Guide to Building Strong Social Media Branding Presence
Social media branding has become crucial to business marketing and growth. Follow this guide to get its understanding and know how to realize it in practice
Do you know that more than half of the world uses social media these days? According to a January report done by Datareportal, a staggering 4.62 billion people visit social media platforms. On average, they spend nearly 2 hours a day checking their messages, publishing photos, liking and commenting on others, communicating with friends, and simply procrastinating.
While this report is just a statement of the obvious for the community, for all businesses worldwide, this means an opened door of golden opportunities. Companies may easily reach a large crowd, promote their brands without being pushy, introduce new products, build new connections, drive engagement, and much more. All they need to do is to create social media brand presence.
As a rule, this process requires the intervention of a professional social media branding agency and immense devotion and commitment from the company's side. To do your part well, it is crucial to understand the social media brand's essence, importance, advantages, risks, and ways and strategies to bring it to life. Let us unveil this concept step by step.
What Is Social Media Brand Presence?
The brand's social presence refers to the company's visibility and activity on social media networks. It goes beyond having an account with content. It comprises visual identity and the company's actions that build a unique connection between the company and its target audience. It involves being proactive, collecting insightful data to understand the audience's needs, regularly publishing social media posts, and staying responsive to social media users' wants and demands.
Essentials of Social Media Brand Presence
The essentials of social media brand presence revolve around the content because it is what users in any social network are after. It exists in two forms:
- Organic content. This includes a profile description, cover image, business hours, links to your website and other social media profiles, and information the company finds useful. On top of that, it is material that the company publishes on the platform, including posts, videos, and comments. The reach of organic content is primarily dictated by social media algorithms and the company's ability to use branding tool.
- Paid content. It can be anything: posts, videos, comments. The main difference is that company pays for it to be seen by the specific segment. It comes in handy when organic posting falls flat of expectation.
Importance of Creating Social Media Brand Presence
As we have already noted, the main reason to establish a brand presence in social media is that the latter opens a massive market for businesses across the Globe. Whatever niche you are working at, you can reap substantial benefits of reaching 4.5 billion potential buyers. With a good digital marketing campaign, you may quickly increase lead generation and conversion rates that translate into tangible benefits to the business, like revenue growth.
However, that is not all. Let us consider other valid yet not apparent reasons why it is essential.
Be a Part of This World
Social media platforms have become an integral part of the community and a huge part of users' lifestyles. Brand presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and alike allows companies to be a part of this world. As banal as it may sound, you are out of the game if you are not in.
Amplify Company's Authority
Strong brand presence in social media channels helps to build strong community authority, which leads to escalation of credibility and trustworthiness of the company.
According to Forbes, almost 70% of users said that reviews and feedback, including social media recommendations, largely influence their trust towards the company and ipso facto shopping decisions. They always visit various social media platforms to check business information, especially regarding new products or freshly baked startups.
A decade ago, people were new to falsifications and cyber frauds, taking everything at face value. Today, they are not so naive. They are getting smarter and more suspicious about products and businesses. Recent research shows that brand trust is at an all-time low because there are so many fakes in the digital space.
Therefore, the company's authenticity plays another huge role in consumer decision-making. It is a baseline requirement these days. Experts agree that to keep it at a high level and avoid casting doubt on the company's credibility, it is crucial to establish social media accounts, honestly introduce yourself and regularly publish visual content and posts that reflect the brand personality.
Capitalize on Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing became real when Nike introduced its campaign "Just Do It" in collaboration with Mike Jordan in the 90s. It took the web by storm and set a precedent for all companies worldwide to collaborate with celebrities to foster growth in their businesses.
In 2022, influencer marketing in brand building strategy is growing faster than digital ads, according to Forbes experts. It is still a great way to secure substantial benefits for the company, like
- getting your content in front of fresh eyeballs,
- driving engagement,
- bolstering social strategy,
- generating new leads for your sales funnel.
The best part is that it is straightforward to realize because influencers are already there, and many are just waiting for you to reach them.
The social media platform is an excellent source of information. Thanks to the transparency and authenticity that companies try to keep in their accounts, you may get insightful data about your competition, keep an eye on their activity and even learn their customers' likes, dislikes, frustrations, and expectations.
The beauty behind this is that it does not require additional investments: you just follow the competitor and analyze its strategy along the way.
Learn More About Customers
As we have already noted, social media is a treasure chest of insightful data. While inspecting competitors' marketing efforts and strategies, you may learn more about your target audience's opinions, preferences, demands, needs, and expectations.
