The ability to build brands online as opposed to traditional print, radio or television ads is still a relatively new concept. Instead of giving up on this vital part of marketing your brand, take advantage of what you have to push through the noise!
If your company is not being heard or neglected by consumers, it may be time to try some new ideas. There are things you can do, starting today, that do not involve a lot of marketing experience or expensive equipment. You can completely start growing your business using what you already have on hand! Community is key when building a business online. Every brand needs to build a community of people that will trust you are a source of inspiration, guidance and support.
Some of the ways you can build your community online:
Create Online Groups:
If you are not already on social media, GO NOW and start!
Learn how to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To date these are the three easiest to learn and manage. Your presence online is a must for people to see you and know your are there.
To be online you must be consistent! These are relationships you are building. You cannot go from introducing yourself to marriage in a day! Introduce yourself and be ready to be there for your customers! Woo them, wow them and take care of them.
Know that the commitment is real!
The internet does not sleep. If you cannot manage your social media full time hire an agency like The Branding Bar. If it is only you, you can use online tools such as Hootsuite to help you manage your posts. Enable notifications to keep you in touch when people do comment on your posts so you can reply in a timely manner. This time commitment will pay off in the long run.
Service projects is my most favorite in the ways to build. Service projects are a way for a group to build something together. It is wonderful to participate and it feels good to know you are helping someone less fortunate.
If your business does not have the capacity to produce a larger service project, start small! Reach out locally to find a need to provide an opportunity for a organization. Share your projects online with photos and the people participating!
Take Great Photos:
Everyone LOVES good photos. Learn how to take and edit photos from your phone. Most phones have excellent photo capabilities. Download A Color Story ( a free app) and lean how to quickly edit photos. There are also You Tube videos that can help you master the fine art of editing. You will love how easy this is once you get the knack!
Be a Great Host or Hostess:
When sharing in social media, remember you are inviting people into your home. You are the host and they are your guest.
Provide a variety of information from various areas. When you cross post and cross promote be sure to include the information for the sources you are sharing. No matter what community you are in, people appreciate knowing the source. This is a trust building step. Sometimes it takes extra time to seek out all of the information but this step is crucial for your brand to be a trusted source of information and a trusted business.
Make sure to involve yourself in the online communities by commenting on comments left on your pages. The people that are on your pages will see that you are helping your customers and will know that you are trustworthy.
By building a community online, you will be building your business in the most important way possible.
As in any business, you will have to be patient ( the worst part) but if you love what you do, love your brand and most importantly LOVE your community, your efforts will reap real benefits for you and for your customers.