When it comes to your business, does social media build your brand, or does your brand shape your social media presence?
What comes first?
Branding or social media?
Chicken or egg?
The answer to either question is simple – BOTH.
(Just kidding. If you’d like to know the answer to the chicken-egg question, skip to the end. The social-media-branding question is more complicated, so keep reading.)
Let’s break it down further.
How to manage your brand on social media, in 3 easy steps, in no particular order (you’ll see what I mean by this later)…
Know your brand
Every entrepreneur knows that branding is everything.
Your brand is literally your reputation. It’s what people think of when they think of your business (NOT what YOU think of your business).
Before you do anything – be it on social media or otherwise – make sure you know your business brand inside-out.
That means you should be able to answer these questions:
- What problem does your product or service solve?
- Who benefits from this product?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What content effectively engages your desired audience on social media?
Don’t take a step further before you’ve got your branding down, it will save you a lot of grief and wasted resources down the road.
Launch your brand on social media before you’re ready
Many entrepreneurs tend to be perfectionists.
They kind of have to be – perfectionism gives them edge they need in order to compete with other businesses.
However, the Dark Side of perfectionism rears its ugly head in this case.
It pains me to say this (believe me), but when it comes to branding, things will never be perfect.
Take a deep breath.
It’ll be okay.
Just get your branding as close to 100% as you can and then launch your business on social media.
Whatever you do, DO NOT allow your perfectionism to stop you from launching. You won’t always know what works on social media and what doesn’t until you try it out.
At some point, you will have to bite the bullet and trust that you know all that you can at this stage of the game.
The rest will come later. Really.
Revisit your branding
There’s a bit of a misconception where once you’ve solidified your branding, it just stays the same forever.
But branding changes over time.
And being on social media will further push your brand to change.
Your brand will change based on feedback you get on social media. Pay close attention to what’s working and what’s not working on social media. Engage with your following and observe what comes up in conversations and comments.
Even bad feedback is helpful – just think of it as an opportunity to hone your brand.
Keep the two-way lines of communication open – this is where the true beauty of social media marketing lies. When else and where else are you as a business owner given the opportunity to get this close to your target audience and their experiences with your business?
Use social media engagement to hone your message and your branding.
Stand your ground, but be open to new possibilities.
Then, go back to the beginning – knowing your brand – and go through the cycle again.
Whatever you do, don’t feel like some kind of failure because you want to revamp your branding from time to time. It’s supposed to change.
Change is good.
Change means you’re growing.
Change means your business is evolving.
Hope you found that useful!
(P.S. As for the answer to the chicken-and-egg question, the answer is the egg came first. Because crocodiles lay eggs and they walked the Earth before chickens even existed. Sorry, chickens.)