In the last few years, social media has become the platform of choice for brands looking to expand their reach and take their branding to a whole new level. That’s not surprising at all as a recent report says that the number of social media users is already at 3.96 billion as of July 2020.
That’s one of the top reasons why most businesses are on social media now, why the competition has become fiercer than ever, and why you should take your social media branding strategy seriously. After all, you don’t want to get drowned by your competition. You want to stand out.
Before you think about what you can add or what tweaks you can make to improve your social media branding, you must first ensure that your foundation is solid. To be able to build and expand your audience and achieve all your branding goals, make sure that you nail all three key aspects of your branding strategy:
The very first thing that you should focus on is your brand identity because you won’t be able to move forward with your strategy without it. Building it should be treated as a whole project of its own. You need to identify the core values of your brand, what goals the brand aims for, what its visual assets are, your brand personality and what makes it unique.
Once you have determined your brand identity, the next thing you should do is figure out your target market. It’s important that you understand your market before you proceed with your social media marketing efforts. So allot time to conduct thorough research so you can know more about the people who already buy your products and who are most likely to stay loyal to your brand.
One thing to remember is that psychographics are as important as demographics, perhaps even more. If you are to create a customer persona (as you should), then you need to delve deeper into what your ideal customers are really like, including their goals, what they desire, what their pain points are, and more. Understanding your customers is key to providing them with products or services that turn them into loyal customers, and potentially, brand advocates.
Like you would with every campaign, you should also establish clear goals for your social media presence. Now, it’s every marketer’s goal to improve conversion rate but unlike with SEO, content, or email marketing, boosting brand awareness and establishing brand loyalty are more common goals for social media branding.
As well, while it’s wise to track the number of visits, likes, and followers that you get on a regular basis, you should focus more on how you are building a relationship with those followers and likers. It’s easy to get people to follow your page or to get them to like what you’re posting but what’s harder is actually getting them to care about what you put out there, getting them to root for your brand. It’s more challenging to make your audience see you as an authority in your field.
That’s what you’re going to have to work on and what these social media branding strategies are for.
If there’s one thing that can kill a brand easily, it’s inconsistency.
Remember that for your brand to thrive on social media platforms, you need to be seen by your audience constantly. This allows you to stay on top of your audience’s minds.
If you don’t post content on a regular basis, you’re going to lose momentum and people might forget about you. The best way to avoid this is to be organized, categorizing your social media content by batch, and coming up with a content calendar that makes it easier to schedule your posts. This will save you time and effort, too.
Check out this chart showing how often you need to post on all the relevant social media platforms to stay active and consistent.
Remember the brand identity that you worked on? Now, based on that and the core values that you have established, you would have to come up with a unique tone of voice that you would use at all times. Your brand personality should be reflected by that tone, whether it’s informative, professional, witty, friendly, or funny.
Note that you might not always get the tone right from the get-go and it might even take some time before you finally nail it. But when you do, you should keep using that until your audience identifies it with you.
Did you know that 75% of all businesses are already using at least one marketing automation tool? These automation tools are not only popular, they’ve also been proven to be effective, too. So go ahead, take the time to know more about the tools available to you and make use of the ones that best suit your needs best.
However, you must be mindful of how you use them and to what extent. You don’t want to lose the elements that make your brand “human.” Sure, social media marketing tools can be used to make tasks like scheduling posts so much easier, but don’t forget about the quality of what you post.
It also helps to have chatbots to respond instantly or initiate interaction with your potential customers but make sure that you do have actual people to take that interaction to another level and make your connection more meaningful whenever the need arises.
Contrary to the belief that you need to be on every single social media platform to boost brand awareness, it would actually be better for you to focus on platforms that are most suitable for your business.
To do this effectively, you have to do your research and study each platform to know their differences. Find out the demographics of the users on each platform. Know what formats work best for them and who they primarily cater to.
For example, if your brand sells fashion items then platforms that are mainly ‘visual’ would work best like Instagram or Pinterest. On the other hand, if your brand is aiming to be a thought leader, then channels like LinkedIn might be a better choice.
Also, consider your goals. If you want your brand to be a part of trending conversations to create awareness, then Twitter might be for you. If you want to be able to reach more audiences and connect with them, Facebook and YouTube might be the platforms for you.
Just keep in mind that it’s equally important to be most active on where most of your audiences are.
One common mistake that even some pros still make is trying to come up with content that they think would please everybody. The problem with this is that you’ll only create content that is, at best, just okay. And “okay” won’t really appeal to your target audience, would it?
Don’t forget that the right voice and the right voice would only resonate if the message is right and relevant to your target audience. Knowing their preferred content format would also greatly help. Because, at the end of the day, even if you come up with a breathtaking live video content, if your audience spends time checking out the latest tweets, you won’t be able to reach them. So don’t just create and post content without considering your audience.
While influencer marketing has been a staple for a number of years, keep in mind that you don’t have to go with influencers with the highest number of followers. Choose one (even those with a small or moderate following) whose image is aligned with your brand and can genuinely represent and speak for and about your brand, too.
Oftentimes, these micro-influencers have better connections with their followers, making them more effective ambassadors.
Even if you don’t have enough resources to pour into things like ads and influencer marketing, you can still market effectively by being consistent with the visuals and texts that you use to get your message across.
Even if you’ve just started with your social media efforts, you can immediately grab the attention of your audience with consistent messaging.
Once you have started engaging your audience, don’t lose that traction. Keep their engagement with your brand going by having social media events, contests, promos, and encouraging your audience to participate.
You can also share content from your users like reviews and testimonials. Creating groups where you can interact with your audience would also work wonders.
You have to regularly track your social media efforts. This is the only way to know for sure that your strategies are delivering results. Measure your engagement, your reach, and other relevant metrics.
There are a number of tools that can help you do this, while the platforms’ native analytics features would also be a great place to start if you haven’t done this yet. Make sure that you keep a record of your progress so that you can tell whether your strategies are working or if they need a revamp.
Social media branding may not be rocket science but it does take more than just posting and sharing content to get more likes and followers. Remember, the goals that you have for your brand. Think about how every social media ‘action’ you make affects your brand and check if what you are doing is still aligned with your brand identity. Social media is a great tool for delivering content that can boost your image, increase your engagement, and ultimately help your business grow.
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