Without a clear strategy, building your brand online can become a tiresome and seemingly endless feat.  
With more and more companies mastering the digital space, having a tactical approach to social media marketing is becoming essential to stand out from the crowd. 
Whether your company operates exclusively online or the world of social media marketing is completely new territory, here are 7 simple steps to guide you through creating or enhancing your online brand: 

1. Know your audience 

There is no general, one-size-fits-all approach to successful social media marketing. Your strategy should be tailored specifically to the type of customer you wish to attract.  
This can affect which social media platforms you use, as well as the kind of content you post. 
Age and gender are major factors to consider, as a target audience of teenagers are unlikely to use the same social media platforms as customers who are in their fifties.  
Understanding who your audience are will allow you to narrow down which techniques and platforms will be the most useful and effective for marketing your business online. 

2. Avoid trying to do it all 

When it comes to social media it is best to select one or two of the platforms your customers are most likely to use, and focus your marketing efforts exclusively on these sites.  
The quality of your content will suffer if you attempt to stretch your efforts across every platform possible.  
Trying to appeal to everyone can end up appealing to no one, so taking a focused approach is crucial to attract people who are most likely to become customers. 

3. Have a clear voice 

With so many brands competing online, it has become increasingly important to stand out from the crowd. Having a clear voice reinforces this.  
Ensuring your public voice then remains consistent across every Instagram caption, tweet, and section of website copy will help customers to recognise your company amongst your competitors.  
With social media your personality and company values can shine through and be expressed as creatively as possible. 

4. Be consistent 

Devise a social media plan with a realistic schedule to allow for consistent posts.  
You can preschedule posts using Hootsuite to keep on top of this, which is particularly useful if there are definite occasions you would like to ensure you post on, and this will allow you time to prepare for them. 
Everything needs to match – there needs to be a definitive colour scheme or at least an ongoing theme that applies to your website and all social media posts. This will also make your accounts appear professional and organised. 
Keep your website up to date and your social media accounts active and posting regularly. Post on a consistent basis, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming to follow. 
An account with lots of posts, no matter what their success rate is, will immediately appear as a more credible source than an account with just three posts, no matter how much engagement the individual posts received. 

5. Blogging is best 

Producing useful, engaging content in the form of blog posts is far more efficient for boosting online engagement than stuffing as many keywords as possible into a body of text.  
A blog which offers exclusive industry-specific information will also establish your business as a knowledgeable, reliable source in that area. 
The more blog posts you produce, the more content you’ll have to share on social media. Interesting articles are more likely to gain attention from your followers and potential customers than purely promotional social posts, thereby improving the engagement levels on your accounts.  
As well as this, blog posts will direct people to your website, increasing the amount of traffic you receive and encouraging people to explore the rest of your site. 

6. Be responsive 

It is important to stay on top of online comments and reviews, and respond to both positive and negative feedback. Answer politely, respectfully, and helpfully, no matter how scathing or impolite a comment may be.  
If a company fires back with an immature response to a complaint this will only lessen public opinion of them further.  
A constructive responsive reflects professionalism and a desire to develop and improve, and above all a commitment to customer satisfaction. 
It is equally as important to be responsive to changing trends and social media developments, with a willingness to adapt your strategy as you go along.  
You may find, for example, that some social media platforms will become less popular over time, and new apps and sites will be released in their place.  
Keep on top of the online trends that your target audience will be engaging with, and pay attention to what has worked and hasn’t for your competitors to save yourself from making the same mistakes. 

7. Repost and engage 

Aim to engage with your audience online rather than continually pushing products towards them.  
A strong following is built by filling your social media accounts with interesting and enjoyable content, making people far more receptive to the products or services you can also offer them. 
The rule of thirds is one to stick to when curating content. Only a third of your posts should directly endorse your product or service.  
The rest should be a balance between content from other leaders in your industry and posts that help you to establish your personal brand.  
Reposting content from other relevant accounts demonstrates that you have in-depth knowledge of the industry that you’re in, with the rest of your posts highlighting the unique position you hold within it. 
Promoting your brand online will not have overnight results, but a strong online presence can make a world of difference.  
This allows you to reach customers who may have never discovered your brand otherwise, and compete with even the biggest brands online. 
Of course, in order to have a truly effective online presence, you must have a professionally designed website above everything else – read our blog post to learn why social media marketing is more effective when used alongside a website.  
If you are looking for a friendly and reliable web design company to bring your brand to life online, we’d love to help. Get in touch with your local itseeze consultant today to find out more about our web design services. 
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