It’s great to think that your brand is going to start racking up the “likes” on Facebook or exploding with the most retweeted tweet of the evening, but it’s likely not going to happen.  I won’t see it isn’t going to happen, just that it’s not a very likely scenario.

Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are not out to help you get rich, they are out to help their shareholders get rich.  This is not a bad thing, it’s just the way it is.  That’s why these social media platforms are placing a high value in their feeds on paid placement.  To get your brand noticed in the social media space anymore is a chore that often requires spending money.  It’s not always a lot of money, nor is it unheard of to have to spend money on advertising, but then that’s what social media becomes for you, an advertising vehicle.

I say skip the money and focus on making branding your #1 priority when it comes to social media planning for the next year.

While it is important to generate engagement on your Facebook business page or traffic to your Instagram photos, you’re not doing it to sell your products necessarily.  Being interested in engagement is how you play the social media game.  The more engagement, the more visibility your brand has in the newsfeeds, the more traffic/sales you do, or at least the story goes.

Instead of worrying about generating sales from social media, focus on building trust.  Let people who are spending time with your brand on social media get to know what you stand for, how you do business, what sets you apart.  A quick tip, it’s most likely NOT price that sets you apart.

Here’s a good example:  A REALTOR® using Facebook to do some of his/her marketing isn’t necessarily going to close a deal through the platform (although it has happened.)  He/she MAY however develop a following and a trust in his/her local community that will carry over when someone sees signs out in front of houses for sale or meets him/her at a local gathering.  This trust in his/her brand will carry over into the “real world” and likely will lead to sales.  The brand is being built daily on a Facebook or Twitter page, without any real “sell, sell, sell” mentality.

Branding is the key to successfully utilizing the social media tools you have available to you.  If you are viewed as an expert in your field and you’ve developed your brand to where people trust and respect your opinions and your position in a particular market, you’ll be selling widgets in no time.

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