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Where To Build A Progressive Brand Using Social Media (Part I) – Forbes

Reading to up level your brand? Here are the top medial platforms to consider, and what makes them … [+] unique.
Your brand is a reflection of your commitment to what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. It is the fabric of “you” and your company – no matter how big or small your business is. But building a brand today is more than choosing a color palette and designing a logo. We’re globally connected like we’ve never been before and that means that you need to be progressive if you want to be seen.
You need to be clear on who your clients or customers are before you determine where you’ll start to build your brand, be it blogging, podcasting, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Let’s look at some of the platforms you can use to build your brand and how you can stand out. Remember, we’re talking about progressive brand building – it’s going to take some commitment.
1. Write a blog.
Blogs can be excellent if you can get past their one fatal flaw – content. There is so much content out there, you need to rock to get noticed. Recent stats show:

Another, more interesting statistic is that the return on investment for businesses that blog consistently is 13 times more than those that don’t. But there’s a lot that goes into blogging! SEO for one thing. And SEO done correctly is not cheap! Having said that, the best businesses to take advantage of blogging are small to medium-sized businesses with a global reach. This includes industries that have something unique to sell, like software geared toward a particular niche, or companies that have something expensive to sell, like private mega-yachts.
But other industries can also benefit, including personal services. The best way to use a blog is to showcase your personality – the “why” behind the reason people should do business with you.
Here’s how to get started (there’s a bit more detail here because there’s more set up involved in getting a blog up and going):

Standing out is the hardest part. Here are some tips:

2. Podcast
The very best thing about a podcaster is being able to reach people when they are away from their computers. This has only been enhanced through Bluetooth technology. People can listen while walking the dog, working out at the gym, or driving home. Some smart devices, like the iPhone, have pre-installed podcast apps. Here are some interesting podcast stats:

Here’s another stat for you: 45% of podcast listeners have a household annual income over $250,000. Just like blogging – and all the others – you need to give it some effort. But the good news is, hosting a podcast is more forgiving. Because you’re building a personal connection, it’s more conversational. If you forget to dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” it’s not going to matter as much as it would on other mediums.
Which businesses must have a podcast? Entertainment takes the cake, as it is the most popular podcast genre. That being said, I’ve been hosting a mental health show (You Turn Podcast) in the Leisure category and it’s been growing steadily over years. Don’t worry, if you’re not in the entertainment biz you can still have a great podcast. Remember, 57% of listeners want to learn something, so teach them!
Here are some tips to getting started:

How to stand out:

3. YouTube
YouTube is owned by Google, which makes it the second largest search engine – behind (drumroll) Google. Dah, no wonder Google bought YouTube!
Recent Hootsuite stats show that in the U.S. alone, 62% of users access YouTube every day and spend 19 minutes on the platform – compare that with just 37 seconds reading a blog! But there are some definite tricks to getting noticed on YouTube. And the same applies to YouTube that applies to a lot of these platforms – niche down.
If you’re in tech, you need to be on YouTube. Just imagine all those users who can’t figure out how to do something on their computer – you’ve got an audience already sitting down looking for you! Other industries that can benefit from using video include advertising, training, film production, music, health and fitness, and travel.
Get started with YouTube in minutes. You’ll need a YouTube account. Sign on, create a channel. Start recording. As with all of your social platforms you need to do the following:

Here are some tips recommended by Sprout Social on how to get noticed on YouTube:

4. TikTok
With over 80 million active monthly users in the U.S. and one billion worldwide, TikTok can be a game changer – depending on your demographic. Over 60% of the users are females, and 60% (male and female) are between the ages of 16 and 24 yrs. For the third year in a row, TikTok holds the record as the most downloaded app – 656 million downloads. That is more than 100 million downloads more than runner-up, Instagram. TikTok is the most engaging social media app with an average user session of 10.85 minutes – twice the time spent on Pinterest (which is in second place).
To use TikTok effectively, you need to understand what TikTok is – it’s a video-sharing platform that allows users to create looped videos. It is best used for short-form mobile videos targeted towards a younger demographic– and it’s booming with high potential for rapid growth. In fact, Kevin Noparvar, the owner of TikTok page @how.kev.eats grew his following for his Los Angeles-based food reviews to 2 million in hardly 2 years.
The most popular business industries on TikTok include health and beauty, art, home interior and accessories, and food.
Getting started with TikTok is easy:

You can stand on TikTok by:

5. Instagram and Facebook
These two are included together because of one unique feature – you can cross pollinate both platforms automatically. Meaning, if you post on Insta, that will automatically post on Facebook, provided you set up sharing permissions. This is the ONLY exception to choosing just one platform. More on that in a minute.
However, there are important distinctions between the two. And one point that’s worth making. If you have both an Instagram business account and Facebook business page, auto-posting from Instagram to Facebook is OK. But if you do not already have a Facebook page for your business, it’s not worth setting one up just to cross-post. Just because it auto populates does not mean you’re done! You will need to monitor both to respond to comments and engage with users.
Instagram by the numbers:

Facebook by the numbers:

The bottom line: There are a lot of active users on both platforms that span the middle decades – 18 to 55.
The industries that do the best on Instagram include travel, beauty, fashion, health and fitness, lifestyle, and business. Keep in mind there’s a lot of noise on Instagram. To be successful, you will need to stand out! Do that by using all of Instagram’s features to create the best content for your industry, keeping in mind it is image driven.
As for Facebook, the biggies are sports (surprised?), fashion, retail food pages, entertainment, media, electronics, and automobiles. Another great feature of Facebook is private and public groups. If you’re a coach – or other business professional – you can create members-only groups. They’re great and highly effective, but very time consuming! Nonetheless, Facebook groups are a great upsell for courses, running virtual events, and expanding your following.
Getting started is the same with Instagram and Facebook as it is with the others. Be consistent in branding and posting. Want to stand out on Insta? Create a grid pattern for your posts – here’s a great YouTube video to show you how (psst…Sam is also a dynamite Insta coach).
To stand out on Instagram, try these suggestions:

The key point in building your brand is choosing ONE! Each of these is an island and you need to build one well before moving onto the next. To effectively build out one of these platforms is to devote the time and energy it takes to not only post but to engage with users. The most important thing – set realistic goals for consistency. You’re better off posting consistently once a week than posting when you have time.

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