As a great communication tool for keeping in touch and seeing what others are doing, social media can be even more powerful when its strengths support business growth.

Here are five key tips you can implement today to start making social media work for your brand.

1. Social media can help you deliver on your brand promise

Standing out as the most common theme of Social Media Week was the ability for social media to hold a company accountable to their brand’s promise, day-in and day-out. Brooke Foley, of Jayne Advertising, described the need to tell people what you’re going to do, then actually going and doing exactly what you said you were going to do.

In the world of social media, staying true to who you are as a brand is paramount if you want to be seen as authentic and influential. At the end of the day, branding is the accountability of the business owner. Social media is what gives it a life and platform.

Ask yourself: What can we operationally promise day-in-and-out? Are we delivering on that promise?

2. Build a consistent voice across your social media platforms

Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. If there was ever a more obvious way to build a brand’s voice, we haven’t found it.

Maintaining consistency on social media promotes your brand’s voice and builds authenticity with your audience. The key to leveraging this, however, is by choosing platforms that make sense for your brand’s personality and audience while making sure you have the right story (or brand promise) out there.

As Fritz Klug, of Bell’s Brewery, stated at the end of his presentation: Find ways to inspire your customers, just as you’re inspired to do what you do.

Ask yourself: What inspires us to do what we do? Does our voice consistently present that on social media?

3. Make your social media scalable

With its ability to generate and provide instant interaction with leads, social media has broken down the wall that once stood between sales and marketing teams.

Maneeza Aminy (Marvel Marketing) and Fritz Klug (Bell’s Brewery) both talk about the importance of marketing and social automation tools for scaling and growing a brand’s presence. But in the end, there is no magic bullet. It’s about finding the combination of tools that make sense for your brand.

Start by evaluating your pain points in social and marketing communication, and align those points with tools that perfectly match those needs.

Ask yourself: What tools are we currently using, if any, to scale our brand? Are we automating the right things?

4. Failing forward can be a good thing

All companies have their misses and fails of when trying new things on social media. If there was one piece of advice that’s absolutely critical, it’s the fact that you should never be afraid to fail forward.

Failing, if viewed in a positive light, creates a learning opportunity for your brand to grow from. It opens up doors of communication with your customers and lets them know you’re human, too.

Ask yourself: What mistakes have you seen occur on your social media platforms? What did you learn or take away from them?

5. Use social media to make one-on-one connections

One-on-one connections are key to growing brand loyalty and advocacy from customers. Obviously, there will be differences depending on whether you are B2B- or B2C-facing, but the principle is the same—people buy from real stories.

Here are several important ways to create or improve connections with customers:

  • Specifically sponsoring live events (and forgoing national campaigns!) to connect with grassroots fans.
  • Implementing fun and creative ways to answer customer services questions through video, podcasts, and other engaging media.
  • Being able to have the “tough conversations” with customers and provide pushback from time to time. (Guess what? They usually all turned out for the best!)

Ready to get started?

Just a simple checklist, right? Okay, okay, we get it—these things take time. Branding, consistency, scalability, and relationships don’t happen overnight. Given time and a strategic initiative, these five themes will have social media working for your brand for the long haul.

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