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In this episode of the Revitalise & Grow podcast, we talk about the rise of so-called ‘unsocial brands’ – brands who have decided to stop using social media altogether. This may be a pretty extreme response, and not something we’d advocate for many brands, but it does raise some interesting questions about the problem of growing your brand on a third-party platform.
The problem with social media platforms
It doesn’t matter how big your following is or how much money you’ve spent advertising on it in the past – the hard reality is you don’t have any control over what happens to it. Social media platforms can make huge changes, restrict, penalise and even ban your company at any time.
This is something we encountered first hand when our original Instagram account encountered suspicious activity and we were unable to retrieve it. Cue a lot of tears and the dawning realisation that all your hard work building an audience can be taken away in an instant and you can’t do anything about it!
The lesson we took away was that thank goodness we don’t rely 100% on our social media when it comes to marketing ourselves. We have a great website which drives leads, a planned and highly engaged email marketing programme and we meet people IRL at events and exhibitions. Social media is an amazing and inexpensive tool to help you reach new audiences, but it shouldn’t be the only tool you’re using to grow your brand, as it leaves you at the mercy of the platform’s owners.
With this in mind, we wanted to share with you some tips for outsmarting the algorithms! As, thankfully, there are so many other ways to market your business aside from social media.
Marketing your business aside from social media
The first key takeaway is even if you are a “social-first” company, don’t build your business on what Forbes calls “rented land”! Build your business on a website that you own and can control. Social media will help you reach new audiences, but the goal is to bring customers from the social media channels across to your website.
Secondly, do what great businesses have been doing for centuries – build meaningful relationships with your target market and provide them with value.
So how do you go about doing that?
Focus on creating high quality content that speaks directly to your target market. The key to creating content that resonates is to entertain, educate, inspire or convince, depending on the stage of the funnel your customers are in. By being yourself, letting your personality shine through and sharing content that is of value to your target market you will be onto a winner with your content production.
In order to build meaningful relationships with your consumers, listen to them and really get to know them. Actively seek out their opinions and use that information to shape your activity. Be helpful and do what you say you will so they can trust you.
Additionally, focus on building your own brand. You can do this by:
- Building an email list. Choose your email marketing platform, build your list with freebies and sign-ups and then commence on an email programme that will nurture your target market with regular, valuable content. Keeping your brand front of mind and building those relationships.
- Creating a blog. The more blog content you create, the more opportunities you’ll have to show in search engine results and drive people to your website. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your high quality content!
- Keep your website regularly updated with information such as opening times, special offers and new products etc. This will also help with your website’s search results performance as Google likes new content (and your website’s blog is another great way to keep content new and fresh).
- Repurpose your content. Save time by reusing and repurposing your existing content. Use your social posts in different ways, for example create blogs posts from social poll results or use a social media video on your website’s homepage, additionally you can combine a variety of your more popular social posts to produce a blog piece.
- Spend time on SEO and assign some budget to Google advertising if it is relevant for your business. This way you are actively driving new customers to come to your website. Have an engaging lead magnet on your site in order to develop your email database.
- Have a student mindset and never stop learning! Keep upskilling your knowledge to ensure you keep pace with an ever-changing world. What may have worked once, might not anymore, so don’t be afraid to try something new and experiment. Our Revitalise & Grow podcast can help. It is your friendly audio companion to level up your PR & Marketing knowledge, we offer practical tips to take away and apply to your own business.