Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are ground-breaking tools in the field of personal branding and branding for businesses. These platforms provide a unique opportunity to reach your target audience effectively. Branding can be a daunting task upon first glance and needs to be approached with the right strategies and consistency. If you’re not already using social media for branding you should definitely look into it.
Social media platforms continue to be in the forefront of companies’ plans for capital utilization as they continue to increase their investment in advertising on social media platforms. In fact, research from Econsultancy shows that 71% of brands plan to invest more heavily in social media in the coming years to reach new followers and build brand reputation. Interested in working on your own personal branding or building your company’s image? Here are some common questions and tips for branding on social media.
1. Which Platform Should I Use?
As a business owner, deciding which social media platform you are going to dedicate your time to is an important decision. There’s a wide variety of tools and platforms available for brands to use with varying purposes and prowess. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have different functions in the world of marketing and branding.
Facebook appeals to an older audience with much of its user base in the ages thirty to sixty five plus. Facebook has the largest user base by far of all the social media platforms with over two billion active users. One of the areas that Facebook prevails in is its historical use for advertising purposes. Facebook has a variety of different modes of advertising available for advertisers to use to better connect to their audience.
Instagram is a very similar platform to Facebook as both continue to offer very similar services. In marketing to users under 18, Instagram is the clear winner. Instagram users not only seem to be more generous with their likes, but they also spend significantly more time on company pages once they navigate there.
Twitter has become increasingly popular with celebrities, policymakers, politicians, news networks and the general public. Twitter is far more likely to be used by people living in urban areas typically those who are more affluent and highly educated but is much less popular with those in rural areas.
LinkedIn, in essence is for business and while other platforms are for fun. LinkedIn works exceptionally well for B2B lead generation, making it the preference for B2B marketing. LinkedIn can be a great medium to connect and communicate with people within your business network. According to HubSpot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook and Twitter.
2. How do I make effective content that will engage my audience and reflect my brand image?
Providing quality and consistent content is key to branding on social media. Putting out great content allows businesses to build a good relationship with customers. When consumers read your content, they start to develop an opinion of your brand. If the content that they find is engaging and valuable, then they will start to think the same things about your business.
Creating effective content can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have a background in design or aren’t a very creative person. Businesses and individuals turn to platforms that can provide templates to use in order to maintain consistent branding and appearance. Some common platforms you can use are Canva, Easil, and Crello. All of them are easy to use platforms for content marketing which don’t require expertise as a designer.
3. How do you build credibility and trust on social media?
Building credibility and trust on social media is extremely important in an era where everything seems exaggerated and inauthentic. Building credibility is more than just the number of followers, likes, or subscribers you have next to your name. There are a multitude of factors playing into how a customer views your brand.
Responding to criticism appropriately and answering customer questions are imperative in maintaining a good image. If someone complains about you or your company you need to address it effectively and sincerely. Being sincere and using a human touch goes a long way in building credibility and trust.
Endorsements and recommendations are essential especially in personal branding. For example, LinkedIn has specific tabs that feature you endorsements and recommendations so that people viewing your profile can see who has endorsed you and who has recommended you.
4. How do you grow your brand on social media?
One of the great things about social media is that there is almost endless room to grow. Growing on social media is not random and it doesn’t happen (in most cases) by chance. It requires dedicating time to networking and posting content consistently.
One effective strategy to growing your brand on social media is comment marketing. Comment marketing is defined as sharing meaningful opinions and thoughts in a forum of like-minded individuals in order to encourage interaction. This is a very easy strategy to adapt as you can find people who would resonate with your brand and comment something interesting or engaging on their recent posts. This can be a great way to increase your active followers and overall engagement.
Another effective strategy is to focus on search rankings in hashtags. Hashtags can be a great way to drive organic traffic to your personal or business page. Simply putting a hashtag isn’t enough to drive traffic though. The way hashtags work is that it showcases some posts to people who follow the hashtag your posting under or people who search the hashtag you posted under. Its important to use the right hashtag according to the size of your account. You should not be using an oversaturated hashtag that receives way too many posts but you also do not want to use a hashtag that receives too little traffic. Finding the right hashtag is about finding the happy medium and testing different ones out and analyzing the results.
Moreover, growing your brand is about growing your engagement. Instagram use features such as the explore page as a way to showcase content that Instagram thinks its audience will like seeing. The way the algorithm decides what should be on the explore page is how your audience engages with the post. For instagram the statistics they take into account for engagement purposes are likes, comments, post shares, and post saves. Each platform has their own interesting way of looking into how a post will perform.
Overall, social media platforms are a great tool for building and growing your personal brand or your business’ brand. Social media usage is constantly growing and is looking more and more like it will become the future of advertising. If you haven’t begun to use social media already, now would definitely be the time to start.
Written by Marty Jacobs