Building a Brand with Social Media: Best Practices and Tips
- The followers of a business’s social media account spend 20-40% more money than other customers.
- Your entire social media branding will centre around a Brand Persona. So, don’t neglect this vital step.
- Don’t forget to delete old, outdated, or questionable content from previous business accounts. These could put your brand’s reputation in jeopardy.
Businesses can communicate their brand to consumers in various ways, but some methods are more effective than others.
In 2016, digital marketing overtook television as the most popular advertising medium, and things continue to evolve to this day.
Businesses today can choose between TV ads, paid social media ads, email marketing campaigns, SEO efforts, sponsored product placement, and of course, good old-fashioned billboards.
Among these numerous options lies a less conspicuous marketing method – social media branding.
Social media branding differs from paid adverts appearing on Facebook or Instagram. It is a brand persona shared with the world. It’s a regular source of content and information, an archive of stories and images, a living and breathing account that is accessible to all.
Social media branding involves businesses creating one or more social media accounts to represent them online. Although it needs financing, having branded social media accounts is sturdier than paid advertising methods and can integrate much more into the online lives of consumers.
Plus, social media branding can be highly lucrative. In fact, “consumers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with those companies than other customers.” This means that the people who follow the social media accounts of businesses are some of their most valuable leads.
To help you gain access to your most valuable leads, you’ll need to get your brand out there on social media. Our article will discuss how you can do this effectively on a range of platforms and highlight the main sticking points that cause brands to fail.
How to build a brand on social media
Let’s dive into the key steps you’ll need to take if you want to build your brand with social media.
Develop a brand persona
The first thing you’ll need to do is define your brand persona – even before you start creating content. Think about what values and traits your brand represents and how you want your audience to perceive your brand.
To centralise your ideas, you could create a brand persona document that outlines your brand’s personality, tone of voice, and visual style. Then, you’ll have something to return to whenever brainstorming new concepts for posts or campaigns.
When drawing up your brand persona, make sure you consider the following:
- Its mission statement and intentions
- The design and imagery that represents it best
- Its preferred font style
- Its most likely messaging style
- The types of content that suit its personality
- Its area of expertise (niche)
- How the brand persona will interact with its leads
These pointers will help shape your defined persona, as well as the content you choose to create and publish.
Once you know the kinds of content you’re going to publish, you can start creating and planning. We recommend creating a content calendar to keep things organised, especially if you want your social media output to coordinate with a pre-existing email campaign.
Trends are vital to social media use, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of what’s popular. If there’s a viral TikTok song or sound, use it in your shorts! Or respond to current world events with witty or emotional posts.
It’s likely that you’ll need to outsource the help of tools or other professionals when creating high-quality content for your social media account/s. For instance, using a tool like Canva can open up numerous doors for design possibilities and videographers can offer their expertise in creating shorts about your products, services, or industry knowledge. Though these are expenses, the value of high-quality content cannot be underestimated.
Depending on the nature of your business, the best social media platform for it will vary. Since not all social media platforms are created equal, they won’t all be suitable for your brand. We’ll go into further detail about this issue later in the article, but it’s essential that you choose one that your target audience uses the most, and therefore the content you share will have the most impact.
Build a community
Building a community around your brand will be essential for creating a loyal following and building brand awareness. This can be achieved through social media engagement itself, as well as contests, collaborations, sharing, and online groups.
It’s not uncommon for small or local businesses to join online communities and groups (at both the global and local levels) to promote their products and services. You could even create your own online group dedicated to the discussion of your products on Facebook or Reddit.
Collaborations with influencers can be extremely beneficial, especially if the influencer’s main demographic is the same as yours. Just be sure to vet them first to reduce the risk of conflict of interest or reputation damage.
A sense of community can be fostered by your content itself when it invites discussion, questions, and interaction – but you’ll have to make sure you’re responsive.
Track your performance
As with any campaign or company project, analytics are vital. And social media efforts are no exception.
Make sure you set up your Google Analytics (or preferred tool) to keep track of performance data and check it regularly in case you spot any irregularities or significant dips. An analytics tool will be extremely helpful if you’re managing accounts on more than one social media platform, as the data from the different channels is all in one place.
Otherwise, you can easily check your performance on your chosen platform’s native insights page.
As always, there’s no point in keeping an eye on performance data if you aren’t going to do anything about it. If your engagement rate is ever lower than it should be (or lower than you want it), take action!
Social media platforms are not made equal
As mentioned above, the social media platform you choose for your business account will depend on the nature of your company. The range out there offers different benefits to companies, and these should be considered before too much time or money is invested.
So, here’s what you should know:
Facebook is the largest social media platform, with over 2.9 billion active users.
It’s a great platform for businesses that want to build a strong online presence and connect with customers through sharing a variety of content formats because it allows for text, images, and video posts, as well as live streams.
Successfully building a brand on Facebook will require creating highly engaging content due to its popularity and competitive nature. Plus, you’ll need to use features like Facebook Groups and Facebook Ads to reach your target audience.
