How To Build Your Brand Identity Using Social Media
Anyone who has a business knows very well what the measure of viability: an enterprise is only viable if it can sell its product or service. And what do we need for this? Many may say that it takes demand to meet a desire or need of the market, good price, offer superior quality to competitors. And, really, all these are important factors. But it's no use if customers do not know your company! Therefore, a key element in being able to sell your products - is brand recognition.
Fortunately, with the advent of the internet, it is increasingly easy to increase your company's brand awareness, whether at the local, national or even global level. And social media plays a very important role in this mission.
In this post, we'll cover this topic in depth, teaching you practical tips and presenting the best tools that can be used to establish your business's identity in the marketplace. Come on?
What is brand recognition?
Let's start with the basics, understanding the concept of "brand recognition". Also called branding, this practice refers to the strategies a company uses to increase its brand exposure to its stakeholders - stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, investors, partners, internal audiences and even competitors.
It is important to realize that while brand recognition is essential to sell more, it does not merely "advertise" your products. In fact, the focus of brand recognition is on the business itself - and therefore it seeks to create a much more in-depth identity.
That is why part of a company's branding may be related to demonstrating how it relates to the world and society. A good example is companies that seek to create an image of sustainability, social and ecological responsibility.
What is the importance of a branding strategy?
Branding goes far beyond creating a logo. It encompasses all the experience that a consumer can have with your business, whether through social media, the way they are handled over the phone or the coffee that is served during service. Keep in mind that although the focus of this article is on brand recognition through social networks, this issue goes even further.
It can be a bit intimidating to think of this broad definition of branding, since it encompasses so many aspects and details. In short, your brand is the way the market (and especially the consumers) perceives your business.
Increasing brand recognition is when a consumer thinks of "reliability," "innovation," or "good service," in a given market segment, he remembers his brand. Companies that can do this successfully become a reference, for example we can mention the winners of prizes like the Top of Mind.
Now that you understand how brand recognition is broad, it's easier to explain why branding is essential. After all, the consumer cannot have an experience with your brand through social networking and another experience, completely different, when you are in your office or shop.
Therefore, there must be a total alignment so that, no matter which channel a person has contact with your brand, it is always receiving the same message. This alignment can only be achieved through a well-defined strategy, with goals and processes.
How to increase brand recognition on social networks?
1. Create a strong visual identity:
Since the focus of this article is brand recognition through social networks, we cannot ignore the issue of visual identity. Although we have already explained that this is not the only element that establishes your brand, it is very important in this specific case.
After all, we must not forget the fact that some of today's top social networks - such as Instagram and Snapchat - are primarily focused on visual content.
When we speak of visual identity, we are referring to the appearance of its content. Your profile photo, your cover photo, your posts. Impact-looking material is important because the human brain reads and understands images better than words. In addition, recent studies, such as research conducted by Social bakers, have shown that visual content engenders more engagement.
So how do you create a strong visual identity that can impact and at the same time promote greater brand recognition? Well, there are four essential elements: the color palette, fonts, images and layouts.
The color palette needs to be consistent. Note how well-known brands always use the same colors, whether in logo, text or images. Here's the tip you need to take: choose from two to four colors, and use them repeatedly in all your social media posts.
This will make consumers more familiar with your brand. For this reason, it makes sense that the colors chosen are related to the palette of your logo, if you already have one.
The fonts you use also need to reflect the identity of your brand. For example, it can be elaborate or simple, cute or elegant, retro or modern.
You can choose from three different templates - one for titles, one for subtitles and one for the text body - and use them in all your content on social networks. Remember that the source of the title is one in which you will show more personality of your brand.
The images used on your social networks must be consistent with the theme. It pays to use filters so that the images look standardized. If you can produce the images - taking pictures, for example - this is the ideal situation. However, you can use online image banks, which allow you to filter by theme.
With regard to layouts, again, consistency and standardization are the key words. You can create a style guide so that all posts have the same template. For example, if the logo is part of your posts, it should always be in the same position. You can create two or three templates for different types of posts.
