Consistent with the expectation of keystone brands, your company values social media branding and has a strong strategy in place.
However, you’d be surprised to learn how many organizations are still ignoring the power of social media.
In fact, there is so much oversight of social media branding that it deserves a subsequent blog post that I’m currently writing.
But from small businesses to well-known global companies, social branding is key to building trust, driving awareness, and creating engagement between your audiences and the company.
And although your company may have social media strategies in place for years, your company’s social branding can probably still use some polishing and upkeep.
Just like a garden, what people experience with a brand presence on social media is (let’s be honest): the maintenance!
How Can Social Media Improve your Company Brand?
Most likely if you are a social media leader or working in marketing, then you have a strong idea of how social media improves your company brand.
If so, feel free to skip on down to the next section.
But if you are newer to the world of social or would like a recap, then stick with me here briefly.
Social media branding is simply how your organization manages the company identity and image, as well as how the brand is perceived by audiences across various digital channels.
The overall goal is that your company’s social media branding should be consistently crafted across every social channel that you employ.
Not to mention, every social channel has a slightly different culture and audience, and so your methods of targeting the right audiences cannot be a blanket strategy.
For a long time social media was not taken seriously, but everyday there are millions of people on the major networks of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Lacking a presence, or neglecting to engage with social media branding insights relevant to your company can leave you and your cohort in the digital dust!
Here’s how social media improves your brand:
- Naturally drives brand awareness to more people
- Allows you be in front of target audiences for your product/services
- You build a network of loyal supporters who will buy from you
- Helps develop your company as an expert in your niche
- Increase customer service and experience (better upsell potential)
- Move prospects down the funnel
- Increase web traffic and lead generation
The role of social media in brand building is huge and clearly has many positive effects for your company.
Steps to Improve Your Company’s Social Media Branding
Since most organizations value social media, many put forth their best efforts and strategies to stand out among their competitors.
This can make your job (or your marketing department’s job) more challenging, as you need to find unique ways to shine above the rest.
To help you excel above the noise, below are a few steps you can take to improve your company’s social media branding sooner rather than later.
Plus, you can expand upon these steps over time with more creative campaigns of your own devising.
Re-Examine The Basics
You don’t need me to hold your hand about the basics of social media branding, but reexamining the basics is something every company should do intermittently, as the basics of social media branding constantly evolve.
What do I mean? Well, look at all your company’s social profiles and assess a few things.
That said, as a perennial baseline to your social media branding, look at the colors and logos.
Does everything align? Examine the company bios on these channels, are they consistent? Is the text on these channels using the same tone and altogether painting a similar feel for how you want the brand perceived?
These are all simple things, but often time they are the “set it and forget it” aspects. But overtime, the way your company speaks or positions themselves can alter too.
In order to maintain brand consistency and ensure audiences are clear about your brand, re-evaluate the basics on some consistent occurrence.
Step Up The Visuals
“People can recall 65% of the visual content that they see almost three days later. In comparison to about 10% of written content three days after it’s read.”
Social media is full of visual content and if your company is not utilizing it, you’ll be severely left behind. Audiences are more engaged and intrigued with great visual media.
While the adage of “no one reads” is not true, our brains are nonetheless predisposed to catch imagery, so don’t neglect to entertain that universal human bias.
The first thing is to analyze your company’s social media logos and banner images. These basic visuals help audiences connect to your brand.
It’s how people start to recognize your band and connect with the identity of your company.
An important step is to create a social media template that will help guide your designs and any visual content so it aligns with the brand.
But besides that, here’s how to step up your social media visuals:
- Create unique featured images for blog content
- Use gallery features to uploaded images that tell a story
- Utilized company photos, employee content, work culture visuals
- Create short and engaging videos of knowledge, product or services, etc.
- Use GIF animations, presentations, PDF guides, etc.
The more consistent your content and visuals are, the more people start to recognize your material without even needing to see your logo. That’s powerful to your social media branding.
While not the best advice, there is some truth in the saying, “it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s consistent.”
What you do does matter, but the point is: consistency (of content) is the real king. Or maybe consistency is the queen in this metaphor, regardless, you get the idea.
Get Employees Involved
The fact is, people trust people over ads and brands, which is why employee advocacy is a central pillar to any social media branding.
Employees have social networks that reach people who are not following or aware of your brand at all.
By activating employees with an advocacy platform to create and share on social media, you elevate your company’s social brand to more people than ever before.
