A strong presence in social media is crucial for any business. With effective branding strategies on social media, a business can grow its customer base considerably over time.
But that there are an increasing number of social media channels (almost too many to keep up with these days!) and many different kinds of businesses too, so it can be difficult to ascertain the best branding strategy for you.
In this article, we’ll be sharing 7 pro-tips that will help make your business stand out on social media and grow your list of followers. These are the core strategies that EVERY business should follow to improve their social media prospects in the short and long term.
1. Protect your brand name on social media
It is very important that you reserve your company’s brand name across the most important current and emerging social networks, including everything from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube, Pinterest and possibly LinkedIn too.
Setting up a profile sooner rather than later is a good idea, especially if your business has a common name that may be used by other businesses.
Using a tool like Knowem can help you quickly find out if your brand name is available across the social networking sites.
2. Choose the right social networks to invest time and money
It’s important to think about who you’re looking to target via social media. Use the platforms that support your brand image, while taking the following factors into consideration:
Facebook is by the far the best platform for promoting brand awareness, as nearly three-quarters of adults use the site. Facebook is a great platform for promoting virtually any brand, due to its very heterogeneous user base.
Instagram is a great option for brands that rely heavily on image, such as clothing companies and retailers. It’s also particularly effective for reaching young adults, so make it a priority if that is your demographic.
While Google+ hasn’t taken off as well as many people predicted, it can be a great platform to reach people in the technology industry. Interestingly, two-thirds of the network’s users are men, most of whom work in engineering or other technical professions.
Pinterest is an excellent social network to reach women, especially for brands selling jewellery or clothing.
Finally, if you operate a B2B (business-to-business) company, LinkedIn is a must for promoting business-related content and connecting with other corporate influencers.
3. Pay attention to visual branding
Visual appeal has evolved into a major marketing selling point over the years. The rise of personal branding symbolises this change, and you can get a clear sense of it with a quick scan of your own Facebook or Instagram feed or even your profile. Remember that good images are the most important thing when you are posting.
In fact, a recent study suggests that Facebook images constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared to image-less status updates and links.
Social media allows for branding opportunities that simply weren’t available in the past to all businesses. So use it to create a unique identity and demonstrate your value to potential customers. You want your branding to be consistent across all channels and there is no better way to convey this than by making a visual impact. This will help people immediately recognise your company no matter which site or app they’re using.
4. Create the right brand voice
Before telling you business’s story, you’ll need to work out what angle you’re going to be taking when developing an identity for your brand. Try asking yourself these questions:
- What are your core values?
- What are your personal strengths and skills?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are your unique personality traits?
- What will make you stand out versus your competition?
Your answers to these questions can help you craft a brand voice that will reflect your values and ensures you are marketing yourself to the right kinds of people.
Otherwise, consider the following “elevator pitch” formula:
- What do you do?
- For whom?
- What purpose do you serve?
Define the image or personality you want to be known for. Are you trying to be funny? Serious? A leader in a particular field of thought (e.g., philosophy, art, writing, etc.)? Define 2-4 key areas that your brand is going to concern itself with and stick to them!
5. Keep your pages up-to-date
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how often brands’ social media pages never take off due to inactivity. Create an editorial calendar using Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel, and set it up so that it plots out your social media posts one month at a time. Establish a rhythm of how often you plan to post and which time of the day.
6. Keep your eye to the ground
Whether your company is active or not on these other social networks, it is important to monitor for brand mentions. The volume and sentiment of mentions can determine which future steps can be taken to get the most out of your social media. It can help to give you an idea of how your brand is coming across and what tweaks you can make to your social media to make it more successful and appeal to consumers.
7. Engage with your audience by providing valuable and shareable content
It’s nice to have a presence on different networks but if you stop there no one’s actually going to know that you exist. Start by commenting on and sharing other people’s content. As you start to grow, you’ll ideally need to start producing your own unique content for your followers to read and engage with.
It’s completely up to you which format you choose here. If you enjoy writing then adding a blog to your personal website and sharing links via social media is great idea.
If you’re more of a verbal person, why not try podcasting or vlogging? The medium will also determine which platform you choose, for example, YouTube might be interesting for a video, or maybe Periscope.
Whichever format and platform you choose, be purposeful. Each blog post you write, each tweet you send, is adding another piece to the puzzle that is your personal brand so make sure you’re building something cohesive and effective.
Now it’s your turn
So these were our top picks to give your business a strong footing in the world of social media. Building and sustaining a successful brand image can take years of hard work and dedication. However, following these basic strategies will take you a long way forward and give you a strong foundation on which to build.