Recently, on Breakfast with Larry, the talented Danielle Robay joined Cal and me at Breakfast. Danielle’s the youngest morning television host in Chicago, and has worked in both traditional and digital media. She climbed the ranks of Windy City combining hard work, authenticity, and smart social media.
I can’t think of anyone better to help you grow your audience. Funny enough, it’s not too far off from what I did over sixty years ago!
Below are Danielle’s Six Steps to Building Your Social Media Brand.
Here’s how you can start implementing them, and why you should start today.
One: Do Not Let Your Touch Screens Make You Lose Touch
These days, everyone wants to be an influencer. Everyone wants eyes on them.
But what does that mean? What exactly is an influencer, and how can one truly influence?
The best, most true influencers are themselves. They are authentic. I learned this my first day on the radio. All I ever wanted to do was be on the air, and the moment finally came. I was so nervous I forgot how to talk. My solution? I told the audience that I was nervous and it was my first day and I would try my best.
Guess what? That resonated with people. They connected, and we are here today six decades later. Resist the urge to hide behind the screen. Social media can be fantasy land, but the best influencers know that, by being yourself, you win. It’s the same rule that worked for me in 1957 and your ancestors in 1457. It always will.
Two: Ask Yourself--What is My Purpose?
Why do you want to do what you want to do? My purpose was always to inform, communicate, entertain. I’ve always felt that, if you asked good questions and got good answers, you help your viewers and listeners.
Define your purpose. It can be complicated or simple, but it has to be true to you. Hopefully, your purpose helps other people.
From there, according to Danielle, come up with four or five brand pillars around your purpose. Every piece of content you make should belong to one of these pillars. Post often, and be clear and concise in your messaging.
Three: Be a Thought Leader.
People are either coming to your page for a reason, or they are not coming at all. Give them a good reason to come back to you. It can be a big reason or a small reason, but you need to give them something.
Your audience knows what they need and want. Be the person to give it to them. Aim to inform (and maybe even inspire) them!
Don’t know what they want? Ask your audience questions. With comments, direct messaging, and polls, it has never been easier. When you start from where they are, you can guide them to where you want to take them.
Four: Don’t Think of Yourself as a Product. What Story Are You Telling?
Says Danielle: “social media is storytelling.”
Your job is to tell your audience and engaging and enlightening story. What elements of your story will resonate with the followers you want to engage with?
"You know it’s a good story if you’re interested. And if you’re interested in transmitting it? There’s your answer. There are a million stories. Find why yours is worth telling."
Five: Build Community by Inserting Meaning
Social media can feel so empty. So how do we insert meaning into a seemingly empty medium?
Build a community and engage with the people that inspire you. Those people will become your community.
As Danielle points out, “We are consuming so much information. You are what you eat, and we feel what we consume. [I changed who I follow] and what I was thinking about on a daily basis changed.”
The same goes for your followers. Are you lifting them up or pushing them down? If you lead them the wrong way, you will lose them. Share meaningful messages with your audience and you will be well rewarded for it.
Six: Be a Giver
Most important of all: give. Remember, if you are serving people, making a brand out of yourself won’t be so gross and self-indulgent. To paraphrase JFK, you (and your brand) isn’t about you, but what you can do for your, well, audience!
As Danielle said:
I think a lot of people are using [social media] in a selfish way. We have iPhones, iMacs, iPads, and selfies. It’s no wonder social media feels so self-indulgent. But, I really believe all of our purpose--and we are following it in different ways--but, all of our purpose is to serve, to support, to learn. It’s about how we can use social media to best do that.
Giving is the greatest. Aim to give more than you expect to give back. In my near-ninety years, doing that has always made me feel best.
Check out Breakfast with Larry!