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In this episode, I talk about the basics of social media for business owners and how they can start off getting involved with online marketing.

Hi, welcome back. It’s 2014, and hope you guys have had a great holiday season. The first video for this year is something that I consider very critical to all business but, more specifically, tech start-ups… clothing, and fashion brands. And that is ‘Branding your social media presence.

Also utilizing social media for your online marketing. I’m not going to be really talking about how to go about setting up your social media profiles or channels or how to do online marketing and so on; I’ll cover those in other videos down the line, but today I just wanna give a brief overview of the different kind of social media channels you have and how you should have a consistent kind of branding throughout your social media channels.

So, for that let me start off with the social media channels of our own company ‘Spellbrand’… just to give you an idea of how we go about doing it, and a few pointers on how you may be doing that, too.

If you see our Spellbrand Facebook business Page and you can see that we’ve accumulated about 15, 600 ‘likes’ on this page, and we use this page primarily to communicate with our community about the different videos and ‘hangouts’ that we do, but also sometimes for news items, for example, we opened our office in Sydney, Australia when announcing that here linking it to our blog post where we talked about the same thing.

So this is, in effect, connecting our blog posts to our Facebook Page. We also sort of share articles, videos, and things from other companies that we think are interesting and useful to our target market. Then we talk a little bit about our case studies (statics)… some of the work you’ve done for our clients and so on and so forth.

So, we got a banner here which we keep changing… at the moment it’s showing a photo that I took in one of the… one of the events that I attended on digital marketing. And let me… let me try and show you some other photos that we’ve used in the past; for example, this… we updated on Christmas… during Christmas, and it’s a banner with Christmas branding going on … also this one here was for the New Year… so Happy New Year – 2014. In fact, we’ve even changed our avatar.

And then sometimes, we just hook up some of the images from our website to be the banner on top, like this one we used. Anyway, that’s about our Facebook Page.

Let’s look at one of our clients, Lambeewear. It’s a clothing and fashion line. I talked about Lambeewear in one of my previous videos. So we created their branding and, of course, social media presence we took Lambewear from, I think it was from less than 100 ‘likes’ before we began their campaign and today it’s 2, 729… that’s within a couple of months. So, that’s quite a good… good increase. And you can see that Lambeewear is talking about their products predominantly.

So you’ve got a hat here, another one here; also posting pictures of celebrities, and… and… and people in general, wearing their products, in this case, a hat; announcing new products… there’s also photos from their customers, highlighting how they’re using their products; some interesting and … some funny images here… This is… this is all about engaging your community with your Facebook Page. So, it’s very important to have a bit of humor, a bit of eye candy, interesting stuff, and so on.

Next, we will look at the Google+ channel for Spellbrand. Again, here, we’re branding it … using images from our portfolio; in this case, it’s one of our client’s brand identities that we did. Again, you’ll see a similar theme: we’re sharing videos that we did in the past with interesting stuff like this, for example, herbs and wheels… new branding… and it’s… it’s a news item and you know, there is a change in their branding or re-branding; it’s work-worthy; we’d like to talk about that… and again… which… there it is… this’s one of the videos that I did recently; there’s a case study… yeah, you’ve seen this picture before… It’s not so much about duplication, but rather, sharing note-worthy things on different channels because your…your target audience on different channels would be significantly different. Your target market… or … the target audience on Facebook would be different from the people who would come to your Google+ Page, for example.

And the branding has to be different. Now, of course, I agree that it is not much you can do in terms of changing the layout of most of the social media channels; it’s only the banners, the avatars… but there’s a lot you could do there.. you could… there’s… there’s… there’s a lot you could communicate… with your banners and with the imagery, the overall look, and feel of your social media channels.

If you are a clothing line… if you are a fashion brand then visual… eye-candy is very important… not only for your products but also … images that you might find online, but, of course, don’t forget copyright infringement. You may not have permission to use all images that you see on a Google search, so be sure to find out if you… if those images are … if the author of those images has given permission to post them on your social media channel. Sometimes, leaving a link, a credit link, to the photo, the owner of the photo, would be sufficient; sometimes not. So you got to be careful; you can’t just post because your social media channels are also… if they are commercial campaigns… they are resulting in monetary benefit for you or your business, so you got to be really careful using that.

When you get started out, all these channels would look very daunting, you know. Setting them all up, branding them all, and then engaging them on a daily basis would be quite a difficult thing for a small business owner to do. In fact, there is no direct kind of return on investment, at least, perceivable return on investment when you get started. So, it’d be a little difficult to… to… to get motivated to carry on engaging your social media channels, but the return on investment is always better. Social media channels… you cannot escape that, especially if you are a tech start-up or a clothing line, or a real estate company.. if you’re a business consultant, if you are a travel agent… social media… you need to embrace social media.

What I’d suggest for someone starting out, mind you this video is purely for people starting out in social media. What I’d suggest is to take… to focus on one primary channel. Start with that, brand it, start engaging, building an audience, and then slowly you can start… you can… you can target other channels. Now the question of which channel to target as your primary channel depends on what kind of business you are. For a clothing line, a fashion brand, I’d suggest a combination of Facebook and Pinterest. If you are a tech start-up, then I… if you are a financial consultant, a business consultant, then I’d suggest Google+ … even if you are a design company, for example, for our own company, in 2013, 30% of our sales came from Facebook, and about… I’d say 15, maybe 15% came from Google+. So a combination of soci… of… of Facebook and Google+ accounted for almost half our revenues.

So you can see the power of social media, and that’s why we spend so much time and effort engaging the audience, and it’s not about sales. It’s not about to sell, sell, sell; it’s not about push, push, push. It’s all about making friends, building relationships, sharing information, knowledge, and so on and so forth.

So, focus on one channel, brand it well, start engaging… post interesting stuff. Do not try and sell all the time on your social media channels. They are not sales tools. They are relationship-building tools. So, you got to remember that they are not sales tools. It’s all about building relationships.

Anyway, I think I’m.. I’m actually harping on and on about the same thing. So, just let one more thing… I want to cover is Twitter. Ok, so here’s our Twitter page. As you can see we haven’t actually branded the background of our Twitter page, and that’s because Twitter is more about… about targeting people who use mobile devices, and on a mobile device, people… you can’t really see the background, and people really don’t care about the background… So, we’ve actually left it… left the background as it is, and we’ve actually just done the banner and the avatar.

Now, Pinterest is something that you would pay attention to if you were a..a..a… a fashion brand. But if you look at our own Spellbrand Pinterest Page, we are quite active, we’re… we’re pinning logos by … that we did, package designs, interesting images, and some humor and so on and so forth. So, I think, you should really focus on Pinterest if you’re clothing or a fashion brand. Google+, of course, as I said, tech start-ups and so on.

Hopefully, that has actually given you a little bit of an introduction, a little bit of a … a primer to various social media channels. I admit it’s not an exhaustive list; it’s not an in-depth video. That’s not the intention. My intention is just to introduce you to the various channels. And then, subsequently, in different videos, I will take each channel and talk about different strategies that you could implement.. for example, on Facebook business page, how to increase your traffic; how to engage your traffic and how to set up… set up campaigns that will result in conversions or sales down the line. But that’s for another day.

So, hopefully, you’ve found this video helpful, and, if you have any questions or if you want any advice, just ping me… either on one of our social media channels or through our Youtube channel or our website on Spellbrand, and I’ll be happy to take look and … and try and advise you.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & CEO of SpellBrand. Since 1998, Mash has helped conscious brands differentiate themselves and AWAKEN through Brand Strategy and Brand Identity Design. Schedule a Brand Strategy Video Call with Mash.