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How to begin building a brand presence on social media

Posted by Tradesquare on Aug 25, 2021 4:46:06 PM

For a small to medium sized business, creating a brand presence on social media can be an intimidating challenge. 

But as social media expert Francesca Alexander tells TradeSquare, the first step is straightforward – and very necessary: show people who you are.

“When you push through your brand and show who you are, that's the magic,” she told TradeSquare’s Catherine van der Meulen during a podcast you can listen to here

You have to demonstrate who you are, by the actions of your business, and demonstrate that on social media. 

“Demonstrate a product, a feature, a benefit – that's the way to get any client to actually look in. So if you're doing that on social media consistently, people are drawn into what's going on with you,” says Alexander. 

A former makeup artist in West Hollywood who now lives in New Zealand where she works as “an entrepreneurial activist,” Alexander counsels the owners of businesses about social media through her boutique consultancy Social Global Grind. 


Curating dynamic content

So what are the best ways a business can curate dynamic content?

“The first thing is to be original,” she explains, adding there is a lot of controversy over people allegedly ripping off the work of really great content creators.

Secondly, tell the story of who you are and showcase that. 

“Don't be afraid to share your thoughts as a company regarding social justice. That will help resonate, amplify your voice and encourage your allies to come out to support how important social justice is and all of the causes that are out there.”

Alexander says this will fuel a faster alignment with your audience. 

“Finally, engage with everybody who follows you – drop them a little note. I like to do it, especially if I’m working with a small brand-based business. Leave them a voice-activated message, which you can do on Instagram, saying “Hey, what's going on, I see that you follow me? Thanks so much, I'm going to check out your content”. Something really small and sincere will go a long way.”




The importance of video

Video is now “absolutely imperative” in social media, she says.

Instagram is showing signs of drawing features widely used on TikTok, where brands are becoming increasingly active. “We're seeing TikTok running video demonstrations of products, explainer videos on how to do things if it's a product or service – and they are also doing things like ‘a day in the life of’.”

When you make a video, be sure it looks and feels authentic, she stresses. TikTok has helped people accept rickety, shaky hand-held video which is now engaging people more. So, filming live on the fashion runway by hand, rather than a tripod, for example, can add personality and authenticity which goes further with today’s online audience. 

“Don't make it perfect. Instagram isrealising that now and is leaning more toward replicating TikTok-type features. So we are still going to see images used, but we're going to transition everything into video.”

She recommends brands go onto TikTok, see what is happening on the platform. Look for inspiration and the style of production and then use it as a base. 

Alexander is working with clients adopting the TikTok short-video style and using it on channels like LinkedIn, because such videos are now getting more views than basic images. 

Another highly recommended strategy is to get in front of the camera – something she found uncomfortable personally at first. 

“That's going to optimise your impact. It's really simple: you need to connect with those brands and services and whoever's providing them. The easiest way to resonate with your viewers is just be in front of the video that's featuring you. Just do it and don't get caught up in criticising yourself for retaking or redoing,” she advises.

“My favourite trick is do it and post it.”  After all, it doesn't get much more authentic and genuine than that, does it?

Listen to the podcast interview with Alexander here on TradeSquare where she shares these and more ideas for business owners wanting to make an impact on social media. 

Topics: marketing, marketing strategy, social media, digital marketing

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