Not sure how to get a competitive advantage? Are your social media skills less impressive than you would’ve liked? You can use this seven-step process to improve your approach and stand out in a crowd.
Social media marketing can make or break a brand today. To build a successful business, you must leverage your brand to the fullest.
Keep in mind that your brand extends beyond your logo.
Your brand covers everything that you put forward for people to see. It’s your content, your customer service. It’s also made up of your recognisable ads, logo, and tone of voice.
More importantly, it’s what can set you apart from your competitors and give you that competitive advantage.
And branding is something that many small business owners can’t get right.
It’s because many of them don’t have an effective strategy. They often don’t know what the audience wants to see. Because of this, advertisers don’t always come up with a clear plan of action.
If you find yourself in the same situation, know that it’s not the end of the world.
Follow the steps below to learn how to avoid common mistakes while creating a unique and effective social media brand for your business.
Step #1 – Ensure Consistency Across Different Platforms
You’ll find the consistency to be a recurring theme in these tips, and for a good reason.
It’s the foundation of any standout social media branding effort and in any niche. Inconsistent branding only serves to confuse your audience.
It doesn’t matter how much you engage them with your writing if you’re not preaching the same message across all platforms. And it also doesn’t matter that you use unique visual elements if you don’t use the same style.
Maintain consistency with everything – from your writing to your fonts and colour palette.
One of the most recognizable branding elements is the logo. And Apple’s is universally known. They use it in the same version, whether it’s on the back of their products or in a social media post. You don’t see it sporting different colours or lettering anywhere you look.
It’s time to mirror the consistency of big brands to gain notoriety for your own.
It’s time to create a logo if you don’t have one yet. Select a few colours that work and stick with those in all your branding efforts.
Create a brand that’s instantly recognisable by ingraining a particular theme and style into your audience’s minds.
Your logo will be the easiest thing to get right and consistent across all platforms and media.
Step #2 – Craft Your Marketing Personas
It would be best to keep in mind that different social media platforms cater to certain audiences. For example, you may not be able to reach the same people on Facebook as you would LinkedIn or Twitter.
It’s important to remember this so that you don’t attempt to use the same approach on all platforms. This only means that you want to create multiple marketing personas.
Now you may ask yourself what’s a marketing persona. It’s what you use to convert a specific lead into a follower or buyer. The persona you have is what you use to connect and get through with a certain type of audience member.
You won’t always be able to target millennial parents in the same way you do small business owners. So, it’s critical that you examine network demographics for all your social media platforms.
Find out where each type of audience member hangs out. Develop different marketing personas that resonate on specific platforms. Then, tailor your content around those demographics and personas.
Building your brand across different social media platforms doesn’t mean that you have to change your message. Nor do you have to change your brand’s core values.
It simply means that you may have to rephrase your messaging to target your ideal audience members found on a specific platform.
Step #3 – Pay Attention to Your Brand’s Voice
A common mistake is believing that your brand’s voice is the same as your marketing persona. In reality, it’s quite different.
While your marketing persona is what you use to connect with different types of people, your brand’s voice is your message. It’s what you represent and what you offer.
Building your brand across different social media platforms doesn’t mean that you have to change your message. It also doesn’t mean you have to change core brand values to connect with different audience members.
Your key branding elements are what give you your brand’s voice and identity. So, it’s critical that you keep them consistent.
Visual elements are key ingredients in creating a successful social media brand. So are your ad copies and captions. If you carry the same voice across all platforms, your branding will become recognisable.
Perhaps you already have a well-developed voice. But, if you don’t, it’s good practice to create a guide.
The guidelines you create should serve as a blueprint to how you engage people with your ad copy and content.
Include relevant catchphrases if you have them. When you’re looking to provide assistance, for example, an informative tone may work better.
All these little details matter not only to your brand’s image. They also make your job easier in keeping your content and messages consistent with the core values.
People will then come to expect what to see and hear from your brand.
Step #4 – Leverage Social Media Templates
Social media branding is about making all the key elements work in harmony. You want to use your visuals and written words in the best way possible.
Each social media platform has unique layouts and templates that can help you with this.
To avoid wasting time or falling into the trappings of inconsistency, leverage social media templates. Use a different template for each type of post, or as applicable.
