Listen, nowadays, there’s no better person to promote who you are and what you do—than you. Take it from Kevin Hart and DJ Khaled, both are worth millions, but they are the sole drivers behind their social media channels. Seriously, they are beasts when it comes to social media marketing.
So, what’s stopping you?
Connecting with the right audience and getting people to talk about your brand takes more than luck—it takes strategy. Check out a few tips below:
Know who you are and become the face of your brand – Simon Sinek said it best: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” So, who are you and what do you stand for? What lives have been changed or made better by your involvement? Having an understanding of who you are and why you do what you do can attract the right target audience to your brand, including supporters, potential business partners, and media outlets.
As the founder of the Bee Agency, a public relations firm based in Detroit, Brittni Brown, says, “In the current social media-crazed market, it’s so important to welcome your dream consumers or clients into your world. You have to gain their trust as well as make them comfortable with the idea that you’re their “social media bestie.” It’s not the time to “be behind your brand” it’s time to dive in face first and let them know why you’re so dope! People won’t trust you if they don’t know you.”
Connect with your target audience – To connect and build trust with your audience, research and go beyond basic demographics: Where does your audience go for information? What makes them happy? What keeps them up at night? What do they value? To find out where you audience hangs out online, search for keywords related to your audience. For instance, “How to Change Careers” will bring up the top articles and websites producing career-related content. For each article, take a look at the comments section, join the discussion area or join the conversation happening on Facebook, Twitter or LinkediN. This is a great way to engage with your audience and find industry insiders. You can also use Twitter and Instagram to search relevant industry hashtags and join in on the conversation on those respective platforms as well.
Create a personal brand content calendar – When it comes to success, I believe in a no excuse policy for creating your own opportunities. Think of yourself like a TV network. Ask yourself : What types of content can I create to uplift, educate and empower my audience to take action? What problem can I solve for my audience this week? Your personal brand calendar should include at least 3-6 months of online/offline events, content and networking opportunities relevant to your industry.
- Research a few upcoming industry events in your area and make it your business to attend.
- Create a calendar and plan blog post around upcoming events.
- Schedule “Live” video times to take your audience behind the scenes via Periscope, Snapchat or Facebook Live.
- Support your network: take note of the speakers and participants attending, connect with them on social media and build rapport (e.g., ‘Like, Comment and Share’ their post) before meeting in person.
Optimize your social media profiles to promote yourself– Make sure your social media profiles are public so people can find you. Optimize your social profiles such as Twitter and LinkedIn with keywords, and use relevant hashtags for your business in your captions so your name will show up in search results. Take followers behind the scenes using Instagram and live-streaming tools such as Periscope and Snapchat and don’t forget to show your personality. With social media, consistency and engagement are key, remember—use Hootsuite and Later.com-to help plan and schedule your social media post.
Pitch yourself for news coverage and speaking engagements –When it comes to finding news stories for TV, print, and even radio, the tables have turned. Nowadays, media outlets and mega brands are spending their time searching for the next best piece of content online via Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, and Snapchat—to name a few. So, stay fresh and relevant by creating and repurposing your own content (e.g., How-to’s, your point of view on politics, product reviews, and e-books) across your social media networks. Before you pitch your story to a media outlet or influential blogger, make sure you’re familiar with the journalist, publication, and their target audience. Ask yourself, ‘Why should a journalist care?’ It’s also a good idea to read a journalist’s work before reaching out.
Take advantage of trending industry news by setting up Google Alerts or using Twitter’s trending feature, so that you can pitch a journalist and provide your point of view about a timely news topic.
Additionally, for $65/month, you can subscribe to justreachout.io, an online service that helps startups gain press coverage. The service provides the names and contact information of relevant journalist who may be interested in your story as well as e-mail pitch templates.
Oh, and remember, you’re looking to build trust. So if your target audience loves to watch the VMA’s or Scandal join the conversation Live on Twitter or Facebook. Publishing blog posts on your website or public platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium are also great ways to attract event organizers and press looking for an expert opinion.
Note: Parts of this article was published for Black Enterprise.com.