5 Social Media Branding Tips
Creating a brand of any description can be challenging work – and doing it on social media equally so. – but the benefits of creating a solid brand, especially in today’s unique environment are clear.
So how to you do that effectively? Social media branding is not rocket science – more like a blend of 50% process, 30% perspiration and 20% art. Getting that blend right for you is not a short term task, but an ongoing project – however, there are some simple tips and tricks to help you get started along the road to your own social media branding nirvana. Enjoy our guide to 5 social media branding tips!
1. Define A Signature Style for your Brand
Aka have a personality. What do you want people to think of when they see you online? Are you an educator, an innovator, a comedian, or something else? Defining what your signature style is is a vital step to creating a brand. But how do you do it?
Well, believe it or not this is a standard part of creating a brand on any medium. Too many people still think a brand is just a logo – but, of course, we know better. A brand is the embodiment of everything you or your organisation stand for, what makes you uniquely you, and the logo – well the logo is a visual representation of that, but not the whole thing.
Creating this signature style will take time, it will require experimentation and you will likely got through several iterations before you are happy. That is absolutely fine! In fact, a brand should really be a dynamic living thing that grows and develops over time – so this is not a one and done situation – keep evolving!
2. Be Consistent
However, despite the need for experimentation and constant re-evaluation, it is still important to be consistent. What do I mean by this?
Well, for example you can’t be an innovative software vendor one day, and then the most conservative software company in the world the next. If you do this, not only do you end up looking schizophrenic, but you end up alienating your audience. They want to know who you are and what you stand for – the core elements of your brand remember. That said, variety is the spice of life right? It is, as long as the different flavours do not end up competing against each other or contradicting themselves – hence you can’t be an innovator AND conservative, they just don’t mix. You can however, be educational and care about the planet – they strengthen each other, not cannibalise.
3. Publish Regularly
Back to the consistency piece, you need to be publishing regularly in order to develop trust, an audience, and brand recognition. What is regularly? Well that largely depends on your audience.
If you are aiming to develop a social media brand in a fast moving space, that requires almost live feedback and commentary, for example sport then you need to be publishing regularly – and quickly in response to specific events or news. However, if you are a manufacturing business selling widgets that form part of an aircraft engine, then the likelihood is that you don’t need to be quite a frequent or responsive.
But – there is still a cadence that needs to be struck. For example, my personal recommendation is that you need to be posting on social media at least twice a week as a minimum, irrespective of who or what you want your brand to be. Any business, other than either the smallest or those just entering social media, should be posting at least once a day, and things scale from there.
4. Don’t Just Talk About Yourself
This was a piece of advice that was given to me by way of some life coaching. Consider yourself on a date, with the potential partner of your dreams. The best advice anyone can give to someone in this situation is what? To not just talk about yourself. A little maybe yes, but you should be way more interested in the person across the table/bar/dancefloor. And exactly the same applies to social media brand creation.
You need to strike a balance between self promotional posts (all about me) and giving something to your reader (the equivalent to listening to them). What that looks like varies dependant on your specific situation, but some simple rules of thumb apply:
- No more than 50% of your posts should be about you
- Try and give your audience something (relevant) for free – for example educational articles about your subject area, or details of events that are coming up that they might be interested in
- Ask questions – polls if you like, or even just simple requests for feedback. Which of these posts did you like the best is a great place to start!
Once you have this balance in place, trust me, you will never look back. Your audience will learn to understand that you, and your social media brand, are not just after their money/views/likes but actually are looking to create a relationship with them – and that my friend, is the holy grail.
5. Create Engaging Social Posts
And so to the final, most obvious, but most difficult tip of the 5. Create engaging posts. Sounds obvious right? Well it is obvious – but it is also very difficult to do.
However, with a little practice, and some analytics, you can get this down to an art form. The key is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Would you engage with the post you’ve just written? If not, then the chances are your audience will not engage either. Take some time to find posts that you do like, from competitors or similar brands. Obviously, don’t steal their content, but you can certainly re-purpose the style and intent of their postings.
Once you’ve got enough content being shared on social media then analytics comes into play. Take the time to see which posts your audience are engaging with, and which they are not. Lots of tool exist to help with this, but one final tip from an aging statistician. Just make sure that you have enough data before you start drawing conclusions from data – just because one humorous post bailed doesn’t mean all of them will. Take the time to experiment at least 3-4 times with each post type before drawing those vital conclusions.
As I said right at the start of this post, creating a brand is hard work. These 5 social media branding tips are intended as just that – a set of tips to help you along the way. There will likely be a lot more time, effort and insight required to build the brand of your dreams.