Like a two-pronged fork, social media can build a successful brand and tear it down at the same time.
Social media is seen as an integral part of strengthening a brand’s digital marketing strategy. Whether it’s social selling, content marketing, or customer support, social media marketing gives you the perfect opportunity to reach your target audience and build your brand.
With so many platforms available, as well as the heavy competition among the digital channels, it can be difficult to set your brand apart and carve out your niche on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Whether your brand is being represented the right or wrong way is a crucial matter that digital marketers should look into. Like a two-pronged fork, social media can build a successful brand or tear it down.
One instance is when you have several social media channels, as managing and organizing every account can be a convoluted nightmare; not to mention that your strategy and tone of voice need to be tailored to each platform. The larger your online presence, the more challenges you will encounter in maintaining your social media accounts.
Moreover, messaging in social media moves faster than lightning. One slip from decades ago and before you know it, the whole world is privy and already has an opinion about it. Social media can easily wipe out a decades’ worth of hard work. There’s just no containing it—it’s a maelstrom.
Another common mistake brands make is over posting or spamming, which leads irritated followers to unfollow an official social media account. It’s best to “batch” content creation, as well as to schedule posts in advance, but don’t post content too close together.
Needless to say, social media and its dominant presence in the lives of people leaves a lot of room for brand booboos. However, with the proper management and awareness of the possible ways with which social media can tear your brand apart, you can dodge its risky side. Here are five guidelines to keeping your brand identity intact on social.
1) Choose the right networks.
If you’re not gaining traction on some social media platforms you’re active in, keep in mind that with hundreds of media apps out there, not all will be suited to your brands’ needs. Your job is to find networks that align with your brand’s image and your target consumers. Otherwise, you’ll have difficulty amplifying results. Taking a look at social media demographics is one way to get started.
2) Don’t overlook visual branding.
Visuals are part and parcel of branding, especially in social media strategy. If each of your profiles is inconsistent, or looks like it’s owned by a different company, this creates a tremendous disconnect for your audience.
Consistent branding across channels will help people immediately recognize your business no matter which site or app they use. Be meticulous about using the same color palette, logo or avatar, filters, and as much as possible, create templates.
3) Identify your brand voice.
Every strong brand has a distinct and solid voice. You need to establish your own to come up with a strong social media strategy. It would be a relief to know that building a brand voice is a lot easier for a person than for a business.
Make a list of the qualities and values you hope to embody,and use it to shape your existing voice for social media. Decide in advance the type of language you’ll use and how you’ll address various situations on social media. This preparation will help you maintain a consistent social media brand.
4) Prioritize engagement over publishing.
While content is an important part of building your social media brand, engagement should be a priority. Big brands often have the luxury of attracting large audiences without actually putting in the work of engaging their community. Brands who engage with their followers really set themselves apart from the pack—which isn’t hard to see among successful professionals.
Remember to engage with key members of your community and involve influencers. Find hashtags that dominate your industry and start tuning in. Where a business often focuses on starting their own chat or discussion, or pushing branded content into conversations, individual professionals should instead concentrate on joining the conversations that are already underway.
Get a sense of the tone and subject matter of these conversations. Follow the influencers who already have clout in these areas and see what you can learn from their social media messaging.
5) Stick to one goal
When a business commits itself to social media, it’s a must to tie up its online efforts back to the main business goal: brand awareness. Less broad business goals include driving website visits, signups, leads and sales, and require that content be created and shared with specific goals and tracking in mind.
Building your brand is about creating awareness about you and your skills/knowledge/career/position. In other words, your social media efforts only need to help you attract the right audience and grow your community. With no calls to action required, you’re free to focus instead on your content, which is perfect for social media—where content means everything.
In the Philippines, a perfect instance of when brands demonstrated the appropriate use of social media to maximize their involvement in their audience’s lives was during the Philippine elections, through various promotion and advertising strategies.
Ultimately, social media’s greatest strength is fostering relationships. Building a strong, personal social media brand will increase your chances of building meaningful relationships that follow you throughout your career. Establish your personal brand, and become a social media leader within your organization and industry.