Yesterday something amazing happened! No, I’m not talking about the fact that I actually got dressed up, “beat my face” (that means put on some make-up, for those who don’t know lol), and went to a networking event at the very snazzy and fabulous, 3 West Club in Manhattan. Nope, what I’m referring to is a time of fellowship unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced before.
I had the pleasure of leading a seminar on social media and digital marketing at the Christian Women In Media‘s Regional Event in NYC last night, and it was such a blessing! I was able to share my knowledge of social media and digital marketing with so many passionate, talented, and dynamic women, who are all using their gifts for the glory of God. It was so inspiring to be in a room with all of these incredible women of God! Today, I’m sharing some of the information and resources that I spoke of during this social media seminar.
Building a brand that SHINES on social media can be daunting, with all of the people, places, and things that are constantly vying for your attention online. Every industry and niche is highly competitive, and it may seem like it’s impossible to reach and grow your audience, and get your brand’s message out to the masses. But as it says in, Matthew 19:26, “With God ALL things are possible”! So don’t be discouraged! With the proper tools, strategy, and information, you can stand out online, and grow a successful brand that SHINES on social media.
One thing you must keep in mind, however, is that you can’t be all things to all people. It’s important to streamline. Get specific about who your target audience is, because it will make it easier to customize your message to them, and find the specific social media platforms that they are most active on.
Once you know who your target audience is, and where they hang out online, then you can build your strategy, and your messaging around that. Also, be honest about your limitations, and don’t try to take on too much. You may only be able to focus on 2 or 3 social media platforms, and that’s okay. Base your social media strategy on your specific audience, your unique financial and marketing goals, and your current resources. If you don’t have a huge team, support staff, or a lot of time on your hands, then you probably won’t be able to manage more than 3 social media platforms at a time, effectively. So it’s important to choose your social media platforms and strategy wisely.
I use the word SHINE as an acronym to describe what you need to do to stand out online and reach your target market in the best way possible.
The 7 Keys To Building An Online Brand That SHINES On Social Media:
People love to read and share things on social media that are positive, uplifting, encouraging, and that feed their spirit. It’s a no-brainer. Share content on social media that empowers your fans and followers. Post inspirational quotes and scriptures on your page a few times a day, and mix it with other types of posts on your social media pages. You never want to have all of the content on your social media profiles filled with nothing but promotional content for your brand, or only one type of content.
*Resources for sharing inspirational quotes and scriptures: Pinterest is awesome for this! You can easily put inspirational and motivational quotes into the search box on there to find awesome images. Then, just right click and Save as to your computer, and you can upload those images to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever. You can of course pin them to your own boards on Pinterest as well.
*Create your own unique images with inspirational quotes using Canva (my #1 favorite), Picmonkey, or Quozio. Images always get more likes, shares, and comments, versus just a plain text update, so be sure to share images with quotes that empower your fans and followers, and align with your brand’s mission and values.
Just as you talk to God throughout your day in order to strengthen and further your relationship with Him, you need to engage with your target audience on social media throughout your day as well. The more often you update your social media profiles, the more engagement and interaction you will get, and the more fans and followers as well. Just think, how great would your relationship with Jesus be if you only prayed once a day? What kind of results would your prayer life yield? If you only update your social media accounts once a day, or once in a while, you’re not going to get a lot of engagement or growth, and you’re certainly not going to get the greatest results.
*Ways to engage: Ask questions, share fill in the blank posts, do Facebook Q&A sessions, Twitter chats, and live streams.
*Important: When people do engage with you, be sure to respond to their comment in a timely manner.
A blog is not optional nowadays, a blog is a must-have. Contribute to the conversations going on in your industry online, and share your unique perspective. Share tips, advice, interviews, personal stories, industry trends, how-to posts, the list goes on and on.
*Blogs allow you to:
– Build your brand’s recognition and highlight your expertise in your niche.
– Emphasize what makes YOUR brand unique, and different from other brands who do the exact same thing as you do.
– Connect with your target audience locally, and worldwide.
– Gain access to opportunities to collaborate with industry leaders, get press and media coverage, attend special events, and leverage the audience of other successful bloggers in your industry to increase the reach of your brand online.
