. The author provides great examples of what makes a good post and what does not. He also outlines different platform features throughout his book. Vaynerchuk highly recommends using the Facebook Ads feature—which is very specific in targeting the ideal customer—to push one’s presence into the marketplace. Some of the options in this feature include age, sex, interests (e.g. music, TV shows, stores, groups, animal lovers), etc.
One can test the effectiveness of an ad before spending any money on it. They can also create a post on their business page and review the analytics to see how their audience is engaging with the content. Facebook sends a notification if a particular post outperforms others on the page. Once a post does exceedingly well and the audience actively engages with the content, one can consider investing their money by pushing it out as a Facebook Ad. This approach can help create a wider reach (outside of one’s current network), as well as generate a huge return on investment (ROI) for the business. That said, the Golden Rule is a far more effective way of building a brand’s audience base.