The explosion of social media has resulted in ongoing conversations about how to leverage the platforms to create tangible results. In spite of there being a new school of gurus and experts who spend their days discussing social media, few people have mastered the art and science of building a personal or business brand online.
The following seven indicators will assist you in measuring how well you’re branded online.
- Presence: Are you present?
It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have profiles set up on all of the appropriate platforms. Be sure your profiles are current and reflect where your brand stands today. Customers who find your digital presence should be able to easily understand what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and who you do it for. You may not be able to include all of this information on every platform. Including the most relevant elements of your brand, including tag lines or unique features, will allow prospects to quickly identify the brand.
- Identity: Do you have a distinct identity in your industry? Are your peers able to articulate what’s unique about you? Take an informal survey of those familiar with your brand and find out how they would sum your brand up in one sentence. Be sure your bios, photos, and branding language match what you want to communicate.
- Consistency: Are you using the platforms consistently? Or do you update it when you remember? If you’ve decided not to use a platform anymore, delete it. Most people want the most up-to-date information they can find. If a blog is found and it's stale, then it can appear you aren't current on your topic. Make sure you're consistently updating each active profile, so everything that comes up during a digital search is current and relevant.
- Engagement: Are you having conversations online? There’s nothing worse than a person who is so preoccupied with selling and promoting that they don’t care about the people on the other end. Ask questions, share resources, and offer value. Decide how you will become important to people in the online space. Ideally, in the digital space, one's absence should be felt. That happens by becoming important. You become important to people by adding value to their lives and experiences.
- Diversity: Are you using different types of media online? Are you showing up in a variety of places? Be willing to branch out and diversify your online presence. If you only write articles, consider making a few videos to switch things up. If you only promote on your Facebook fan page, consider jumping into some conversations on LinkedIn. Be selective but deliberate about diversifying your presence.
- Relevance: How useful is the information you distribute? With so much noise in the digital space, it's important to differentiate yourself by creating content that is authentic and timely. Everybody wants to improve their life in some way; how are you assisting in that? How relevant are you in your industry? Insert yourself into the most visible circles and conversations by leading with high value content and a genuine interest in connecting.
- Volume: Are you sharing enough? If you’re writing a blog post once a week, consider upping it to twice a week to see what happens. You may find that your traffic increases and your sales needle moves. If you’re busy and feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of doing more, use the automation features of your blogging platform to schedule your posts in advance. Hoot Suite offers user-friendly ways to keep your social media accounts full of fresh content.
With so many platforms and opportunities to build your brand online, a solid strategy is essential to success. Use the seven indicators to help you determine where your brand stands today and where it should go.