The marketing industry has evolved due to social media. Social media is now more important than ever in how consumers engage with brands. Social media has been used by companies like Mercedes-Benz, Dove, and Nutella to create interesting content. Their target demographic now has a good brand identification because to their efforts. Making a positive impression of the brand is crucial. Customers find the business more appealing as a result.
The market grows, customer attention levels rise, and the brand’s personality shines through. Use our advice to get your social media branding plan off to a great start.
What is Social Branding?
Social branding is the process by which a person, business, or organization develops a distinctive online character and shares it with the public. This facilitates the development of a closer relationship with customers through social media channels.
You may build your brand persona in a number of ways, such as through social media, advertising campaigns, or even an individual within your firm, like a CEO or employee who is involved in the public eye. In a broad marketing context, your brand is conveyed through a variety of storytelling tactics and is characterized by the company’s values as well as those of its product or service.
Enhancing a company’s or brand’s reputation through increased online presence and interactions is the goal of social media brand reputation management. Simple tactics are typically used by successful brands to build a loyal fan base and raise brand awareness.
They accomplish this by producing material that speaks to their intended audience, interacting with consumers on social media, and tracking their progress.
An infographic can be distributed to the public by a producer of digital goods and webcams as a part of their social media branding activities. It delivers useful content and builds brand recognition.
Key Elements of a Winning Social Media Branding Plan
One important concept to grasp is that social media users behave differently on social media platforms than they do when they browse the internet or use Google searches. A blog article is more suited for SEO marketing, but social media marketing prefers faster-moving, instant-impression material.
Airbnb emphasizes the traveler’s entire experience rather than simply their stay in the house, favoring the great outdoors and activities above the residences featured on the platform. It gives the idea that staying at an Airbnb house offers guests the chance to have lifelong experiences rather than merely enjoying a staycation.
1. Consider your target audience
First, you need to finalize your target audience before creating a brand identity. You can’t market winter clothing to someone in Honolulu, and you probably won’t try to sell swimwear to someone in Minnesota, particularly in the middle of winter.
Here are some things you need to consider about your ideal customer:
- What’s their age bracket?
- What’s their gender?
- Where are they residing?
- What’s their economic status?
- What are their interests?
You may formulate your ideal customer from this data as a 22-year-old male living in Miami who loves Marvel and Call of Duty. You may also decide that your ideal customer is a 35-year-old female living in Manhattan who loves Broadway musicals and fusion cuisine.
Analyzing customer data will help you determine if your prospective customers are social media users and where they spend most of their time online.
2. Define your brand identity
Building a brand identity will shape how you present your brand online, especially on social media. This identity is what your customer persona will connect with. Here are some branding rules to get you started:
- Establish your brand guidelines. Others will have different ideas about how many elements of a brand there are, but we’d like you to think of only three. These are your brand colors, brand voice, and brand values.
- Brand colors are the colors used to identify your brand. Amazon is blue, and Airbnb is pink. Your brand colors are the colors you should stick to when creating visual content. It’s critical to have these colors solidified through a hex code. You can use a brand kit generator to do this quickly.
- Brand voice is how your brand communicates to audiences. Rolex is posh and refined, and Spotify is hip and radical. The brand voice is seen through your brand’s copy, imagery, and graphics, among other things.
- Brand values are what your brand stands for. Apple values ingenuity and innovation, and Adobe values creativity and expression. Your mission statement will help define your brand values.
- Create a brand persona from these three elements. A brand persona is what your brand would be like when they’re an actual person. Go as deep as to what they wear, and what movies they watch, as if you’re creating a dating or social media profile for these personas.
Many businesses use brand guidelines that are several pages long. These guidelines specify logo proportions and usage, colors and palettes, and typography. On the other hand, some brands prefer to use their guidelines as a set of suggestions and give their creative team some freedom in coming up with new designs.
Read Also: The Power of Branding
A well-defined brand identity solidifies how your brand feels to your target audience. When people see content from your brand, they’ll instantly know it’s coming from you and respond accordingly.
3. Define the type of content you’ll produce
Your target audience and brand guidelines will help you pinpoint the type of content you’ll produce. Your content should resonate with your target audience and align with your brand guidelines.
Here are some practical social media post ideas for your social media strategy:
- Native photos and content. This content adapts to the social media channel it’s posted on – meaning it has to be organic with the platform and has to adhere to its optimal size and format (i.e., Square 1:1 for Instagram, Horizontal 16:9 for YouTube). For example, if you’re posting on Facebook, you may post square memes. As shown above, Dunkin’ posts native Instagram (and Facebook-compatible) content.
