One of the fundamental reasons that consumers buy products or services from a business or company is because they have a trusted name. If a business has established credibility with their audiences, then these consumers will definitely see the value in their offerings. This is why a business should make building a successful and profitable brand name should become a top priority and social media plays a crucial role in building and maintaining this influence.

 

For many businesses, social media is an outstanding starting point for them to reach their audience and it is the first place that consumers go to share their opinions and interact with brands.

 

There are many that believe that branding for social media is simply picking a cover photo, choosing an aesthetically pleasing colour scheme and establishing a voice for a business's brand. Although these elements are all aspects of social media branding for a business, in reality, it is much more in depth than this.
 

One of the first places to start for businesses is for them to consider how customers would describe their business in 3-5 words and think about how their audience would respond. Consider if they would use descriptors that are about the businesses products or services, or if they would be about the interactions and behaviours of the business.

A business's online brand is anything that they do on social media, or rather what they fail to do and what audiences have to say about the business online.

 

If a business wants to create and build a viable, authentic and strong brand on social media, there are ways to amplify social media strategy efforts.

 

 

Style and Theme:

  When it comes to a business defining their style and theme, there are a number of considerations that contribute to this. Choosing a colour to represent a brand is one of the most effective ways to differentiate and identify a company and their products and services in a marketplace that is crowded with countless competition.

 

Colour gives brands and businesses the capability to communicate different moods, as well as holding the power to express a brand's values and characteristics. Choosing a unique and recognisable colour palette can also increase a brand's recognition by more than 80%. When used efficiently and effectively, a brand's colour palette should evoke an emotional response that reflects a business's identity.

 

As colour can increase a brand's identity so radically, that can boost sales and audience engagement, in turn, it is vital that a colour scheme remains consistent across every single expression of the brand, including print, online and across all social media platforms. Likewise, it is also important that the quality of the colours that have been chosen is also vital.  

 

The colour scheme of the brand should be consistent across every aspect of their brand's marketing campaign. Simply, if the colour scheme on a business's Facebook page consists of blues and greens, their Instagram profile should not be cluttered with red and orange images.

 

Another factor to consider is the tone and saturation of the images. The imagery that a business selects should echo this style. The most appealing tones for images are those that have light backgrounds high levels of brightness, rather than images that have heavy saturation and bold colours.

 

In addition, businesses should examine and consistently apply their thematic undertones. For example, if a brand has taken the time to build a specific mission and theme, this should be carried through every piece of social media content.

 

 

Type of Content:

  Even though many may not even realise it, but a business's choice of format for their content will have a major influence on the type of audience that follows them.

 

If a business consistently posts written content in the forms of articles, links and long-form text updates, then they have built an audience that likes to read. Therefore, should a business suddenly decide to create and post content in the form of a video, it typically will not perform as well.

The type of content that brand shares will help to shape the type of audience that they build.

  It goes without saying that business will create a much stronger and substantial brand reputation if they focus on creating valuable and useful content that their audience will want to share. When a business is creating content, they should analyse and ensure that every piece of content supports the brand image. It is also important to remember that humour can be extremely difficult to pull off. That isn't to say that it cannot be effective when used appropriately, however, if a business isn't 100% sure that  their audience will have a positive reaction to the image, meme, or content, then they must resist the temptation to share the content as it can reflect extremely poorly on the company.

 

Figuring out what kind of content will be most likely to gain the most variability on social channels can sometimes simply be a case of trial and error. It has been proven, however, that images have the tendency to resonate better with audiences than text blog posts. Businesses should look at embracing their visual content. Articles that contain images obtain 94% more views than those that do not. And on Twitter, tweets and content with images have been reported to receive almost twice as many views than posts that only contain text, despite there being nearly 7 times more text posts on the platform.

 

 

Content strategy:

  By creating content, businesses can now forge real connections with their audience and customers. It is an approach that businesses can use to tell their stories, learn more about their customers and allow for greater lasting human relationships and connections. In this digital age with tech-savvy millennials, customers are more informed than ever before and they do not only expect this form of engagement from all businesses and companies, but they can see straight through the marketing facades and ploys that traditional branding strategies employ.

 

One thing that is becoming apparent is that content creation is no longer the biggest obstacle that businesses have to overcome. In truth, creating content has become easier than ever before, as well as being more competitive as almost everyone is armed with a smartphone, laptop and has access to a plethora of content creation tools and applications. The real challenge with content marketing is connection, distribution and promotion.

 

A successful content marketing campaign can ensure that a business's reputation is visible and is supportive to the relationship building between a business and their audience. It ensures that the audience that views the content understands the brand and what the brand stands for, which in turn allows relationships to be built and allows the customer to recognise how the brand's products or services will solve their problems and enrich their lives.

 

Further than the type of content that brand shares, it is also important to determine the purpose behind the content. There are virtually 3 classifications that the type of content that is posted can fall into. They are:

  • Educational content.

  • Entertainment content.

  • Edutainment content.

 

 

Blog posts and articles:

  One of the best and most successful ways in which a brand can gain credibility with their audience is through building leadership. No matter the type of industry that a brand falls into, a business will most likely have knowledge and expertise that their audience will be interested in hearing about. Blogs that contain advice, helpful ‘how-to’s’ and opinions on topics that are relevant to that specific industry are an excellent way to connect with audiences and share knowledge.  

