Standing out yields great returns. This is the playbook for an entrepreneur’s success on social media.
Digital marketing strategist and media scientist Janet Machuka has made a career as an online master. At Sparks Corporate Solutions her specialties include digital marketing and influencing, digital marketing training and digital marketing consultancy. She is a self-developed content marketing strategist and developer.
With that expertise, Machuka talked with digital marketer Madalyn Sklar about how to build and maintain brand identity in the online world.
“Brand identity helps people know what you stand for,” Machuka said. “A well-known brand name sticks in people’s minds and hence is easy to relate to personal attributes that make up the real you.
“Being a brand means you have fans and customers,” she said. “Some will talk about your brand even without your knowledge. Some will refer you to other businesses. When your brand is identified, it is easier to be trusted. Whatever you post on your social media will be taken as the truth.”
Machuka has developed prime pointers to construct a solid brand identity:
- Share testimonials that are fresh, relatable and believable to your audience.
- Join Twitter lists, Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups with individuals who have common interests. Converse, engage and identify yourself as one of them.
- Share high-quality educational materials that will push you to become an authority among your fellow educators.
- Your profile, biography and content should exude authority in them. You can send directions, calls to action and inspire your audience to take action.
- Choose a niche. Stick to it and other close relations of it.
- Listen, observe and participate in conversations around your keywords and concepts.
- Associate yourself with strong and already built brands.
“Doing this can easily loop you into clients,” Machuka said. “When you want to soar, stick around eagles, not chickens.”
There are several ways marketers can build brand identity across different social platforms.
“Show up in events, take selfies and photos with fans, share them on social media and tag them,” Machuka said. “Create a seamless brand voice. The marketer Janet as you know her on Twitter with her personal attributes should replicate the one on Facebook.”
Profit from selectivity
She advocates replication across social platforms with this in mind:
- Focus on a particular niche. Create content around it. Share stories. Engage people within that niche.
- I love engaging with my community and being part of chats and groups.
- Be the watchdogs to your customers to share news about your industry.
Marketers should be selective when engaging on social media. For Machuka, that means concentrating on customers, prospects, thought leaders, potential clients, influencers and brands.
Building on this, companies can use conversations on social media to help build their brand authority.
“Conversations involve established brands being guests on chats and curating content,” Machuka said. “Have continuous conversations on feedback from clients, testimonials, brand stories and engagements with followers. They might be leads or customers who can build the company’s reputation into an authority.”
Entrepreneurs can hook up with those in the know.
“Businesses should sign up compatible thought leaders as messengers,” Machuka said. “Let them be aware of the brand’s achievements and news about products and services.
“Thought leaders should help steer original research to customers about the brand the influencers represent,” she said.
Machuka said brands will know when they have built authority on social media when they hit these marks.
- Drive conversations that convert.
- Influence people’s purchasing power.
- Share consistent content on social media that followers will not question.
- Make impacts that influence society in regard to their niche.
“Everyone wants to make the other do something,” Machuka said. “But how your identified brand makes people react to something and refer to your brand is the most amazing thing ever.
“Are you a memorable brand in people’s minds?” she said. “No matter how much time or how many resources you spend in marketing your brand, if your audience and customers don’t align with your key values, your success will be limited.”