Making Your Mark
Let’s talk about making your mark. Branding is a basic business fundamental, it’s the process of creating a name, symbol, or design that helps define your service or product from all the others. The concept of differentiating your product from others goes all the way back to the 1500s when branding something usually meant branding your cattle, today it has evolved into something a bit more complex. Today, branding means creating a presence for your product or service across multiple channels and while that can be intimidating it doesn’t have to be! This article is all about how your brand can tackle social media in a few simple steps.
Create your brand- This one may seem like a no-brainer but the truth is that until you have a good idea of what your company or product is as a brand you won't be effective at creating a social media presence. When defining your brand it's good to define who you are currently as a company and what you ultimately want to be. By taking the time to define yourself initially you're simplifying future processes.
Define your target audience- Who are the people that are looking at your content? What kinds of things do they want to be seeing on your social media account? When it comes to defining your target audience it’s all about asking questions. Here are a few good places to begin when it comes to defining your TA:
What is the age range of people looking at your company or product?
What companies are they already interacting with on social media?
What problems do they face and how can you help provide a solution?
Select your platforms- Once your target audience has been defined you can decide what social media platforms your target audience is most likely to use. Choose the platforms that will be most probable for your brand to succeed. Remember, it’s better to do a few platforms really well than to do all platforms mediocre. For example, if your brand specializes in home décor or design then Pinterest is a great platform to use. When choosing which platforms to use it’s important to decide what kind of visual content you’ll be producing- if your company is more text-based then platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn may be more effective for promoting your brand.
It’s all about the aesthetic- Let’s be honest and call out the truth: people, especially when looking at companies, will judge a book by its cover. Your social media pages should be visually appealing, organized, and well-designed. What does this mean? Your social media page profiles should be fully complete (name, company contact info, and website address) and your content should all fit a theme. This theme could be anything from coordinating color and font to content similarities. Brands like GoPro and Nike are great examples of creating a specific aesthetic that their audiences can identify with. You don’t have to be a big brand like Nike to get your aesthetic created- start by choosing 5 colors and two fonts that all work together, once you’ve got these selected you can create with ease and not have to worry if everything is coordinated on your page.
Authenticity is EVERYTHING- Social media tends to have the perception of showcasing only the good about brands. Today’s viewers have shown a more positive response to brands that showcase the good, the bad, and the ugly. While you shouldn’t actively seek to showcase negatives about something brand-related, being open on social media can help foster a trusting relationship between your brand and your audience. A great example of putting a positive spin on a negative comes from a soon-to-be-launched dating app called Thursday. On what should have been the launch date of the app, glitches and bugs prevented the team from releasing the app to the public. Instead of offering mere apologies, Thursday reached out to all their followers and invited them to publicly roast the app. It turned out to be a great way to engage with followers and also helped them turn a negative situation into a fantastic branding moment. It showed that they don’t take themselves too seriously, a tactic which has been a big hit amongst younger generations.
Engage- As was shown in the example above, engaging with your audience makes a big difference. Take the time to respond to comments, follow back, and even shout out your followers. This makes a big difference to those you follow and also helps you create a more entertaining social platform.
In 2020 it was estimated that 3.6 billion people were using social media. That’s a huge amount of people to have access to with just a few clicks. Building a social media brand can seem like something nonessential but it will make a huge difference in your marketing techniques. Social media is key to helping your brand or company move forward. As author Richie Norton said, “If you don’t build a personal brand, someone else will brand you with the wrong label.”
*This post was inspired by an article from BlueHost, you can read it here.