When it comes to building a business or creating a brand, social media can be vital for success. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter can put your work in front of thousands of people who’d actually enjoy your product or content and want more. During our first Twitter chat of the year, we confirmed those things with entrepreneurs Eboni Merriman, founder of Lost Queens, and Essence Hayes, founder of Coloring Pins. These millennial women are the founders of two amazing brands that each got their start on social media.
In an hour-long chat, we discussed the science behind growing your social brand from zero (followers) to one hundred, the importance of staying consistent, and ways to make your brand relevant offline. Here are some of our favorite tips on creating amazing opportunities through social media from #theSlayChat!
Tip 1: Use Instagram if you operate a visual brand
Hayes and Merriman both rely on the visual freedom of Instagram for their creative brands. The key to success on Instagram is uploading clear, bright and beautiful images that people want to share. (This is pivotal for product sellers.) A good way to understand this is by searching “the popular page” on Instagram — clicking the magnifying glass — which is filled with eye-catching pictures. Additionally, make sure your photos are appropriately tagged with no more than 30 hashtags, per Instagram’s policy.
Pro-tip: Twitter is also a great space for sharing great photos with the right hashtags. The next time you upload a post to Instagram, send it to your Twitter profile to get a feel for engagement. You can use Canva to create photos using Twitter’s sizing criteria.
Twitter & Instagram are KEY for connecting with customers and brand supporters! Pro-Tip: Name your handles the same thing! #theSlayChat
— Slay Culture™ (@slayculture) January 18, 2017
Tip 2: Make your brand relevant offline
According to Lost Queens founder, the real gag is making your brand pop offline! She does this by vending at trade shows, college events, and festivals. Relationships (or collaborations) with the right brand ambassadors and influencers is a big help, too. The key to making “going offline” work is by knowing who your real audience is. You can learn this by studying your brand’s analytics via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your website.
Pro-tip: Use your resources to learn where most of your traffic comes from. (We get a love of love from New York.) Visit events in the area to get a feel for the climate. Scoop out future trade shows or events where you can vend, or at least make your brand well-known. Network and develop a creative partnership!
Pro-tip: Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential brand ambassadors! Many influencers are willing to work with you. #theSlayChat
— Slay Culture™ (@slayculture) January 18, 2017
Tip 3: Be true to yourself and your audience
It’s best to go in knowing who you want to connect with. For us, we wanted to cultivate a community of millennial black women who slay in success, style, and sensuality. A Slay Culture woman can be an educated nomad who love trap music, black movies, God, and peonies. She or her friends enjoy Insecure, Scandal, or Being Mary Jane and they gossip about it in between shifts or creative projects. Our supporters are smart, informed, love pop culture, want the best life has to offer in love, career, travel, health, and relationships, loves to have a good time, and is fly while doing it all. (Basically lit!)
We do our best to create content specifically for this woman! We want her to feel safe and good about herself in our corner of the internet, while making new friends and ideas. Your brand should give you fulfillment, but it must also satisfy the needs of your audience.
@slayculture it all boils down to WHO ARE YOU? What do you stand for? What are you about? What are YOU addding to the world?
— ColoringPins (@ColoringPins) January 18, 2017
Tip 4: Stay consistent in all your efforts
Three words to live by: Don’t get stale! Develop an editorial calendar if you have a blog, a social media calendar, and an eCommerce calendar if you have an online store. Be realistic in the placeholders you create and make sure they’re filled as often as possible. You should also leave room for live updates and responding to comments and tweets. When you’re consistent, people know what to expect from you and begin to look forward to it. Don’t become the brand that people forget about or don’t want to see.
— Lost Queens 👑 (@LostQueens) January 18, 2017
Many more gems were shared during #theSlayChat. Search the hashtag on Twitter for more tips and information on growing your brand and fun opportunities off social media.
Ariel C. Williams is the Editor-in-Chief of Slay Culture and author of The Girl Talk Chronicles (Amazon). Sound parenting, storytelling without bounds, and providing a space where Black women and Black boys (like she and her son) are celebrated for their greatness are things that keep her going. Tweet her @ArielSaysNow.