You want your brand to make its stance and make a splash in the world. You understand the role that social media has carved out in helping people connect with who you are and what you do. You know all about Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but you don’t just want to be another voice in the sea. You want to build yourself an excellent reputation, do things by the book, and help your brand. So…how do you do that? What are some of the things you need to consider to build an excellent reputation on social media?
It’s not all about you
Your ultimate goal is to help your brand. We know that, but promoting yourself is the goal of almost everyone on social media. To grow your brand, you need other people to like and share what you do. Yes, you need good content that is worth sharing in the first place, but that’s not enough. You can’t just force your message down people’s throats. People are marketed to every day. We’re continually ignoring ads, and we’re collectively immune to people trying to sell us something.
A huge belief in content marketing is to provide people value first before you ask them for anything. You need to set up a win-win scenario. To accomplish this, you need to take the first step and offer something. You can’t give them candy over the internet, so try sharing their content first. Share what they do with no string attached, and they will naturally be inclined to reciprocate your generosity.
[Read: The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing]
Focus on building trust
The trust of your customers needs to be sacred to you. We already know that people trust their friends and family more than any brand, and Google confirmed it. 74% of consumers base their purchasing decisions on word of mouth. The messages that they listen to are the ones they trust. So when you’re building trust, you need to provide them value without continually selling them. It’s not spam that changes minds. It’s the truth.
Put all the tools in place for your followers and the people that discover you to trust you. Add a profile picture that shows you’re a real human. Get your account verified to give that peace of mind that people are interacting with the real you and not some imposter. Add your credentials. Tell everyone who you are and what you do, but keep your ego in check. You want your bio to build ethos, not annoyance. Connect your account to your actual website. It will add some trust that you are who you say you are and drive referral traffic as well.
Put your best foot forward by pinning your best posts to the top of your feed. Maximize the exposure that posts get and let people know what you think is essential. Best practices would also advise you to pick a post that has already had a lot of engagement like shares and likes to showcase those other people like you too, not just yourself. Sharing trustworthy content will help you be seen as more trustworthy. Try to link to reputable sources. Also, try to connect to major sites. Major publications are an excellent source of useful content that can be associated with trust. Adding the URL of the publication will also help that authority to be recognized faster.
Care about your grammar, because your followers care. You will be judged heavily on whether or not you spell things correctly and catch typos. Improperly using ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ will enrage more people than you know. Your followers are going to be determining how competent they think you are based on this, get it right.
Don’t spam hashtags. Keep it precise. Too many can put off users and come off as spammy again, which is not what you want. The recommendation is to use no more than three hashtags per post.
Keep your ratios in check. You want to have a good number of people following you, versus the people you are following. You don’t want to overcorrect and support more people than are following you. That kind of ratio is a turn off to other users, who see you as just trying to push your agenda and you’re not offering much value in return.
Videos are a great tool. They engage with your audience more, people want to watch them, they are more likely to watch the whole thing and not skim it, and videos can connect with your audience emotionally.
Finally, be creative, don’t just regurgitate what other people have created. Add real value to their lives in ways that aren’t entirely boring.
[Read: Get Ahead With These 9 Emerging Video Trends]
Pick your niche and stick to it. You want to post things that are relevant to the same audience. You want to be steady with your schedule too. A great post won’t do any good if you only post once every three months. You want to give your followers enough to chew.
Reply to people quickly, ideally within an hour, and give good feedback to their comments. You want to let them know that you care and that you want to interact with them. If someone is complaining, respond to their complaints. If it’s a valid complaint, it’s not going away and not only will other people see this negative interaction, but they will think that you don’t care enough to respond.
Keep everything you say and do on brand. Don’t go out and try to chase every shiny trend that crosses your path. You want prospective followers to get a good idea of what you do from the presence that you have on social media. What you post will be a reflection of your brand. That means avoiding garbage posts as well. If the content you posts labels you as a spammy Sam, that is who people are going to think that you are.
And, there you are. If you want to build a better reputation on social media, you now have some sound advice to get started. If you are genuine and don’t try to make everything about yourself, people will eventually recognize that. Happy posting.