Jennifer Brennan is a Digital Strategist at B2B tech marketing specialist, Fox Agency.
According to Hootsuite’s State of Digital Report, internet users have grown by 7.6% over the past year to reach 4.72 billion, which equates to more than 60% of the world’s population. In tandem with internet usage, the uptake of social media has also increased with more than half a billion new users joining social media platforms over the past year, taking the global total to 4.33 billion by April 2021.
With such mind-boggling statistics, it’s easy to see why many brands are perfecting their social media platforms to communicate with their audiences and turn their tribes of followers into loyal brand advocates.
How does social media help to build a brand?
Firstly, it’s about awareness. If your business has no social media presence, or if you do, but you don’t keep it updated with engaging content, then you are missing out on reaching potential customers.
As well as reaching new audiences, social media can also help you nurture existing clients.
At a basic level, it can enable you to get your brand’s message out there in a fast and user-friendly manner to a targeted audience.
Different platforms give you the flexibility to adapt your language, tone of voice, and personality, and can put you front of the customer’s mind at different stages of their user journey.
We are also able to drive leads and sales for our brands as well. At Fox Agency, my role as a Digital Strategist is about supporting our clients’ business needs, by making sure that their customers are aware of them and finding new customers for them. We also have a responsibility to ensure that the customer has a good experience of the brand as well.
Why is branding on social media important?
When you get your branding right for your clients it can be amazing. Social media gives you a platform where you can really engage with your core audience. Sure, you can do the static posts or a simple video, but it’s much more valuable to track engagement levels. With great accuracy you can see how your audience is reacting to you. Are they engaged with what you are posting? Is the targeting right? Can you take the audience out of that social platform and to your website? If you manage that, then you know that your customer is interested in your product or service. On the flip side, it can help you test what works and refine your content or messaging. If engagement is low, it gives you a chance to test and learn to really understand what your audience is interested in.
Benefits of social media
The ‘test and learn’ approach is one of the many benefits of social media. In other forms of advertising, you don’t get the same instant feedback. For example, if you take out a full-page advert in a leading national newspaper and get the messaging wrong, you’ll never really know if people were engaged, or if you just wasted a tonne of marketing budget. Social media platforms are environments where the user is generally relaxed and scrolling. If your ad then gets a click through, or engagement, it’s an indicator that you are on the right track.
Similarly, we should be looking at what doesn’t work. This is about moving away from seeing a low click-through rate (CTR) as a negative, but instead viewing it as valuable feedback and a learning experience enabling you to refine your messaging. There are so many formats on social media as well that you can take advantage of. In B2B marketing, we might feel like we need to stick to a static post, but we can also get very creative as well so it’s a great idea to try an animation, a video, or even a carousel, especially if you are building a brand!
Popular branding strategies
We sometimes think of branding as just top of the funnel awareness, when in fact it is the full funnel. From top of funnel awareness through to nurturing leads, the best strategy takes all of this into account, and uses brand, prospecting, and retargeting to build a brand.
The best brands make sure that they are consistent across all of these areas. Remember that customer journeys are not linear either. They are complex, and in the world of B2B can be long as well, with some consideration periods of over six months. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your customer is at the heart of your strategy. Your client is offering something that will address a need, want or concern of the customer, so make sure you are telling them that, and answering all of those things. A good tip is to have the question “so what?” in mind when thinking about copy. You may have the best product in the world, but if you don’t tell the customer what it will do for them, the problems it can solve and the benefits it will bring, they won’t be interested.
How to build your personal brand on social media
Having a distinct tone of voice is key. Make sure you stick to it across all of your posts and have a consistent brand look and feel. If you are building your brand, you want to be instantly recognisable. Think of the likes of IKEA and Amazon. You know who they are from the look of their social ads.
With social media usage on the increase, it’s important that brands consider the benefits of building their social presence. Social media isn’t just confined to use by B2C brands these days either. B2B brands are increasingly realising the potential and reaping the benefits of social media in the form of leads and sales. So, play around with it, have some fun, review what works and what doesn’t, and then go again.