Standing out on social media can be hard. Users are exposed to countless messages every time they log into their favorite platforms. The content you spent so much time developing and curating can easily get lost in the noise. How do you cut through the clutter? How do you build your brand on social in a way that continuously drives attention to your content and profile? Creating a unique and engaging social presence is no small task, but a few easy steps can make all the difference in becoming a successful social brand.
Make Yourself Recognizable
The first step in creating an effective social brand is establishing a consistent identity across the web. Your profile picture on all social networks should be the same and consistent with the imagery on your website. Your header images can also be used to further connect your social profiles to your wider web presence. Showcase imagery or taglines that are also found on the homepage of your website. Your audience should be able to quickly and easily determine whose page they are looking at no matter what channel they reach you on. Maintaining a consistent profile image also allows the audience to distinguish your contributions within conversations or on their own content. Coca-Cola’s content and commentary is easily distinguished within conversations and feeds across the digital ecosystem by their iconic red logo and consistent treatment of brand imagery. No matter where you connect with Coke, your experience will be accented by their distinct brand style.
Determine A Consistent Look for Your Content
As Coke has demonstrated, consistency should extend beyond your profile images. Make your content recognizable by using a consistent design in your posts. For a visual network such as Instagram, this can mean using select filters for every image or a set style of photography. Lifestyle publication Brit & Co makes use of bright images with pastel backgrounds and script fonts in all of their content, helping fans recognize it in their feed as they scroll through. For blog posts, using a specific style of featured image will help audiences recognize your content in their feed. Social Media Examiner uses cartoon inspired header images in all of their articles, making them easily recognizable to readers across the web. However, do not simply design a look to grab attention. As you develop your content’s look and feel, it is important to make sure that it is consistent with your overall brand. SME’s website features a cartoon mascot and site imagery that is complimented by their article imagery, while Brit & Co’s website is bright white with pastel accents. You want to help your content stand out, but you also need to remain authentic to your brand.
Show Your Brand’s Personality
Social media is about communities. To be an effective social brand, you need to adopt the mindset that you are part of a community and a larger conversation. Showcasing your products is great, but your social channels should not be an informercial. Help fans get to know your brand by building content around what makes your brand unique. Tell stories about the people that make up the company or utilize user generated content to give tips on how to use your product. Share images from company events or volunteer efforts your group participates in. Apparel brand Carhartt regularly shares UGC from their customers, emphasizing the brand’s focus on quality products and quality time. Fans want to connect with people on social, not corporations. Show them the people behind the logo.
Create Valuable Content Fans Want To See
As a general rule, your content should always deliver value to the viewer. Whether that value is information based, entertainment, or something else will depend on your brand and the audience you are trying to reach. Brands that are successful on social media know what their fans want to see and how to deliver it. Does your brand have a fun story behind it or an interesting process for building the product? Share a behind the scenes look or special access to the company for your fans on social. Perhaps there are pain points or common questions for customers in your industry. Create “How To” content that shows fans the best way to solve their problem or a new way to use the product. Fidelity Investments shares tips for financial planning and retirement in easy to understand formats; delivering value to their audience while showcasing their expertise. Your valuable social content can also extend from your other branded assets. Share links to your blog or highlight key points from recent content with a graphic for quicker access to information. By creating value for your audience with your content, you give them a reason to keep coming back and seeking out your brand on social media.
Finally, to be a social brand you need to be active on on social! With all of the noise and content generated on social media every day, brands who are not active will quickly be forgotten. Posting every day or even every other day can be time consuming, but developing content calendar and using a management tool can lighten the load on an organization. Take the time to determine the content you want to share in a given week or month and schedule it in your content calendar. As you set up your content calendar, be sure to set a cadence that you can maintain. Posting regularly for a few weeks and then disappearing for a month when you’re busy does little to keep you top of mind for your audience. If you are posting natively, be sure to identify who is responsible for posting and when they should post. If you are using a management tool, add your content to the calendar and set your posting times. Even if you are only posting a few times a week, consistently delivering valuable content to your audience will enhance your social value. Lastly, don’t forget to respond to comments and questions on your posts. Successful brands on social do not employ the launch it and leave it mindset. Encourage engagements by developing a dialogue with your audience.
When executed correctly, social media can be one of your brand’s most valuable assets for achieving brand objectives. The key is in knowing how to establish your brand as a recognizable resource for information, entertainment, or special access. By connecting with audiences in a way that is genuine to the social media experience and providing value in exchange for their attention you open the door to continued engagement.
Who are your favorite brands on social?