A brand is best described as the public perception of an organization, business, or person. Whether a business controls the public’s perception of their brand or not, people will either form their own opinions or fail to think about the business at all. If a company wants to be successful, especially on social media, developing a brand that stands out in a positive way is very important.
How to Start a Brand on Social Media
The first step in developing a successful brand is to understand what the brand represents. For a business, it’s important to understand its goals and mission. Creating a mission and vision statement is a great place to start. With a vision for the company and clear goals, it should be easy to isolate what defines the company.
Once the core of the company’s purpose is identified, creating a brand is much easier. With a clear goal in mind, the next step for creating a brand is to create a visual that is easily recognizable. Depending on the business, someone creating a logo might need to pay close attention to the symbols, colors, fonts, and shapes they use for the logo.
For example, a hospital would want to create a visual logo that is calming and inviting, or The U.S. Army’s visual presence is robust and sturdy and emanates strength and power. The feelings a graphic logo gives off can help reinforce the message that a business wants to share with its target audience.
Consistency is Key
Once a business determines its intended visual brand, color schemes, and other identifying features, the next step is to be consistent across all marketing channels. The business logo is going to be the easiest way for a target audience to identify the company, but that’s just scratching the surface. A company’s public image goes beyond just the logo and how it posts information.
Most companies stick to a pattern when posting information online. Trigger words, slogans, references, and more help further develop a brand’s image online. Major businesses like Google, Amazon, and Walmart are excellent examples of consistent and easy-to-recognize, established brands.
Engaging the Target Audience
Potentially the greatest strength of promoting a brand on social media is the ability to communicate with a target audience directly. When businesses market through social media, there is a chance to get up-to-date feedback on what customers want. The feedback received can help strengthen business plans for the future and provide fresh new ideas that would have otherwise gone unheard.
A business that provides a service may need to look at feedback on whether or not that service is up to par with customer needs. Businesses that provide products or services will also need feedback on whether or not they satisfy their customer base. In addition to feedback, social media marketing also allows independent content creators to help strengthen a business brand in the right situation.
Generally speaking, such situations involve the digital side of things rather than the physical one. Independent content creators aren’t much help when it comes to things like making cars or furniture, but online services such as Patreon embrace and even thrive as a brand based almost solely on the content created by independent creators, separate from the company itself.
Of course, those independent creators are part of the brand’s target audience, and that means communicating with them is vital. Social media is one of the best ways to facilitate this and cannot be ignored if independent content creation is a critical aspect of a company’s brand recognition and longevity.
Social Media Branding Mistakes to Avoid
There are many ways to build a brand, but there’s plenty of ways to hurt a brand as well, and they need to be avoided at all costs.
Casting the Net Too Wide
A misconception people and businesses often have about developing a strong media presence is the incorrect assumption that it is necessary to be on every platform. It might become overcomplicated to try and maintain each platform, especially since the way information is presented differs between platforms, as does how the audience experiences that information.
Makeup brands, for example, can do well with maintaining a social media presence on Instagram because it is heavily focused on visuals. Instagram is a great place for people to scroll through multiple images and occasionally stop on ones that grab their attention. Since makeup is very visual, many companies can use Instagram to present their brand in a way that’s interesting and easily identifiable.
Failing to Capture Your Audience’s Attention
It’s also important to post frequently to avoid losing relevance. There’s a constant stream of posts coming through an average person’s home page on every social media platform. In order to keep the target audience engaged, businesses need to post regularly to ensure their brand is at least thought of by the target audience on a somewhat regular basis.
Being Inconsistent with the Brand
Since one of the most important parts of developing a brand for social media marketing is consistency, a company needs to ensure its public image remains constant. The audience needs to be able to recognize the brand effortlessly, and they need to get the same subliminal messages from the brand every time they recognize it.
This is not to say that a brand’s identity can never be changed. Take, for instance, the way popular logos like Target or Walmart have altered over the years. However, until a business is determined to shift to an entirely new brand identity, maintaining a consistent image is important.
After all, people like routine. They often don’t like sudden change; a consistent logo and brand make the target audience feel more comfortable with continuously engaging with a particular brand.
Following Social Media Trends Instead of Setting Them
Something that might be difficult to avoid is following popular trends in order to increase attention for a business brand. While trends have the potential to make companies popular for a moment, it often doesn’t last, and it also runs the risk of altering the public’s view of their brand. That altered view might harm the pre-established brand and be counterproductive for a business.
Instead of following trends as they come and go, companies should either remain consistent with what makes their brand stand out or start a trend that they can control. Things like the “green movement,” for example, are great for attracting consumers interested in the cause, but if the movement doesn’t line up with the reality of a company’s vision, the attention received may be harmful.
In other words, jumping on any popular trend that passes by, regardless of whether or not the company truly practices that trend, will often call into question the brand’s integrity as a whole. That being said, a brand should avoid raising the flag for any trend that encapsulates qualities they do not truly practice.
Ignoring The Target Audience
Aside from faltering on the visual image and message of a brand, the biggest pitfall a business can face is ignoring the voice of the target audience. Remember, the purpose of nearly any business is to make a profit by providing a target audience with what they want. That purpose is difficult to achieve if a company does not listen to what an audience wants.
This, too, is an excellent benefit of branding via social media: it provides a platform that not only allows a company to speak directly to the audience but also allows the audience to speak back. This benefit is something that cannot be achieved via billboards, commercials, or ads. Even a simple text post provides this great element on social media platforms.
Keeping all of this in mind, branding on social media is both simple and complex; it’s like normal branding in the sense that it allows your business to create a public image for itself but with much greater reach than traditional branding tools. But, at the same time, be cautious as there are various pitfalls that need to be avoided in order to capitalize on its potential.
Overall, there’s no denying that social media marketing is crucial to any business in today’s environment. BRANDefenders provides the services you need to maximize your brand’s social media presence. The best decision you can make for your brand is just a click away.