Branding is an integral part of every type of advertising you do for your business. No matter where you advertise, and especially on social media, your focus should be on creating a targeted brand image with your audience.
There are 3.48 billion people on social media, which equals around 45 percent of the global population. While only a small percentage are your target audience, social media is still one of the best places for reaching new leads. However, there is a lot of competition for user interest on these platforms.
Your brand needs to stand out from all the other companies seeking the same attention from the same users. Branding strategy is just part of the equation. There are many reasons your social media strategy should build brand recognition, rather than merely advertising products.
1. Rise Above the Noise
More than 88 percent of businesses market on social media. When people see ads all day long, they begin tuning out those ads. Having a strong brand voice highlights your business and grabs the attention of overwhelmed users.
As with any marketing, self-promotion rarely works. Think about the pain points of your customers and how you might solve those. Educational videos or entertainment are two possible types of content for social media. Think about what you’d want if you were the consumer, then deliver on social media and elsewhere.
Wayfair highlights their products but makes the posts unique by tapping into the humorous side of life and entertaining guests. They mention you might burn the waffles, but your guests won’t care when they see your beautiful patio set. The image grabs user attention, and Wayfair keeps its branding intact by using the same lighthearted communication they always use on Instagram.
2. Market Across Multiple Channels
Think about the ways you market your brand in real life and online. Create synergy between the two worlds. On social media, highlight your brick-and-mortar stores or share images of an event.
Offline, tell people about your social media presence. Share a specific hashtag on a sign at a trade show, then ask users to snap an image and upload it with the hashtag. Your goal should be to get online users excited about your offline presence, and vice versa.
3. Create Special Offers
One huge advantage to marketing on social media is an opportunity for creating special offers for each audience. A discount or free trial encourages people to try your brand. Once they’ve taken your product or service for a “test drive,” they’re more likely to become raving fans than if they never experience your brand at all.
A big part of branding is finding ambassadors who love what you do and want to tell everyone they know. Identifying these “brand fans” is easier than ever before, thanks to the influence of some on social media and their propensity to try and share ideas for products.
Ipsy uses inspirational sayings and events and offers discounts which appeal to their core audience. Note the example of using a quote from TRISSOLA’s founder and letting users know they are taking the advice of doing what you love to give their customers a special deal. It’s a witty marketing ploy tied into an inspirational meme likely to get shared with others.
4. Remain Consistent
Your best marketing strategy likely involves a presence across more than one social media channel. Study which channels reach which demographics, and choose the ones best suited to your brand.
Once you’ve chosen the social media channels your business should be on, make sure you offer a consistent brand experience across all channels. Your logo and color palette should be similar on both Instagram and Facebook. A user should instantly recognize your images, logo and tone of voice when landing on any of your social media pages.
5. Choose Relevant Giveaways
Social media platforms are the perfect location for contests and giveaways. However, if you want to attract targeted leads, you must make the prize something relevant to your target audience. Think about your company’s mission, as well as what types of things your customers purchase already.
You should give away part of your product or service or something related to the mission of your brand. Brand every giveaway with your company philosophy and appearance.
Loot Crate sells fandom subscription boxes, so their customers are most interested in certain types of events. They often offer tickets as part of their giveaways and as a way of attracting new followers. In the screenshot above, they’re holding a drawing for Wrestlemania tickets.
6. Become Predictable
Social media provides an opportunity for connecting with your customers. When you make an emotional connection with your followers, they’re more likely to share your content with others and expand your reach. Emotions help build loyalty toward your brand.
When users make an emotional connection with your brand, they expect a relationship with you. You must become predictable by posting at certain times and with the same personality. Consistency applies to posts across all platforms you’re on. You shouldn’t be humorous on Facebook and serious on Twitter, for example.
Keeping up with so many platforms is challenging, so scheduling ahead and using a social media planning tool allows you to stay on top of promoting across multiple social media channels.
7. Plan Your Year
Do you ever find yourself repeating the same information over and over on social media? Falling into a rut is easy. One way of keeping posts fresh and exciting is planning out your annual marketing calendar. Look at each quarter and think through the types of content you’ll share.
Planning your posts allows you to get on a regular schedule, but also shows what tasks you need to complete and when. For example, if you plan an educational series, the articles or webinar must be ready to go well before you start promoting to your networks.
You can always shift your calendar to accommodate changes, but without a schedule, your efforts may mostly go to waste.
Brand Is Everything
Your brand is how the outside world sees your business, but the actions you take impact the vision others have of your company. Spend time thinking through the best ways of getting your message across on social media. Study what your competitors are doing, and offer something different for your followers. Planning marketing campaigns is the key to winning new customers and creating lifelong fans.