Any brand looking to stay relevant in today's market should take a close look at social media. These networks can be tremendous assets when it comes to marketing and boosting audience engagement. However, getting swept away with all the filters, hashtags, challenges, and other trends making their way around the circuit can be easy, leaving you overwhelmed and lost.
This is where having a professional branding agency can come in handy, as they'll know the ins and outs of the best practices and social media branding strategies. But, if you're looking to tackle the big world of social media internally or want a better understanding of how best to market on these sites, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to start building a robust and intriguing social media presence. Above all else, the most critical aspect is understanding that getting your name out there and getting people to recognize your company will be the primary goal. This starts with having a well-defined brand identity and showcasing it appropriately.
# 1: Appeal to the Target Audience
As creative or exciting as your brand image may be, it won't be helpful if it doesn't appeal to the masses. This way, you can consider your brand identity as your company's personality. How would your brand sound and act to appeal to your target audience if your brand was a person? How would they sound and communicate with others? How would they express themself? These ideas should be communicated through your branding content's tone, the type of language used, and the style of its visual aspects, among other elements.
Language goes hand-in-hand with creating a tone for content, as certain words and phrases will relate to audiences better than others. Suppose your brand is looking to appeal to other businesses in the industry, for example. In that case, they can use industry terms and vocabulary more than if they were looking to appeal to everyday consumers. Some words and phrases can also be generation- or age-specific. If done well, these wording choices should bleed into the brand's style and vice versa, trying it all together. This will include everything from the color scheme, font, and iconography to the type of photos and videos used.
# 2. Use the Right Platforms
It can be overwhelming when first embarking on a social media marketing journey. From TikTok to Facebook and LinkedIn, every site has rules, norms, and strategies. Using most platforms, the best way to get traction would be to speak to as broad an audience as possible. Although this can work well for some, it takes a village to run that many social media accounts. Focusing on only a few can be better if you only have a small team or are just starting.
When picking social media platforms to focus on, it's best to look at the target audience, the brand's personality, and how it communicates. Is your business fun and quirky? Preferring humorous video ads? Is it educational and data-driven in a way that would be communicated best through text and infographics? Or does it rely on emotional connections and loyal customers in a way that would work best with long-form videos such as those on YouTube?
Different social media platforms will work best for various industries because of how users navigate the site, the type of media used most often, or the primary user base. TikTok, for instance, is best for brands looking to reach out to younger customers and for brands that can communicate with short videos. Meanwhile, a company looking to land more professional clients should look at LinkedIn.
#3. Create Campaigns
The social media platforms you choose and how you market will also highly depend on your goals. Are you looking to build robust and long-term loyalty, or do you want to reach as many people as possible? Some platforms are better at marketing to potential customers, while others are best at reaching new audiences.
Rather than mold yourself into a platform's norms, picking ones that will work for you and your aim is best. Think of campaign ideas that will work for your brand identity and audience before marketing on social media, rather than thinking of campaigns based on that platform. This could be anything from running simple ads to holding contests or giveaways and everything in between.
The main aim of most campaigns is to generate interaction and engagement between you and your consumers. For example, a Facebook or Instagram contest naturally creates interest because the audience will share the visual content for entries. Companies can also use influencers to promote their products, tapping into these well-known figures' audiences to build trust. However, although the goals of many companies are the same (traffic), the way they achieve them can be very different. Think outside the box!
#4. Create Compelling Content
No matter how many ads and marketing campaigns you put out, they won't amount to much if they're not interesting. Content must catch attention and keep it, whether by being memorable, shocking, creating an emotional connection, or compelling in some other way.
A classic approach to compelling content is to create a story. This helps develop the brand identity more in-depth, communicate that persona effectively to customers, and create long-term interest. Audiences also tend to enjoy stories as they're such a familiar form. Many companies use this tactic for advertising how they help others in the community. Others even use storytelling to invite engagement by asking for audience input about where the narrative should go.
#5. Keep it Consistent
Whether your audience, what content you provide, or what social media and campaigns you decide to do, consistency is the most crucial brand identity factor. If visual branding changes from campaign to campaign, audiences need help recognizing it as belonging to the company. Building loyalty will also be more challenging, as consumers will need to learn what your brand is all about.
This is why it's so important to think long and hard about brand identity at the beginning before emerging into the public eye. Although there can be some trial and error, it's best to stick with your decisions once they've been set. Staying within a brand identity and coming up with new and innovative ideas that fit within that tone can take some creativity, which is why so many companies turn to a professional team. But this can also be an excellent exercise for the team to reaffirm the company's core values and goals and move forward with more purpose.
#6. Streamline the Process Using Apps
Posting effective campaigns on social media takes a lot of time and scheduling, which is why so many have dedicated teams of people to do it. Luckily, numerous apps and software platforms can help to streamline the process. Some can help organize campaigns and keep track of dates, while others can post them automatically and keep track of analytics and user data to see how successful they've been. This can be great for small businesses or those starting who are often juggling too many projects.
Not only does this give back control, allowing social media posts to be scheduled on your time rather than that of the audience or platform, but it can also be necessary for research purposes. Every campaign should be closely watched to see the results and to look for ways to improve. This doesn't just have to do with how many people a campaign reaches but who it reaches and in what ways. For example, user location, age and gender, the device used, and other important factors are often tracked and can shape more effective marketing campaigns in the future.
The Bottom Line
Social media is a fast-moving marketing environment that requires adaptability to remain relevant and competitive. Creating a social media strategy or, even better, having a professional team can help to make this process much more manageable. An organized plan will also help keep everyone on track and ensure that goals are met, leading to tremendous success.
No matter how many platforms you use, what you decide to post, or who you have in charge of marketing, social media can be an excellent tool for your business to grow with your company. Even starting small can do wonders for getting your name out there and generating leads as long as you effectively communicate using the concepts of your brand identity.