Some businesses can see more engagement on their social media accounts than their website. As each platform grows and attracts more and more users, they have become hubs that allow potential customers/clients to interact with businesses directly. Displaying things such as business hours and products with pricing, for example, allows users to find information they’re looking for without having to explore websites.
What does this then mean for your brand? Often, only exposure through social media, or as a first touch point. This is why your branding needs to work strategically on your social media accounts.
We have collated a list of things to consider to ensure effective branding for social media:
In order for your business to reap the rewards of social media, some kind of branding needs to exist. A common misconception is that brand = logo, but that is not the case. Your logo is not a brand, it is an element within your brand.
From a visual perspective, a brand identity contains a logo, secondary and/or tertiary logos, brand colours, brand extensions (such as supporting graphics and patterns) and fonts as a minimum. Further to the visual elements, your branding is the recall people have when thinking about your products, services and activities, both in a practical and emotional way.
Your branding communicates what and who your business is, helping it develop the emotional response and cognitive recall consumers have towards it. Without an effective brand you may be communicating incorrectly with your audience and therefore developing the wrong response.
Once you have developed your branding, it is imperative that you remain consistent. Consistency is the biggest factor that separates a negative experience from a positive one. If your business is not consistent when it comes to branding then your message is diluted. A diluted message won’t evoke the right feelings from your audience.
A tool that can be developed to ensure consistency across your brand, particularly for social media, is collating all the elements that make it up. This begins with branding guidelines and acts as a single source of truth for all branding decision making.
It can extend beyond work you do with us, too. Should you have an internal or external design or marketing team, your guidelines will continue to evolve as your business and brand grows.
Guidelines don’t have to be complicated. These are the elements we recommend for our clients:
Brand Mark (Logo)
Clear Space Rules
Brand Usage Examples
This list can grow and shrink depending on your needs and business specifics, but as a base this would provide you with enough direction to ensure you know how to handle your brand consistently. Expanding on this resource can include other guidelines such as style guides, social media guidelines and also communication guidelines for example.
When we talk about ‘audience’ we refer to people who consume your content. It is important to recognise that your audience is not always your customer/client, immediately anyway. If you are making content for one type of audience (say, who you think or want your audience to be) but a different type starts to consume it, to ignore it is to miss opportunities to tailor content for your actual audience.
An example of this is when a renowned design agency creates content for potential clients, however over 80% of their audience are from the design community. This agency built a name for themselves by winning numerous awards with their innovative work and designers flocked to their social feeds looking for inspiration and career opportunities. Their projects came through word of mouth however, their social content targeted potential clients. Upon discovering who their audience really was (80% designers, 20% potential clients) they shifted their approach and created content catered for the right segments. This balance resulted in an enormous increase in following, engagement and authority in the space.
Here at Zimple everything we do is data-driven. This ensures we know who it is that we are creating content for and what types of content are going to work best. Without this data we are simply guessing and potentially targeting the wrong audience.
With your brand developed, guidelines in place and your audience identified it’s time to start working on the content you will publish. There are numerous options when it comes to content creation. Testimonials, past projects, product features, employee stories and behind the scenes shots are just some ideas.
Whether your business utilises every social media platform or just one it is important to use all the features that platform offers. Getting creative with different features will see you rewarded by the platforms. We have created a guide to help you make the most out of your social media.
Platforms reward those who post frequently. But, don’t get caught up in posting for the sake of posting. High quality content that is engaging will be prioritised over spamming your audience with subpar content. The combination of consistently posting on-brand, high quality and engaging content that is targeted towards your audience is a recipe for success.
These platforms are always changing, which is to be expected with anything that exists in the digital space. Take that same approach with your brand, content and social media activities to help ensure longevity. Be flexible with your approach and always seek to evolve your brand for the better; don’t worry about being trendy, instead cement your position as a leader and authority in your industry.
If you are looking to up your branding or your approach to social media make sure you reach out to our team to learn more about how Zimple can help.