Do you offer daily tips? If so, use a template so that all your tips have the same format.
Do you want to post social proof of what you offer once a week? Are these usually longer posts? Use a template that highlights all the key pieces of information.
Make sure that your logo always has the same positioning and that no elements are missing when you post.
Your templates don’t always require anything too complex or fancy. Simplicity is often the best approach.
What’s critical is to always follow the same format. It makes your content instantly recognizable in terms of what it offers. Consistency helps build trust and strengthen your authority in your niche.
Working off a template also makes it harder for you to miss things like visual elements and adding a CTA. And it doesn’t make the need for consistency feel like a chore.
It also makes everything easier to read, which is always useful to readers. If your audience has to struggle to go through your content, they may miss relevant information.
Step #5 – Push Out Share-Worthy Content
Your content is one of your most significant assets for developing your social media brand. It’s what your readers come in contact with and digest regularly.
If you want to solidify your brand, you have to become visible in the midst of many others. You can do that once people share your content.
The best way to create share-worthy content is to offer something that inspires your readers. No one shares content unless it’s impactful. And inspired readers are more likely to share your message with others.
Share-worthy content is what social media is all about. It’s spreading the word to new people and creating bigger communities.
You want to make sure that your content showcases your value. Also, you want to make sure it positions your brand as a go-to resource in your niche.
Posting with consistency also helps in this regard. Once you hook your audience members and convert them into brand ambassadors, their expectations grow. You can’t have one noteworthy post up per month – show consistency.
The more share-worthy content you put out, the better. It helps you reinforce the idea that your brand is unique and offers amazing value in your niche.
Step #6 – Join Communities (And Build Your Own)
If you want to grow your brand, you need exposure. You also need a legion of loyal followers that can turn into brand ambassadors and lobby for you to other like-minded people.
And one of the best ways to make this happen is to join communities and eventually create your own.
It’s important to join groups that have shared interests with your brand and services. You want to find common ground with those that you’d like to take an interest in your brand.
Joining a group can help you create that authority around your brand that you need to become successful.
Just keep in mind that yours won’t be the only voice heard in these communities.
Many of them will also serve as platforms for your competitors. That’s why before you join, you must have first followed through on all of the earlier steps.
That said, what are the other benefits of joining a topic-based group?
You can test your knowledge in your field and establish authority. And you can also work on your leadership skills and help people.
The more people you help, the more renowned your brand gets.
It’s also worth noting that communities are excellent resources for feedback. You can fix issues with your brand based on how others respond, directly or indirectly.
A community can also be a great place to find new opportunities and leads. Once people see your value in topic-based groups, they’ll want to know more about you.
They’ll likely join your own community to get the juicy details that you don’t give out publicly.
Step #7 – Truly Socialise Online
One of the biggest mistakes that many small business owners make is thinking that you have to single out a few audience members.
It’s true that you may not have time to talk to everyone you’d like to all the time, but you have to try. So, reply to as many audience members as you can.
Becoming part of a community or growing your own community means nothing if you’re not social.
People follow you and ask questions because they want that conversation. When someone tweets something at you, they expect a reply. When someone comments to your Facebook post, they expect a reply. If you start a discussion on LinkedIn, know that readers expect your direct input too. They don’t want to only talk amongst themselves.
Reserve enough time to socialise across all platforms.
If people see that you’re responsive, they’ll feel more inclined to reach out. In their minds, they’ll start to believe that you always respond and have something meaningful to say.
Again, this reinforces the value of your brand, and it helps you earn respect and loyalty.
Start Engaging Your Audience and Grow Your Brand Authority
It’s never too late, nor too soon, to start working on your social media branding. With a few simple tweaks, you can go from an unknown to a well-established figure in your field.
Granted, this will take time. But, if you follow these steps and emphasise the most important elements, great things happen.
Your authority and popularity can snowball significantly in a short amount of time. Make sure that you maintain and leverage branding consistency across all social channels.
Gain visibility and place your brand in a unique position that sets it apart from the competitors.
Do you have great ideas and vision but can’t nail the custom visual elements for your brand? Reach out to us at Automation Agency’s Concierge Service.
Our team can help create your custom branding graphics and other visual elements needed to stand out.