Social media has quickly become the ultimate space to reach a massive audience and grow your brand to unlimited levels.
As of 2020, approximately 3.8 billion people are scrolling through their favorite platform. That opens almost infinite opportunities for businesses to put themselves in good positions and improve their performance.
This fact is also the reason why the competition is so fierce and why you need to prepare properly if you want to stand out from the crowd.
In this post, we’re going to dive into the key aspects you need to develop before touching your social accounts, plus 5 essential strategies to approach social media branding the right way in 2020.
Sounds good? Great, let’s get started.
3 Key Aspects of a Social Media Branding Strategy
In order to build a brand effectively on social media, you need to be clear about three basic fundamentals. These are important in order to set the right branding goals, build a loyal audience, choose the platforms that fit your business best, and more.
1. Brand Identity: Growing a brand requires you to give a consistent message across every channel, and you can’t do that without having a brand identity first.
Building your brand identity is a whole project, as you need to determine your brand’s core values, its personality, its visual assets, its goals, and find its own uniqueness so you can provide a consistent message.
In short, learn how to create your brand identity first so you can start on the right foot.
2. Audience: Knowing your target audience is a must for every marketing effort. So do your homework and research the people who buy your products the most and that can potentially keep buying from you for the long term.
Ask yourself: What are their demographics? Their psychographics? What are their goals, pains, and desires? Those are questions that you need to answer first in order to create your customer persona and target your branding effectively.
Pro tip: Learn even more about your audience with a live website chatbot. It’s a great tool for understanding your customers as well as an emerging tactic for engagement.
3. The Objective: Create clear goals, both for your social media presence overall and for specific campaigns.
Unlike blogging or ads or email marketing, social media is now less likely to drive traffic to your site (not directly) because of the ability to keep users within the platform even through the buying process. Instead, a common goal is to increase brand awareness and build loyalty.
This means that instead of focusing on the number of followers, likes, and organic visits, you have to care about the relationship you’re building with your audience.
This is the most difficult part and that’s exactly what the next five strategies will help you with, as they’re tailored to expand your social media brand exposure, position your authority, and to build an audience of brand advocators.
So let’s dive in:
1. Be Active and Consistent
Lack of consistency kills brands in a painful way.
Publishing content on a regular basis is a must in order to keep the traction going without losing progress. Remember that social media is a fast-moving place, and you need to be constantly present in order to be seen.
The best way to approach this is to stop improvising right now and start organizing your life with a content calendar.
With a content calendar, you can schedule the content and create it in batches. This way, you don’t have to waste your time by logging in every day, and you’ll save the hassle of not knowing what to post about at that moment and lose the day.
But every social media is different, right? How can you schedule content properly?
Well, to help you even further, here’s a chart with the minimum frequency you need to post on every social platform to be considered “active.”
You can safely post more content than that (especially on Twitter and Pinterest), but you also need to be aware of not becoming a spambot or your brand will get the totally opposite results.
Scheduling posts for social media is a lot of work but you can alleviate some of that by using AI and collaborating with colleagues in Socialbakers Content Hub.
2. Establish Your Brand Tone of Voice
Consistent branding can increase your revenue by up to 33%. This is because your target audience relates better with your brand when you’re constantly giving a text or visual message that aligns with your core values.
That message is your tone of voice, and its job is to communicate your brand personality with the use of language.
Depending on your brand personality and context, the tone can be friendly, funny, formal, professional, informative, scientific, etc. And in order to know how to use the right tone, you need to establish a voice that fits with your brand identity while resonating with your target audience.
Knowing the difference between voice and tone is essential to make this work.
A helpful exercise is to create a brand voice chart, placing words that best represent your brand and describing how they should and shouldn’t be used. Here’s an example that Tidio put it in its brand voice guide:
It doesn’t end here though. Developing a tone of voice is something that takes time, as you need to test and see what resonates better with your audience. So, in the beginning, you’ll have to do some trial and error and see what hits.
Thankfully, once you’ve got it right, you can just keep using it – even for customer acquisition.
3. Use Social Media Automation Tools While Staying Human
According to a data-driven article by Funnel Overload, 75% of all companies already use at least one kind of marketing automation tool. It’s clear from statistics like these that automation is already widely accepted.
