When it comes to branding a business or a project, social media cannot be avoided. Embracing and utilizing social media helps to increase your brand awareness by meeting your target audience where they are. Social media is a branding and marketing goldmine simply for the number of individuals who use one or several social media platforms per day, and in most cases, it can be one of the easiest ways to engage your target audience. But just like you need branding or marketing strategies to ensure efficiency and success, you will need a social media branding strategy to ensure you are utilizing these platforms to their full potential.
The best social media platforms to use.
Before you can build your social media branding strategy, you will need to decide what platforms you are going to use. There are benefits to each major social platform, but it is important to evaluate how each platform works and how it will work for your brand so that your efforts are efficient and will produce the best results.
Some of the most commonly used social media platforms are:
Facebook (Monthly active users: 3.38 billion)
In both popularity and usage, Facebook is the leading social media platform. Facebook also owns a number of other platforms and applications, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger (their own messaging application). When using Facebook for personal use, each individual has a profile. With that profile they can share statuses, photos, videos, and other content, and they can engage with their friends, families, and others through likes, reactions, comments, and private messages. Brands and businesses use pages to brand themselves and perform similar actions, and can use Facebook Ads to promote posts, products or services, and other content. (We posted a blog about how to leverage the full potential of Facebook Ads if you would like to get started!)
Twitter (Monthly active users: 321 million)
Twitter has a considerably large active audience, but the success of your Twitter branding usually relies on what industry your business is in. Brands that involve or focus on entertainment, sports, or politics often see the highest levels of engagement on Twitter, while other product- or service-related brands may see little results. Most personal Twitter users use the platform as a news source about current events and trending topics, and to engage in threads (or conversations) about such events. When utilizing Twitter for a company or business, you’ll want to be sure that you are posting short, relevant messages that are informative, helpful, and inspiring.
LinkedIn (Monthly active users: 303 million)
LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals, including anyone from entry level positions to executive and senior positions. Whether you are seeking advice or inspiration, clients or investors, partners or buyers, or nearly anything else, LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B connections and interactions.
Instagram (Monthly active users: 1 billion)
As a platform that relies on eye-catching visual content with concise captions, Instagram is a great platform for product-based businesses, especially since they introduced shoppable posts in 2018. It’s also a powerful platform for influencers, coaches, and wellness experts to share inspiring and informative videos (live or pre-recorded) and photos, and engage with their audience with comments.
Snapchat (Monthly active users: 330 million)
Snapchat is an ideal platform if your target audience is a younger demographic, since the most active users are around 13 years of age. It’s a great platform for user-generated content, as well as behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive offers, and influencer takeovers.
Pinterest (Monthly active users: 291 million)
Pinterest is a great platform for brands in the fashion, food, decor, fitness, or event planning industries. More than 80% of Pinterest users are female, and the platform is most frequently used to discover and save (or pin) interests, activities, or inspiration for special events or everyday life. This creates a niche audience where you can share your product or service.
Reddit (Monthly active users: 330 million)
Speaking of niche audiences, Reddit is one of the best places on the internet to find a community dedicated to any specific topic you can think of. With approximately 140,000 active subreddits (individual communities on the platform, there is a place for every brand or business to connect with their target audience.
Take a look at each platform and consider which ones will work best for your brand, which ones your target audience is using, and which one you (or the person managing your social media profiles) are most comfortable and familiar with. Once you have determined which platforms you are going to use, you can begin to brand your profiles.
How to properly brand your profiles.
In our last three posts about branding we’ve repeatedly mentioned the importance of consistency, because consistency is key. You want your audience to recognize your brand wherever and whenever they encounter it, both on and offline—this includes your website, your marketing materials, and your social media profiles.
While each platform has their own profile style, there are core elements that remain the same across all platforms, and each profile can be branded consistently. All platforms require a profile photo and bio (the character or word count varies per platform), and these should be the same on each platform. Most companies and businesses use their logo as their profile photo, and this is highly suggested if you are an organization. However, if you are an individual providing a service (such as a coach or a wellness expert), using a professionally-taken portrait of yourself as the profile photo on all your platforms is the best way to introduce yourself to potential clients.
Many platforms also allow for a cover photo, so if you have a hero image from your website that represents your brand, this is a great time to re-use it.
How to grow your audience with these platforms.
Once you’ve chosen your social platforms and you’ve created and branded your profiles, it’s time to start using them! Here are three ways to use your social platform profiles to enhance your brand and grow your audience:
- Create share-worthy content. Having a social media platform for your company or business has little value if you aren’t posting and sharing valuable content. Including accurate facts, statistics, and other useful information in your posts can establish you as a go-to resource in your industry. And whether you’re talking about your product, your service, or the industry itself, when you consistently share informative and interesting content, you pique the interest of your target audience and increase the chances of them sharing that content with their friends and followers, further growing your audience.
- Include visual content as often as possible. While providing news, information, and details about your products, services, and industry on your social platforms adds value to your brand, including eye-catching visual content helps you stand out on your audience’s feeds and captures their attention. Because visual content is often more exciting and interesting, a post that includes at least one visual element is more likely to be shared than a post with only text. (Don’t forget to check out our beginner and advanced guides to creating visual content!)
- Socialize. This may seem like a no-brainer since we are talking about social media, but many brands make the mistake of creating awesome social profiles and then never actually using them. The most effective way to brand yourself and grow your audience on social media is to be social. If someone tweets at you, tweet them back. If someone leaves a comment, respond. If someone sends you a message, respond in a timely manner. If someone shares your post, consider leaving a comment to thank them. The more often you engage with your audience, they more often they’ll engage with you.
How we can help.
If you’re ready to begin building your brand on social media, let’s discuss how we can help you create and implement a social media strategy to maximize your branding potential. And while we’re at it, we can discuss your social marketing goals, and build a campaign to meet those goals and increase your leads, conversions, and revenue!