Nowadays we have seen a substantial increase in brands treating social as an extension to their websites. More brands are starting to recognize the appeal and the many added benefits of hopping on this bandwagon. Over the past few years, there has been a shift in how brands utilize social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It has become clear social media for business is not going anywhere anytime soon.
A report conducted by the Social Media Examiner titled, “2016 Social Media Marketing Industry” reveals that 86% of marketers don’t know which tools will help them manage social media. Now more than ever, marketers are focusing more of their efforts on touching up and “dusting off” their digital social media marketing strategies. The reality is audiences do not want to visit a brand’s website if their content sounds too corporate or formal. We have all done it; the first step is admitting and recognizing your wrongs. So what are you waiting for? Boot up your computer, stretch your typing muscles, take a sip of your well-deserved coffee and let’s get to work.
Why is it important to know how to correctly and successfully brand your business on social? How will branding on social media help my ROI? Think WIFM (What’s In It For Me)? You work long hard hours for all those followers, customers, and prospects, why settle for less? You deserve the very best, but it’s going to come with a little hard work and commitment. In order to understand how critical it is maintaining a high consistency across all social media platforms, we need to familiarize ourselves and analyze the do’s, the don’ts, and the “wow, let’s never do that again” when branding on social media.
Stick to Your Brand Colors
Keep in mind that social is just another marketing tool and should be consistent with your brand image. The good news is that the major social platforms allow you to personalize the look and feel of your profile with various customization tools. These tools help ensure that your profiles are consistent with your branding. For example, Twitter allows users to customize the colour of links, profile sections, and buttons. The purpose of being able to customize your social platforms is to create a user-friendly experience that will help you gain brand recognition.
For instance, if you visit HubSpot twitter’s profile everything is orange vs. when you visit gShift’s twitter page everything is the colour red. Oh and hey, since you’re already there, maybe give us a follow for great content 😉
Think of consistency when you’re baking. In this case, your brand is the cake. You want the same cake every time you set out to bake it. Brands need to stay consistent when using social because the more consistency you have, the more attractive and professional your brand image is. Create a checklist that helps you ensure that you are displaying your company logo on all your social platforms, as well as the images you place on social.
Make sure you’re company descriptions are fluent, and profile pictures and font are the same. The primary goal is to be recognized by your audience whether it’s with your business logo, profile picture, type of font, or content topics.
Leverage Cover Photos
You worked hard on that campaign; let’s show it off and gain the recognition you deserve! Brands who leverage their cover photos on social should make sure that they stay consistent across all their platforms. Cover photos are an excellent way to emphasize slogans and make brands stand out with compelling visuals. They also provide firms with an opportunity to humanize their brands while generating leads for future webinars. Why not kill two birds with one stone?
Allow audiences to see what current events are taking place, include time, date, a short detailed description of the event, and link to your landing page. Cover photos also provide some well-needed space to display your company’s culture by emphasizing on memorable group outings, special events, and fun work environment. Don’t be afraid to get freaky and festive! Show your audiences you’re up to date with world events and the holidays by expressing your thoughts and gratitude during the seasons.
Have an Effective Strategy
There are so many things in life we can’t prepare for but social isn’t one of them. Having an efficient and effective social media strategy will help you plan and succeed on social. You have the power and complete control when it comes to planning and implementing a social media marketing strategy. It does not matter how big and small your goals and objectives are they should always refer to SMART acronym (Specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and timely). Why not create a checklist to help keep you on track and visualize your objectives and goals. Ask yourself the important question: How will I achieve that goal? What is the deadline for achieving that goal?
For example: increasing Twitter followers by 5% by the end of April 30, 2017. Are these goals to expand your reach, measure engagement, increase brand awareness, or to measure how many shares, influencers, sales, and referrals? To understand and create an effective strategy, you need to focus on analyzing your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Brands who are feeling overwhelmed with creating a social media marketing strategy can hire an agency to help implement a results driven social media marketing strategy.
Don’t Forget to Establish Your VoiceNothing is more off-putting than visiting a website or social media site that is written like a textbook. Audiences don’t want to read content that sounds robotic or feels too corporate. They want to see the emotion and to be able to visualize your words. Consumers are more inclined to establish trust between a brand when the content is written like a conversational piece. Talk to your audience as if they are your friend, not your boss. Don’t be afraid to be casual with a hint of professionalism.
Now, I’m not saying you need to hire a copywriter, but you need to establish your own voice and break through the clutter, while at the same time capturing your audience’s attention. Some things are better said than done. I am, however, recommending you have someone outside your firm give you their honest opinion on how your content pieces are written. Additionally, by allowing someone, such as an agency, to go over your material exposes you to some challenges you didn’t even know you had.
Don’t Like Your Own PostsNow before we get started, it’s imperative that we address the elephant in the room. One giant elephant I might add; liking your own posts. We all are guilty of doing it, but we need to stop before it gets out of hand. Remember when you were at a party, and you told a joke that you thought someone would appreciate, but instead, there was just an awkward silence overthrown by your own laughter? That’s right, liking your own post is no different than laughing at your own jokes. By liking your posts create an image that says I am not confident with myself, I don’t feel what I have written or posted is to any value to my audience.
You wrote that content, so of course, you’re going to enjoy it, but your consumers shouldn’t know that. Instead, you should encourage employees to share posts and act as brand ambassadors. The more exposure your content and posts get the better brand awareness.
Don’t Spam Your AudienceI cannot stress this enough… no one, and I repeat, no one likes to receive spam. Spam is not only boring and annoying. But when you spam, you are polluting the internet and pushing your customers away. Companies who use spam via email or social media create a potential risk of losing those followers and clients they fought hard to earn.
Nothing is worse than seeing duplicates of the same message in your feed. Imagine how your audience feels when bombarded with the same message. Instead, consider switching up the wording and photos. You can still use the same meaning of your message but by changing some phrases and visuals will help catch the viewer’s attention.
One Size does not fit allWe live in a customized world. You have the power, money, and ability to customize and personalize anything you desire. Why should you stop at designing content and creating a kickass social media marketing strategy? Remember the sky’s the limit! Audiences want to feel a personal connection when reading your content, whether the content is a blog piece on the seven wonders of the world or a how to guide on completing your taxes.
The bottom line is consumers want to be able to relate and connect their experiences while feeling involved. So why stop there? Create a social media marketing strategy for each platform, and customize your objectives and goals. Consumers want to feel valued and appreciated. Show them how much you care by customizing content that screams “your unique and quirky so are we, and we want to show you that.”
Learn more about how gShift’s Digital Marketing Services Team can help your brand on social.