- Short-form videos. Videos are some of the most engaging types of content. Conceptualize videos and engaging content that will pull your audience’s interest.
- User-generated content. Encourage customers to use your hashtag so that you may repurpose them as your posts. UGC has a testimonial aspect to them due to their genuineness.
- Optimize your blog posts since they can reach an audience outside your website visitors. You can repurpose blog posts into smaller and more digestible social media posts.
While conceptualizing and creating content is large enough to be a separate discipline, your social media team should focus on content that will appear only on your social media accounts while still complying with branding guidelines.
4. Choose your social media channels
If you had to stay on top of Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok, you’d be exhausting yourself or your marketing staff. Select one or a few social media networks to dedicate resources to. But how do you go about choosing which ones to use?
There’s only one factor in deciding what social media platforms to dedicate your company’s time to –Where does your audience typically hang out? Where do they have active social profiles? (i.e., Are they more active on LinkedIn, YouTube, or Instagram?)
Aside from the sheer number of users, you also need to consider the social networks that your audience can’t live without. For example, one study found that users have a high overall dependence on Facebook and Instagram, with YouTube a close third.
How to Implement Your Plan
It’s time to start putting your social media marketing plan into action now that you have determined your target market, your brand identity, your content strategy, and your social media channels.
1. Work branding into your everyday posts
The key to effective social media branding is consistency. To achieve this, your marketing staff needs to use your branding for everything related to your brand – from videos to tweets and Instagram posts. When you create a social media calendar, you need to ensure that you announce your new branding first, then reinforce it with successive posts every day.
For instance, the social media calendar above tells you what you’re posting, when you’re posting it, and where you’re posting it. It reminds you that you need to add your branding to a tweet on Monday at 9 AM, an Instagram post at 1 PM, and so on. With consistent use across different platforms, your followers will soon become familiar with your brand.
2. Reassess your branding
However, you can’t force your social media branding on your followers. Your brand has to resonate with your audience for it to become effective. As you announce changes to your branding, you need to listen to your audience and assess whether they identify with it and if it represents your brand properly.
For example, the Korean music group GOT7 disbanded after their label chose not to renew their contracts in 2021. The members of the group have since embarked on solo careers. However, when they announced their reunion in May 2022, they chose not to use their old logo. Instead, they revealed a new logo that emphasized the “G” in their name, instead of the old heptagonal logo, and announced a new set of social media accounts.
So far, the social media rebranding campaign has been successful, with many fans hoping for a new release soon. As a result of the branding campaign, GOT7 has successfully established its own identity outside its old label and showed that it still has what it takes to be successful in a very competitive industry.
3. Identify and engage with key influencers
Look for influencers and key personalities that cater to the niche of your audience. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your influencers:
- Niche. If you’re a business offering inventory management solutions, you’d want to be tapping a retail tech blogger. Engaging with a Twitch streamer might make your audience scratch their heads in disbelief.
- Budget. Could you afford a high-level personality with a couple of million subscribers, or should you stick with micro-influencers? Sometimes, bigger is not always better.
- Tone and voice of your influencer. This influencer’s personality should complement your brand’s identity. If you choose an influencer whose personality clashes with your brand’s identity, you could confuse or alienate your audience. Finding influencers for your brand is challenging if your brand isn’t active in the niche you want to occupy. You can conduct focus groups among your audience on who their favorite influencers are. This data will lead you to a rabbit hole of other macro and micro-influencers.
4. Engage prospects across multiple channels
Maximize your online presence by publishing visual content across multiple channels. Using more than one social channel increases your campaign’s effectiveness.
You cannot rely on Facebook alone. If you have a Facebook page, you also need to be active on Instagram. Creating a Meta Business Account will allow you to link your Instagram business account and your Facebook page. This feature allows you to manage both channels seamlessly.
If you have a Facebook page, also create an Instagram page. Create a Meta Business Account, and then link your Instagram business account to your Facebook page. As a social media marketer, this function is useful for seamlessly managing both channels, as if they’re a single social channel.
Your company’s identity on a marketing channel where a lot of other businesses advertise is provided by your social media branding.
Determine the hobbies, demographics, and internet habits of your target audience. Next, develop a brand identity that appeals to this target market. Plan and organize the material for your brand, and decide which social media platform or platforms to utilize to interact with potential customers.
Make a schedule for your social media posts in advance. To boost brand engagement, work with influential people who serve your audience’s specific specialty. To strengthen your online profile, interact with your audience on various social media platforms.
Lastly, keep an eye on your outcomes. Establishing a brand is no easy task. You ought to be aware of the effectiveness of their efforts. Recall that a social media branding plan should also prioritize user experience and customer service. In addition to your social media posts, take a look at those as well.