The founder of Austin’s Social Media Week offers her tips for effectively using social media to build your brand.
By Sabrina LeBoeuf
Claire Winslow doesn’t want business owners to go through what her mom experienced. As a cosmetic dentist, her mother saw traditional media as the only means to advertise her business and spent $100,000 for a 12-month advertising contract with Houston’s Modern Luxury magazine.
Concerned for her mother and other business owners, Winslow founded Best Practice Media in 2015 after receiving her master’s degree from the University of Texas. Through her digital agency, Winslow and her team help entrepreneurs save money, create content, track return on investment and engage with their community online.
In addition to providing those services, Best Practice Media hosts Social Media Week, a weeklong gathering of social-media and marketing experts from throughout the world. February marked its third annual event and, according to Winslow, its “biggest” and “best” year so far, with more than 100 speakers and 600 attendees. This year’s theme was Stories, signifying in the digital age, everyone is a storyteller with the ability to create content that connects with other people.
With a successful 2019 Social Media Week behind her, Winslow shares her tips for building a brand via social media.
Choose your social-media platforms based on your customer.
“You should focus on the platforms where your demographic lives. Identify who you think your customer avatar is, then publish on those platforms. If you don’t think your customer lives on Twitter, then don’t go on there.”
Set outlined goals.
“One mistake that a lot of businesses make is they get on social—just because everyone else is or because they think they have to—without having set goals or set key performance indicators that they’re hoping to achieve from social. Social should never be something that you’re doing just because you think you should or because everyone else is doing it. It should be part of an overall marketing strategy.”
Focus on community, not number of followers.
“Social media can absolutely help you get more sales, but it’s not done in just jacking up your follower count. It’s done in [building community] in an intentional way. Having a really engaged community that [includes] super advocates of your brand [who are] going to come back and buy from you over and over again is much more important than having a big following.”
Create a style guide.
“It is really important to have at the very least a style guide, not only for yourself but for whoever comes after you, whether it’s an in-house marketing person or an agency. [It’s] just so that they know how to replicate your voice.”
Prioritize quality versus quantity.
“Post as often as you can come up with really good content that tells a good story and that you think is going to get good engagement. … I’d rather someone post twice a week and have it be a really cool, thoughtful, engaging post than post every single day because that’s the cadence they set for themselves.”