Social media is used for a variety of different purposes, whether that's selling, marketing, or customer support; social media allows you to reach your target audience and build your brand with ease.
There are many different platforms available, and while they are all fairly competitive, each one has their own pros and cons, as well as diverse audience expectations. A quick example of this is that an Instagram account that doesn't post very good images and tries to act like a customer support platform will do terribly, whereas using the same strategy on Twitter could work out quite well.
Your brand needs to be represented properly on as many different social media platforms as possible. Following some of the below strategies will help you along the path to growing your brand, and ultimately, to success.
Understand the network you're on
If you feel like your social media activities are going on deaf ears, it may not actually be entirely your fault. Each social media network has certain unofficial and unwritten standards that users expect. So rather than trying to use the same marketing tactic on every single platform, try and pick out the ones that best fit your brand and target audience.
As an example, if the company that you represent is a law firm, it's unlikely that you would do well on Tumblr and Snapchat, whereas Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn would see great results.
Instagram is widely used by the younger generation and should be the primary thing to consider when organizing and creating a brand marketing plan for this particular network.
Visual branding is a must
The visual aspects of every single social media profile in your network are incredibly important. Each profile needs to look like they are controlled and owned by the same company; otherwise, users may feel disconnected. Your branding needs to be consistent across all platforms as this will help your audience to immediately recognize your brand, regardless of what website or app they are using.
Using the same logo or avatar across all of the networks is one of the easiest options to help promote brand association. As soon as people see your logo, they should immediately be able to associate it with your brand or company. If you get a new logo at any point, make sure you update every other social media account that you own, regardless of whether you think it's doing well not.
If possible, try and stick to a particular color palette. The easiest way to do this is to try and add a small amount of color to every single image that you post. Make sure that it is the same color as your logo. This subliminal branding technique can massively impact the way your audience can perceive your brand. If you check some random authority profiles now, you're likely to find this strategy used in the majority of their posts.
If you like to use filters on your images, or even if you manually edit them yourself, it's important to keep it consistent. Using different filters and edits for every single image that you post can make your whole profile look unorganized and messy.
If you create posts that have graphical overlays that don't use the social media networks inbuilt features, it's important that you make a template and stick to it. This will allow all of your fonts and colors to be consistent, which in turn will promote a better brand image.
One of the worst things you can do, especially if your brand image isn't solidified, is to stop posting content. If you only tweet on Twitter or upload a picture to Instagram once a month, not only are you going to be forgotten, but you will also not be able to create any sort of ongoing hype towards your brand. Social media networks are growing at an exponential rate, which not only means that there is more competition, but it also means that the average user has an even shorter attention span than before.
How frequently you should post is severely dependent on your audience, as well as the social media network you are using. Networks like Twitter can be used to post very often, whereas Facebook and Instagram should be a lot less. People will unfollow your Instagram profile if you are uploading a new photo every hour. However, nothing is stopping you using Instagram's new story feature for daily updates without coming across as being spammy.
Connect with industry relevant influencers
When massive companies like Adidas post a new image on Instagram they are always going to get a huge amount of engagement. This is because they are a very well established brand and have a loyal following of millions of followers. If you are just starting out, or your social media presence is feeble, your posts will not receive the same amount of attention, as you will be relatively unknown.
A really good way to accomplish quicker results is to reach out and build relationships with influencers in your industry and niche. As these authority brands will already have announced the respect and trust of their followers, gaining a mention, or "shout out", by these profiles will carry a lot of weight.
When searching for influencers, it's definitely not just about how many followers that they have. Try and find accounts that possess the following traits:
- They are authentic, and their audience genuinely believes in the brand and their services or products.
- Their social media accounts are pushing out content frequently, as well as engaging with their audiences.
- They're experts in their field, which reinforces their authority figure.
- Can initiate a trend, rather than being a sheep.
If possible, try and start building your business relationships as soon as you can.
Claim your brand name
Regardless of whether you have registered your business name, thereby legally owning it, it's important that you claim this name on all social media accounts that you can, regardless of whether you plan on using them in the foreseeable future.
If you are unable to secure the desired social media handle, then the next most important thing to do is to make sure that whatever you do decide to choose is available on all of the social media platforms. This not only increases your brand image but also allows people to find you more easily.
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