How to use social media to boost your digital brand

Do you really need an advertising budget or can you use social media to grow your digital brand? We talk to social media strategists who work with business owners to use digital marketing for visibility and return on investment.

During the tenure of former Brumby’s CEO Michael Sherlock, the company’s share value increased six times, from an initial float price of 55c to a buyout from Retail Food Group at $3.40 per share. Under Sherlock’s leadership, brand image and share price were both driven upwards through high profile positioning in the media. At Sentinel Properties, where he is now chief marketing officer, he has used social media, not advertising, to drive growth.

There’s no doubt that using online content, whether that’s a blog post, video, or podcast, to generate leads and convert online communities to customers – inbound marketing – can produce positive experiences without spending big.

The trick is getting clear on your brand and your audience, then posting content that resonates with potential buyers.

“The unique benefit of social media is that it also allows you to talk directly to customers, and build relationships,” says social media strategist Nicola Moras, author of Visible, who teaches business owners to use digital marketing for return on investment.

Social media strategy

Money mentor and certified financial planner Adele Martin is a textbook example of how to use a social media strategy to grow a business as well as work more efficiently.

Operating a 100 per cent virtual office, she is able to gradually move her online audience from interacting with social media posts to seeking one-on-one financial information.

She began her social media journey by listing herself on Sourcebottle and getting her name in high profile publications, or on digital sites, to help build her brand.

Martin also started a public Facebook group called The Savings Squad, with weekly money posts, videos and podcasts for those who subscribe.

Four times a year, she runs a webinar where she promotes her savings goal program, My Money Buddy, for an annual membership fee.

“I am able to offer value to people through that, without working one-on-one,” says Martin.

The program offers a series of videos, an app and a community of experts, financial advisors and other members.

From both The Savings Squad and My Money Buddy, as well through media and visits to her website, she draws customers for one-on-one, fee-based, information sessions.

Unique, targeted sales

Like Martin, financial advisers can use a step-by-step strategy to grow their client base, remembering that unique, targeted content is king.

Focus on what makes your business different, as well as showing the personality behind the brand.

Sabri Suby, founder of Australia’s fastest-growing digital marketing agency, King Kong, suggests posting one or two long-form pieces of content a week, ideally a heartfelt video, and then engaging with every single comment on them, replying with an @ and tagging their name.

“By tagging them, they get a notification.”

Moras suggests posting five pieces of value-based content for every one that includes a call to action – demonstrating a focus on adding value for customers.