76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.
Need more proof? One of our customers has activated almost 1,000 employees to create and share about their brand, industry news, and work culture.
Combined, that company’s employees have a massive social reach of almost 800,000! That is 3x the size of their company LinkedIn and Twitter followers added together. That is huge for their social media brand and overall reach.
And as an internal anecdote that conveys the importance of maintaining a human touch with social media branding: some of our highest performing company posts on social media are substantiated by personal interests.
Just because impressive social media branding is often personal, doesn’t mean it lacks consistency with the greater brand voice and company messaging.
Master What Each Social Network Is For
There are many social media platforms that your company can choose to be active on. By no means is it a requirement for your company to be on every social media platform.
In fact, your company shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone, especially if you don’t have enough resources dedicated to mastering all the channels.
Since building your social media brand takes time, you don’t want to rush or waste efforts on places that do not bring good ROI on your efforts. Instead, you want to test and focus on the platforms that are driving the most value.
Typically, the big three (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) will be your main networks. As you get a better idea of where your target audience hangouts and engages, your focus could be on one more than the other.
And beyond that, you don’t want to post the exact same way and style on each network either. As you have no doubt have observed, every major social media site has its own timbre of engagement and culture.
When and why people consume information on these social media platforms varies and you don’t want to miss the mark with lazy posting. I’d recommend building a social channels plan, which will help guide your social media branding.
Do some research on the social channels that are relevant to your brand and your audiences, then identify how your content should vary from network to network. Test your content and monitor results and build a plan for how often and what you want to post.
For example, if you are a B2B company you may want to use LinkedIn for showcasing employer brand, careers, and information that helps users learn.
Whereas on Twitter, you may want to share more blog posts, join the culture of socially active executives, connect with customers, and be more engaging about your product or service.
Can’t Engage Enough
Too often companies rely just on sharing content and nothing more. While that is a major aspect to building a quality social media brand, you cannot forget to engage with your audiences!
When people are commenting or asking questions, that is a perfect time to engage back. Would social media be without socializing?
Always consider how you’re adding unique value with social media branding. The more helpful, educational, and engaging you can be — the better it is for your brand.
People see how your company or employees are engaging and they tend to trust your value more.
Plus, actively participating with discussions and content can encourage new audiences who land on your social accounts to follow you and start engaging.
Your engagements with audiences can be used to generate more valuable content. When you see what people are interested in or need help with, it can guide your future conversations to build more trust and brand expertise.
Social Media Branding Examples
The cool thing about each step is how you go about them can be unique to your company. And you can also build a variety of engaging social campaigns to increase awareness.
To that point, here are some organizations that have the best social media branding, which you can take note from when creating your own social media branding strategy.
I’ve used T-Mobile in a few social media and employee advocacy posts, but the telecommunications company has one of the best strategies.
Although they had a strong brand before social media, their branding efforts online have no doubt led them to be a leader in their market.
They have mastered all the steps I’ve mentioned above with their social media marketing:
What makes their social media branding great:
- All their channels follow their logo, color palette, and tone. You immediately know it’s T-Mobile.
- They have multiple account handles for various purposes, but all work together to bring the brand and marketing together.
- Look at their social channels and the content they post. Mix of everything from videos, images, text based, GIF animations, and they are very engaging with audiences.
- The company also humanizes their brand with employees — user generated content! Retail store employees, people in corporate offices, global locations, and the executives leaders — they are all getting involved in social conversations, creating content, sharing, and being an authentic voice for the social media brand.
General Electric or “GE” has been around over a 100 years, but that did not stop them from continuing to be innovative and build a strong social media brand.
Similar to T-Mobile, the company also mastered many of the above steps and are continuing to push into various social campaigns to drive awareness and engagement.
What makes their social media branding great:
- GE’s imagery and videos have their unique tone, style, and branding consistent across all their social channels.
- When you look at their social channels, you tend to see employees from all different areas of the business responding or jumping in and engaging with questions or comments made by outside audiences.
- While there is some cross promotion of similar posts across their channels, the social leaders have clearly separated and strategize what their audiences want from each particular network.
Although your organization might be smaller than T-Mobile and GE, your company’s social brand can still succeed by analyzing what they do right.
Use those two examples and others like it to help you improve your company’s social media branding strategy.
But remember: tailor your social strategy to what your current customers and target audiences want, and humanize your brand with user (i.e. employee) created content to provide continuous and trustworthy value.