Social media platforms have become an effective channel for building a brand nowadays. While having a website is significant for a professional customer approach, even the biggest digital agencies recognized the importance of social media.
It’s also amazing how much social media platforms have evolved. Instagram, for instance, offers shopping via the app. Of course, development agencies dominate the online shopping market, but it’s always nice to have more options.
But, before we get into the details of building a social media branding strategy, let’s first explore what it is.
Social Media Branding Strategy 101
A branding strategy is a plan to achieve several long-term goals that eventually result in brand identification and awareness. The ultimate goal is to have your customers recognize you right off the bat.
There are many ways you can accomplish that – native advertising, referral programs, etc. However, social media platforms offer advantages that other techniques don’t – interaction. For that reason, even the biggest and the most successful businesses turn to different social media platforms.
Naturally, simply posting there won’t do much. Anybody can do that. Instead, you will need to create a social media branding strategy and map out the path that leads to brand awareness.
If it all seems a bit too confusing at this point, don’t worry – we will go over all the necessary steps you should take to make your social media branding strategy work. Let’s start with the first.
1. Find Your Target Audience
Before you start making any plans, determine who your target audience is.
The target audience comprises people who are most likely to purchase your products and services. Remember – the more details you know, the better.
Their age, gender, location, education, income, interest, habits, and behaviors are all that can help you maximize your results. Of course, some of this information might not always be relevant. For instance, if you’re selling protein bars, marital status is probably not of great importance.
There are several ways you can find your target audience:
Analyze your customer base. It’s one of the easiest ways to get the information you need.
Check out the competition. See who follows your competitors’ social profiles, check out their reviews, and analyze their blogs to see who their target audience is.
Define who isn’t your target audience. The elimination process will most likely help you eventually determine who your target audience is.
Use analytics. You can use Google Analytics if you have a website or just social media analytics.
Defining your target audience will also help you make the best decision in your next step.
2. Pick the Right Social Media Platforms
Nowadays, there are many social media platforms you can go for: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and others.
That doesn’t mean you should use all of them. Some social networks are simply not suitable for your target audience. For example, if you’re selling children’s clothes, you’d waste your time on LinkedIn because its audience is primarily corporate.
We know it’s not easy to find all information about different social media platforms in one place, so we created a quick overview:
Facebook is one of the best platforms for spreading brand awareness because of the large number of users. On Facebook, male users between 25 and 34 years of age make up the largest demographic. Globally, 56% of the users are males, while 44% are female.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram’s largest demographic comprises male users between 18 and 24 years of age, followed by male users between 25 and 34 years of age. As for the women, most female users on Instagram are between 18 and 34 years old.
Users on this platform like vibrant images and are more likely to get personal on Instagram than any other platform.
Like on Facebook, 56% of the users on LinkedIn are males, while 43% are female. Up to 60% of users are 25 to 34 years old.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is a platform intended for career development. Its users are business people. Content on LinkedIn should be inspirational and should encourage discussions. It should not feel like marketing.
On Twitter, hashtags are a must. Users like short-format text, but also images, videos, and Gifs.
Content on Pinterest is made up of images, so-called pins. Unlike some other platforms, it’s best not to use hashtags, promotional information, or salesy calls-to-action (“Buy now!”).
Now, you may have noticed that you can target different audiences on different platforms. For that reason, you should adjust your content to each platform. Twitter users may like memes and short-form content, but Instagram users are used to pictures and videos.
It only makes sense to create different content for each platform if you want to deliver quality.
3. Start with the Basics
Once you determine who your target audience is and pick the social media platforms you want to use, it’s time to set up a profile. You don’t need to be a master in digital strategy. There are several things you should do to maximize your results.
Optimize your profile
First things first, your profiles across different platforms should have the same name, banner, and logo. It’s an excellent opportunity to choose your brand color palette and design your banner and logo using these colors. It can help to use a logo creator that provides brand guidelines to maintain consistency.
A profile description should summarize the main message you want to send to your potential customers. It should tell people who you are. Using the right keywords is also a good idea because users will easily find you.
Be consistent with the visuals
Most people think that the visual segment of the brand comes down to the website’s color palette and logo. But there’s more to it.
Once you start consistently posting pictures using the same style and color palette, users will start associating your company with your chosen style. They will no longer look for your logo because they’ll know it’s you.
If you want users to remember you, you need to post regularly, but remember, posting frequency depends on your audience and the platform you’re on.
You’ll post in the evening if you notice your audience is more active at that time of the day. It may take some time to analyze, but it will pay off.
But, as we’ve previously mentioned, users on different social media platforms have different expectations. For instance, Instagram users expect you to post 3-7 times a week, while Twitter and LinkedIn users expect 1-5 posts a day!
Planning is excellent because you’ll have more time to keep track of how you’re doing and adjust your content to what your audience likes.
Develop a brand voice and stick to it
You can be funny or inspiring, or serious, depending on what your audience is into. Infiltrate your target audience and listen to them. Are they friendly and playful when they talk to one another? Is there a specific jargon they use?
Once you get a grip on how they communicate and their pain points, start communicating with them in a way they know. It’s just like real-life meetings – the people you’re having drinks with will like you more if they can connect with you.
4. Connect with Your Audience
The best way to connect with your audience is to communicate with them. When someone comments on your post or tweets about you, respond.
Try to answer your messages as soon as possible because it will make your customers feel appreciated. And trust us on this – people always remember that.
Show your human side
Another great way to connect with people is to show your human side. Show your customers what it’s like to be behind the scenes.
For instance, you can post photos of that team-building event you organized a few days ago. Or you can just share a picture of your desk with a laptop, and a funny description people can relate with their own experience.
Be careful how you handle criticism
No one is perfect. You’ll make mistakes from time to time, and even if you don’t, not everyone has to like you. You should be prepared to handle criticism professionally and with good grace.
5. Turn to Influencer Marketing
These people put hours every day into growing on social media platforms and have the power to affect other people’s purchasing decisions. Depending on their niche, they might have hundreds of thousands of followers or way fewer, but their engagement rate is always reasonable.
Influencers can help you grow your brand tremendously. Since your brand is all about how people perceive you, influencers can reach out to a large audience and affect how they perceive your business.
The first step is to find an influencer that fits your needs and is within your niche. For instance, if you’re selling body lotion, you should probably find someone whose content is about beauty or skincare.
Once you find the right person, contact them and pitch your ideas to them. Then, come up with a campaign that will benefit both you and the influencer.
Another great idea is to let an influencer take over your account for a day. It could freshen up your content and drive their followers to your profile, which will help you get noticed.
You can learn more about Influencer Marketing in 2022 in our new State of Influencer Marketing Report.
6. Keep Track of Your Progress
As always, you won’t do better if you don’t know how you’re doing at all.
So, open up the analytics and see the numbers. Do they line up with your expectations? Is there a post your audience liked? Or, is there a post that’s not performing so well?
If there’s room for improvement, tweak your strategy a bit and see what happens. We believe success is right around the corner!