An Introduction to Brand Building through Social Media

Today, social media is seen as one of the most present advertising channels in the world. More and more businesses are joining Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms in order to participate in and shape the online discussion regarding their product and reputation.

If you have just started your company and want to build your brand through social media, you are heading in the right direction. In this article, we explain what steps you should take to accomplish your goals. Also, we will give you some tips on how to avoid common mistakes in social media branding.

Know What Social Media Platforms Your Audience Uses

Many business owners tend to make the same mistake. Trying to maximize their efforts, they create accounts on each and every platform. But in fact, you should focus only on two, three, or maximum on four sites that your target audience uses the most.

Let’s say you target US teens (people born between 1997 and 2006). To reach this age group, you should create accounts on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. There is no sense to create accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn because young people do not spend much time on those platforms.

Before you create any accounts, you should analyze the online behavior of your customers and find out the following:

  • What social media platforms do your customers use more often?
  • How much time do they spend on each platform daily?
  • At what time of the day (or night) do your customers use the chosen social media apps more actively?

Besides, you should analyze the social media marketing strategies of your competitors.

  • Which platforms do your competitors use to reach the target audience?
  • Which platforms help them to generate the highest engagement?
Create Business Accounts

Now let’s talk about how your social media profiles should look like.

Upload a Profile Picture

The first step you should take is to use your brand logo as a profile picture.

It’s worth mentioning that if you have a few versions of your logo (for instance, black-and-white logo and colorful logo), you should choose only one and use it across all your social media profiles. It will allow you to create a consistent visual brand identity and make your brand more recognizable.

Brand Building

Brand Building

Brand Building

Write a Comprehensive Bio

The next step you should take is to explain in a few words what your business is all about. In the bio, you can state your mission or provide some important information related to your products.

Brand Building

Also, it’s highly recommended to come up with a branded hashtag and put it in the bio. In this way, you will encourage your customers to generate more content and to spread the word about your brand.

Brand Building

Add a link to your website

Don’t forget to put a link to your website, and mention other essential contact information in your bio. Make it clear for your followers how they can reach out to you, and how they can place an order.

Create Multiple Accounts, If Necessary

If you offer a wide range of products, or if you sell your products in different countries, you should create multiple accounts on the same platform.

Let’s consider an example to understand why you should do that.

Forever 21 is a world-famous fashion brand that has a wide international audience. In order to boost its social media marketing efforts, the company created four branded Instagram accounts:

  • @Forever21 – This is the main account. It appeals to the general female audience.
  • @Forever21plus – This account appeals to the women who wear plus-size clothing
  • @Forever21men – This account target the male audience.
  • @Forever21eu – This account targets the European market.

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Forever 21 uses this approach to brand building to create more personalized, more appealing content, and gain maximum customer loyalty. Every group of customers gets the content they want. For instance, men who follow @Forever21men account see posts that demonstrate men’s clothing exclusively.

Brand Building

It’s not easy to create and manage multiple accounts. But in fact, this is the only right way to build a strong brand. Can you guess why? Because a “one-size-fits-all” content marketing approach doesn’t work in 2020.

Create Different Content for Different Social Media Apps

You can’t share the same content across all social media platforms for a few reasons.

Firstly, you should understand that people who follow you on one platform are not the same people who follow you on another platform. For instance, it’s highly likely that your Facebook followers are older than your TikTok followers, and that they have different expectations regarding your content.

Secondly, content that works effectively on one social media app may fail at another app. For instance, your short 1-minute videos that generate high engagement on Instagram may not work on YouTube.

Thirdly, each social media platform has different requirements for the length of the post. For example, the Instagram caption character limit is 2,200 characters, and the tweet character count limit is 280 characters.

In other words, if you want to build a strong brand, you should create new content for each platform. And there are no other options to consider.

Build Trust First, Make Sales Second

You should understand that the brand building is not about making money right here and right now. It’s about building lasting customer relationships with the purpose of making your business profitable in the long run.