That said, it’s essential to automate without losing human touch. Particularly in social media automation, it’s essential to get the right social media management tools to make use of social media effectively.
A common mistake is to use these tools to schedule and forget without caring about the quality of the content or the engagement it drives. That’s a mistake that can negatively affect your brand without prior notice if you’re not careful.
Remember, the purpose of creating content is to generate engagement. And if your messages are all scheduled and templated then you can lose relevancy, authenticity, and human sense.
The best way to be human in social media is by interacting directly with your audience. Reply to their comments, ask questions, play some games (if that fits your brand voice), and basically just show that you care about their opinion.
This is important because, according to Terakeet, having brand mentions can improve your SEO performance, and hence your brand awareness.
The best part is that you can do this easily with a social media listening tool, which allows you to more easily be aware of your social media mentions and reply back to them with a thoughtful message.
For example, see an example of how Socialbakers interacts with followers and gets some valuable feedback in the process:
Also, your posts can be more timely with certain events, like a product update, a conference, or a holiday message from your brand, like Mailchimp did with the National Postcard Week.
Using social media and other automation tools is a necessary approach, but make sure to keep a human touch with your audience and connect with them. So put some extra effort into your content to make it more relevant, helpful, and engaging for your followers.
4. Choose the Most Relevant Social Platforms for Your Brand
You’ve probably heard that your brand must be present everywhere, on every platform you can come up with.
This isn’t necessarily true. You don’t need to invest massive amounts of time and money into every social platform that exists.
Instead, find the platforms that suit your business best. For example, if you’re a B2B brand, LinkedIn is an excellent platform where you can find business owners and executives. Conversely, if your brand only sells coffee, then visual platforms like Instagram or Pinterest will be the way to go for you.
You don’t have to be present on every social platform, but you have to be present on every relevant social platform.
For this, you have to understand the difference between each platform. The demographics of the people who use them, the formats, their limits, their reach, etc. This little Socialbakers cheat sheet is a good place to start:
The key is to choose the platforms where your target audience is hanging out – maybe that means getting familiar with TikTok – and create content accordingly.
5. Be Laser-Focused With Your Content Format
If you’re trying to satisfy everyone with your content, you’re not going to appeal to anyone. That’s for sure.
Posting content with the right brand tone and at the right frequency is good. But in order to truly resonate, you need a social media content strategy that is as relevant and appealing as possible for your specific target audience.
Your social media content also has to be in the right format according to the social platform you’re posting on. Like a high-quality picture on Instagram, an interesting thread on twitter, and so on. Don’t be afraid to try new things, either.
And yes, you can technically take a screenshot of your tweet and repost it on Facebook, but that’s seen as a lazy approach and won’t get the level of engagement you want.
So, you truly need to diversify your content and make it feel authentic and exclusive. To do this, learn how your audience is using these platforms.
Do they watch Instagram Live? Participate in Facebook contests? Do they share a lot of infographics on Pinterest? When you know this, then you can start creating content in a format that your audience is already trained to consume.
And once you’ve nailed the format and the content, you can start replicating it and grow from there.
An example of this is how online marketing expert Neil Patel approaches social media with multiple formats.
First there’s his Twitter, where Patel’s always tweeting about marketing, motivation, and entrepreneurship. He also uses it to share some of his blog content.
But when you go to his Facebook page, his many series of videos are featured:
The interesting thing here is that these videos, although they’re repurposed from his YouTube Channel, are not shared from there. They’re re-uploaded on the Facebook platform so people don’t leave the website and go to YouTube, making it more friendly to the Facebook algorithm.
If you have the right tools to edit your videos a bit for each channel, then you should definitely steal this tactic, too.
Now, on his Instagram account you’ll mostly find repurposed content from his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
This shows that Patel likely values Facebook and Twitter content above Instagram, but he’s still able to use the platform for promotion with minimal extra effort. It’s one example of how you can always find ways to leverage several social platforms at the same time and grow your brand.
Social media is the ultimate tool to increase your brand awareness and build a community through dedicated customer service. The steps to use that tool to increase your engagement and help your overall business are at your fingertips:
Create on-brand content with the right tone of voice
Post content at the right frequency
Automate content without sounding like a robot
Select the best social platforms for your brand
Be laser-focused with your content format
It is time for you to take these steps toward achieving your brand goals. Just keep working and learning!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.