Different people have different reasons for being on social media. It is like reading a book, while some people may be thrilled by the joy of learning, there are others who may be under the obligation to read (studying for tests was never funny). Before we dive in and discuss how to build a strong online and offline brand, let us take a pause to answer the following question.

Why are you on social media?

Your answer to this question will vary depending on who you are or what you do. Reasons such as keeping tabs on family and friends, learning new things, or simply having fun may be some of the driving factors for everyday users. However, most entrepreneurs will say they are on social media to connect with their community, build online presence, reach a particular target market, and ultimately make money. Taking it a step further, your ‘why’ for being on social media goes a long way in influencing how you utilize social media channels. For example, if your reason for being on social media is solely for fun and entertainment purposes then you would follow profiles that fed that desire. However, if your goal is to increase your online presence and build followers, it may not necessarily matter whether you connect with your audience or not as long as the numbers are increasing, which brings us to the next question.

Is Social Media Connecting or Disconnecting You?

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Teddy Roosevelt
This quote is the secret to selling anything to anyone – whether your goal is simply to increase followers or truly connect with your audience. There is no arguing the fact that social media has transformed how we communicate, and these platforms are excellent tools for every business. However, one is forced to ask if these platforms create real connections. A lot of people have gotten so obsessed with the number of likes or comments their posts generate that they literally find themselves in an endless loop to create more enticing content in the hopes of obtaining more likes, comments and shares. How many times do you refresh your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feed to check the number of likes or comments your new post has? When was the last time you genuinely checked the profile of a follower because of an engaging comment they shared? Do you measure the success of a post by how many likes or comments it gets, or by how many real connections it generates? Answering these questions sincerely will help you decide if social media has been connecting or disconnecting your brand.

How to Create a Winning Social Media Brand

The online attention span of an average person is around 6 seconds.  If you are struggling to capture the attention of a potential reader or customer, there are other brands (some bigger) that are putting in more effort to stay on top of all the social media noise. This can be especially frustrating for startups or solopreneurs. So.

Our top three tips for building your community and fostering genuine connections

1. Listen and Participate

Your customers are searching for posts that resonate with them, and there is no better way to find out what they want than by listening. Take time to see what others are doing. What kind of posts garner more likes and responses? Once you are done listening, join the conversation. Respond meaningfully. Every response you give is an opportunity to get closer to a customer or follower, do no waste it. And here’s the icing on the cake, when it comes to participating. People love to be recognized. By retweeting or sharing the posts of your audience and giving them kudos, you are positioning yourself for better interaction.

2. Provide Value

In the digital marketing world, we say “content is king”. This is the foundation of building a remarkable brand both offline and online. If your content has no substance, don’t expect a return reader. Take time to research your content (if it’s a picture, properly edit it). In general, your content should provide immerse value to your audience.

3. Venture Offline

And now the tip that many entrepreneurs neglect – taking conversation offline. This is a great way to win-over a customer and possibly build a lasting relationship because your interaction should not end in your news feed. If a member of your community seems nice, direct message the person and start by building online rapport. Another advantage is if you are within the same region because you can arrange a meeting over a coffee. Showing a potential client that you care –online and offline– goes a long way.

Is it time for you to connect with VE?