How to communicate your ‘heart brand’

Guest post by Steven Thompson,

Founder of BIGDaddyDigital

Here’s a phrase you might not have heard: heart brand. I believe everyone should have one and that once they locate it, they should share it. Before I explain how, I’ll tell you what your heart brand is.

Think of it this way – if you were to pull out your heart and hold it in your hand, what would the beat say? What is right at the core of who you are and what you do and why is it so important to you? That’s your heart brand.

It’s deep-rooted inside us and comes from the values that we have embedded in us. If you unlock your heart brand by sharing it with the world, you will inspire, empower and influence the people around you to make a huge difference in our world.

In this digital age there is no better time to do this. My playground is social media and this is a major way in which people can communicate their heart brand. Here’s how.

 

Understand your audience

 

The first thing you need to work out to successfully use social media as part of your marketing is when and where your clients and customers are active. Is your Facebook audience active at 9am on a Monday? Probably not, if they’re like everybody else. They’ll have the Monday blues and they’ll be catching up with work after the weekend.

Similarly, on a Friday at 4pm everyone’s winding down and they probably aren’t checking their feed. I find that my most social days are Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays, they’re my key days, and then my Monday and Friday content is a little bit more lighthearted while my weekend content is more personal. You can do research to work out your own key days and your most active platforms whilst using initiative to gauge what content might do well to begin with.

 

Storytelling is key

 

The most important thing to remember about social media, alongside sticking to your heart brand, is it’s all about storytelling and all you’re trying to do is start an authentic conversation. Real stories provide people with references to real life and, chances are, they’ll relate to them in some way.

A great tool for telling stories is podcasts, as they constitute a real-life conversation. They’re also a great source of content; not only have you got the recorded audio but you could also write it up into a blog, share snippets of it in separate videos, use quotes to create hundreds of tweets or transcribe it and you’ve got a LinkedIn article!

 

Creating an authentic moment with live content

 

Once you start sharing these conversations, there could be a big impact on your business or your brand. You could reach more people, make new connections, build a community and engage with people who would either buy from you or lead you to a referral.

So, although it’s used for advertising, social media doesn’t need to be approached with an advertising mindset. Instead, it needs to be used with storytelling and authenticity in mind. If you can do that, you will do well.

Authenticity is key to why live content works so well on social media because life is live. We don’t get any second chances or second takes and whatever we say is heard, in whatever order or context. So, if you’re going to do some video content, consider doing it live in the real authentic moment.

 

Don’t worry about equipment

 

A lot of companies or individuals might be put off making video content and allow themselves to be bogged down by the need for equipment, a DSLR camera, a light ring, editing software or just a lack of confidence.

The only thing you really need is some good natural light and a decent sound recording device. Get a mic that plugs into your phone – you can get them for about £10 – and use your front camera to record. It might feel weird at first but, trust me, record yourself for two minutes every day for 30 days and, before you know it, recording yourself is a habit and you’re a natural.

Then you open the doors to a whole new world of content you can create and put out across your social media.

 

Choosing channels

 

So, we’ve mentioned Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, they’re the old school favourites but if your business is relatively young you might also want to be on Instagram. If it’s creative or your product is particularly visual, that’s the platform for you and if it’s a bit arty or design-led, it could also work on Pinterest.

To help decide what platforms you should be using, think about your content and what you or your team are good at. Do you make really informative videos? If the answer is yes you might want to start using YouTube. Google owns YouTube and so this makes sense from an SEO perspective for indexing across the internet. Speaking of SEO, a lot of people don’t realise that Google actually indexes tweets too – bear that in mind.

 

Freshen yourself up!

 

Something that often slips through the cracks in a social media approach is keeping your profile fresh and up to date. Take your LinkedIn banner image for instance – when was the last time you updated that? Or your Twitter profile picture?

These areas are prime real estate, think of them like one of those giant billboards on the side of the motorway. You could just put your company logo there, or your strapline, think about how you can add value to your profile for the visitor.

In terms of your profile picture, keep it fresh. When you update it on Twitter it actually gives you the opportunity to tweet the change with the #newprofilepic, hashtag. That’s a free and easy piece of content right there.

The next thing on your profile to re-think is your bio, does it still read like a CV from 1987? If it does, get rid of it and start again. You want to imagine the person reading it. Show them your expertise and the value you could bring to the table in a way that will make them want to have a conversation with you.

After you’ve got all the aesthetic points on your profile sorted, you want to think about your scheduling. I am not saying you have to post brand new content twice daily at the exact same time in all circumstances, but you need to get into a rhythm.

You want your followers to know when to expect to see your content. Then, before you know it, you’re providing them with a regular, soft call-to-action and building your brand awareness.

 

Hashtags – a way to stay relevant and make connections

 

That brings us onto hashtags and why they’re useful. They’re essentially a way that people can find relevant conversations and to keep up to date with content that is interesting to them.

A company might be interested in filling the digital skills gap and so they might follow #ukdigitalskillsgap. Suddenly, they’re presented with everyone talking about that subject and can easily like or retweet, staying relevant in the conversation.

Hashtags also help massively with campaigns, if you get a catchy hashtag trending by using it in all your content and getting your followers engaging with it, Twitter might choose to show it to a much wider audience.

This broadens your horizons for possible interactions, potentially increasing awareness of your brand, opportunities and leads. Perfect. Use the @ symbol to call out specific people when you’re using Twitter but don’t use it right at the beginning of the tweet. Make it into a sentence and add a couple of words in first, this way Twitter doesn’t just show it to just the mentioned person.

 

Pay to play – but take it slow

 

BIGDaddy has just done some research into marketing trends and we’ve realised there’s a big decline in organic Instagram marketing success. The easiest way to combat this is to spend a bit of money on the platform.

A lot of people will be against this and ‘lining Mark Zuckerberg’s pockets’ but it works. If you trust the platform and put your money behind the posts it tells you to, you will get results.

On the bright side, it really doesn’t cost that much and you don’t need a large budget, we’ve just run a campaign for £833.00 which translated roughly into 1.6 pence per person we reached.

It is important, however, not to rush into doubling your budget if it’s going well, maybe just increase it by 10% at first. Instagram success relies heavily on certain audience engagements so take it slow.

I hope now you feel like you have your foot in the door with social media and see how it could work for you and not against you.

There really is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to using social media to communicate your heart brand.

Follow Steven here on LinkedIn.

 

 

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