With so many companies vying for users' attention on social media, it's important to know how to represent your brand and make it stand out. Follow these five steps to strengthen your social media branding this year.
1. Choose the Right Platforms
Once you’ve created your buyer personas, choosing the right platforms is fairly straightforward. Where are your customers spending their time? Focus on the platforms favored by the majority of your prospective customers. Just because another company is successful on Instagram does not mean you need to be on Instagram — always go back to what you know about your customers and brand, and let that information guide your strategy.
2. Post Regularly
We cannot stress enough how important it is to post regularly on social media. Nothing says disengaged like sporadic posting. How often you post is determined by your audience as well as your industry, and finding the right frequency takes some trial and error.
Use this trial and error period to monitor post performance and engagement. Remember that even if one post doesn’t perform as well as the others, you are still adding to your brand’s credibility and social media presence. Learn from each post and continue to experiment with new, meaningful ways of connecting with your audience.
Check out HubSpot's industry-specific social media analysis, which provides benchmarks for your team to follow. Whether you’re in real estate or manufacturing, posting regularly to your social media accounts will grow awareness and ultimately strengthen your brand.
3. Find Your Voice
Your brand’s personality should be clearly reflected in your social media, and developing a consistent voice is key to building trust with your online community.
When crafting messages, it’s important to remember the distinction between voice and tone. Voice is your brand’s style and personality, while tone is your brand’s attitude. It’s likely that your brand will have one primary voice, but multiple tones, which vary depending on what you’re posting.
This template from Rocket Media is a great tool for determining the tone for different types of content:
What are you writing?
i.e. Blog post
Who are you talking to in this scenario?
i.e. Specific buyer persona
What’s the reader feeling when they are in this tone scenario?
i.e: Confused/looking for a better solution to their business challenge
Your tone should be:
Use adjectives that describe how you should sound in this scenario.
i.e. Positive, helpful, affirming, knowledgeable
Write like this:
Give a brief (1-2 sentence) example of how the writing should sound.
i.e. "We know that building a successful newsletter doesn’t happen overnight, and that finding the right tools and templates can be frustrating. Knowing how challenging this can be, we thought we’d create a simple starter kit that takes the confusion out of email marketing.”
A strong example of a company that has established its social media voice and tone is our favorite sports team, the Cleveland Indians. Their voice is sports-centric, lighthearted, and frankly, a little goofy. Having a clearly defined social media brand allows the marketing team to achieve consistency across their platforms.
4. Engage With Your Followers
Engaging with your followers is always important, but it’s especially important when you’re looking to grow a little-known brand on social media. Starting conversations will garner more attention and attract potential followers to your pages. It really is as simple as replying to tweets and commenting on Instagram and Facebook posts in a timely, interesting and appropriate way.
5. Track Your Progress
Measuring your progress is the only way to prove an increase in brand awareness. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have analytics capabilities to measure social media outreach. Set your goals, track your progress and adjust accordingly.
It can be easy to lose your brand in the world of content-heavy social media. Our hope is that you will take these five tips and apply them to your own social media brand. If you're a nonprofit, be sure to check out our recent blog post on strategy-driven social media for nonprofits!