Social media branding is no longer an option for marketers in 2022. Perhaps a decade ago, you could ignore Facebook and other platforms. That’s no longer true Your competitors are using social media to target your customers even if you are not. It’s how your target audience connects with one another to establish a community around your product and where you can find them to tell your brand story. Plus, social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to build your brand and reach markets all over the world.
In 2021, more than half the world’s population was on social media. Americans spent an average of 1,300 hours on social media in 2020. That number continues to grow. If you’re still just dabbling with the medium and haven’t made a full commitment to your social media strategy, here are some of the other benefits you could reap:
- Establish your brand’s credibility and build trust
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Shape the brand voice and personality
- Build your brand’s authenticity
- Propel your brand to top-of-mind for your target
- Drive website traffic and increase sales
- Entice influencers who will spread goodwill and attract new customers
With all of these benefits, it makes sense to invest time and energy into developing a social media presence. It’s not difficult, but it does require putting together and following a plan. Don’t wait: the pace is only going to accelerate in the coming year.
5 Keys to Social Media Branding
You can build your brand on social media as part of your overall marketing strategy. Just remember, however, your social media strategies must be deliberate. It’s a mistake to reuse content from more traditional channels without putting some thought into what you are trying to achieve and how the channel works. Build your brand before you even think about bringing on an influencer. Social media works best for your brand when you understand the objectives and follow the brand-building tips shown below.
1. Extend your visual branding
As with all of your branding, ensure your social media themes are consistent and relatable. Instant recognizability is the goal. Your customers should be able to identify your posts before they see the logo. That means that everything about your brand aesthetic, including the colors, designs, topography, filters, even the image selection should be identifiable as uniquely yours.
Nike is an excellent example of a highly recognizable visual branding. You don’t need to see the trademark swoosh to identify the high-quality images of athletes or fitness enthusiasts. The social media strategy, too, is very deliberate in its focus on people, rather than on products. Nike has found its success in emotional branding. Nowhere is this more evident than in their social media posts. Nike’s Equality campaign with its stirring YouTube video is just one example.
There is a lot you can do to make your brand more visual, including infographics, memes and other images.
2. Establish your brand voice and tone
The best examples of social media branding have personality. It may be snarky, ironic, witty, sarcastic, poignant, authoritative, or any combination of traits. It’s best to make your brand’s social media voice distinct and separate from other companies.
Develop a voice and tone description within your copy guidelines to ensure that the writing is consistent. This section will serve as a reference and help establish the personality traits, perspective, characteristics, and vocabulary that the account will use.
Humor works particularly well. After all, the majority of customers follow social media accounts to be entertained. Use it carefully though, because humor can backfire. When Chase posted a #MondayMotivation tweet that suggested that people make coffee at home and walk a few blocks in lieu of hailing a taxi, Twitter followers were outraged. Thoroughly chastised for poor-shaming, Chase quickly eliminated the offending tweet.
3. Find the best social media platform for your brand
There are many social media platforms to choose from. Because it’s so economical to post, it’s tempting to use them all. Remember though, that not all platforms are the same. They may attract different audiences and, more importantly, they require different approaches. The brand will struggle to see a return on the time and money invested in the wrong social media platform.
If this were a beauty contest, Instagram would probably win. The platform is known both for its stunning visuals and compelling selfie-style photos. But it’s not a beauty contest and Instagram may not be the best place for your brand, even when you’re targeting Gen Z. Conventional wisdom says that Instagram works best for the under-30 crowd that hangs there, but even that is changing. Nearly half of all 30 to 49-year-olds have active Instagram accounts. Still, when you look at the numbers and the demographics, you may find that your brand is better suited for the Twitter or YouTube audience.
You know your product. Make sure that you understand the audience that you’re targeting and where you’ll find them. Before you choose where to post, do the research on each platform. The most popular are:
4. Interact with your audience
Whatever platform you choose, you should interact with your audience. The point of social media marketing is to be social. If all you do is post and, even more importantly, if your posts fail to engage your audience, you’re missing the point of social media. Whatever platform you choose, you must connect with your audience in the language that they speak.
Furthermore, social media platforms are designed to promote posts from the most active users. This goes beyond simply responding to customer comments. Here are a few of the best ways to engage and build trust among your customers:
- Give customers an insider look. This may include a video of your offices, your manufacturing facilities, designing a store window display, packing and shipping functions, or any other process that allows them to connect more with the brand and the people involved in it.
- Show customers the individuals behind the brand. Post videos of company parties, a featured employee at work or during leisure or charitable activities, or create posts with owners and their pets.
- Share user, partner, and influencer content. Show your customers what the brand stands for by reposting content from other companies and individuals that may be relevant to them. If you have influencers, you can share their content, as well. Add commentary from the brand account to add additional value for your customers.
- Provide informational and how-to videos that feature your brand. Demonstrate how to use your products or little-known features that customers may overlook.
- Provide educational videos about activities related to your offering. These aren’t about your products or services, rather they are related. For example, if your company sells kitchenware, you could post a video about how to set up your kitchen strategically to make meal preparation easier.
- Make funny videos. Social media audiences love humor and everyday situations can be both hilarious and relatable. Make sure you understand the true meaning when using pop culture phrases. Self-deprecating humor is okay, but avoid making fun of people.
5. Sell products and services
Remember, too, that there’s nothing wrong with selling your products and services on social media. Customers love to read the latest developments, catch up on news, find interesting articles, and check in on friends,but they also come to social media to find inspiration for purchases. According to researchers, 36% of adults have purchased through social media. Your brand can leverage the propensity to buy. Optimize for mobile and make it easy for those who want to purchase through this channel.
Just don’t overdo it. While some marketers emphasize the 80/20 rule with only 20% of your social media focused on selling, this may not work for your brand. Experiment to find the best ratio.
Give it Time
Social media branding is one of the best ways to build trust and credibility with your target audience. Ensure that your content is high-quality and relevant to keep your audience following. You won’t build your social media presence overnight, but with regular posting and a lot of consistency, you’ll find that the momentum will build.
If you need help with your social media strategy, Hawke Media’s got you covered with a free consultation. Contact us today to learn how we can ramp up your approach to social media.