Strengthen your brand with consistency across platforms.
As a business, having a consistent and well-branded social media presence is not only strengthens your brand but is expected by customers. Regardless of industry or purpose, most brands maintain a presence online through at least one social media account.
For many, the sheer scope of the social media world is intimidating. Getting started is easy: Create an account and set up a profile. But you want to make sure you set it up according to your brand guidelines. As long as you have your brand assets readily available, you can get the initial branding of your social media profiles done in about an hour.
Choose Platforms that Work
Hundreds of social media networks exist but only a handful will be worth your time. When choosing your social media networks, think about which ones will give you the best opportunity to promote your brand.
Photo-driven Instagram is a great way for companies to showcase their offerings: Makeup companies introduce new colors or ways to use products; shoe companies show their sneakers in action; event planners offer photos of past designs, inspirations or sketches; lifestyle brands share images with movement that make you want to join in. If your company and brand does not easily lend itself to visuals, Instagram may not be the platform for you.
LinkedIn is ideal for B2B companies like Paragraphs. Use the platform to share high-level or “thought leadership” pieces like white papers or blog posts. Use it to reach out to other businesses and generate leads or connect with industry influencers and have them recommend your posts. You can also join groups related to your field and scout possible leads through them as well.
Facebook is usually the go-to platform for all social media brands: If a company is going to have any social account, it is likely a Facebook. Its diverse capabilities—event calendars, company bios, photo uploads, Facebook Live and more—make Facebook compatible with just about any brand. It is also the most used social media network in the world, with over 1.94 billion active users. That’s an impressive pool of potential clients and customers!
Companies use Twitter for regular updates, breaking news, Q&As, customer service and commentary. It offers quick, easily digestible pieces of information, making this platform ideal for letting users know about new blog posts or content available on your site. It is also a great tool to help gauge how your audience feels about your brand (and you can respond back!).
Pinterest is a photo-driven platform that lets users collect various images and group them into a virtual “board.” Many individuals flock to Pinterest for crafts, recipes and home decor inspiration, making Pinterest the ideal social media platform for hobby stores, home improvement stores, furniture stores, food companies and more. You can share content from your website to Pinterest, and users can click on the image and be directed to your site. It’s great for pushing new visitors to your website.
These are just some of the social networks out there to choose from. Find out what competitors in your industry use and do a little digging to see what works for them and what doesn’t. Remember that you don’t need to—and shouldn’t—post the same type of content across all channels (it is okay if there is sometimes an overlap). Each social media platform has a different purpose and not all content is appropriate for each one.
Branding Your Profile
The key to branding your social media profiles is brand consistency. Your brand should be easily recognizable no matter which social media network people are looking at, so keep your profile photos, header images, About Us content and website links the same. Your audience will immediately be able to recognize that the social profile belongs to your brand and helps you influence their perception of your brand. If one of your social profiles is off brand, this can have a damaging effect on your reputation. Check out Oreo’s consistency across platforms:
As you can see, Oreo’s social media profiles are instantly recognizable to their audience.
Tip: Get your accounts verified so your audience is not mistakenly swayed into thinking an imposter account is the main brand account. A blue badge lets them know it is the read deal!
Connect with Your Audience
Now that all of your social media profiles are complete, the next step is to connect with your target audience and influencers in your industry. Most social media networks provide their own tools for targeting your specific audience with ads. You can create ads that will reach people based on geography, language, age, gender, interests, likes and more. In time, you will see which demographics respond most to your content and you can funnel that information into future ads.
For now, target your ads based on your targeted demographic and update as needed based on new data.
Your profiles are on brand and consistent. It’s time to put out some great content! Of course, the point of being on social media is to generate more business, but social media is about sharing and engaging with your audience—not overwhelming them with a sales pitch. Give your audience a behind the scenes glimpse into your brand. Ask them questions. Humanize your business and tell a story—you want to give your audience a reason to follow you. Most importantly, engage with your audience and respond to any feedback or questions.
It’s important to update your profiles with new content. Even if people scroll past your post in their news feed, they will still be reminded of your brand. Posting consistently is made even easier by programs like Hootsuite, which allows users to automate their posts in advance. You could schedule out an entire month of social posting to multiple platforms in just one day!
Completing these 4 steps should take you just about an hour. How you market your brand after that takes a ton of dedication and work, but it will be well worth it.
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