 

 

Video content:

  Content in the form of videos is one of the most effective and engaging ways to share information to audiences. If a brand is focused on visuals and has items that are worth showing, then they should get out their cameras and start sharing this content with the world. Video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo are great tools to connect with a wide range of audiences, and is much easier than one may think to put together a professional looking video.

 

 

Images and infographics:

  One of the best ways to share any tips and tricks with audiences in an engaging and usable visual way is for a brand to create useful graphic images and infographics. Content in this format is much more simple to share. Businesses should be sure to include the name of the business and the URL to the website on the image or infographic.

 

 

Social media:

  Social media is a sensational way to keep in contact, inform and respond with audiences on its own, however, it can work the most effective when it is integrated with the various content types that have previously been mentioned.

 

On an individual level, it can allow businesses to provide outstanding customer service, however on a more holistic level it can attract audiences, fan and new customers, it can improve a brand’s SEO and can even enhance the brand by creating captivating content that has the ability to easily obtain a viral context.

 

 

Regardless of how big or small a business or brand, they have the capability to utilize these marketing strategy principles to reach out and create lasting connections with their audience. Audiences want these connections, even crave them, and spend a lot of time on social media looking for it, so brands should have no excuses to put their time, energy and resources to building relationships.

 

Before business jump in head first to their content, it is important that they allow ample time to plan and research. It is crucial that the brand begins to think about what type of content will showcase the businesses brand is the best and the most authentically and the topics and interests that the brand should cover that are the most relevant to the industry and the target audience. By taking the time to carefully iron out and collect these thoughts together in a marketing strategy will be much more advantageous and profitable in the long run.

 

Anything that is worth having requires hard work and effort and content marketing is not an exception to this rule. There is no guarantee that business will be rewarded with overnight success, but content marketing is a sustainable, viable, expandable and cost effective options, especially in the digital age that we all live in. When executed effectively, it will help brands to build reliable, trusting relationships.

 

 

Brand voice:

 

This is where brands and delve a little deeper into the more specific and significant branding components.

A brand's voice is paramount to the type of audience that they will attract.

Businesses should consider: if their logo didn't appear on a piece of content, would their audience be able to identify that the content is coming from their brand? Would audience who are viewing the content on various channels be able to identify that the content is coming from the same brand?

If businesses are not cautious, they can wind up with content that has a mixture of voices and tones that does not provide audiences with a consistent image of the brand's identity.

 

A brand's voice carries their vision, values and their voice. Essentially the voice of the brand is their reputation: what audiences are saying to or about the business when they are not in the same room. The brand's voice should be cohesive and consistent.

 

The brand's voice can be in almost any tone, style or personality that they wish, however, it must be an authentic representation of the brand in real life, however, defining this voice can take some time and a little effort.

 

A brand’s voice can be a combination of any one of these elements:

  • Happy and cheerful

  • Loud and obnoxious

  • Comical and entertaining

  • Professional and definitive

  • Informal and easy going

  • Clever and sarcastic

 

The essential element to choosing the voice of a brand is to ensure that audiences have the same experience and interactions on social media channels as when they come to the business: the persona that is created should be the same a what the customers get when they walk through a business's door.

 

Creating a brand voice and maintaining brand recognition is more than just simply getting your name out there in the digital space. It is more about allowing customers to gain a deeper understanding of a brand on a personal level. This is part of an established concept that purchasing an item or service from a brand is more of an emotional decision than a practical decision.

 

One of the most essential elements of a business engaging and evoking emotions with their audience is ensuring that they feel as though they know the brand on a personal level and that the brand can be trusted.

 

One of the biggest elements of building trust with audiences is brand consistency. There is a reason that consumers always tend to purchase the same brand of pens or the same brand of milk. This is because it is predictable: audiences know what to expect and already know the outcome before even making the purchase. By giving audiences an experience that is dependable and predictable across every channel of communication for a business, it has the same effect as providing them with a dependable product. Establishing a seamless look and voice across every communication channel for a business, both in the digital space and their products and services, it will make audiences more comfortable with their brand and they will be more likely to come back time and time again.

 

 

Interactions:

  This is a component of branding that takes on more than the other elements that have already been spoken about. This is because a brand can have an aesthetically pleasing colour scheme, a cohesive style, an engaging voice and the right type of content, but this can all become meaningless if a brand does not take the time to interact with their audience. Audience engagement, or the lack thereof, it the one aspect of branding that holds the most weight.

 

If a brand is regularly posting content, however, is not taking the time or dedication to respond to queries or answer questions, audiences can quickly begin to ignore a brand. Audiences will have no hesitation on going elsewhere in the future should they require technical questions or are in need of support and a brand is not there for them.

On the other hand, should a business consistently and persistently offer their customers with helpful answers that resolve their issues by having real conversations, they will be rewarded with loyalty. This is because the thing that audiences really care about is the online presence and interactions with a brand.

 

Some may be left wondering why all of these interactions actually matter and why businesses should take the time to worry about all of this. This is simply because social media has broken apart the traditional sales model. Audiences can go years, and sometimes lifetimes, with certain preferences in brands, regardless if the product or service is the same, so brands need to think about what is going to make audiences become loyal to another, new brand.
Of course, should there be an obvious winner in terms of the quality of the product or there is one that provides a better, more perfect solution, but what about two products that are equally as great? What if one product or brand is only slightly better but does not have a good brand reputation? This is why social media branding is so important. Brand loyalty and brand experience are indispensable to the sales cycle.

Published by Cameron Francis