Building a brand means doing a lot more than simply putting-up a website and calling it a day. I like to think of a website as the front-end to your brand, sure people can find-out more about your business there, but they aren’t really making any kind of connection with your brand. The problem is that many people put so much time and energy into their websites, they forget all the other facets of their brand, and most importantly forget to connect with their audience.
Honestly, we live in an era where there really are no good excuses for not connecting with your customers. Social Media has leveled the playing field and given you the same access as the big boys when it comes to reaching customers. The problem is, most people don’t understand social media so they miss-out on the #1 way to connect with their audience, and get people excited about their brand.
First things first, Twitter and Facebook are both used for a whole heck of a lot more than telling people what you ate for breakfast. Some of the most incredibly brilliant people in every field you could imagine actively share knowledge and news through social media. Many major brands like Delta Airlines have entire teams dedicated to social media and it’s making a very positive impact on their business.
So how can you get started? Easy, let’s start with Twitter since this is the most open of the two systems. Now do a search for a keyword or phrase you find very relevant for your business. For example, if you sell surfboards do a search on Twitter for “surfboards” or “need new surfboard.” Try to put yourself in the mind of your customer, what would they be looking for?
Now you can follow all the people that are active in your niche. You can even @reply the person who said they needed a new surfboard and let them know about your company or even offer them a discount on a new surfboard. As you follow more and more people you’ll find-out who the category leaders are in your space. Maybe there’s one surfer who has the most followers and tweets the most about cool boards, now you know one person that could be a major influencer for your brand. It is finding these influencers, these evangelists in your space that can really help you get your brand out there.
So we’ve got the basics of Twitter down now let’s move-onto Facebook. I find Facebook is a better place to connect with your existing customers. You can put a Facebook like box on your website and even hold a contest to get more fans. Usually when someone becomes a fan they’ve already heard of your business so it’s your job to give them things to be excited about!
One great example is a tent manufacturer I know called Light Speed Tents. They make these very cool tents that you can setup almost instantly. On Facebook they are constantly running contests, sharing information on new tents, and asking questions that engage their audience. It’s actually fun to follow them and their fans share things from their wall with their friends which creates even more fans. This is the key thing to understand when it comes to Facebook. If you get one fan, it is your duty to make your brand so exciting that your fan wants to share that with his friends. See, Facebook is a network of friends so there is a lot of trust associated with recommendations. Just a single share from one of your fans could bring 50, 100, or more fans to your brand and it keeps multiplying from there.
We now operate five brands that have over 1,000 Facebook fans and one (our wine blog) which has over 2,000! This has been a huge part of our growth and something that allows us to connect with our customers in ways far beyond our website.
So if you’ve just built a first-rate website, have a killer logo, and a product or service you’re truly proud of, it’s time to tell everyone else about it. The easiest way to do this is social media and if you’ve been waiting to get started, stop waiting, your current and future customers are out there and it won’t cost you a dime to reach them!