Gone are the days when you could post the exact text advertisement in the newspaper, flyers, and subway posters. Social media branding is a whole other ballgame–one that requires a deep understanding of each unique platform.
On Twitter, brevity is key; on Linkedin, the audience wants a good long story; and with the popularity of Instagram, following trends in your unique way is vital to winning the rat race. That's why you've got to choose your social media tools wisely.
Work on your voice and brand
What even is a brand voice, and why does it matter? Because it's the digital era where brands are grappling for consumer attention, and the only way to stand out is through a distinctive, compelling, but most importantly, consistent voice. Because if it isn't consistent in its tone, language, color schemes, then how would a customer remember it amongst the constant noise of other brands throughout the internet?
Let's look at it this way: if McDonald's kept changing their logo or burger recipe, how would you trust that you'd enjoy your meal every single time? Would you pay thousands of dollars for a Gucci bag if it didn't even have its signature logo on it? Probably not.
Establish a brand tone
Unfortunately, we cannot just create and publish content based on our mood and feeling every single day. That doesn't mean that the content needs to be repetitive every day; but it does need to stay within your brand tonality and boundaries.
Suppose you're selling fun and quirky athleisure wear that often encourages men to live their best lives with ferocity and fearlessness. Then you'd always want to speak in a way that is energetic, encouraging, and not in the least bit disheartening or dispiriting. If you're struggling to keep up with your brand tone, check out the next tip.
Create a style guide
At each stage of your business, whether you're an individual brand or a collective enterprise, the marketing responsibilities may pass through several people posting on several different platforms. In which case, maintaining uniformity across all channels can get tricky.
Create a single reference document that contains all the necessary keywords, the core personality traits of the brand, and the company's core values. Pack in as much brand information as possible in this document, including: the most used vocabulary, words to avoid, and the least relevant examples that need to be avoided. Having a style guide will make sure all content published is consistent across all platforms.
Examine your current voice
Take a good look at your current communication strategy. How are you talking to your customers in the comments section? Check your recent, most popular social media posts and see how well your audience has responded to them. Are there ways you can improve the conversation with your audience? Does your audience appreciate a voice that is comforting and supportive? Or does your target audience enjoy messaging which is uplifting and motivating? We’ll talk about the target audience a little later on in this same blog.
Figure out your specific expectations from social media
While creating a presence on social media is the need of the hour, every brand has its own goals that they wish to achieve. While established brands may just be trying to create a captivating and entertaining brand image, small businesses may be trying to pull in actual leads for their new products. Having a set of goals in mind makes for a better possibility of hitting the bull's eye. Keep these in check before doing anything else.
Recognize your target audience
If you’re in the early stages of defining or revamping your brand voice on social media, all of this may look like a huge task to you. No worries, we're here to ease the process and figure out:
It may be a specific target audience such as high school graduates about 18 years old looking for short-term courses that can give them the necessary training to join the workforce early.
Or your target audience can be as vague as all engineers interested in reading up on the newest trends and technology. Either way, your target audience always needs to be on your mind while posting anything on social media.
Here are some questions that can help you figure out your brand voice and understand your target audience better:
- What language do they understand?
- What kind of slang or industry jargon do they respond to?
- Is your target audience working a 9-5? Does that mean your post timings need to be later on in the day? What time zone are they in?
- What social media platform does your target audience use the most?
Another trick that marketers often use is imagining their brand as a person. This forces you to put on your thinking hat. What color hair does this person have? What's their skin color? Are they expressive enough to have tattoos? Do they wear bright clothes, or do they have their own set of aesthetics with which they consistently associate themselves?
What’s the best content type?
As creating content is a big part of creating a brand voice and identity on social media, what type of content performs well on what platform is one equation you'll need to solve to gain popularity successfully. Don't worry. We've broken down the equation to the solutions, which are a varied form of content production below:
Although it may seem like videos are running the game, while pictures and static images have taken a back seat, that's not the case. The most significant advantage of posting images is that the essence can be understood in just a glance. Yes, somebody might scroll past the image on social media, but there's a good chance it'll still leave an imprint in their minds.
Photographs are relatively easier to post. Just about any good smartphone can capture good quality photos that can be edited on a handy app and posted for the world to see.
In order to have your pictures stand out on image-centric platforms like Instagram, your pictures should be able to compete and get clicks on the feed. But the competition is massive, so here's what people are doing these days:
- Infographics: Convey a large amount of information through an accessible and digestible graphic.
- Carousels: A series of photos that the audience can slide through, again conveying a sizable amount of information through images, graphics, and short text written on images.
- Memes/Comics: Relatability is key to building a connection with your audience. Creating memes, comics, or cartoons that are funny, relatable, and tie in with your brand can go a long way to fueling your content strategy.
With the human attention span shortening by the second and the thirst for new entertainment and content growing, short and sweet videos are exploding on big platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
These videos require little editing skills and lots of creativity. What's best? You can hop on many trends even when you don't know what to create. As discussed previously in this blog, the catch is to inculcate your own brand identity and voice while posting literally everything on social media.
Best social platforms for short videos
TikToks can go viral even with a small number of subscribers or followers, and Instagram, and Youtube are catching on with short-form videos formats Reels and Shorts, respectively.
The most admired platform that allows for user-generated content for big and small brands alike where people tune in prepared to watch longer forms of content is YouTube. However, Facebook is an excellent option as well, and Instagram has recently merged IGTV with IG In-feed video to make discovery of long-form videos more accessible to user.
Guides, stories, articles, and written text like the blog you are reading right now still remain a quick way of getting the necessary bits of information through efficient skimming for a lot of us. Let's face it, how many times do we type something we're really curious about into Google and end up skimming through an article or blog?
When it comes to social media, people also love coming across helpful pieces of information like life-hacks, written tutorials, or even the news, hopefully through the social media channel of a credible agency!
Best social platforms for text
LinkedIn is tailor-made for both short and long form text. In fact, native blog posts on LinkedIn (ie. blog posts written directly with LinkedIn’s blogging platform vs. just pasting an external link) will be favored by the algorithm.
Naturally, Facebook and Twitter are also good places for text. Twitter’s character limit make it great for conveying short news and brand messaging. A popular trend to fashion longer posts is to thread multiple entries (even numbering them).
One benefit of doing this vs. writing a traditional blog post and sharing the link is that 1) each entry now has the option to be shared and engaged with individually, and 2) it increases the chance of your material being read in its entirety. The downside to this strategy is also two-fold: 1) it keeps the user on Twitter (instead of going to your website); and 2) you lose out on the opportunity to generate SEO for your site with the information. You could consider a hybrid approach where you write a blog post, share bits and pieces of it as a thread on Twitter, then in the last entry, add a link to the full blog post.
Live videos & stories
Stories and live videos can bring a more personal touch and intimacy with the brand. With the ability to respond and communicate with the audience directly, live stories and videos are ways to retain the bond with your audience and always keep them curious about what's coming. Influencers and brands often use stories for behind-the-scenes shoot footage, or Q&As a part of their stories to keep their audience engaged.
Use the best tools
The last step in building your brand on social media is using the right tools. Whether you’re using team collaboration tools or image sizing tools, your success at branding on social media will largely be tied to how you do it. You want to ensure that:
- Your feed is attractive and clean
- Your posting schedule is aligned with what will yield the best engagement
- Your team can easily communicate and brainstorm effectively
- Your brand tone, color scheme, and messaging are consistent.
That is why UNUM is the real infinity stone in this social media universe. It does the planning, creating, executing of stories and posts for you. It's an easy tool that you can incorporate as part of your social media strategy. Sign up today for a free account.