Branding goes way, way beyond simple names or even fancy logos. A brand conjures particular thoughts and emotions. It is how consumers react when they come across your brand in visual terms or as the company name, product, or service. However, a brand is also beyond a particular rigid concept; consumer behavior often helps it evolve into something other than the intended intention. Essentially brands are the ideas in consumer minds associated with businesses.
On the other hand, social media emerged after the COVID-19 outbreak. Social media was the technology that allowed people to remain connected with each other when international, national, regional, and sometimes even local boundaries remained close. Social media is where people are, and marketers are where people are. Branding activities complement businesses' social media marketing activities, and social branding is critically important for businesses. And this guide to social media branding will help you in that.
What is a good brand?
These days almost all industries and business niches are fiercely competitive. Therefore, branding becomes significantly important and can even decide the success or failure of your business. It became necessary toimprove your social media branding. A good brand has the following characteristics:
Creates and maintains user loyalty
Motivates viewers to make a purchase
Helps the business to connect with prospective buyers on an emotional level
Makes the business or its product or service credible to intended buyers
Delivers clear and compelling brand messages
To understand a successful branding exercise better, it is helpful to examine a particular branding effort and see if the messaging is conveyed successfully based on the intention. You can achieve this by asking yourself the following brand-related questions:
What values does the brand represent to customers, and are these aligned with their intention?
Does it convey the brand promise to target and internal audiences?
Is it easy for consumers to relate to a brand?
If social media managers and digital marketing experts take adequate time and effort to create proper social media branding strategies to ensure that the brand is captivating to its desired audience and creates purchase motivation. In that case, the branding efforts can be considered successful. Proper branding can help boost awareness to a considerable extent. But to achieve this, the people behind the screens need a deep understanding of the target audience. It is only through such comprehensive understanding that brands are able to convey the values and brand personality that will engage audiences.
Experts contend that instead of saying how it is crucial to have proper social media branding, it is more effective to consider how cohesive social media branding is important. When the brand messages conveyed through social media are consistent, it helps to create a distinct company voice. Marketers need to ensure that audiences can easily recognize brands, irrespective of the source of the content. Such channels might include videos, social media, blogs, RSS feeds, or email. The message seamlessly blends in with what the consumer knows about the company. If you can improve your social media branding, it helps businesses in the following ways:
Create a presence for the brand in consumer minds
Form a cohesive and consistent brand personality
Ensure there is no confusion in your consumer minds regarding different branding aspects
When done right, achieving these goals is of immense importance in creating a distinct brand identity and connect with your social media audience. The primary importance of social media branding are as follows:
Makes brand name recall easy and common
The first thing to look into while performing social branding is to use the same brand name across all marketing channels, social media and other types of branding campaigns. Even big brands like Coca-Cola stick to these essential branding principles. The marketer's goal is to build brand recall which works best when all the marketing collateral uses a consistent brand name, whether in an URL or a post on any of the social media channels or even on the Twitter handle of the product or service amongst others. The right social media branding strategies use the same brand name for social media. the channel usernames and handles should reflect the brand name. The same name should be used in logos and brand avatars and other brand-related image uploads for social media use.
Form a Specific and Universal Company Personality
Consistency is critical in branding, especially if it is done on social media. You should determine the values and principles that drive your brand right at the outset and ensure your branding efforts align with them. Obviously, there must be some flexibility in this as many aspects of social media branding call for customized brand collateral. But overall, it is absolutely necessary to ensure consistent brand messaging, appearance and the emotions the brand is trying to evoke in the minds of the audience. Brand development must achieve the following goals:
This can be achieved only through the proper combination of audience, brand identity, design and content.
Make brand characteristics clear to followers
The importance of sticking to a single brand name in branding can’t be overstated. The market is full of dubious people who will create derivates and use your branding efforts to gather their followers. This creates confusion amongst the audience as brand recognition gets distorted in these kinds of situations. When businesses stick to a particular name and brand characteristics, it promotes clarity. The minds of the consumer can recognize the brand better besides adding to a professional presentation.
Lack of consistency in imagery and timing of posts can also create confusion among audiences. It unsettles the specific brand personality. Businesses need to stick to a particular pattern on social media and create content that lines up with their social media branding. Businesses need social media marketers who know the value of such consistency and deliver accordingly.
The best practices, tips and tricks behind the success of social media branding efforts varies from brand to brand, with the accompanying diversity in branding goals. Some general social media branding tips which should help you along the way are:
Ensure the Audience Can Relate to Your Brand
A common mistake made by marketers and occasionally even by seasoned social media experts is that they fail to create a brand image that audiences can relate to. Increasingly, brands are becoming more human with the rising levels of social awareness. Now more than ever before, people prefer brands that resonate with them on a very personal level.
Ideally, you want the audience to feel happy when they interact with your brand and its content, you want them to flash a quick smile. Connecting with audiences as human beings serves to bring new levels of reliability to brands.
Through customer and audience engagement, you can determine crucial facts about your audience. These facts or details can include what they want, and the kind of content/messaging that strikes a chord and will foster a community feeling in your social media tribe. While it might be time-consuming and will require significant effort, you must respond to social media mentions, reposts, and comments on your social media posts and tweets. Your audience must feel that you're interactive and that you’re actually listening to them.
Eventually, there will be adverse reactions to your social media activity. It is important to handle these situations appropriately. You should not only express your regret but also offer constructive suggestions to help address the situation. You need to interact with your audience and make them feel important and valued. You need to show that you want to build relationships with real people and not just hordes of followers to sell to.
Remember that engagement is usually more important in social media branding and marketing than mere numbers. The community feels we talked about will make them want to come back.
Create an Identifiable Brand Voice
This is one of the more complex social media branding tips to execute that we will discuss here. Brand voice can be something very, very elusive and can and will take much time and effort. Don’t be under the illusion that you can create a brand voice by tweaking your email copy tone. Brand voice consists of all pieces of the business’s overall communication. And social media falls under the broad umbrella of company communication.
Each social media post is an opportunity and an articulation of your brand voice. This brand voice stands for your company, and it's what primarily makes your business or brand unique. If you successfully convey a consistent brand voice with sufficient clarity, your brand will be the biggest gainer and become memorable for your audience.
Such positive associations with your brand can be created by reinforcing your brand’s essential belief set. You need to be aware of how you want customers to react to your brand and what they think of you. The target audience is critically important in this respect as it is the determiner of the appropriate brand messaging and the values that are likely to resonate with them. All these details will help you craft or at least determine broadly how you want your brand voice to evolve.