Once you have done the work to create a good foundation for your brand, you are ready to take your story to your target audiences. With over 2.3 billion people actively logging into some form of social media every day, you should definitely consider social media as part of your overall outreach strategy. Where mobile is considered, 12 new mobile social users are added each second. One million each day.
There are two aspects of your brand that you need to cover when it comes to social media: Visual and messaging. Done right building your brand on social media will give you the opportunity to connect with your audience in an authentic way, helping you build trust and a strong community of loyal brand followers. It doesn’t hurt that you can reach audiences across the globe with the push of a button either!
Here are five steps to building a strong brand on social media, once you’ve put in the work to define what your brand is.
Step 1: Choose your social platforms wisely
This first step is crucial to your success – especially if you are a small business running on fewer resources (yes, your time is a resource!). You can’t be everywhere, so you need to evaluate the social platforms carefully with both your brand and your target audience in mind.
There are hundreds of social platforms (many popping up daily, it seems) and it can be tempting to go with the latest and greatest. However, if you are kicking off your social strategy or you aren’t as comfortable with social media, it’s best to find platforms that have staying power. A few of the top platforms to look at are:
- LinkedIn (Perfect for B2B)
For the more adventurous, social media savvy brands, or those targeting a younger audience, here are a few platforms to consider:
- Snapchat (great for millennials!)
Step 2: Create consistency across channels
Whether you have two social profiles or twenty, your audience should be able to get the same brand experience on each platform. You shouldn’t be posting the same content on each platform because you want each to add value for your audience, however, the profile name, visual feel, colour palette, and tone of voice should be consistent. While you may love that picture of you on vacation, it may not be the best representation of your brand. Have your profile picture the same (either your logo, product, or mascot) and set up custom cover images to represent your brand well.
You also want to create a feeling of consistency where the timing is concerned. Post at the same times daily so your followers can know to look for your content.
Step 3: Provide valuable and relevant content
Your target audience will appreciate content that is relevant to them. It will increase engagement across your profiles as well. Your content should support your brand values and represent who you are as a brand so your audience can get to know you and feel connected. To connect easier you also have to be human. Remember it’s SOCIAL media and you are looking to connect with people.
Try breaking your content strategy down into campaigns. This will help with planning. Three ways to do this are:
- Contests: There are lots of great opportunities for user-generated content and to help you build your brand following via contests. You can go as simple as a retweet and follow contest on Twitter, photo sharing on Instagram, or more complex using third party software.
- Paid social: We all know organic reach isn’t what it used to be. You don’t have to spend big bucks to be seen, but it does help to boost your visibility on certain platforms.
- Themes: If you break your content strategy into themes, you can make sure that your audience will be able to follow along with your content easier. By doing monthly themes it gives you enough time to develop great content. Keep your themes broad (ie. Entrepreneurship, summer recipes, social media, etc.) so you don’t limit yourself too much.
The other thing to remember about content is that “variety is the spice of life.” Visuals go a long way to attract attention. Have a good mix of images, videos, links, and text.
Step 4: Connect with influencers
Influencers are important to helping your brand grow. Connect with them by sharing their content and “shouting them out” on different channels. They have become influencers for a reason. Learn from the type of content they are sharing that your audience enjoys. That type of influence is something you should aspire to.
Step 5: Listen
It’s true when you are face to face, and it’s true when you are in front of a screen. If you are only talking at people there is no way you will get to know them. Create meaningful dialogue on your social channels. It shows you have taken an interest in what your audience has to say. This also means – STOP YELLING and selling. Yelling at your audience in capital letters on a regular basis is just annoying. Equally as annoying is when a brand only puts out a sales pitch in everything they do. It’s not interesting or relevant to your audience. Listen to what they have to say and respond accordingly.
Ninety-one percent of retail brands are already on social media. It’s about time you took your brand strategy down that road as well! Be sure to call us if you need help getting started.