When social media first came onto the scene, companies were quickly looking for ways to capitalize on this consumer trend. Companies had other ways of communicating with their customers and increasing their sales, but the moment social media appeared it changed, and it became highly important for companies to build their brand and their brand voice, as one of the most effective tools to stand out from the crowd.
Indeed, social media was a chance to shout about products and services and connect directly with consumers. While initially social media was seen as a ‘fast-track’, quick-fix way of improving presence and getting ‘in the face’ of consumers, it didn’t take long until marketers realized every other marketer was doing the same. As a result, they would have to up their game with branding in the age of social media.
Social media can be a powerful weapon in the arsenal of a marketer or business. It allows companies to raise awareness and directly interact with customers, all of which are good for business and great for branding. So much so that 90% of brands use social media for brand awareness and brand activities. However, social media is a big platform, and it is challenging to stand out for all of the right reasons on social media, especially when the competition is so fierce.
There are, however, ways to deliver effective branding in the age of social media. Instead of going all out across every channel, effective branding in the age of social media requires more thought and a strategic response to get the best return on investment. We can say that social media branding is all about using the right tools and methods to engage with your target audience on social media platforms So, what can you do to make the most out of branding in the age of social media?
Social media is huge; there is a platform for everyone. What’s more, 3.48 billion people across the world use social media. That said, not every individual is on every platform. Consequently, your business needs to determine what social media sites your customers or ideal consumers use. Yes, a presence across all will be no bad thing, but really focus your time, energy, and budget on the sites that can make a difference to your brand. For example, B2B businesses are likely to see better engagement on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter rather than Snapchat. Similarly, those targeting a millennial base may find better success on Instagram rather than Facebook. It is all about finding out where your consumers are.
Many companies consider social media as the ‘fun’ side of the brand. However, this could be harming your brand message. Every platform, regardless of how informal you think it is, needs to be consistent to make your brand as memorable as possible. This includes ensuring the same color palette, style of images, and the way you speak.
A style guide can be an essential tool in making sure you succeed with branding in the age of social media. This style guide can include the style, colors, and graphics you use to create images as well as defining the tone, voice, and personality of your brand when using social media. This style guide not only helps people across the business to understand the correct social media branding but also makes it much easier to outsource if your business needs to focus on the core functions while employing another firm to look after your marketing needs.
It can be so tempting to retweet a funny post or share a meme on your company’s social media site. However, sharing irrelevant content can confuse your audience and steers you ‘off-brand’. It is always best to ask yourself when posting content on social media; ‘will this help me achieve a business goal?’ If it doesn’t, it may be best saved for use on your personal account.
Similarly to this, make sure you don’t just post for the sake of it. Your social media pages are designed to boost awareness, build authority, and become a known player in the market. Social media is not your sole sales pitch, and consumers will soon tire of the sales pattern. They’ll also tire if they can see you just posting words and pictures for no other reason than you think you have to.
Stay strong with your social media feed by staying on brand and with well-thought-out content and relevant messages in mind. In this instance, creating a content schedule can be hugely beneficial to ensure your feed has a healthy mix of content, and you won’t be tempted to post off-brand when you have run out of ideas.
Elevate your bio
When consumers explore your social media, they won’t just scroll through your feed; they’ll check out every other area of your page too. This includes who you are following and your bio page also. Firstly, your bio page is a fantastic tool for your business. Your bio may be limited to just one or two lines, but these can work wonders as an elevator sales pitch to really draw consumers in. Consider hashtags you can use too, if appropriate. Remember that you need consistency across all social media platforms, so it is wise to create all of your bios at the same time.
Secondly, think about your connections and who your business can follow. Influencers can be a fantastic way of forging connections and amplifying the brand to a new audience that may still be untapped. Don’t feel that you cannot follow others in your industry because of the ‘competition’. As an industry leader, you need to see what others are doing, and it may help you to adapt your own strategy too.
With 90% of brands using social media to boost awareness, don’t think that social media marketing will be an easy fix for your business. Instead, follow these simple tips and think carefully about how best you can present your brand and who will be the most receptive audience.
In the years to come, we can expect the basic trends to continue. There will be more social media platforms and more brands vying for attention on them. Therefore, we can reasonably expect brands to become more important, not less. As consumers are offered more choices, their preferences will become more important.
If digital media is ever going to become a profitable industry, it will have to learn how to build brands, not just produce a direct response. Ironically, to build the consumer brands of the future, today’s digital marketers, agencies offering social media services will probably have to learn a lot from the ad giants of the past.