Another important tip is to keep in mind that each social network uses different measures for images, which can influence the appearance of your posts. It is necessary to adapt the size of the images to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks. Take care that the source is not distorted in this process and also so that the image does not lose its sharpness.
2. Establish a strong language pattern:
Although the visual factor is extremely important for brand recognition in social networks, we can not ignore the weight of words. What language does your company use to communicate with the market? This reflects the personality of the brand very much: youthful and close, or traditional and experienced, or elegant and high-profile.
Regardless of style, you should seek authentic communication by finding your own voice. This is perhaps the most difficult element to master, as it is much more complex than simply varying a graphical aspect and monitoring the effects that this change has on consumer engagement.
But even so, you can set goals, plan, execute, and adjust until you find the ideal voice-one that engages your audience in social networks.
When we speak of "language" in social networks, there are two concepts that go hand in hand: voice and tone. You can understand them in the following way: the voice is your mark, described by means of an adjective, as we did there in the beginning - jovial, traditional, elegant.
Meanwhile, the tone is a subset of features that you can add to your voice to target it to a specific audience, channel, or situation.
Here's an example. If you have a clothing store for teenagers ages 15 to 18, your voice can be cheerful, with a funny tone in most posts. However, if you have to post a retraction on your social networks, it will probably be more appropriate to use a serious tone because of the situation. Even so, your voice will continue to be jovial. Thus, there is a single voice for your brand, and many tones that refine it, depending on the circumstances.
There is an interesting way to determine how your brand will communicate verbally through a four part formula. These parts are: persona, tone, language and purpose.
The "persona" is the representation of your brand in the form of a person. What would that individual be like? You can describe it with some adjectives. The tone, as we have seen, can be funny, serious, honest, personal, humble, direct, technical, among several others. Remember that it will vary according to the situation.
Language would really be the words you imagine your brand could use. Would you use jargon or slang, for example? Finally, the purpose is your goal, when communicating with your audience. Do you want to engage, entertain, educate, inform or even sell?
Once you've put all this information on paper, you'll have a clearer perspective on the kind of language you can use in your branding on social networks. As with visual identity, consistency is indispensable. Commit to this language so that the audience does not get the impression that, every day, a different person is managing the profile of your company.
3. Know how to educate your market:
Did you know that a brand can educate the market? The influence between businesses and consumers is not one-sided. On the contrary, you can teach consumers that they need something - from your product or service - before you try to sell anything to them. This is much easier, of course, when the market recognizes its brand and its authority.
However, you need to be aware. There is a big difference between educating the market and selling. Many companies believe that they are educating consumers by talking about the features, benefits and benefits of their products. However, what is in fact relevant to the consumer is how to better understand and solve their own problems.
In general, the consumer prefers to buy from the company that educated him on the subject and presented solutions. This venture built a relationship of trust and therefore gained consumer preference and loyalty in the future.
In addition, there is another advantage in educating your market. By doing this, you develop a more knowledgeable customer base and therefore become better communicators for your business. In other words, you are also strengthening referral marketing - the famous word of mouth.
And how to educate your market through social networks? For this, it is essential that your content is focused on the consumer and not on your company. To determine topics, for example, you need to ask yourself: What does this consumer want to know? What does he need to learn to get closer to my company?
Keep in mind that this is a long-term process. Many consumers have no knowledge about your product; indeed, they may not even know they have a problem or unmet desire. Therefore, its contents need from very simple assumptions and develop upon these issues.
That is why planning is so important. Each post that you develop must be a stone more, leading the audience in a way that in the end can lead to a sale (a conscious sale in which the buyer takes a well-informed decision). You cannot think of each post as an end in itself. We'll talk more about this in the next few items.
What are the specifics in the social media environment?
We have talked so many times that this article focuses specifically on branding on social networks, which you may be wondering: but, after all, is this channel different from traditional marketing? Yes, really, social networks have some unique characteristics.
First, unlike many traditional media, these media create a conducive environment for consumers to respond to your business. This is closely related to the concept of engagement, which is one of the success indicators of any social media branding strategy.
