Have you ever found yourself wondering how social media can help to increase brand awareness and rapport amongst your target audience? If so, you’ve probably looked at aspects such as what topics you should talk about, who the best people to connect with are, and how you can get more interaction from followers. You may not have known it at the time, but in doing so, you’ve been reviewing your level of social media authority and considering how to improve it.
90% of customers admit to searching a brand online before making any buying decisions. Indeed, social media networks provide an unrivalled platform for building that relationship. Through sharing expert and engaging content, you can showcase your brand as worth investing in – in relation to both time and money.
But it’s not as simple as setting yourself up on social, sharing a few posts and watching as new customers fall in love with your services. Real results come from consistently sharing engaging content. The magic truly happens when you bring your page to life and demonstrate what it is about your brand that is so expert and authoritative.
We’ve put together our step by step guide to communicating your leading position in the industry and building social authority amongst potential customers.
Showcasing yourself as authoritative on social
Social media authority can be broken down into 4 key areas:
How often have you asked for a recommendation from a friend before buying?
Trust is everything. If people see that others who they value and respect feel confident to promote your product or service, it can have a big influence on how they perceive your brand too. Key online influencers could be their friends and family, online personalities, such as bloggers, or even media personalities. The more credible, relevant, respected, authoritative people that you have a liking and following you the better. This can really add to your social authority. Many people will use the number of followers you have to assess how good your business is, so a strong base of fans can be a real asset.
Social media isn’t simply about pushing a product or service. It’s about showcasing what you know and providing added value to customers. You need to give them a reason to follow you and show how it will enhance their life in some way.
Simply sharing a picture of your product with a short caption might look nice on a feed, but it doesn’t really do much else in terms of demonstrating authority. Blog posts and vlogs provide great content in this respect. Think of it as providing a free teaser to hook people in. Once followers believe in you and know that what they are getting from you is helpful to them, they are more likely to purchase for real.
It takes two to tango. Increasing engagement with your social channels is no different.
To raise your profile on social, you need to be liking, commenting and sharing posts of the people you follow. You need to show that you are engaged in their life, as much as they are yours. Start and join conversations, respond to comments, create discussion. Always make sure to acknowledge and recognise when followers have engaged with your content by liking and responding. It’s a simple technique, but it goes a long way to establishing a feeling of rapport amongst your audience. How can you expect them to promote your brand if you won’t share in theirs?
How often have you seen that a brand has thousands of followers and just assumed they must be great? The number of followers an account has correlates hugely with the degree of trust we naturally place on them. And yet, followers don’t mean anything if they are an unengaged, irrelevant audience… but your target audience won’t always notice that…
It’s important to find a balance between growing a large following, but also ensuring you are targeting the right people. If your followers have no interest in your brand, they are never going to engage, and more importantly, they are never going to promote or buy.
Likes are similar. How often have you scrolled past a good looking image and clicked ‘like’ without really reading it? When we say ‘followers who are engaged in your content’, we’re not referring to those who ‘aimlessly like it without reading’. It’s important to find a balance of generating high volumes of likes because this is something that your target audience will look at, but it’s more important to focus on increasing the number of comments and shares your content is receiving.
So what do you need to do next to increase your social authority?
Start by engaging…
Get online and start chatting! Respond to any comments on your posts and like and share the posts of others. Engage with any local hashtags that are popular and take part in industry conversations across each platform.
Build relationships with key influencers
Find out who your key online influencers are and reach out to them via social media. Bloggers, commentators and members of your local business community are a valuable source of likes and follow and can be a brilliant way of getting your posts shared with large numbers of people.
Create great content
Having great content that you can share is vital in building your social authority as this is what will really encourage people to engage with you online. Use your blog and news pages to give advice and share knowledge. Make sure that you understand what your social media followers are looking for and provide them with the information that they need and are likely to share with others.
Building social authority is an increasingly important area of your marketing portfolio. Social media presence is now a must-have for any business, but it’s vital to make sure that you use it wisely to gain a good reputation within your industry. Why not speak to our social media experts to understand more about what platforms you need to be on and how you can get the most out of them.