How will People Remember You: Getting your Brand Noticed
LinkedIn. Twitter. Facebook. Youtube. Instagram. WhatsApp. Snapchat. Pinterest. Reddit... The list of social media platforms is extensive and the list of active websites is exhaustive. How do you get people to notice your brand and land it at the top of the search page?
I recently attended a brand awareness meeting hosted by the Entrepreneurs Strategic Interest Group—International Association of Business Communicators Houston Chapter. Full of great tips, tricks and tidbits to keep in mind when vying for top spots in Internet searches, Vanessa Wade, principal consultant with Connect the Dots PR, shared best practices for achieving your goals.
Importance of SEO
Positioning your brand for high visibility depends in part on the accuracy of your search engine optimization settings, which, if established accurately, should land you among the first five results when someone is looking for a product or service you provide.
Research shows nearly 2 billion active websites as of January. That doesn't include one- or two-person operations, for example, that may not have a digital footprint but do provide a service or product.
Adding a website to your arsenal to share stories and wares is another feather in the cap of success. Make it easy for people to find out what you and your company are about, organize the most important information on the front page to reduce user scrolling and link clicking.
Instagram vs Facebook vs Twitter
According to 100+ Internet Statistics & Facts: Social Media Statistics & Facts, top brands have a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% on Instagram. That's 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter. Obviously you want to tailor your social media platform to your audience and product. Instagram is generally a better channel for visual products such as photography, food and landscaping. Share information from your site across social media and link back to your site for maximum exposure.
Be swift: Change things before other people do
Brands such as Radio Shack, K-Mart, Blockbuster, Tower Records and Borders weren't able to stand the test of time, but had a good run while they were around. What's the secret sauce to keep small businesses running when research shows about 10 to 20 percent of newcomers aren't able to stay afloat?
"We all remember them [the brands] because they no longer exist," Wade said. "They didn't adjust, they just waited. While everyone else was adjusting, they didn't, and it was their demise." (Read about more famous consumer brands that no longer exist.)
Unfortunately these brands weren't able to stay one step ahead of consumer wants and needs. Frankly, consumers don't know what they want and/or need until they are presented with something they'd never thought of and now can't live without. Wade used Amazon as an example of company evolution—looking ahead to meet the potential changing needs of consumers. What happens when people no longer want only books, which was the company's commodity when it launched in 1995. Now, more than 25 years later, you can find everything from gourmet foods and health/personal-care items, to cleaning products, kitchen items, to gadgets of all kind and more. The business plan is absolutely brilliant.
For my household, just a few things you never knew you needed include an outside storage closet organizer, kitchen cabinet pullout stackable pot rack and wool dryer balls to increase machine efficiency.
Tips to get noticed on social media
"Think about your business, who you serve, who you want to serve and key words," Wade said. "There are ways we stand out and these definitely help":
Create an offer—discounts or free products/services
Give people information they need and want but don't know they need and want
Re-energize your email list
Share your wins and those of your clients—let people know what you're doing
Create a newsletter—you have a following of people who want to hear from you
Use Facebook ads
Be consistent in the timing and messaging of your communications
Respond quickly when people create posts or leave comments—engage and create a community
"Look at alternative ways for people to pay. Standing out comes in so many different ways," Wade said. "People are mobile. We don’t want to miss out on any opportunities."