The demographic for Facebook is very broad and essentially encompasses all groups except for young teenagers.
Instagram is a visual platform that’s ideal for businesses that have strong visual identities.
It has over 1.22 billion active users, 70% of which are under 34 years old.
Instagram is all about sharing visually appealing content, so businesses that want to build a brand on this platform should focus on creating high-quality images and videos. Hashtags are also an important part of Instagram, so brands should make sure to use them to reach a wider audience.
Another growing aspect of Instagram content is the informative type. If your business has a niche expertise, it will likely have a segment of Instagram users who are interested in learning about it.
Twitter is a platform that’s all about real-time conversations.
It has over 556 million active users and is popular among journalists, politicians, and celebrities.
Businesses that want to build a brand on Twitter should focus on creating engaging and shareable content that’s relevant to current events and trending topics. Twitter also has a reputation for being a great platform for customer service, so make sure to respond to customer inquiries and feedback in a timely manner if you want your brand to do well.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that’s great for B2B businesses.
It has over 900 million active users and is particularly popular among business professionals and job seekers.
Building a brand on LinkedIn involves creating a strong profile that highlights your company’s expertise and sharing Thought Leadership content that’s relevant to your industry. LinkedIn is
also a great platform for building relationships and connecting with other businesses and professionals in your industry.
TikTok is a relatively new social media platform that’s all about short-form video content.
It has over 1 billion active monthly users and is particularly popular among younger audiences (ages 15–25).
Building a brand on TikTok involves creating fun and engaging videos that resonate with your target audience, joining in on current trends, and sharing informative “hacks.”
TikTok is all about authenticity and creativity, so businesses that want to build a brand on this platform should focus on creating content that’s unique and memorable.
Which platform is best for your business?
Clearly, each social media platform has its own demographic and, therefore, won’t be ideal for every business. When in doubt, make sure you choose the one that your target audience likes the best and remember you can always manage accounts on multiple platforms if you want to.
If you choose to build your brand with multiple social media platforms at the same time, you might be interested in the topic of content repurposing to make the most of your creative efforts.
When is the right time for businesses to start using social media?
Despite the numerous benefits of building a brand on social media, it’s not right for every business. Read on to learn where your company stands:
Some view social media as an essential part of modern marketing. With billions of people using social media every day, it’s clearly brimming with potential rewards for any business’s marketing strategy. By building a strong branded account on social media, businesses can reach this broad audience and engage with these potential customers in meaningful ways.
Some believe it’s important for businesses to create social media strategies early because of the time it takes to establish a strong presence and build a loyal following.
Arguably, businesses that wait too long to start building a brand on social media may find themselves playing catch-up to their competitors who have already established a strong presence.
Despite the reasons listed above, not every business is in a position to launch a social media strategy right away.
If a business is currently lacking investment or its funds are still tied up in an ongoing project, it’s likely best to wait until it can afford to launch a social media branding campaign.
Plus, if a business is already seeing positive results from other methods (e.g., email marketing), it might not want to funnel off funds towards a new project.
Nevertheless, the power of social media cannot be underestimated, and these businesses should plan to create a branded social media account as soon as possible.
While social media can be a valuable tool for many businesses, it’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the nature of the business and its target audience, social media may not be the best way to build a brand.
For example, if a business operates in the B2B space, email marketing, networking, and attending industry events may be more effective than a social media strategy.
Similarly, if a business is focused on serving a specific local area, social media may not be the most effective way to reach a target audience. Instead, the business could be better suited to local advertising, networking, and community events.
There’s no harm in creating an account for online visibility and providing a customer contact point, but these businesses should not invest lots of resources into a social media strategy or expect dramatically positive results.
Top tips and best practices for brands on social media
1. When launching a new branding campaign, delete any old accounts your company might have. You might also want to comb through old brand content and delete anything that no longer fits with your current brand vision (whether it’s low quality or ‘questionable’)
2. Make sure all online company information is correct, complete, and accessible. Customers won’t favour your brand if they can’t get in touch.
3. If you’ve already got a good presence on one platform or a well-established mailing list, you can import your contacts to increase your new account’s reach.
4. To earn the monopoly on a specific topic, publish Thought Leadership. Make sure you choose something you’re a true expert in and make the content highly engaging.
5. Share your posts through email or other social media platforms to drive engagement across channels.
6. Use tools and apps (such as Canva, Hootsuite, and Buffer) to help with your social media campaigns.
7. Use a mix of text, images, videos, and infographics to create content that informs, entertains, and inspires your audience. Most of all, a variety will keep them from getting bored with your account.
8. Always post regularly, and make sure your content is consistent in terms of tone, style, and messaging.
9. Don’t just push out content – engage with your audience as well. Respond to comments, answer questions, and acknowledge feedback.
10. Identify influencers who align with your brand values and collaborate with them to create content that engages their followers.
If you’d like help building your brand with social media, our team at purpleplanet would love to help. Reach out or click the button below to learn more about our services.