Social media plays a huge role in how the world perceives your business brand. The days when a brand could control public perception through traditional advertising methods are long gone. Today, the market is much more competitive and businesses need to work harder to stand out.
In addition, consumers can now interact directly with brands on social media. Simply put, creating an engaging social brand can encourage positive comments, shares, user-generated content and brand advocacy among your customers.
To get you started here are three tactics to help you make your social media investment pay off in customer engagement and sales.
1. Create a Cohesive Brand Image
Social media has become highly visual. Even sites that were originally text-based — such as Twitter — now emphasize visuals heavily. Numerous studies indicate that Twitter tweets and Facebook posts with images get more clicks, likes and engagement. The popularity of image-based social sites such as Pinterest and Instagram reinforce the importance of a strong visual brand on social media.
The first step in creating a successful visual brand is defining your own signature brand look: your color palette, logo, typography and other design elements. A memorable visual brand is more than just coordinated colors and fonts, however. The best visual brands also inject personality into their branding that distinctly matches with their business offerings and target market. It’s also important that your social media images match the target site you’re posting on — in both size and format.
Note: Be aware that being consistent doesn’t mean repetitive and boring. Users should be able to recognize your brand from its visual elements, but you also need to add some variety in both format and style. Experiment with your visual content to see which visuals connect best with your audience.
[su_quote]Social media isn’t a brand strategy. Social media is a channel. While it’s important for a brand to develop something to say, it’s more important to create something that will be heard. ~David Brier[/su_quote]
2. Give Your Brand a Human Face
Social media isn’t just visual, it’s also personal. Letting your potential customers see the people behind your brand — or associated with it — encourages them to know, like and trust your business. You might want to give one or more of the following people an integral role in personalizing your brand on social media:
- A company founder or CEO who actively blogs or posts on social sites
- Your customers, through the use of case studies, customer success stories, video testimonials or interviews that are shared via social channels
- Employees who are specifically tasked with creating videos and other social media content
- A brand ambassador such as a celebrity or influencer with a large social following
One increasingly popular way to give your business a human face is through livestreaming applications such as Periscope, Blab or Facebook Live. Brands such as Spotify, Adidas and General Electric have embraced livestreaming as a way to connect more personally with their target audience.
3. Embrace Crowdculture
Understanding the key role that community and culture play in today’s social world is also critical to developing a modern social brand. Author and professor Douglas Holt uses the term crowdculture to describe the communities that social media creates.
In the past, groups of like-minded people were often small and geographically separated. In the age of social media, these crowdcultures are large, virtual and worldwide.
Tapping into the crowdcultures related to your business is both a social media opportunity and challenge. Although brands aren’t in control of online opinion, you have a unique opportunity to develop a community of people who support and share your brand if you create interesting, engaging and useful content.
When you create your social media strategy, it’s important to emphasize visual consistency, an understanding of crowdculture and the importance of the human touch. Keeping these tactics in mind will create a focused, attractive brand image that clicks with your target audience.