The 3 R’s of Social Media Branding
Social media is constantly changing for the user and for the small business marketer. However, in my experience over the past 15 years there have been some tactics that do remain constant for your website and for social media. The 3 “R’s” of social media emerged out of a need to explain to my clients and students which tactics will work for best generating traffic and improving search engine result standings. These 3 simple points will really make a difference in your online presence. It does take commitment, but I think once you make the commitment you will see the payoff.
The first “R” of social media branding is Regularity. This is one of the hardest ones on the list, but one of the best. Search engines are designed to provide their users (searchers) with the best possible match or result to their query, with the most up to date information as well. So when you don’t post something for a while it is likely your posts and information will roll down the search engine results page while more timely similar results move up the page. And beyond search engines, your visitors will be able to more loyal and more likely to come back for more when they know your information routine.
Make a schedule and be realistic about your time. For social media it is bad manners to “dump and run”. Post 10 items in a row and then disappear for 3 weeks. That is counter productive. Schedule out your posts, whether it be a blog or Facebook or Twitter, use a calendar to pace your posts and use the stats to learn about your audience. Write your blog every other week or once a month if that’s all the time you have. Then use social media to announce your new blog post at different times of the day with different highlights of the article. The goal is to be “seen” regularly on the web, and you can decide what that means as far as your schedule goes. Just keep the posts coming as promised – what ever that promise may be to your readers.
The second “R” of social media branding is Response. Respond to anyone and everyone who contacts you on the web. If someone writes a comment on your blog post, then comment back and thank them. If they ask you a business question publicly then start the answer publicly and then end it by taking it “offline” to email if it’s too long or complicated. If they have a comment good or bad acknowledge it with a comment or post addressing the point mentioned.
This does several things for you as a business owner. First, it’s great publicity. It shows that you are aware of what is going on in your marketing efforts and are that you are around and even available. Second, it helps create relationships and potential clients. Finally, it encourages more active communication on that platform. Some people like to post knowing someone is really reading it. And some people won’t post unless others have posted before them. Responding to any kind of post in a professional and appropriate manner will take you and your customer relationships a long way.
The third and final “R” of social media branding is Reciprocity. A mouthful to say, but easy to do. Treat your online readers and potential clients like you would like to be treated. I am going to assume we all like to be treated nicely – right? So when someone “Shares” your post, link or photo then say “Thank You” right there. If someone reposts your FB post or Tweet, the give them a shutout of Thanks using their handle (@coolreader etc…). Give out random discounts as a show of appreciation if available. If not, a simple mention goes a long way. Also, if a vendor, associate or affiliate post something relating to you business, return the kindness by posting back to them and telling your readers how you are connected. People are more likely to do things for you when they can see first hand that you may do something for them.
There you have the 3 “R’s” of social media branding. Regularity in your posting, responding to customers’ posts and questions, and reciprocating mentions will build a strong social media brand that you can be proud of, and one that will help customers find you online. You have to be active online to be found online. These 3 items are your tools to help search engines connect you with your next client.
Tip: Don’t forget to mark you stats when you start practicing the 3 R’s. You will see a steady rise in activity in your stats demonstrating that your work is paying off.