Social media branding is a lot more than what meets the eye.
Social media is the only thing that’s keeping everyone connected in the era of social distancing and country-wide lockdowns. When it comes to brand building, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more offer a ton of value to businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s hard to debate this fact when you look at the stats. There are roughly 4.5 billion internet users worldwide, of which 3.8 billion are social media users.
Brand awareness happens to be one of the critical objectives for small-to-medium-sized businesses, and social media is one of the easiest and most accessible solutions. By building a strong brand on social media, companies can reach and influence a large audience. So, how do you build a brand on social media? It starts with knowing what to do before starting your business, which includes understanding the basics and then applying some tips and tricks to build and enhance your brand online.
What Is A Brand?
Simply put, a brand is how your users perceive your business and your products/services. It’s not your website or your logo (although they play a crucial role in building a brand). As an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a user perception of your brand. Whether you actively market your brand or not, this perception exists. The core of the brand building is to shape and influence how people feel about your business.
What Is A Brand Identity? (Brand Identity Examples)
Brand identity is the face of your business. How your brand looks (visually), its values, ideas, and personality--all this is represented through your brand identity. This is how customers identify you; it builds customer loyalty and makes your team feel proud of being a part of the organization. A beautifully designed brand identity doesn’t just support your brand; it elevates it. From your logo to your website to your social presence, a well-designed visual identity immediately communicates who you are, what you stand for, and why your customers should care about you.
On the contrary, a weak brand identity can impede your brand experience. Most businesses assume that by just having a logo, a colour scheme, and a brand book, they’ve done what’s necessary to build a brand identity. But if your visual identity isn’t well-thought-out and consistent across all your communication, it reflects poorly on your brand and fails to tell a cohesive brand story. This restricts you from building a meaningful connection with the people you’re trying to reach.
When looking at brand identity examples, a few brands have artfully used their brand identity to engage and entice their audience for decades. For example, Coca-Cola was created way back in 1886, and while the brand has updated its identity over the years, it has retained its core characteristics that started 133 years ago. This includes the brand’s signature bright red and white colours instantly recognizable, paired with Coca-Cola’s widely identifiable typeface.
Tips On How To Build A Brand On Social Media
Step 1: Start with the basics
To start a business and build a brand on social media, you need to get your foundation right, which includes the following:
A well-designed logo
How do you expect your users to recognize that you upload an infographic or a particular video is created by you? Or it’s your brand that shares those regular funny and witty updates? You can’t share your business name in every form of social communication. Your logo does this promotion for you silently but effectively. A good, well-designed logo tells your audience how professional you are. For example, you could create an infographic and put a long link to your business website at the end of it in a tiny font.
How many people do you think will notice or pay attention to that? But if you put a professional logo, it comes into notice, and people know who has posted the infographic. Your logo gives a face to your business, and it can be a powerful tool to build a strong brand on social media.
The brand message refers to your brand’s core value proposition and the kind of language you use to convey that. For example, you could be witty, snarky, friendly, or formal in your tone. This is what makes a certain segment of the audience relate to your brand by motivating them, inspiring them, and ultimately convincing them to buy your product.
Through social media, you can reach that segment of your audience in real-time. And by regularly engaging and communicating with them, you can get their attention and convey your brand message.
Brand voice is that unique personality that your brand portrays in its communication. For example, imagine you’re at a cocktail party, and one of the guests stand out because they’re funny but in a distinct way. The way they say something, the kind of words they use, and their personality all combined gives you a whole different experience when talking to them. When you’re re-telling that joke to someone, you immediately think of them.
Having a clear brand voice and communicating clearly in your social posts can help you build a strong social media brand.
Step 2: Build a compelling brand story
Would you turn away from a good story? Human beings love stories, and storytelling is central to human existence. Telling someone a compelling story that your users can personally relate to can have a powerful effect on getting them on board. When they feel like they’re part of that story and they have a role to play in it, they’ll be more inclined to engage with you.
For example, TOMS does a beautiful job on its Facebook page where they share their products and highlight the story and the role you can play in it to feel engaged with the brand.
TOMs founder, philanthropist, and family man shares the story behind his entrepreneurial success:
Step 3: Tell this story to your audience - consistently
Each social media is distinct from each other. At its core, all the platforms facilitate better connection and help friends and family stay in touch; the way these platforms operate is very different from each other.
Once you know your brand story, you need to break it down into small, easy to consume social media posts. While on Twitter, you can be word-heavy, on Instagram, you’ll have to tell this story through pictures. But on Facebook, you can do a bit of both.
By understanding the platform, its audience, and how that audience reacts to your content, you can share your story and engage with them. However, the key to building a strong brand on social media is to stay consistent. You can’t post once a week or once every few days and expect your users to engage with you.
Step 4: Don’t plug. Converse.
