Signing up for social media accounts and publishing a few posts is the first step to marketing your business. However, sharing content isn't enough. Your social media accounts reflect your identity, and customers need to know that they can trust you before they check out your business. You also need consistent branding that builds an image in your followers' heads.
Once you learn how to build your brand on social media, you'll start gaining followers at a faster rate. Building your brand makes your social media accounts sleek, professional, and attractive instead of a placeholder. You'll enhance your already positive reputation, promote brand integrity and ensure that followers remember your business. This leads to the sales that you need to continue your social media campaign.
1. Keep Your Branding Consistent
Brand recognition creates an impression in your followers' minds, makes it easier for them to find you across social media, and builds a professional atmosphere. If every social media profile has a different color scheme, customers may assume that you don't update your accounts or focus on cohesive branding. Instead, you pass off every account to a different person without communicating with everybody.
As you learn how to build your brand on social media, you'll review your existing profiles and make adjustments for consistency. Start by creating cohesive layouts for every profile that feature the same logo, tone, images, and color scheme. When followers stumble upon your branding, they'll know exactly what to expect.
Start by making icons, backgrounds, and headers for each profile with the same assets. If possible, make all your graphics at the same time for maximum consistency. Save assets so you can reuse them later. Don't assume that you'll find the same fonts and colors again--if you lose an asset, you might have to start over from the beginning.
Most social media profiles have a space for a short bio. Match the tone of your brand across your descriptions. A company that appeals to younger generations might use emojis while a brand-oriented toward older audiences could highlight the company's history. Just get right to the point because character counts are limited.
On a similar note, keep your social media handles as consistent as possible. If you're "the_anniesbakery" on Instagram and "anniesbakery93" on Twitter, customers get confused and have trouble finding you. Sign up for accounts ahead of time so other people don't take your branding.
2. Incorporate Branding into Your Content
Your content isn't a separate entity from your brand. Content represents your brand just as much as the rest of your profile, and you need quality and consistency to make your profile worth the follow. You also need to incorporate your brand into the content for cohesive marketing and to ensure that you get credit if a post goes viral.
Often, this means following a color scheme. When you visit a professional Instagram account, you often find the same colors and filters in every post. This creates brand consistency when you view the profile at a glance. Each image is part of a bigger profile, not a random image assortment like a personal Instagram account.
Content should also match your brand's tone. If you sell utilitarian products to older demographics, like kitchen supplies, your content might have an even tone and neutral color scheme. However, if you're aiming for younger generations, you might use a laid-back tone and bright colors throughout your profile. Either way, you'll use the same tone in nearly every post to build a consistent "voice." Some exceptions might be reporting sad news or speaking out on social issues.
Finally, you'll incorporate your logo into your content. You don't have to cram it into every image if it looks distracting, but use it whenever possible for subconscious branding. People will associate your business with that logo, color scheme, and content type, creating an impression that resurfaces when they see your content again.
3. Create Content that People Share
Everyone wants their business to go viral. However, they need content that viewers share because they want to, not because it benefits your business. Friends might promote your company, but complete strangers won't have an incentive to provide free advertising. Businesses need shareable content that organically reaches a wider audience.
Some marketing posts earn a few shares, like news about an upcoming sale or a new coupon. While they still promote your business, they mostly reach people who buy your products anyway. However, strong content can earn thousands of shares, which translates into sales, website traffic, and more followers. You might even go viral and reach customers around the world.
If your business appeals to a younger audience, humor can generate hundreds of shares. People share memes, funny videos, comics, and entertaining advertisements every day. Likewise, keeping an eye on trends helps you reach people who actively seek out that content. Just don't try too hard to be funny or incorporate slang--younger generations know when you're pandering to them.
For older audiences, informative content holds their attention. For example, a well-researched post about crystals could rack up thousands of views as followers share the article with their friends. They might also reference the article in blog posts and recommend it to people who need further education. Once people reach your site, they're likely to see what your store has to offer.
Sometimes, the best advertisements don't seem like advertisements at all. People are even more likely to share the content because they assume it's a genuine moment, sudden joke, or art piece rather than a video that a marketing team assembled. However, you'll still need to sneak in your business somewhere.
4. Engage Your Customers According to Your Branding
If you show up, post an advertisement and leave, you won't motivate followers to check out your website. Your profile looks like a corporate social media account that exists only to make money--which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but people don't visit Twitter or Instagram to scroll through advertisements. They look for meaningful content and social interactions that make social media worth their time.
By now, most businesses know how to increase repeat customers. Engaging customers increases the likelihood that they'll come back since they see you as a "friend," not a faceless entity. However, your engagement needs to match your company's tone. If you don't, you won't find the right audience.
For example, a business with a lighthearted tone could joke around with customers. You could tweet funny remarks, make corny jokes in your emails, laugh in videos and lightly tease your customers, although you'll have to find a balance between trendy and off-putting. Likewise, if your business has a serious tone, you'd focus on direct, professional content that informs your followers while entertaining them just enough to stop their scrolling.
Some businesses need a combination of both: you joke around and entertain your followers without veering into daily "roasts" that practically beg for shares. You might also switch tones when you provide customer service. Many corporate accounts joke around in their posts, then immediately get serious when a customer needs help.
5. Share Your Company's Story
Many businesses incorporate their story into their brand. If you check the back of a box of homemade granola bars, you might find a paragraph about how an event in the company owner's life inspired them to start their business. Some even include signatures and pictures of their family members. This immediately creates a personal connection that makes customers feel like they know the people behind the brand.
As you promote your company on social media, incorporate your story into your posts. Share old pictures on anniversary dates, like the day you opened your store or made your first sale. Talk about your story, share facts about your company, and post pictures of yourself and employees or co-workers that celebrate your journey. This treats followers to a "feel good" experience and increases your legitimacy--many companies aren't big enough to have a history.
In addition to highlighting the past, take your followers along on your journey by sharing behind-the-scenes peeks, talking about updates, and hosting video chats where customers can ask about upcoming releases. Show customers that you're always making progress behind the scenes to make your products, business model, and customer service even better. You'll keep your profile active and make followers feel like they're part of your story.
However, keep your story consistent with your branding. A company that markets to office workers in major cities might not find an audience by talking about their hometown family farm. Your story needs to appeal to your target market and match your brand's somber, professional or lighthearted tone.
Expand Your Knowledge Base
Once you've learned how to build your brand on social media, you should adopt good time management practices so you can stay on top of your social media profiles. Check out E-Marketing Associates products and software to streamline your marketing strategy. To get started, sign up for a free business report, then reach out to talk about your results and start moving forward.