Table of Contents
At the heart of a brand– and its success– is their social media presence. Whether you are an established company or just starting out, your social media branding strategy is key to building a loyal consumer base. Social platforms are often the first point of contact for potential customers with your brand, making it all the more reason to make a strong first impression!
The ultimate goal is to build trust with your audience to acquire loyal, repeat customers. The lifetime value of a customer should mean more than the temporary number of likes on your Instagram feed. Your social media branding strategy should strive to add value to your followers through the promotion of authenticity and providing information on the brand, insight into the product, or knowledge on the industry or domain in which you consider yourself an expert.
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All social media, and all members of your organization that manage those multiple social media accounts, are an extension of the brand as a whole. Therefore, it requires careful consideration to curate not only an aesthetic social media presence but also a consistent brand voice and reliable point of interaction.
1. Identify your brand
Before you can begin, it is vital to understand your organization first and what it stands for. Once you are able to sufficiently answer these questions, you have laid the foundation for building your social media branding strategy that is consistent and true to character. These are the points that you will come back to when building campaigns or connecting with customers. It is the WHY behind the brand, which is arguably the most important factor.
- What industry are you in?
- What is your target consumer? Use online tools to create buyer personas to really understand your target demographics.
- What are your company’s mission and overall organizational purpose?
- What is your brand story? Say it, tell it, reword it, say it again. This should be something that your audience knows about you. It is your defining features and what sets you apart. If they don’t know it, or you’ve gained followers since you last talked about it, it’s time to repeat. A story builds connections and builds trust. It is foundational to a social media branding strategy.
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2. Define Your Brand
Once you understand internally what your brand stands for, now you can move on to how you want to portray that externally. Think about answers to these questions:
- How do you want others to perceive your brand?
- What emotions are associated with your posts? How do you want your brand to come off on social media (serious, relatable, funny, professional, etc.)?
Take inspiration from these brands:
- MOE Assist
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“MOE's custom workflows help me manage everything from projects and collaborations to invoicing clients and receiving payments. I'm excited to launch Moe Assist so all influencers can have tools that will help them grow and work more efficiently! Moe was created for the influencer, by an influencer.” – Founder & CEO Danielle Bernstein @weworewhat
- MOE Assist
Understanding this and laying out adjectives for tone and language gives you a clear cut guide on how to interact with your audience that lets conversations flow naturally. You can find sample voice and tone guides for other brands online, but try not to rely on past examples as you don’t want to copy someone else’s. Think through these points first before referencing other examples to avoid preconceived ideas hindering the development of a unique, authentic social media branding strategy for you.
3. Identify Key Attributes that Speak to the Core of Your Business
These are ideas and themes that should be consistent and repetitive across platforms, posts, and communications. It emphasizes your value add and drills down memorable points for consumers to connect to your brand.
This includes keywords that describe your company or product/service.
— Fitbit (@fitbit) February 17, 2020
4. Include a Call to Action
This can be worded in many different ways. As a brand, you should mix up, and sometimes omit, a call to action in your posts. But, most of the time, it is necessary to invoke action from your audience with an explicit statement. Otherwise, they just keep scrolling.
Despite if you are posting to promote a product, that is the end goal. A sale. But another goal is brand awareness. You should be focusing on shareable content. You want what you say to be talked about somewhere else. That’s how new people find you. Potential customers hear about you because someone they trust thought they would be interested (gain value) from knowing about your brand. That’s pretty darn cool! And exactly what you want.
5. Mix up Your Content
Keep it interesting and engaging. In addition to promotional content, share behind the scenes, team posts to show the people behind the brand, and events. This goes beyond targeting sales but establishes the human to human connection that a social media branding strategy typically lacks, but the audience craves.
Diversify the content that you share on different platforms. For example, you probably aren’t going to share the same information on LinkedIn and Instagram in the same format because of the different audiences on each and its use purpose. And, for followers on multiple platforms, you don’t want to look lazy and spam all accounts with the exact same post.
GaryVee does an excellent job of diversifying his content across platforms. On Twitter, his posts are a mix of real-time commentary on events that he feels passionate about and different forms of visual content, including video and images.
Gary’s Instagram feed is full of inspiring quotes, snapshots from his personal speaking engagements and, recently, exclusive IGTV content motivating and informing his audience to get going!
His YouTube and Facebook share more content that draws on the same messages but are each unique, providing maximum value to his audience and encouraging them to follow him on ALL platforms.
6. Automate the Process
Create a content calendar for each social media platform. Identify the key messaging and style of content for each. This will ensure you maintain a consistent social media branding strategy and don’t neglect certain platforms.
Design a warehouse of templates, logos, color schemes and layouts you can easily pull from when planning new posts. If you have a set of genres that you rotate through posting on each topic, you can design a template for those types to establish a routine and create a recognizable trigger in your followers’ feeds.
Building on what we mentioned earlier about shareable content, use metrics and KPIs to measure your best performing posts. Give the people what they want! It is important to be able to adapt your strategy as well once you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Using the tools available to analyze your hard work leads to a more efficient and effective social media branding strategy.
You can manage how frequently you post and schedule multiple posts in advance to go live. Then, your only responsibility is to monitor the response. Which leads us to our next point.
7. Be an Active Participant in the Conversation
I know we just said to automate it, but that’s for organizational and sanity purposes. It’s a lot of information sharing in many directions that need to be efficient. However, it’s not a one and done. A successful social media branding strategy includes interacting with your followers. Respond to comments, address concerns, reply to messages, like and comment on tagged posts or hashtags. When you show the initiative as a brand to communicate with your audience, you are strengthening your relationship. Just as your brand is working to gain their attention, they are working to gain yours. Acknowledge the followers you do have, and the effort will be appreciated and reciprocated. Once your loyal following is in place, the people will come.
One major benefit of social media is its capacity for real-time information sharing. Don’t be afraid to mix up your planned posts to include a trending topic or recent event. You could end up missing an opportunity to generate some buzz and gain attention.
8. Leverage Influencers
Once your social media branding strategy is set. You are ready to supplement it with influencers. Find influencers in your industry. You want trusted accounts that match your brand values to promote and link to your pages. This is how you drive large-scale word of mouth referrals to your brand. Plus, it’s even better if you can achieve it for free because of the substantial value your brand (or product) brings!