Social media branding has become the hallmark of digital marketing. It is used to create brand recognition, entertain and connect, provide a platform for real-time customer support and, of course, sell, from the smallest local companies to big globally recognised big brands.
Although it is difficult for most marketers to mark proven ROI when it comes to social media, most brands see the importance of these platforms. This is why smart marketers have started to increase their social media presence.
Here are seven steps to help improve your social branding:
1. Choose Your Channels Wisely
With each social channel out there, it can be tempting to open an account on each platform. But this is not a very strategic approach. First, handling all these channels is not realistic, and second, not all social platforms are created equal. Despite the prevalence of so many networks, it is very important to consider what audience group they are famous for. Always do your homework and look for specifics important to your target audience using social media demographics.
2. Use the Selected Channels Wisely
Make sure you use the channel wisely once you have selected your platform(s). Just because you're sharing something on one channel doesn't mean that they should be shared on all channels. Each channel has its own audience. Each audience uses social for different reasons.
The best content for the top social channels are:
- Facebook: Videos and curated content
- Instagram: High-resolution photos, quotes, Stories
- Twitter: News, blog posts, and GIFs
- LinkedIn: Jobs, company news, and professional content
- Pinterest: Infographics and step-by-step photo guides
By ensuring you are choosing the right content for each platform, you will be better inclined to engage the platform users in a more meaningful way.
3. Set the Right Tone with Visuals
Although the type of visual varies from channel to channel, there is no doubt that images still speak louder than words. Visuals play a major role in setting the tone and image of your brand. They offer a first glance of your brand identity and help build brand equity.
The important lesson here is that although you are using different types of images across each channel, the tone and manner should be consistent including:
- Color palette: Use your logo colors to create a consistent color palette. Make sure your main logo colors are used in some way for all images. You can add colors outside of your logo but use them consistently and also make sure they work well together.
- Logo as your avatar: When using an avatar on social media use your logo or a symbol from your logo across all social media channels. Create a logo using the specs for each platform, so it is never skewed awkwardly to fit in the space allotted. Symbols work well to build brand awareness, such as the golden arches of McDonald's or the Nike swoosh.
- Templates: Save time and face by using templates for graphics used on social media. You will then have consistency across all aspects of your designs for colors, fonts and the way you use your logo and symbols. All of these aspects work together to create your brand image.
4. Find Your Voice/Value
Create a voice that fits in with your brand. The words you use and the tone and manner of your posts will make a strong impression even when it is just a few words for a hashtag. Take the Disney example above as a perfect example of how the company uses humor and a recognizable asset in its social media activity. Your communication style should create a personality that fits with your brand.
Consider the following to find your voice:
- Company culture: What does your company stand for? What is important to you? What separates you from the competition? Whether you are fighting for the planet, love dogs, or support strong women, your voice should reflect that.
- Target audience: How does your audience speak? What is common in pop culture, or inside jokes they might understand? Whatever will resonate with them, use, but make sure you remain authentic. Nothing is worse than someone trying to be something they are not. It can be sniffed out on social media faster than you might think and turn people off when they feel you can’t be trusted.
- Unique value proposition: Your value proposition can be a great help in finding your voice. Focusing on what you have that others don’t will add to your culture while helping define who you are as a brand.
5. Choose Your Topics Wisely
Streamline your efforts to maintain coherence with the topics you write about. A random selection of posts that would confuse your message must be avoided. However, you shouldn't be too worried about what kind of content to create. An excellent way to remain authoritative in your industry is to curate content. You can build authority by sharing posts that are relevant, meaningful and useful for followers. This encourages likes and shares while showing people you are not focused strictly on promoting yourself. Instead, it creates trust.
To stay on point, choose a few topics that make sense for your brand and industry whether it is celebrity fashion, designer trends on the runway and shoe fetishes for a fashion boutique or recipes, food trends and seasonal produce for a grocery store. The goal is to stick with your area of expertise, so people depend on you for the info they need.
6. Cross Promote Your Profiles
Don’t forget that all of your marketing has to work together. If you are on social media, share that information across all your profiles and marketing material.
- Linking your website to your social pages
- Providing URLs or at least the logos for the social channels you use on all of your print materials, brochures and signage
- Sharing links to content on your social pages such as to your blogs or from channel to channel when it works
All of these steps will help build social traction. You should also encourage staff to like your social media to encourage followers in their groups: He told two friends, she told two friends, and so on.
7. Engage and Leverage Comments
Many organizations forget this is one of the most important aspects of social media. You can’t just keep posting stuff. Instead, you have to look for comments and join conversations to engage followers. Make sure you have someone on board who is reading comments and replying. In fact, try posting content with a question: We love these shoes, what do you think?
Leverage comments to generate more content. Often you will see common questions or get some really good insight from comments and replies to comments from other followers. Following threads and finding out what people are chatting about can provide ideas for blogs, further content, and opportunities to generate awesome conversations that show off your expertise, not to mention the fact you care about what people are saying.
These seven steps can provide your business with better control over your social strategy and fine-tune the tactics you use to improve your social branding.