The best part is that you do not have to reinvent the wheel or spend lots of money to get this information. Users are volunteering precious information about themselves without any coercion or force. According to studies, people display more personal information via social media than we could have imagined five years ago.
Even though, at first glance, it may seem irrelevant (dog pictures and internet memes). However, every professional marketing analyst will tell you that this is a vast canyon of helpful information. It can be utilized to form an ideal customer profile, create multiple marketing personas, and paint a clearer picture of the customers' interests.
On top of that, you may capitalize on analytics and tracking tools provided by social media platforms. As a rule, they bring more specific knowledge that can be used to correctly interact with customers and deliver the message that causes resonance.
For instance, you may apply so-called social listening. It will give you data to create content that addresses the target market's issues and define the tone and language your users prefer to strike the right chord in your communication.
Social media is an excellent platform for building a community around the brand. Why do you need it? Believe it or not, it is not another fancy thing to do to stay cool. According to Forbes, people are craving community more than ever because almost half of Americans feel alone and isolated. However, when they become a part of something bigger, even a Facebook group, these feelings become less intense.
For businesses, building community is a great way to engage customers, meet their current demands, earn their loyalty, increase brand awareness, level up a reputation, and eventually enhance all main aspects of the company.
When developing brand identity, it is always hard to measure how successful your venture is and how far you have come. However, with social media branding, it is a different story. Numerous marketing instruments can determine the performance of your social media marketing strategy. You may measure each social media channel to learn more about which platforms or even which social media posts are performing best with your audience.
Provide Customer Support
Last but not least. Social media platforms allow companies to create an efficient all-encompassing support network where customers can message support or the dev team directly and get the help they need more quickly. Even a single social media channel with direct customer support can make a massive difference for the business.
Consider the recent studies if you doubt whether to introduce customer support through social media or not. They indicate that poor customer support is why clients bounce and never return. Customer satisfaction with the company is the main factor that keeps them coming back to you. Plus, over 90% of respondents agree that customer service is essential in their choice of loyalty to a brand. And as we know, loyalty brings a long list of advantages, with the growth of customer retention sitting at the top.
Advantages of Creating Your Social Media Brand
Brands that take the time to toil through opportunities offered by well-done brand recognition on social media will find that they can enjoy some substantial benefits. For instance,
- It offers a simple, cheap, and effective way to show what you and your business are about, thereby revealing brand persona in all its glory.
- It creates a unique brand experience, specifically tailored to pique the interest of the target crowd.
- It escalates overall brand building efforts.
- It creates new ways for people to connect and engage with the company.
- It deepens connections with your existing customers, turning them into brand ambassadors.
- It defines what is essential to your target audience.
- It identifies trends that users follow, giving hints on how to improve your content marketing strategy.
- It crafts a better brand online reputation.
- It improves personal brand identity and builds a strong brand image.
- It reaches a broader audience inexpensively and quickly.
- It enriches the brand story.
- It ensures brand consistency across various distribution channels.
- It keeps your content publishing pipeline flush with many fresh options because of user-generated and employee-generated content.
- It merits the attention of decision-makers and other stakeholders.
- It enlarges the target market by reaching new, high-value prospects at scale.
- It delivers the brand's core values.
- It makes the company look trustworthy and approachable.
- It provides the most cost-effective solution for a social media advertising strategy because it sees a higher return on investment compared to a larger budget for other marketing expenses.
- It fine-tunes your business tactics and strategies, including social media campaigns.
- It inspires conversion by nurturing clients down the sales funnel.
- It amplifies retargeting and remarketing tactics.
- It inspires customers to craft powerful pieces of social proof that qualify business.
- It triggers word-of-mouth that influences between 20% to 50% of company sales.
- It increases inbound organic traffic.
The advantages of realizing social media brand strategy are enormous. On the one hand, they improve intangible branding elements like reputation, overall brand image, and the company's position in the market. On the other hand, they translate into financial benefits like revenue growth, reduction of acquisition and retention costs, and less investment in marketing and advertising.
Disadvantages and Risks of Creating Social Media Brand
Before you put time, effort, and energy into conquering another social media channel, you need to know the disadvantages, risks, and obstacles waiting for you. Let us consider the most crucial ones.
Data and Privacy
These two are the core issues of developing an effective social media branding strategy.
The reason is that social media and data privacy have recently become inextricably linked due to many anti-trust cases against big tech firms. Consumers worldwide are highly concerned about how their sensitive personal data is handled.
