Emerging technologies and social networking have made this an interesting time in marketing.
Today’s business owners must understand how everyday consumers can influence the buying decisions of others through social media. That's why it's more important than ever to have a rock solid social media strategy to influence your brand awareness.
What is Social Media Branding?
Social media branding is an essential part of your social media strategy that uses social media to boost brand awareness. Social media branding establishes consistent engagement with your target audience on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Why is Social Media Branding Important?
The role of social media in brand building has skyrocketed in popularity as an inexpensive marketing tool. With so many accounts competing for attention, how do you build an effective social media brand? Here are a few social media branding examples and quick tips to help you rise above the noise.
Did you know that approximately two-thirds of conversions will take place outside of a business?
This might seem surprising, but consider this: Consumers have more influence than ever before because of the internet and social networking. This can be positive for your brand, but it can also be detrimental without a solid SEO and social media strategy. However, most businesses don’t have the time or resources to constantly monitor social networking feeds or create posts.
1. Stay True to Yourself
The most popular social media accounts give their followers a glimpse into what everyday life is like. Sharing a few personal pictures and details makes
your reader feel connected to you and keeps them invested in what you have to say. Find a good balance between personal and professional posts, and you’ll quickly grow brand loyalty.
2. Be Likable
TIP: While it's helpful to be present on as many social channels as possible, picking a core few to master is also a great strategy.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality show through in your posts. It’s no fun to read the same, monotonous content that could have been written by a robot. Be personable. Be quirky. Keep your readers entertained and aware that an actual human being is on the other end of the keyboard and genuinely wants to connect with them.
3. Share the Accolades
Instead of posting about a recent business success, spin it into a success that your customer had because of something you offered them. Make it all about their win and celebrate their success. Not only will you earn some extra goodwill with your customer, but you’ll reap some extra attention to your social media brand in the process.
4. Stay Balanced
While we’ve already talked about sharing a few personal details, it’s very important to remain neutral on controversial topics. Your business account isn’t where you should comment on the current political climate, or how you feel about the latest scandal.
You can avoid controversy and remain true to your beliefs. There’s no quicker way to lose half of your audience than posting a fiery political rant on your social media brand page.
5. Pick a Platform
You don’t have to be the best at every social media platform. Do a little research to find the one that works best for your brand and followers and then become an expert on that platform.
After you’ve mastered it, add another one and promote it on your other platforms. Incremental success, based on a solid strategy will create long-term followers and traction for your brand.
6. Consistency is Key
Once you’ve found a few niche platforms, make sure your messaging is consistent across all of them. You should feel like the same brand no matter where your reader finds you.
7. Offer Something
Find out where you’re already being discussed on social media and add something to the conversation. If you stumble across a complaint, offer a discount or refund. Repost compliments about your brand, along with a glowing “thank you.”
Offer free content or information if you find someone in need of help. Be an open, authentic listener and helper on social media and your tribe will reward you for it.
8. Easy on the Sales Pitches
Social media is a great place to let your followers know about discounts and offers but be careful not to turn your posts into pitches which are big social mistakes. Offer enough information that your reader wants to learn more, but don’t force it. Stay humble and keep the focus on the problems you can solve for your audience—not how wonderful you are.
9. Be in the Right Places
Do some research to find out where your clients are and which platforms they like best. Focus your efforts on those venues. You can have the best content on the internet, but if your target audience doesn’t see it, it’s wasted.
- TIP #1: Make your online voice as human as possible. Audiences can tell when posts are stiff, robotic, and lifeless.
- TIP #2: Partner up with an influencer who will help sway your audience in your favor.
10. Offer an Inside Look
By using digital tools like live videos and photo albums, you can offer your readers a sneak peek into the heart of your business. Showcase your employees and their hard work. Give them a tour of your offices. It’s another great way to keep your readers connected to your brand.
11. Create a Grassroots Message
Social entrepreneurship is the star of today’s modern age, so many brands are hoping to capitalize on its popularity. However, most savvy consumers can discern which brands are simply using a catchphrase instead of being truly committed to a social cause.
While most marketers and business owners know that authenticity is important, many of them are unsure what that means. This can lead to embarrassing marketing blunders that can haunt your brand for several years.
12. Share Your Products with Influencers
In the past, marketers created television advertisements that would run every five minutes. Eventually, the product ingrains itself in the consumers’ minds, leading to a purchase. As you can imagine, this approach is no longer effective in the social media age.
Most teens and adults have a solid understanding of how social networking works, and they realize that companies also take advantage of social media sites. Consumers are aware of product placements when they watch movies or television shows or browse Facebook and Instagram. They’re more aware of marketing “tricks” used to convince people to make a purchase. This has given rise to a new group of users–micro-influencers–who share product experienced online.
How Influencers Impact Your Brand
Of course, not every influencer will have the influence your brand is searching for. The number of followers an influencer has can greatly affect how much they can sway other consumers’ opinions. While it may seem like more followers = more influence, statistics have shown that those with 1,000 followers or fewer have the highest rate of “likes” at 8 percent. Conversely, top influencers with 1 million or more followers have a 1.7 percent rate of likes.
Remember, it’s unnecessary to pair up with a celebrity to increase brand recognition. Nielsen recently revealed that nearly 90 percent of consumers are more likely to listen to a recommendation from a friend or family member than an endorsement from a celebrity.
Find Active Social Influencers
Social media users are inundated with hundreds of messages every time they log in. So, how can your business cut through the noise and reach those who can be a positive influence on your brand? The key is to focus on users active on each social platform, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Allow these influencers to be your eyes, ears, and eventually spokespeople for your brand.
Over to you
As with any marketing strategy, take time periodically to evaluate how your social media branding strategy is performing, and make adjustments as needed. It’s part art and part science, but with the right approach, you’ll boost your social media brand and gain an audience of loyal followers.
Fostering relationships with influencers is one of the best ways to gain trust among millennials. When you engage the power of micro-influencers and create authentic messaging, you’ll be able to increase conversions while building long-term relationships with consumers.