Where can you reach about 70 percent of all Americans?
If you answered social media, you would be correct.
The sheer rapid growth of these platforms and their current prevalence in our world is unparalleled.
Considering that the leader of the social platforms, Facebook, was born in 2004 (just short 13 years ago), it is astounding how quickly social media has permeated our culture and how we interact with each other.
Social media has become central to communicating with customers, addressing customer services issues, as well as promoting the brand and services.
In this blog post, we will talk about social branding.
The idea of social branding is one, that all brands should consider – and optimize for – if they want to be taken seriously be customers.
Especially, startups and small business!
What is social branding, though? And how can brands establish themselves to compete in this increasingly saturated online world?
And how can brands establish themselves to compete in this increasingly saturated online world?
Let’s look at these questions in some detail…
What is social branding?
Social branding means building the brand’s reputation, following, and awareness through social media.
Today, social media plays an important role in the brand’s growth.
Social media is the world’s water cooler.
It is where people meet to discuss their likes, dislikes, and needs.
Social brands understand how to engage with people on these platforms and share their stories.
Stories – that are memorable. Stories – that not only reflect the brand but utilize the social platform’s unique DNA.
Businesses that are successful with social branding use the power of the online platforms to drive their organizations forward.
Why is social branding important?
Sure, it would be nice to be immensely popular on social media, but do those platforms really impact the bottom line? A popular misconception is that the customers do not really make purchases directly off social media.
Actually, it does matter.
Social media branding might not directly impact the bottom of the sales funnel, but it will impact the top. Eighty percent of customers say that they are more likely to evaluate the solutions put forward by brands that they follow on the various social media channels.
In other words…
…the brand recognition you gain from a strong social presence impacts how many people even consider your company in the first place. Sixty seven percent of people also report that they are more likely to buy from brands that they follow on Twitter.
One of the hidden treasures of social media value, however, is that 79 percent of customers say they will recommend brands that they follow.
Recommendations from friends or family are considered one of the most trustworthy forms of advertising. The recommendations you receive through social media offer incredible return for your organization.
Finally, a strong social brand presence will generally increase exposure and drive people towards your website.
Say someone mentions you in a Facebook posting or gives you a shout out on Twitter. Suddenly your company name is in front of countless new people who did not follow you before. Your site traffic will receive a boost.
How do I do social branding right?
…now that we see the importance of social media branding, the question becomes how can we embrace this potential and put it to work for us. Social branding requires far more effort than just creating profiles on the different relevant platforms and then putting up the occasional post about the latest in your company. Here are a few golden rules for you to follow.
Social branding requires far more effort than just creating profiles on the different relevant platforms and then putting up the occasional post about the latest in your company. Here are a few golden rules for you to follow.
Here are a few golden rules for you to follow.
Speed is your friend.
People today, in general, have short attention spans (thanks, technology!) and they also expect brands to answer them quickly. If they post a problem or a question, you want to be right there to answer them or address their concerns. Delays just give potentially negative stories more ammunition– your lack of response screams to consumers that you do not care.
If they post a problem or a question, you want to be right there to answer them or address their concerns. Delays just give potentially negative stories more ammunition– your lack of response screams to consumers that you do not care.
Delays just give potentially negative stories more ammunition– your lack of response screams to consumers that you do not care.
Consistency is key
Although each platform has its own voice and culture, your brand should still be recognizable regardless of where customers find you. Use consistent branding, including messaging, colors, and offers.
Use consistent branding, including messaging, colors, and offers.
There is something that sets you and your brand apart from the competition. Let this aspect of your brand shine through. Offer value to your customers and let them see what you uniquely have to offer.
Let this aspect of your brand shine through. Offer value to your customers and let them see what you uniquely have to offer.
Promote conversations– not a soapbox!
We can’t emphasize this enough.
You want to actively engage your followers and use them to spread your brand.
Invite them to participate in contests or post using fun hashtags. Ask open-ended questions and start conversations on your pages.
Remember that social media is about relationships
If you remember nothing else, remember this:
social media is about relationships.
It is about posting content that is interesting for your followers and letting them know that you care about them personally.
Your postings should be authentic and trustworthy.
These traits matter considerably for customers: 80 percent of customers say that content authenticity matters to them when they consider what brands to follow.
Your postings should also include more than just self-promotion. No one wants a social media feed filled with just ads, and 45 percent of people will unfollow a brand for excessive self-promotion.
Follow the 80/20 rules. Make 80 percent of your posts about interesting information for customers, even if it is from another site, and 20 percent of your content about yourself directly.
What companies have done social branding correctly?
There are some companies who have completely nailed this social branding idea. They created campaigns that boosted their reputation and engaged people, and we can look to their examples for some inspiration.
Always and their #LikeAGirl campaign.
Sometimes it can be valuable to take a stand on an important issue, in this case it was gender equality and what women are capable of accomplishing. The stance really resonated with their core audience– women– and it caught on like fire. If you use this strategy, thorough market research should be done on your important issue to make sure it is not divisive or will not damage your brand reputation.
GrubHub knows how much people like to take and share pictures of their appetizing food, so they make art out of some delicious entrees. It makes you hungry, and it gets people to click.
Charmin and their #TweetFromTheSeat campaign
Some brands might feel stumped about creating successful social media campaigns over something mundane, but Charmin did not let this stop them. With engaging, humorous posts and campaigns like their #tweetfromtheseat, they encourage people to have fun with social media and their brand, boosting their reputation and creating positive associations.
Denny’s is a popular diner, but they do not restrict themselves to postings about food, sales, or specials. They go the humor route, casting themselves as a fun brand to follow for some laughs during the day.
Your customers today are on social media, and they are using the platforms as their means of connecting and engaging with those across the digital ecosystem. If you want your company to find a place in this conversation, you need to put social branding to work for you.
The post Social Branding: What It Is, Why You Should Care, and How to Rock at It appeared first on SmartKai Blog.