So far, the leading solution for this problem lies in limiting the number of data companies ask for from their users. This eventually could restrict the ability to segment and target consumers effectively, so companies need to find alternative solutions to replenish their databases with users' personal data.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have underpinned social media for several years. Though, there is no surprise here because it is much more cost-effective and productive. However, there is a catch. This duet has changed how marketing data is analyzed because they do not operate using the same moral values that bound the human decision-making process. As a result, they distort the real picture of marketing personas.
Distortion of Data
Social media is infamous for the widespread presence of bots. Therefore, some metrics, like views, can be highly distorted. For instance, cost-per-click (a popular measurement standard among digital entrepreneurs) often overstates the success of digital channels.
The Power of Word-of-mouth
Word of mouth is very powerful in what it can do for the company. However, with great power comes great responsibility. On the one hand, it is the primary channel to increase brand awareness because a brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is. It is what customers tell each other about the brand.
On the other hand, if things go wrong, it may lead to catastrophic outcomes. Negative word-of-mouth can be out of the company's hands. The spread of reputational damage is impossible to stop. To make matters worse, this spread may jump from one social media platform to another in a blink of an eye.
Social Media Influencer
The partnership is a great way to boost the company's presence in social media and the market. However, it also comes with its risks. Influencer's reputation and brand's reputation may become linked. In this case, the company will depend on the partner's activity and may suffer serious consequences if something goes wrong on the other side of the partnership.
Social media is constantly changing, driven both by innovations from technology firms and by consumers finding new ways to use platforms. This potentially may cause unforeseen events and other risks in the future.
Businesses are eager to take social media by storm. They rush into channels without any plan, believing that anyone can conquer this world simply by creating accounts and publishing posts and sharing videos without any strategy. As a result, companies are stuck with an inconsistent brand presentation that breaks with their customers' ideas of them. This leads to loss of engagement and tarnishment of hardly-earned reputation.
While some companies forget to update their social media pages regularly, others, on the contrary, overwhelm their users with too many posts that are tedious or unnecessary. However, quantity never beats quality, and begging for attention and engagement ends badly.
To Sum Up
The main reasons that cause these risks, advantages, and obstacles are low control over the social media environment and the amount and complexity of the data available. Although it is impossible to mitigate the core issues fully, some strategies can manage these risks and minimize them, thereby giving companies a real opportunity to enjoy all the benefits that social media branding offers.
If you still have doubts about whether to jump into this adventure or not, consider this. Experts predict social media to grow more prominent in the next decade. In addition, it will continue to see increased popularity among the older age groups, especially 45–54-year old's that have immense purchasing power.
Therefore, it is crucial to join this mainstream to grab a piece of this multimillion-dollar pie and underlie a solid foundation for the company's future endeavors.
How to Create Your Social Media Brand Presence
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to building your social media presence. There are no hard and tried rules to stick to when you develop your way of communicating with your target market through digital distribution channels. The market is increasingly diverse, and so do social media platforms. You need to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment with an ever-changing climate.
However, everything is possible when you know what to do. Follow this essential 6-step routine to get the right direction.
Step 1 – Inspect Your Target Market
The digital marketing campaign, branding, e-Commerce, SaaS – every business venture starts with inspecting the target market and defining their preferences, needs, demands, and expectations. Building social media brand presence is no exception.
You cannot blindly create and operate accounts on all social media platforms simultaneously. You will burn out your budget and human resources because hundreds of platforms are in the wild. The strategic move, in this case, is to choose only several channels based on your target audience profile. Therefore, inspecting the target market is the first step to do. Follow this routine:
- First, dig into the target audience's demographics, preferences, demands, and expectations to create a profile of the ideal customer.
- Second, consider the biggest platforms: Facebook (around 3 billion active users), YouTube (approximately 2.5 billion active users), Instagram (about 2 billion active users), TikTok (nearly 1 billion active users), Snapchat, Telegram, and Twitter (around 500 million active users). Ask yourself, which one is the most popular among your crowd?
- Third, consider country-specific, niche-specific, and expertise-specific platforms.
- Finally, consider local platforms, forums, and groups.
Carefully choose which social media channels best fit your business and your overall marketing goals. Create a short list of platforms where your audience not just hangs out but spends most of their time. Select two to five channels and build strategies around them.
