You need to build an easily recognizable brand if you ever intend to take your dance studio to the highest level. So how do you go about it? There are many ways but few can compete with social media if you have the right strategy. This article will take you through the steps necessary to build a solid brand using social media…
What Makes A Solid Brand?
To do well in your brand building, you have to ask a very important question: What makes a solid brand? A solid brand has a number of features and it is very important that you take note of each and ensure that your social media campaigns address each of them.
1. It is an authority
Your dance studio has to establish itself as an authority. You achieve this by demonstrating your expertise in places online and offline at a frequency that ingrains your authority in your viewers eyes. (We will talk about how to go about this online when we get to the different platforms (web 2.0) technologies to use in social media marketing).
2. It is trusted
“Never trust strangers”, our parents taught us this, and we all have always lived by that rule. Trust is built by fostering a relationship. It starts on a very casual level and can go on to fanatical proportions.
3. It is loved
How do people feel about your brand? They must feel good about it or whatever buzz you create will only hurt your business. So how do you make them love you? We love people who make us feel important. We love people who make us relevant. We love people who take care of our own. We love people who deliver solutions to our challenges.
4. It is familiar and easily recognizable
Can a child recognize your brand? Is it distinctively different from all other dance studios? The more personality your studio develops the easier it is for it to build easy recognition. There are things you must do to ensure that you do NOT dilute your brand while using social media.
How To Use Social Media Effectively In Promoting Your Brand
There are general rules that you must keep in mind if you want to build a brand. More importantly, there are do’s and don’ts you must adhere to if you want to achieve this via social media. Here are things to bear in mind regardless of the platform involved…
1. It must be 90% social or informative and only 10% promotional. The more subtle your promotional messages are, the better for your brand building efforts. Over-deliver content that people who are interested in dancing would love.
Share tips that will make your readers better or more informed dancers. Show them where to get their costumes for far less. Help them save money on dance-related expenses. Give great tips that will help improve their dancing. Help them overcome their fears of dancing and performing. Show them what to look for in a good studio or dance instructor.
Make it easy for them to reach you with their dance questions or problems. Remember, you want to establish your business as the go-to resource for dance matters.
All these, done right, will establish you as an authority, build trust (they know you care for them), make them love you (or your dance studio) and make your business the first that comes to mind whenever they think or talk about dance.
2. You must follow trends in your industry (dance business) and be able to take a position that establishes your brand further. Is there a particular dance style that is a hit among kids? You don’t want to be the second person to know about it. You have to be the first, use it to connect with your viewers on a special level.
For example, get your instructors to analyze trends and put their professional touches to it. Add a new twist, make a vlog and post it on Youtube. Let your followers on the different social platforms be the first to see it. If you “wow” them it could easily go viral (That’s free exposure taking the message to the next level).
3. You must have a fast response to both issues raised in the industry in general and about your studio in particular.
What’s the news in the dance industry? Pick them up and run expert commentaries on them.
Did something go wrong in your studio? Believe it or NOT, stuff happens in life and don’t be surprised that an aggrieved parent or kid could post a damaging comment on your Facebook page, for example. You can use it to your advantage…
If you were clearly at fault, apologize and then offer something to show that you really care about these people. It could be a discount for X group, a school or a person — Just show you are willing to make amends. What if someone was just trying to run down your business? Well, tell your side of the story and then make an offer that will help kill the negative image.
Delay is suicidal in social media. Just as it only takes a few hours for a video to get all over the place, so you can easily become a villain. Nip it in the bud (And use it to reinforce your position as the dance studio to visit). It’s very easy to bend their conversation in your favor if you are willing to give something of value.
4. Don’t just share your stuff. Share your clients’ stuff too. This is very important as it would make it cease to be just your business but “our” business. Here’s an example…
Ask parents to send in shots of their kids dancing. Let them know that there will be a prize for the picture that is voted the best by your followers. The rule could be that the picture with the highest number of votes or Facebook likes or tweets will be declared winner.
They will tell their friends and acquaintances to vote for their pictures. And while everyone is busy trying to win the competition, they are getting your brand ingrained even deeper in their subconscious (Plus the fact that your page will get many more new followers or visitors than you could bring on your own).
-The use of creative memes will help your brand get more exposure when they go viral. But to use memes you need to understand the fundamentals about them…
-The message you want to convey must be stripped down it to its essentials.
-It must make the desired impression instantly.
-It must be relevant to your target group.
They must NOT just be pictures, memes can be quotes that just make the point you need to get across, with image (satirical) reinforcement.
5. Make sure that your brand’s look and feel is consistent across all platforms that allow you to customize things. Make sure you use consistent color schemes everywhere possible. Your logo must be consistent everywhere you go.
6. Make sure you don’t attempt to be everything to everybody. Select your target audience, your unique selling proposition, your values and business policies and focus tightly on them always. Make sure your messages are consistent with these at all times.
Now that we have mentioned the ground rules, let’s get into…
Specifics For Some Social Media Platforms
This is a site you can’t afford to ignore in your brand-building efforts. Here are some things to bear in mind…
1. Create a business page for your dance studio. This helps you separate your personal page from your business page. Make sure the profile details are up to date. Make sure no one is in doubt about what you do and what you stand for after reading through your profile sections.
2. Upload pictures of your dance studio facility, events and faculty members.
3. Make up your mind on what you want to achieve with your business page. It should give value or else you will get a lot of “unlikes”.
4. You should post at least once every week.
5. Respond to comments promptly.
6. Expand your contacts by using “people you may know” section.
7. Connect it to your twitter account.
Twitter is best to keep people updated about things going on in your studio or industry. But don’t forget that it has to be a conversation. You should create an opportunity for a form of dialogue. You can do this easily by asking a question that you know will interest dance enthusiasts, dancers or parents.
You can make it easier for yourself on this site by using a service like TweetLater to schedule your tweets.
This is a site that is focused on organizing things (mainly visuals) that people love. You can pin things that you find interesting. Since it is a dance studio you are promoting, take your time to study this site as it will help you establish your brand.
But don’t make the mistake many folks make: Don’t pin just your stuff. Pareto’s 80/20 rule applies here too as with all social media. Pin interesting stuff related to dance and your community from different sources. Then add your stuff or else you won’t get the best results.
Also, don’t forget to link your Pinterest account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts once you create it. Make sure you leave the visibility box alone so that your profile can be easily picked up by search engines.
You can establish your brand effective by blogging. First and foremost, you need to have your official blog. No, it’s NOT good for you to use a free platform like mystudio.Wordpress.com or Dancestudio.blogspot.com. Buy a domain and hosting and you can easily set up a blog. It usually takes less than five minutes with most hosts.
You need a blog you can funnel all your social media efforts to. You can easily customize things to your taste without being afraid of running afoul of a site’s terms and conditions. Furthermore, this allows you to attract free visitors from the search engines that you can funnel to your social media accounts (if you so choose) or pre-sell and monetize.
Guest blogging is another way to build your brand. What happens if you get published on the industry’s No.1 dance site? Everyone who visits that site will see you as an authority.
Building your brand isn’t going to be a stroll in the park. But with social media, it is a lot easier and cheaper than it was a few decades ago. Take advantage of technology and give your business the exposure it deserves.