For example, when you post something on Facebook of your company, do you get a lot of feedback? Once the possibility of commenting exists, the absence of this interaction immediately indicates that your strategy is not succeeding in engaging the audience in a conversation.
Another important feature of social networks is the focus on relationships. Think of traditional e-mail marketing, pamphlets, television ads: these means are very limited and therefore companies needed to be very objective. The focus was to sell. However, social networks do not have this limitation.
Therefore, the focus of any action developed through them becomes the development of a deeper relationship with consumers before the sale. This is done by my own content that you disclose that will differentiate your company from competitors. For this reason, your material needs to be authentic and personalized.
Finally, we can say that with social networks, you're much more in control of your company's branding. Even using a specialized agency to help with the more technical and day-to-day management aspects, you still have much more freedom, autonomy and control to create branding and marketing planning that is capable of representing your brand and bringing results you expect. We'll talk more about the planning issue in the next item.
How to structure content planning?
First, you need to start with a communication plan that is aligned with your business objectives. This plan is not targeted specifically to social networks, but serves as a reference for established communication with customers on any channel.
The content planning for these media will start from this more general plan, ensuring that there is consistency in the experience that customers have with their brand, regardless of the medium of contact. To structure it, answer five basic questions:
- What are we trying to achieve through social networking and how do these goals align with business goals?
- What stories do we want to tell and how can we make them relevant to our audience?
- What is the profile of our audience and what types of content do they respond best?
- What do our competitors do in their branding strategies on social networks, and how is this working for them?
- How will we measure the success of our content, optimize and improve results?
The answers will serve as a simple form of guidance to give more focus to the work of the team that will be involved in this activity.
Another important point in planning content is the calendar of posts. You can create a three-month calendar, and organize it according to the channel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat) and also according to the set of stories that need to be told (company history, educating the market, opinion polls with the audience, product information).
Over time, you'll identify which frequency and times work best for your audience. Another point that will also be agreed with time is the type of content (theme and format) that fits best in each social network, since the user profile varies from one to the other.
What is the efficiency of paid media in a strategy?
Social networks have incorporated some paid tools that can be very useful for anyone who is developing a branding strategy, in relation to the disclosure of your company. After all, as we saw in the beginning, the focus of brand recognition is to get more people to know and identify your business through a set of key features.
For this, it is important that the maximum of people reach your profile in social networks, which can be accelerated with the media paid. One of the main examples is Facebook Ads, which allow you to promote a post from your timeline to more people who might be interested in that subject. It works very much like sponsored links from Google.
One of the biggest advantages of paid media is the fact that it is highly targeted. That is, when you create your ad, you can select various features from the user profile that your ad should see. Among them are age group, gender, location and even interests.
But Ads are not the only way to use a paid feature to leverage the profile of your business on social networks. Sponsored posts are also a good option, as you can use a relevant intermediary - an "influencer" - to disseminate opinions about your product or service.
Therefore, the whole audience of that influencer will know your company, with the advantage of having a recommendation from someone whom these consumers trust.
However, do not forget that you need to know the best practices of using this tool well, to take good advantage of them. For example, some Ads may be charged per click or every 1,000 views. To determine which option will bring the best cost-benefit, you need to know the mechanics behind each one.
As you can see, social networking offers a unique environment, with several advantages, to promote brand recognition. Through them, it is possible to build a deeper relationship with the consumer, to produce a dialogue with him, to educate him on how his product can bring solutions to the problems he experiences, and to conquer it so that he becomes a customer in the future loyal.
For this to be possible, however, one must strive to create a good strategy and planning. This involves visual aspects, language and also the timeline of contents generated over time.
Branding in social networks is a continuous and long-term work. Consistency is the key word. Knowing how to use additional tools, such as paid media, can also make a big difference in achieving success with this activity.
Kazim Raza is a Digital Marketer and Search Engine Analyst. I love socializing and playing soccer. One of my target is to guide people how to earn a living via online marketing. There is a proper method to do this, and once you learn what that is, you become unstoppable.