Step 2 – Set Your Goals
Getting clear on your goals on a specific platform is crucial because when creating content or taking actions like leaving comments or liking pictures, you may easily define whether it aligns with the overall goal or not. Experts recommend choosing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, so-called S.M.A.R.T. For instance, you can aim to
- increase brand awareness;
- grow the number of people who visit your website or specific pages;
- reach as maximum people as possible;
- drive sales and conversion;
- scale your ability to have personal communications through Messengers;
- get more people to follow your page.
Along with defining your goal, the company is advised to set objectives. They will help to create an incentive for the ideal client to follow the brand in all the places and measure success by defining what works and what does not.
Step 3 – Create Accounts and Fill Profiles with Relevant Information
After creating accounts, the next step is to fill them with the right information. Do not be afraid to get personal or reveal your company's age, even if it is just one month. Honesty goes a long way.
Add relevant content, contacts, and direct links to the most crucial pages on a website. This will underlie the solid foundation for your future social media branding efforts.
Also, always keep this part of the profile updated.
Step 4 – Decide on Your Social Media Brand Voice, Tone, and Language
Voice, tone and language encompass your brand and reflect your overall personality, charisma, character, and professional attitude. They form a way brand communicates and connects with the audience through messaging and customer interactions, differentiating the company from the competition, communicating brand values, and emulating face-to-face communication.
This trio concerns not just words you choose but also imagery, videos, and even the order of your interactions with the users. When deciding on that, make sure it positively impacts viewers and stays consistent across all channels, including websites, applications, print media, advertising, and email newsletters.
Step 5 – Build a Social Media Strategy
Rushing into social media without any strategy and blasting the same stuff everywhere are the biggest mistakes many startups, and young entrepreneurs make. Success does not work this way. As practice shows, it requires having a plan of action from the beginning because this ensures every post a company shares and decision makes resonates with the audience and drives the business closer to a tangible goal.
Therefore, before publishing the first post, develop a strong and well-thought-out social media strategy. It will guide you in:
- Choosing the right content.
- Deciding on the best schedule for posting.
- Determining the key topics.
- Setting KPIs and milestones.
- Selecting tools to measure your success.
Step 6 – Create a Schedule
As practice shows, if you start spewing all your posts with no rhyme or reason, you will not extract so much more from your social media presence than you expect. The proper schedule helps companies to achieve these crucial tasks:
- publish content on social media pages effectively;
- create a consistency that is a vital factor in the growing audience;
- improve retention;
- add variety to your channels;
- fill the gaps;
- build an audience that consistently reacts to your posts;
- outline story effectively;
- free up time and save your budget.
Therefore, do not succumb to the idea that plan will make you sound too repetitive or predictable. With a bit of creativity, it will extract the best outcome from your brand building efforts and achieve all your goals.
Social Media Branding Strategies
So, your social media presence is up and running. You have a strategy and schedule. However, that is not over – on the contrary, it is just the beginning of your path. To achieve success, it is not enough just to post news or hold regular dialogues with fans; it is crucial to be a part of this unique ecosystem. Let's consider some social media branding strategies that may help you blend into this environment and even take your presence to the next level.
Create a Customer Support Channel
Successfully managing multiple channels to achieve your goals is excellent. However, does your target audience need so much information about you and your product? Recent studies show that almost 90% of users expect from their beloved brands, not an overwhelming amount of posts but simple empathy and response to their needs and problems. They want the company to address their issues as quickly as possible.
Therefore, instant and excellent customer support is what your brand needs. Instead of scaling your social media presence, meet those current growing demands and expectations. Create a channel where your customers may get answers to their questions right away.
Harness Power of SEO
You will be surprised to know that SEO principles that are initially used to improve a website's position in Google are also beneficial for promoting and advancing your social media page. When well done, they help your brand's profile, and content appears high in the search results on social channels.
To harness the power of SEO, introduce these simple practices:
- Add keywords and terms that your users search for into profile information.
- Add relevant keywords into posts.
- Choose content tailored to your niche and most asked by the audience.
- Use strategic hashtags with good search volume.
- Do link-building.
Use a Memorable Visual Identity
To cut through the clutter and noise inherent to all social media channels, it is not enough to create engaging content that provides value and offers a great reading experience. It is vital to design a memorable visual identity that connects content and brand, leaving a long-lasting positive impression in your consumers' minds.
Therefore, make sure your content is instantly recognizable to current and potential customers by following these simple steps:
- Add memorable brand identity elements like logotype, name, mascot, etc., to your posts.
- Use the same colors, fonts, graphics, and illustrations as on various marketing touchpoints.
- Stick to brand guidelines to introduce brand values in your posts.
