From social media to e-mail to your website, there are so many vehicles to utilize when trying to create a BRAND that it can be difficult to know which will work best.
In the world of social media, one option remains king in 2019. LinkedIn. The “professional world’s Facebook” is designed specifically for thought leaders. While many times (too many if you ask me) people utilize it the WRONG way, it is an ideal fit to better position your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry or focus area in which you specialize. When I say, “the wrong way,” I’m referring to those “Come see us at Trade Show Booth #231” or “Here is our most incredible new product and you will most certainly drop what you are doing and learn all about it because it’s amazing” posts.
These posts waste your audience’s time and simply give a marketing or sales professional something to point to in order to get a pat on the back from a C-level supervisor who has outdated ideas on how to grab mind share. Doing it “right” involves publishing engaging content that highlights your thought leadership on your audience’s most pressing issues or interests in order to win the fight for feed attention. LinkedIn has done a great job of loosening up to become a more social, collaborative and user-friendly network.
Twitter is another tool to help you disseminate your wealth of knowledge to the audiences that choose to follow you. Part of the beauty in using Twitter is that someone needs to choose to follow you and they can do so without ever meeting you or sending you a request. Someone is choosing to receive content from you and chances are they are much more likely to engage in it than someone who is being force-fed random marketing messages.
That brings me to Facebook. Oh, Facebook. Well, you reign supreme as the largest engine for targeted advertising on the Web. The problem though is that while ideal for B2C companies, B2B companies have struggled to gain traction. The water and wastewater market in which we base our livelihood on is a B2B world and simply can’t afford to lean into tools utilized by B2C marketers such as car dealerships to make an impact. In my experience, people go to Facebook to mentally escape work, not to be reminded of it.
While social media is great, modern and chic to try, master and maximize, your own blog, e-newsletter and website remain your best bet for making a sustainable impact and housing your portfolio of thought leadership content. Use social media to drive traffic to your own brand, your own newsletter, your own content-rich website. If you follow that path, you are investing in the growth of something truly proprietary instead of trusting that the resources you put into someone else’s property (social media) will work in your best interest and not their own (good luck with that). Your number one asset is not social media, it’s you. View social media as an ally but know true organic growth of your brand can only come from you.
Image credit: "Linkedin Chocolates," Nan Palmero © 2010, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/lcenses/by-nc/2.0/