(To see Part 2, click here.)
Hello, all! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I took a couple of days to spend time with my family, and it was great! But now it’s back to business.
Continuing along with this series: In Part 2, we discussed what a target audience is, why it matters and how to use it to guide your brand. We also discussed some ways to plan your content and network with other thought leaders in your industry. Now that we have a plan, it’s time to implement it. Turn those great ideas into thoughtful actions. Welcome to Part 3: It’s a “brand” new day.
So the first step is to start getting some content out there. Have you decided which medium you’re going to use for your content? Below are some (free) suggestions based on your content type.
Text – If you’re a writer like me, then blogging is the best way to go. There are plenty of free options online, such as WordPress (my favorite), Weebly, Wix or Blogger.
Video – Video is the next big thing when it comes to being a content creator. The best choices for this type of content would be either YouTube or Periscope. If you’re aiming for brief videos, you can download the Instagram and Snapchat apps.
Audio – Podcasts can be really fun to listen to if you’re an animated speaker or you aspire to be on the radio one day. Some platforms you can use are SoundCloud, Podbean or Buzzsprout.
Visual- Visual content (e.g. photography) is one of the best ways to evoke emotion. Many of the websites I came across are paid, but there are still ways to maintain an online portfolio. Try using any of the blogging websites above (WordPress, Weebly, Wix, etc.), or many people just use Instagram for their photography and other artwork.
Next, start scheduling your content. Consistency is key. So if you’re going to post once or more per week (recommended), pick a day or two that works best with your brand.
For example, my blog targets young/early professionals. According to the research I’ve done, most of us experience “downtime” on Sundays after 5 p.m., which is when we’re preparing for work the next morning. In that case, my regular blog posts (not the ones in this series) go up on Sunday evenings.
Even if you’re posting once every month, make sure you publish your content on the same day…every third Monday, every second Thursday, etc. People like to know they can rely on you to post at the same time, every time.
Tip: If you like to work ahead like I do, try finding websites that will allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. This feature is great for times when you know you have a busy week coming up or if you just like to make sure your content is published on time.
Promoting your content on social media
I feel like a lot of people underestimate the power of social media. Social media plays a large role in creating viral content. So why not take advantage? It’s great to have valuable content, but what’s the point if you can’t share it with more people? According to Brandwatch.com, there are 7.3 billion people in the world (as of July 2015), and 2.3 billion of those people are active social media users. This means you have the potential to reach a third of the world’s population through social media! But ok. Realistically, this is probably not going to happen. But just knowing that you have what seems like a limitless reach is very motivating.
Determining which sites to promote your content will depend on who your target audience is. Each social media platform has a different demographic, and you’re going to have to decide which platforms will work best for your brand. I provided a summary of some of the demographics below, but feel free to read more about this information at Pewinternet.org.
*Note: All stats are from 2015.
Recommended for all content types. Key demographics are: mostly women, ages 18-29, with some college education, making less than $30,000 per year, mostly living in urban and rural areas.
Recommended for video, audio and visual content types. Key demographics are: mostly women, ages 18-29, with some college education, making less than $30,000 per year, mostly living in urban areas.
Recommended for visual content types. Key demographics are: mostly women, ages 18-49, with some college or more education, making $75,000 or more per year, mostly living in suburban areas.
Recommended for text and video content types.* Key demographics are: mostly men, ages 18-49, with full college or more education, making $75,000 or more per year, mostly employed living in urban areas.
*LinkedIn is a professional networking space, so the content you share here must be appropriate for the workplace.
Recommended for all content types. Key demographics are: about an equal percentage of men and women, ages 18-29, with full college or more education, making $75,000 or more per year and almost evenly living in urban, suburban and rural areas.
To read more information about Snapchat and other social media platforms, please click here.
In addition to promoting your content on social media, you have to remember that you must continue to engage with your audience, as well. If you’re just posting links on your page and ignoring your feedback, people won’t want to talk to you anymore. So always make sure you’re responding to people’s comments, liking other people’s posts and continuing the conversation.
You may also want to give others in your audience a voice. For example, if one of your followers makes a really good post on his or her page, and you think it’s worthy to share on your profile, then do it! Just like you want people to share and spread your ideas, you must be willing to do the same for your audience. Your voice is not the end-all-be-all on social media; other people have things to say, too.
Dealing with feedback
In a perfect world, everyone would have nice things to say and that would be the end of it. However, we don’t live in a perfect world. So you have to make sure you give just as much attention to your negative feedback as you do your positive feedback. Don’t just ignore the negative comments, but make sure you address people’s concerns (in a nice way, please). That way, people will see that you care about everyone’s opinions, even if they differ from your own. Plus, you never know if the negative feedback you’re receiving might actually be something that will help you in the future.
*Note: This does not mean you have to deal with comments that are hurtful, discriminatory, vulgar or violent. In that case, you would handle these comments appropriately, such as reporting/removing them or blocking the users entirely.
It’s important to remember that since you are starting your own brand or business, you have to do public relations for yourself. This means getting your message out there, engaging with the public and maintaining your own reputation. Start building those relationships now, so you can build on them even more for the future. You are the only one responsible for this, so take great pride in the things that you do.
We have one more part in this series, so I’m excited to share all the information I have for you in Part 4. If you have any thoughts or questions regarding social media, posting content or maintaining your reputation, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading! 🙂
(To see Part 4, click here.)
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