Updated ideas and comments were added to this post on October 14, 2016.
In a world full of subliminal messages and bot tweets, small businesses have found it overwhelmingly difficult to build credibility through its content. It may be the lack of time or inspiration, but pushing out quality content should always be a priority when developing a brand. While it is encouraged to have longer-detailed posts that boast engaging images and a variety of inbound and outbound links, it is simply not possible for an understaffed and underfunded blogger. Turning to the following “No-No” methods to build credibility will only make it worse.
Don’t Buy Followers and/or Likes
Numbers are always important and some users are easily wooed by the amount of followers or likes you have. Many brands are using this “fake it to make it” approach of purchasing followers and interactions to show their authority in a niche. But seriously who are you trying to impress? You are technically spending money to lie to your audience; Not a great way to start building your brand. Numbers tell a story, but it’s up to you to make it genuine.
Instead, do the following:
Reach Out to Your Current Network
Instead of buying followers, start by reaching out to your current network to build your brands numbers. Connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts and invite your friends to follow your brand. You won’t be surprised to see that your friend on Facebook is also one of your followers on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to cross connect pages in order to build followers. It is all apart of “social” media. You know the social part.
Send Email Blasts
Now that all of your friends are following you, you can start reaching out to your current or potential customers. If you already have an email list, connect it to a tool such as Aweber or Mailchimp to send out notices about your brand. If you are like the majority of us that don’t have a “go-to” email list, send a direct email to your connections using your own email account. Personalize it and be direct with what you want them to do.
“Hi Jason, I hope you are doing well. I’m sending this email to let you know that my brand is now on Instagram. I would love it if you were to follow and like some of our pictures to show support. I’ll make sure to return the favor.”
Engage Users on Social Media
This one may be the most time consuming, but is also the most important. Don’t just let your accounts sit for days, weeks, and months. Actively share some articles you find interesting. Snap and share pictures of your daily life as an entrepreneur. And don’t forget to retweet, share, and repost your followers’ content. They will definitely return the favor.
Posting quality content provides real engagement for your brand. Great content increases your brand’s SEO value, shares valuable information with your community, and ultimately builds audiences trust in your brand. These are some of the questions you should be considering.
- Are your posts geared towards a target audience?
- Do you have interesting links that your followers want to view?
- Are your pictures relevant to your industry niche?
- How is your prose? Are you using slang or h@rd 2 r3ad gr@mm3r?
Take a deep look at your recent activity on social media and take notes where you can use improvement.
One of my issues early on was my need to make long-perfect blog posts before hitting the publish button. I would take so much time making sure every paragraph is evenly spaced, every image is optimized, and all metadata was filled out before sharing with my audience. This was great early on, but I soon found myself overwhelmed and uninterested in writing posts. It was taking too long! I eventually learned to keep posts short and to the point. Knowing I can always go back later (when I have time) and add more and more content.
If you want your site to be SEO friendly then look to add more content and length to your posts after they are published. If you are trying to target mobile users, keep your posts short and full of fast loading visuals. Want to get more shares? Add easy to use share buttons to each post on your website. And most importantly, make your post easy to read.
And don’t forget:
This is your brand. You need to make it stand out from the crowd! Dedicate some time to creating your own custom infographics, images, and videos. Web tools such as Pablo and Canva can help creating custom images very easy with drag and drop builders. You also have the option to hire a freelancer if you need help creating branded content.
Find your voice early and maintain it throughout all of your pages and marketing materials. If you are selling a product don’t get carried away posting the same generic “BUY NOW” post on social media. Your followers will know you are only trying to get in their pockets! Build audience trust from the start and soon those followers will become customers in no time.
If you would like additional tips to build your content credibility, here is a great article by Convince and Convert.
Quiksnip is a social media marketing agency based in Los Angeles, California. They provide administrative assistance to startups trying to grow their online presence.