- Use well-established brand tone, voice, and language.
- Avoid generic stock imagery and opt in favor of bespoke, high-quality photography.
Create and Join Groups
Participating in an industry-specific group offers a long list of advantages for businesses. Whether you own, moderate, or are a proud member of, it will do a range of things, such as
- educate people about you and your business in a natural way;
- amplify your exposure;
- increase your organic reach;
- attract followers and customers;
- find ideas for your content;
- get some valuable data about your target audience;
- stay on top of your field.
The key to making this strategy work is being an active participant: you may regularly contribute to the group, give valuable advice that solves problems, or offer insights into difficulties fellow group members face. You can even create and curate your own group building a small community around your expertise.
Great Tips to Build a Strong Brand On Social Media
Social media branding strategies come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your niche, scale, goal, target audience, and capacity, you may choose one or another option. However, whatever path you go, it is crucial to make the most out of each stage and, most importantly, employ the best practices and time-tested tips since they help exert the best effect, streamline the process, and address some burning issues right away.
Tips and Best Practices for Building Strong Brand Presence on Social Media Platforms
The best advice you can get from the experts when building a brand on social media is not to overestimate your powers. There are hundreds of platforms in the wild, from Facebook with over 3 billion users to LinkedIn with a 250-million crowd to some small local social channels with only a thousand people. Covering everything is almost impossible. Therefore, focus on only those that bring the most benefit to you. Start with just one channel, build a strong presence there, maintain it for a while, and only then move to others. Acting according to your team's capacity and strength is the best you can do.
Another good advice is to find out all the ins and outs of each social media platform and weigh all risks and benefits.
That is not all. The web is teeming with some more pearls of wisdom. We have collected a list of the best practices and tips shared by professionals from different fields:
- Be realistic about your goals on social media platforms.
- Zero in on one mission at a time.
- Focus on emotions and trigger high-arousal gamut to empower virality.
- Constantly monitor the ever-changing landscape of social media channels.
- Regularly update your social media accounts. Ensure all of your information is complete and accurate.
- Remove any 'questionable' content from years past.
- Delete old accounts that you no longer use.
- Identify your area of expertise to nurture users with valuable information in this particular field.
- Use social media applications and software to cross-post across different social networks.
- Do not over-post because it may lead to fatigue and annoyance.
- Think of your content as a reflection of your professional attitude and overall personality.
- Create two sets of social media accounts: one for private use and one for public use.
- Join groups linked to your specific area of expertise. Choose smaller, topic-based groups rather than big ones. They are less competitive and sometimes more informative.
- Ensure consistent branding across all borders.
- Stick to your defined persona using the same brand tone, voice, and language across all social media channels.
- Develop ideas to support your approach and vision.
- Employ visual branding in your posts to connect the dots and remind your target market of your brand identity elements. Note, logo and name print a long-lasting image on your audience's mind.
- Be aware of the stuff happening around you. Follow trending hashtags, popular news, the latest technology, etc.
- Make content marketing strategy for each channel, but make it coherent with others.
- Play psychological tricks: use attractive colors, ask tricky questions, share compelling images, etc.
Do not be afraid of doing these things:
- Re-posting other exciting material. If it brings actual value to your users, they will certainly appreciate your concern and attempt to help them.
- Getting a little bit personal. Share your experience or engaging tidbits about your personal life.
- Jumping into discussions and adding your unique insights even if it contradicts others.
- @Mentioning people when you post.
- Having long, open conversations.
- Taking social media and marketing courses to get fundamentals better, learn brand-new ways to reach an audience, and keep up with the trends.
Last but not least. While responding to your comments on social media, try to follow these rules:
- Respond as fast as possible. Preferably for one hour.
- Create a plan of action for positive and negative critical and non-critical comments.
- If it is necessary, apologize or release an official company statement.
- Stay consistent in response and always connect it with F.A.Q.'s content.
- Always stay friendly and professional.
- Never get personal or use words that may offend the user.
Social media is the modern arena in which brands and customers happily exist. It is unique, versatile, diverse, and extremely powerful in what it can do by connecting people and brands together. Many experts agree that it is a crucial part of business marketing and growth.
If you do not have a social media presence, now is the perfect time to create one. Not only because it brings a plethora of benefits but also because it is vital to stay afloat and keep up with the rest World. Although it is stressful to manage, nevertheless, it is possible. Get a thorough understanding of social media brand presence, follow the basic 6-step routine, apply strategies and improve your presence with the best practices and tips.
Updated: May 31, 2023