– Build a huge e-mail subscriber list of people who are specifically interested in your work.
– Increase your monthly revenue, whether through your products and services, through advertisements on your blog, speaking engagements, and so much more!!
Give away free stuff. Provide free, valuable information through your blog, a free incentive for joining your e-mail list, free resources and advice through your e-newsletter, etc. Serve & Give. As a Christian, when you think about true missionary work and evangelism, we are most effective when we lead with serving others and meeting their needs. We do feedings for the homeless and hungry, we give away clothes and shoes, we offer free medical care. When you serve others, focus on meeting their needs, and give freely and genuinely, you get people’s attention. Then it’s much easier to share the gospel with them, or in the case of building your brand, to share your work, product, service, or event with them. Lead with love and focus on service and connecting with people on a basic, human level first, and the rest is history.
You MUST be building your e-mail list at ALL TIMES! Your money, and your true power lies in your list! If Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of these other social media sites were to go away tomorrow, you would still have your list of targeted prospects, who you know are genuinely interested in your brand. It’s much easier to get your current clients, customers, and supporters to buy from you again and again, than it is to constantly bring in new customers and clientele. The goal is to get the people who are connected with your brand on social media to then go to your website or blog, and join your e-mail subscriber list. Then, you have direct access to their e-mail inbox, which allows you to connect with them on a more intimate level, on a regular basis, whether they see your social media updates or not. There is power in your list. Start building it now, and let that be one of your main goals, within your social media strategy. Build that list!!
The bible clearly tells us that, “you reap what you sow” (Galatians 6:7). If you want to build a brand online that people like, share, and support, then you have to be actively liking, engaging, sharing, and supporting other brands as well. The worst thing that I see on social media are brands that only promote their own stuff, and are only active on social media when they have something to promote. It’s like, I never hear or see any updates from you, then all of a sudden, when you have a crowd funding campaign, an upcoming event, or product launch, suddenly you’re everywhere. Just imagine if you only prayed to God when you needed something. How strong do you think your relationship with Him would be? Do you think that you will get the same results as someone else who is constantly in the word, praying throughout their day, thanking God for His goodness and blessings, and sharing it with others? I think not. If you want support, you have to give support. Go out of your way to share what other brands are doing, that may be of interest to your target market.
*You should also share about YOU! Get personal! Don’t just keep things on a business or promo level all the time. Share personal photos, share a personal story, and connect with your target market in a personal way. People eat that stuff up on social media!!
*The posts that get the most engagement, likes, and comments on my Facebook and Instagram pages are selfies, pictures of my daughter and I, or any personal photos that I post, with family and friends. So don’t be afraid to share your personal photos and experiences on the social media profiles for your brand. People connect best with other people.
Keep track of what types of posts get the most likes, shares, and comments on your page, and be sure to post more of that type of content. Pay attention to the times of day you get the most responses and interaction, and then schedule your posts to automatically go out at those times of the day/evening. I recommend posting throughout the day and evening, and not only during business hours. Schedule some updates to go out late in the evening, and early in the morning, and see what kind of engagement you receive. Remember that people are in different time zones, and have different work schedules, so test different times for your updates.
*Schedule your social media updates using Hootsuite, or use the scheduler right on your Facebook page to schedule your updates for the entire day.
*Ways to track your links – Use bit.ly to create unique links, track how many clicks you’re getting, and where they’re coming from. Always review your page insights and analytics on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to find out what posts are performing the best, and which site is driving the most traffic to your website or blog. Use that information as a way to decide and influence what types of updates you post on a daily basis.
To sum it up, do these things if you want to have an online brand that SHINES on social media:
– Define your message and target audience.
– Update/post consistently and often.
– Create compelling images using Canva.
– Include your faith and personal life in your sm strategy.
– Engage your audience.
– Build your e-mail list.
– Start a Blog and update it regularly.
– Monitor your pages to know what’s working and what’s not working.
RINSE and REPEAT!!
Do you have a question about anything you read in this post? What has worked best for you on social media?
Post your question or feedback in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post on social media if you found it helpful!