Social media is a valuable tool to raise brand awareness, no doubt. But do you know what it takes to turn your Instagram and Facebook followers into genuine, raving fans? We sat down with Ciera Elledge to get her take on this.
Ciera has spent the last decade dedicated to sales, and building a personal brand and following for monetization. Since the rise in popularity of Social Media and online platforms, she has taken relationship building principles digital and teaches others how to do the same.
Q: Ciera, can you touch on the importance of brand management?
A: Online retailers are a dime a dozen these days. While you can set yourself apart by product variety, pricing, perks, or even catering to a niche market, nothing is going to set you apart more than your brand itself.
Branding isn’t only about your logo and marketing materials. It’s about what people think of when they think of your business. Most often, that is the owner themselves.
Q: What is the #1 tip you’d give to retailers to successfully build their brands?
A: Be YOU! The best thing you can do is be a real human. They might like the items you sell, but they will fall in love with you as a person. That’s where the shift happens, and they basically become a member of the team.
Q: What’s the best way to show off your brand’s personality?
A: Videos, for sure. When people hear your voice, tone, and excitement, they put a face to the name. They pick up on your mannerisms and funny quirks. It makes a huge difference to feel like you know someone personally.
People buy from people they trust. With video, you can quickly build that connection and familiarity. Both Instagram and Facebook give you the tools to show up in their newsfeeds with live and pre-recorded videos. If your followers watch you regularly, they start to feel like they really know you.
This also means you don’t have to be perfect all the time. Customers love feeling like they are seeing behind the curtain—silly kiddo in the background, mom bun, pajamas, and all.
Q: Now, what about quantifiable results? Do the number of followers you have count towards the goal of creating a lovable brand?
Yes and No. You can have tens of thousands of Instagram or Facebook followers. But if they aren’t engaging with you, then it doesn’t actually matter. I think a better way to quantify this is to calculate the percentage of followers that are regularly engaging with your brand.
If you have 20,000 followers but only about 100 of them interact with you regularly, then you should be focusing less on quantity and more on quality. Do they care about what you are doing? Are they your target customers?
Q: Right. What are the signs of a brand strategy that is working?
A: When your customers are selling for you! They are leaving you reviews, telling their friends about you and your business, posting about their latest purchase on social media, tagging your business in their posts, and adding friends to the group even when you aren’t having a giveaway. That’s when you truly know they’ve bought into you and what you’re doing!
We totally agree with Ciera! Customer engagement is crucial to a brand’s overall success. It’s ultimately up to businesses to drive that engagement. Social media is the best place to meet customers where they are, but you have to put in the work to give your business personality and heart!
Read How to Turn Your Social Following Into Raving Brand Fanatics Part 2 to learn how to do this. Ciera will be spilling social media secrets, and offering suggestions to get the ball rolling.