Social media might not be the best place to sell products and services direct. But they’re absolutely perfect brand building. The thing is, there are only so many marketing hours in a day. Which networks will work the hardest to boost your brand equity and spread the word? And how can you harness them more efficiently than your competitors?

Using YouTube to attract attention to your brand

Everyone loves video. Moving images are incredibly compelling. When you upload great quality videos that really are worth watching, rich in vital information and adequately content-heavy, they support your brand beautifully. The idea is to make such a good job of it that you start being seen as a trusted, respected resource.

If you also take the trouble to make sure your video is correctly optimised for search, which very few people currently bother to do, you will stand out from the crowd, please search engines and ultimately benefit even more.

Facebook brand building

Unless you batten down the hatches and apply all Facebook’s security and privacy measures, anyone can poke around inside your account. Your fellow Facebook members don’t have to be your ‘friend’ to see your profile, check out the things you ‘like’ and access your personal information.

If you’re using Facebook for business, keep your business presence on the network separate from your personal account. And make sure your account privacy settings are adequately secure to prevent your ‘real’ life being open to everyone and his dog.

Getting your Twitter presence noticed

Who should you follow on Twitter? Plenty of people just follow other businesses in their sector, in the same industry, which is all very well but it means you’re building your brand with your competitors, not influencing potential customers.

While it’s very satisfying being followed by and interacting with businesses you respect in your own sector, is it really making the best marketing use of the medium? Think carefully about the people you actually want to convince – your prospects and customers – and engage with them instead.

Making the most of WordPress

WordPress isn’t a social network. It’s a content management system. But it’s a really simple, elegant, flexible way to set up a blog. And a blog is still the single most effective way to keep your website fresh and current, pleasing people and search engines.

But there’s a vital caveat. If you open a wordpress.com account and use it to blog, you won’t be driving visitors to your website, you’ll be driving them to the WordPress platform. It makes more marketing sense to upload WordPress to your URL than host your blog at wordpress.com. That way your website benefits from all the considerable site visibility advantages that an excellent blog confers.

Harnessing the power of LinkedIn

Unlike most social networks LinkedIn is all about business, with a robust commercial focus. If you’re in business you’d be crazy not to have a presence there. Make sure you take full advantage by completing your profile properly and comprehensively. Join relevant groups to hook up with fresh contacts. If you’re invited to write for LinkedIn, accept but bear in mind your own blog is more important than adding quality content to LinkedIn.

Here’s a cool tip. Human nature being what it is, it’s always a good idea to look at prospects’ profiles in LinkedIn. It almost always prompts people to look at your profile in return, often through sheer curiosity!

Instagram and Pinterest for visual businesses

Liking relevant images on Instagram and re-pinning/posting/commenting on Pinterest are great ways to grab attention. But you might not want to focus too hard on these media, to the exclusion of less visually-focused networks, unless the products or services you sell can easily be represented by imagery.

While both networks are brilliant for promoting fashion brands, for instance, they’re a lot less relevant if you sell something less physically tangible like business support or consultancy services.

Getting up close and intimate with G+

If you sell to the British market online, you have to stay friends with Google. It’s still the single most popular UK search engine and it makes a lot of sense to set up a Google Plus account, even if it’s just for the natural search benefits.

Think carefully about who you add to your Circles. It’s easy to add people in your own sector, which a lot of people do, but you end up in a very self-congratulatory, limited space where punters – the people who actually buy from you – don’t get a look-in.

G+ users tend to focus on B2B relationships rather than B2C. Do your end customers actually hang out in G+? If so, spend time with them. If not, you might want to focus the majority of your social media attention elsewhere.

Slideshare presentations

Does it make logical sense to create a Slideshare presentation about your business, products or services? If so, showcasing your expertise can have a positive brand building effect as you impress your audience with the sheer depth and breadth of your knowledge.

Lost in social media space?

Are you having problems identifying the best social media through which to promote your business? We’re always delighted to advise, just get in touch.