By Yelena Ganshof, BrandBoosting Founder
Do you know that now there are over 3 billion people using social networks across the globe? Let’s name the most popular platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.
I have been extremely active on social media in order to grow my own personal brand, and my clients’ as well: to get their brands noticed, help them build strategic partnerships and relationships, and connect with people to show the human side of their brands.
Let’s face it: in today’s highly competitive business world, it has become extremely difficult to stand out and get your message across to key decision makers.
The old traditional methods of branding and marketing a business project are not as effective as they used to be.
Why? Because we’ve learned that people are not doing business with projects or robots. People are doing business with people they like and trust, and whose business solutions they believe in.
Social media is providing the tools to personally connect to those people and build these professional relationships.
What are the benefits of using social media for professionals?
Let me outline the main benefits of using social media:
Any business adviser worth their weight in gold will tell you how crucial it is to have media exposure for brand positioning and awareness, and how much effort and investment some brands put into advertisement over traditional media. You might have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody knows about your brand and how to find you, then what’s the point? Hiring a PR agency might be very costly and is not always effective.
According to recent media surveys, over 90% of journalists and editors are on LinkedIn and most of them say it is their preferred professional networking tool! Then why not take advantage of this social media tool (which is free for anyone) to build a credible, attractive profile and get noticed by journalists?
I personally have built a number of new relationships over LinkedIn, with people who have reached out about my training sessions, workshops, and speaking engagements. No other platform has given me this particular opportunity.
Authenticity: Showing the human side of your brand
According to some marketing surveys, more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real proof” of a human team who is keeping its promises. Connecting with your customers and clients over human values – this is extremely powerful. Again, people do business with people they like and trust.
Social media is an opportunity to humanize your brand by introducing people to your company team through pictures and videos, and showcasing how existing customers are benefiting from your product through video testimonials.
Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories are great for showing the “behind the scenes” human team, the pre-launch campaign of your products and services, and a human introduction to your project or program.
Imagine yourself like a musician: once your audience likes you, they will come back to your concerts, to buy your new tracks and new albums. So, you want to be that musician to conduct your own concert!
Relations and Partnerships
If you study the corporate strategy of some of the biggest global brands, you will notice one thing in common: they set up joint venture partnerships with key industry players.
So, rather than getting your message across to only one client in a meeting, why not use this strategy to broadcast your message across hundreds, and possibly thousands, of targeted contacts you are connected to?
Connecting to professionals in your expert field, to potential customers, to strategic partners and influencers, is crucial. With the right partner or influencer, you can refer clients to each other, leverage the power of offering some complementary products, and help grow each others’ businesses.
What is important here is providing your audience with great value in what you post rather than being too promotional. Sharing great content from your website or a blog to your social channels (you can copy your blog across different platforms) is a great way to get readers as soon as you publish a new post. Make sure the website address for your business or project is included in all your social media profiles for people to connect with you and your brand.
Finding Clients and Generating Leads
Social media, and LinkedIn in particular, is a powerful tool for brands to find clients and for clients to discover and find brands. Regardless of industry, size, or location, we are all here in the business of marketing and branding ourselves to carry out our message in front of decision makers.
With Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn advertising tools we can precisely target our audience by geographic location, professional field, interests, age, and gender. It has never been easier to build a sales funnel of targeted leads to market as before.
I will be discussing in more detail the advantages of different social media platforms as a presenter at IPM Day 2018. Stay tuned!
About the Author
Yelena, the Founder of BrandBoosting, helps executives and business owners create an irresistible image for their business book cover: to make their customers open their book and become part of their business story. She pays special attention to the art of speaking, storytelling over social media and media branding. Yelena’s international career covers an impressive range of experience from the worlds of finance and diplomacy to retail and fashion. Siberian by origin, she has over 20 years’ experience living and working in the USA, Russia, Singapore, and Switzerland. Yelena has a degree in International Economic Relations from Russia and a Master’s degree in Economics from the US.