So if you want to build a strong brand through social media, your posts shouldn’t look like ad copies. You should create engaging, high-quality content that adds value to your customers.

Let’s make it clear. If you take product pictures from your website and write salesy phrases “buy now”, it will not count as a “quality” post.

Well, it may help you to sell a few items, but it will not help you to gain customer loyalty.

Brand Building

People use social media and e-commerce websites for different purposes. And they want to see different content on these platforms. So please, don’t make your Instagram account (or other accounts) look like a “social media version” of your online store.

If you have just started your business, it might be tempting for you to advertise your products intensively to make high sales. But you should understand that modern users hate intrusive ads. And salesy posts may only hurt your business.

The best thing you can do for your brand is to focus on the production of share-worthy content. If you engage your target audience on social media, sooner or later, your sales will go up, and you will achieve all the goals set.

Be Consistent

Now let’s talk about brand consistency.

No matter how many pieces of content you create and how many social media platforms you use – you should keep the language and tone of voice consistent. Every social media post should make it clear what ideas you promote and how you position your products.

So before you create your first post, you should define what specific tone of voice and language fits your brand the most.

Your tone of voice can be educational, serious, friendly, entertaining, flirty, cheeky, or even sassy. Your language can be formal or informal, simple, or industry-specific. Here you should also decide whether it’s okay for your brand to use slang, internet acronyms, and shortenings.

Take a look at the following three posts by The Cheesecake Factory (tweet, Facebook post, and Instagram post). Each caption is written in a simple, informal language and a witty tone. That’s a perfect example of how a company can keep its brand of voice consistent across all platforms.

Brand Building

Brand Building

Brand Building

Interact With Your Audience

Social media platforms are a perfect place to interact with your customers. And you should use every opportunity to start a dialogue with people who are considering to buy your products.

Ask more questions

To start a conversation with your audience, you may add a question or two to the caption. You may ask your followers to share their opinion about your products or ask any other questions that are relevant to the post.

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Reply all

Keep in mind that you should answer every comment and direct message you get.

Even if you receive questions that seem to be obvious or silly, you can’t ignore them. Because if you leave questions without replies, that will irritate your followers and negatively affect your brand.

Use interactive features

Social media platforms provide lots of interactive features that you can use to boost your brand-building efforts. For instance, you can create a Twitter poll or add a quiz sticker to Instagram Stories.

Brand Building

Besides, you can use these interactive features to collect valuable feedback or to show your customers that you do value their opinion.

Humanize Your Brand

When users interact with your brand, they should feel like they are talking to a real person, not to a robot. So you should consider a few ways on how to humanize your brand:

  • Be friendly. When writing your posts, imagine that you are talking to your close friend.
  • Use your customer’s name instead of the phrase “dear customer” in the comments and private messages.
  • Give a name to your Facebook Messenger chatbot, if you use one.
  • Introduce yourself. If you reply to a message, you can answer like this: “Hi! My name is Caroline. I’m a marketer at company X, and I’m ready to provide you with the information you are looking for.”
  • Write posts about people who stand behind your brand. Share stories of your key employees and the founders of the brand.
Tell a Story

In the business world, brand building always goes hand in hand with storytelling. And if you want to make people fall in love with your brand, you should build a strategic narrative.

It means you should write a story that will inspire your employees, excite your partners, attracts new customers, and engages influencers. A story that defines your vision and communicates your strategy.

You can share your story in many ways. For instance, you can write a long post, divide it into a few parts, and publish one part at a time. Or, you can shoot a video, design infographics, or create any other content that can visualize your ideas.

Take a look at the following screenshot. It’s a brilliant example of how a company can use storytelling on social media. New Balance shared a series of inspiring stories about how famous athletes contribute to society. In the post, the company tells the story of Beverly Ramos.

Brand Building

In conclusion

It’s impossible to build a successful brand overnight. So be persistent and create high-quality social media content on a regular basis.

Track the results of your brand-building efforts and analyze what works for your business the best. Adjust your content marketing strategy and keep moving toward your goals. And one beautiful day, you will achieve the desired results.

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