Where To Build A Progressive Brand Using Social Media (Part

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:

  • There are five million WordPress blog posts every day.
  • There are 519.9 million blogs on Tumblr.
  • The average time readers spend on a blog post is 37 seconds.
  • Fifty-seven percent of bloggers that publish every day get better results.

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):

  • Choose a platform. WordPress offers the most flexibility for the least amount of money. Just make sure you choose WordPress.org. The .org site allows you to add all the bells and whistles once you have an audience and want to do more with your blog – like build a full scale website, ecommerce, courses, etc. If you’re the slightest bit tech savvy you can build your own blog. If not, hire someone from Fiverr or Upwork to set up your blog.
  • Purchase your domain name. Here’s the trick – you want to make sure your domain is easy to spell and remember (no more than about 10 letters)— and available on all the social platforms you think you will use.
  • Write content. If you don’t have time, hire a ghostwriter. Write at least six-months worth of content. Blog posts should be made weekly at a minimum. However, it’s better to post consistently. So, if you can only manage every two weeks, it’s better to stick with that consistency…and let your readers know you’ve got great stuff coming to them every two weeks! You can also contribute articles to other blogs as a way to get exposure or even establish yourself fully elsewhere and benefit from their already existing readership.

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

  • Use snappy headlines that lure readers. Listicles do well (like “5 Ways To…”)
  • Write about trending topics. Search Google Trends to find juicy topics.
  • Write a great story. Not only should you write a great story, your headlines should read like a story. Remember – you’ve got 37 seconds.
  • Use visuals including infographics, vidoes, and photographs.
  • Make your posts scannable – that 37 second thing again!

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:

  • At least 32% of Americans listen to podcasts at least monthly.
  • Just under 75% of podcast listeners want to learn something.
  • A total of 65% of listeners want to listen on a mobile device.
  • As many as 60% of all podcasts are downloaded from Apple.
  • And 52% of subscribers listen to the entire episode.

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:

  • Choose a podcast topic you can commit to.
  • Decide on a format such as interviews, monologues, conversations, or panels.
  • Determine the length of each and number of episodes per month. Be exact in the day of the week and time you publish– your listeners count on you for that trust and consistency!
  • Determine where you’ll host your podcast (check out this blog for the best podcast hosting companies).

How to stand out:

  • Tell stories and actionable information– people connect through stories, and they transform their own lives when you provide actionable insights for them.
  • Engage your listeners – ask questions and respond to those on your podcast.
  • Don’t go down a rabbit hole! Stay on topic so you don’t lose or confuse your listeners.
  • Pro tip – release three episodes on launch day.

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:

  • Decide on a topic that you can stick with and that motivates you.
  • Choose a “recording studio.” It can be your office or other location, just make sure it’s on-brand.
  • Develop your YouTube brand identity. You’ll want your YouTube thumbnails to be consistent so people will recognize your channel.
  • Records several YouTube episodes to begin with and post at regular intervals.

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

  • Write a clickable title – and by clickable, it needs to grab your viewer’s attention.
  • Optimize (there’s that SEO thing again!).
  • Talk to your audience and engage with the YouTube community.

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:

  • Download the app.
  • Create a username – use your name if you want your audience to connect with you.
  • Develop a TikTok plan. This is just like YouTube, a blog, or podcast – to succeed you need planned content. That doesn’t mean you can’t post a spontaneous video. Just be sure to have some planned content also.

You can stand on TikTok by:

  • Posting all original content.
  • Use hashtags.
  • Use trendy sound effects that are appropriate to your content.
  • Team up with an influencer.

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:

  • Over 60% of users are between 18 and 44 years old, evenly split between males and females.
  • Pew Research found that 59.9% of users log into Insta every day – that’s 6 in 10 users.

Facebook by the numbers:

  • In 2022, roughly 50% were between 18 and 34 years old and 26% between 35 and 54 years old.
  • About 70% of users log onto Facebook daily with 49% checking in several times per day (Pew Research).

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:

  • Engage with your audience using stories.
  • Create shareable and relatable memes
  • Post saveable graphics.
  • Use all of IGs features including stories, carousels, reels, and stickers.
  • Use an app like Milkshake to link all your URLs in a mini website linked from your bio.

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.