By: Danny Hall, Director of FSE Digital
Building a brand is important for any business. Not only does it promote recognition and help your customers to feel more at ease buying your products or services, but it sets you apart from the competition. Your branding also tells people what to expect from your company. Most business owners now understand the importance of branding their website, but fewer recognise just how essential it is to brand their social media platforms too.
Since social media is vital to the success of your business, it is important to build a strong brand presence on the channels you are present on.
What is branding?
Branding is a much-used buzzword in the world of business right now. However, the concept has actually been around for thousands of years, with branding in its earliest form dating all the way back to 2000BC when farmers would brand their cattle to allow them to stand out from the other livestock. As time has passed, branding has become a key way for businesses to market themselves and build trust with their customers. Some people make the mistake of assuming that marketing and branding amount to the same thing. However, they are actually very different.
Branding should always precede your business’s marketing initiatives. After all, it is important to tell your customers who you are before you begin trying to persuade them to buy your products or services. Branding allows you to make a lasting impression on your customers, letting them know who you are and why you are better than your competitors. There are many areas that can be used to develop your brand. As well as incorporating aesthetic components to create a visual identity, such as logo, name, design, etc, branding can also involve customer service, reputation, and social responsibility.
Why is branding for social media channels so important?
With as many as 3.96 billion people using social media worldwide, it is clear how important it is for businesses looking to expand their customer bases. Users and engagement on the major platforms keep on increasing, giving you the ability to connect with people that you otherwise would not have found. Therefore, it is vital to make social media an essential piece of your business marketing strategy, whether you are a small local shop or a big national company. Social media helps you connect with your customers, increase awareness of your brand, and boost leads and sales.
However, it is not enough to simply be present on the main social media channels. Social media branding is required to allow you to connect to your target customers in an effective manner. Social media branding should be a significant part of your marketing efforts on leading platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Whichever social media platforms you choose for your brand, it is important to post quality content regularly. Rather than pushing out a huge amount of content just for the sake of it, we recommend making sure it is relevant and interesting to your audience. Always keep your brand image in mind. Consider what you want people to think of you when they read your content. If your content does not portray your desired image, you need to make changes in your social media branding efforts.
How to choose the right social media channels for your brand
When you are busy running a business, it can be hard to find the time to be active on all the social media platforms out there. Besides, not all of them would make sense for your brand anyway. Instead, it is a good idea to choose a few of them to allow you to focus your efforts effectively and get the best return on investment. The first thing you need to do when selecting social media channels is to identify your audience.
- How old is your typical customer?
- Are they male or female?
- What is their income or education level?
The answers to these questions can help you build a profile of your target customer and choose the most appropriate social media platforms for your business.
Define your goals
The next step is to define your goals. Now you know who your audience is, you need to decide what you want to achieve. Whilst you may be aiming to attract customers in order to drive sales, there are other goals to consider, such as driving brand recognition and building relationships and trust. You may also plan to use social media to recruit employees or for B2B lead generation. In these cases, LinkedIn might be most appropriate since people mainly use the platform to search for jobs or network professionally.
Find your target audience
Now that you know your target audience and have defined your goals, you are ready to find your audience. Work out which platforms your audience uses most by looking at the demographics of users on each of them.
For example, younger people are most likely to use TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook whilst older people tend to prefer Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You should also consider how active your audience is on each platform. Whilst younger users on Facebook might have profiles, they’re actually much more active on TikTok and Instagram.
Take the time to build your business branding on social media
Keep in mind that building your brand on social media platforms is not likely to happen overnight. Brand building is a gradual process that takes time and commitment. If you make the effort to promote your brand on social media consistently, you are likely to see significant rewards in the future.