If you aren’t actively leveraging social media branding for your small business, you’re missing out on a lot of growth and revenue, plain and simple.
More than 3.5 billion people — approximately half of the entire human population — are active on social media, with an average of three hours being spent per day per person on social networks. What’s more, 54% of social users use social media to research products and engage with brands.
There’s no shortage of tips and strategies you can use to leverage social media as a branding tool. Listed below are three of the most fundamental yet highly effective social media branding tips that you’ll want to implement as soon as possible.
1. Understand which social platforms you want to target.
First things first. How well do you know your target audience?
Got concrete answers to questions such as how old they are? What do they like/dislike? Which social media platforms do they hang out on most? What types of branded content do they engage with best? What motivates them to make a purchase?
The better you know your audience, the better you’ll know where to focus your efforts. You don’t necessarily need to have a loud presence on every platform for effective branding.
For example, when branding your local boutique, establishing a strong presence on Instagram and Facebook should do the trick. Conversely, as a budding B2B startup, focusing on LinkedIn makes more sense.
Simply put, to get the most audience engagement and ROI for the valuable content you create and post, you must pick the right social platforms.
Take the time to do your research. Survey your existing customers about their social network preferences. Learn what your competitors are doing.
Ultimately, you’ll use all of these facts and pieces of evidence to decide which social platforms are worth your effort.
2. For social media branding, focus on visual content.
At its core, effective branding — especially on social media — is all about the presentation of amazing visuals.
To have a consistent color scheme in all the graphics you create and pictures you post, chalk out a visual style guide that outlines your branded color palette. That way, you’ll make sure you have the same hues and fonts in all of your social content.
Over time, your audience will internalize a visual pattern associated with all of your content. They’ll then link those patterns with your brand without even looking at your social media handle.
Attaining this level of brand recognition is possible if you focus on posting visually strong and consistent content.
In fact, internal data from Twitter — a platform that isn’t usually considered visual-first — proves that people are three times more likely to engage with Tweets that include visual content such as images, GIFs, and videos.
Visual content such as GIFs and short video clips command audience attention as they scroll through a feed. Visual content encourages more engagement.
What if visual design isn’t an area of strength at my company?
Your content doesn’t always have to be elaborate or even particularly well-planned. For example, you could showcase your business using a behind-the-scenes video or promote company culture with an impromptu team photo or quick vlog-type walkthrough of your workspace. You could also show picture testimonials of happy customers or demonstrate your product in use.
Let’s say you decide to use a new video-creation tool with a ton of features to create professional-grade video content for your company. Your team may find it challenging to fully adopt the new tool and leverage all its advanced capabilities. In this case, consider leveraging a digital adoption platform (DAP). A DAP empowers your team to swiftly learn the new software by providing a comprehensive and interactive walk-through of the tool. With a DAP, you can train your team more effectively. They won’t lose productivity trying to make the most of the new software that’s meant to take your social content to the next level.
Long story short, to effectively leverage any social media platform for branding your small business, maintain a strong focus on visual content that’s consistent and engaging.
3. Effective social media branding requires that you engage with your followers.
The greatest benefit to using social media for branding your small business is that it allows you to show your brand’s “human side.” You can talk to your audience informally.
You accomplish this by publicly replying to comments and concerns on a first-name basis. Feel free to use emojis and slang to speak like an individual with a personality. This will make your brand more approachable and personable.
Spark more two-way engagement with your audience with calls to action. For instance, “Drop your favorite __ in the comments!” or “How do you go about ___?” in captions.
After all, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to friends and family. Creating positive, branded conversations on social media counts.
Use social media to speak, but also to listen.
In addition, customers are talking about your brand across the social web. This not only includes social media platforms such as Facebook but also Q&A platforms such as Quora. Business review sites such as Yelp and Trustpilot are also a crucial part of this social web conversation. You’ll want to use a brand monitoring tool to track who’s talking about your brand, on which platform, and whether it’s in a positive or negative light.
Apart from praise, you’re sure to receive criticism from time to time. Be proactive. Respond to both types of mentions in a tactful and timely manner. Be frank and friendly, assuring a better experience next time.
Show that you value your customers’ opinions. Use a CRM such as SuperOffice to store all your customer’s feedback and data. This ensures that you truly improve the customer experience moving forward. Knowing your customers as individuals is key to building better relationships.
Time for action!
Now it’s your turn. If you want to grow your customer base, put these three tips into practice to effectively leverage social media for branding your small business. Start small and build over time and, if you found this post useful, be sure to share it with your growing social network.