While you’re telling your story, make sure that you’re actively conversing. Focus on building a two-sided relationship with your users by interacting and by genuinely caring. Avoid using your social platforms to plug in your products.
Cash in on active trends and have a conversation maintaining your brand voice and personality. For your business to grow, your customers need to connect with your brand and your values.
Step 5: Talk like a human
Talking to a robot is no fun. So, ditch the corporate talk and speak with your customers on a human level. Keep a more conversational approach. Please don’t be shy to use colloquial dialogue and talk to your users using their first-name. If your brand was a person, how would they react to a situation?
Would they say, “we apologize for your inconvenience.” Or would they say, “I’m so sorry you had to go through that, Jill. Please DM me what happened, and we’ll try to find a solution for you immediately.” Talking like a human being with a personality will make your brand more relatable. And if you do it well, it may even go viral.
How to Create Your Brand's Social Media Presence
With the drastic shift from traditional to digital media, social media has become a huge part of our daily lives. Like it or not, social media impacts everyone's life in a certain way. It has also brought numerous improvements to our personal and professional lives. If you are an influencer, social media manager, small business owner, a fashion store, a freelancer, no matter who you are, social media still has a role to play in your life.
With more than 3.8 billion active users and 90% of them using social media as a marketing tool, the competitiveness of various social media platforms keeps increasing. To maintain a consistent and effective on these social platforms, one needs a strong social media branding strategy. One of such strategies is to create your brand's social media aesthetic. This is one of the most effective social media branding strategies that allow you to communicate your brand's tone and style while effectively establishing a remarkable social media presence.
So, how do you create a social media brand aesthetic and amp up your social media branding strategies?
Let's first start by understanding brand aesthetics.
What Is A Brand Aesthetic?
The term 'brand aesthetic' might sound fancy and bougie. However, when it comes to social media branding, your brand aesthetics ensure consistency in your content. That refers to your content's visual look or appearance that streamlines your brand's messaging, tone, and style.
Consider your brand aesthetic as a vibe that helps you build a brand personality and effectively communicate and engage with your audience.
As per studies, consistent branding can improve revenue by 23%. Although, just around 10% of businesses believe their brand representation to be extremely consistent.
As your business thrives, so will your social media presence. It is therefore important to always be up-to-date with your social media branding game.
Benefits Of Creating Your Brand's Social Media Brand
1. It helps you stand out from the crowd
Break out from the social media status quo by showcasing your brand uniquely and innovatively.
When it comes to creating your brand's social media aesthetic, you can be yourself and create something that truly defines your brand image. For instance, if you check out Rolex's social media aesthetic, you'll find it subtle and sophisticated.
Fitbit's social media aesthetic is more colorful and vibrant. Follow your own path and be unique.
2. It creates cohesiveness
Cohesiveness and uniformity throughout your social media channels assist your business in better portraying and showcasing your brand identity to your viewers.
Maintaining a similar tone, message, hues, and so on provides a pleasant synergy. At the same time, mismatched or discordant content and graphics might come off as sloppy and disorganized, which can work against your social media branding strategy.
3. It eases task management
As your business starts growing, you will expand your workforce and create teams for various departments. It means you'll need a team for social media branding.
Having a social media aesthetic will allow your team to be in the loop on what needs to be published, what content needs to be created, how it needs to be created and edited without any doubts on what fits well with the brand's social media accounts.
It will allow everyone to be on the same page and work towards achieving the same goals.
How To Create A Perfect Brand Aesthetic For Your Social Media Branding
1. Understand your business and it audience
Your brand's identity influences your social media brand aesthetic. As a result, the more established your identity is, the simpler it will be to create an ideal and attractive aesthetic for your brand. Start by asking questions such as:
- What is our brand personality? (quirky, adventurous, friendly)
- What is our brand tone?
- What are our core values
Another helpful method would be to browse your business's website and marketing materials to see similar patterns and styles. It might help you identify elements you want to inculcate in your social media aesthetic and features you wish to remove.
It's also a good idea to think about your target audience's persona. What is your brand targeting, and what design styles are likely to grab their attention? Consider building a personal profile to learn as much as possible about your target audience's views, likes, interests, and habits.
2. Get Inspired From Everywhere
Once you have a basic idea of brand colors and activities required for your brand to stand out, you should begin collecting ideas and inspiration on how to bring it all together. You can get these inspirations and ideas from anywhere.
One way to go about it is to check out your target audience's and competitors' profiles and see what aesthetics they follow for their social media branding. It's a great way to get a sense of what you'd like to do with your brand's social media look.
You can also find ideas offline. For instance, flip through magazine pages and see if fonts or colours catch your eye. One of the best social media platforms to find inspiration for your brand's aesthetic is Pinterest.
Having all your ideas stored in one place gives you a concept board is a good way to do that and have fun with the whole process.
3. Choose a color palette and font that represents your brand
Colour and font are the two most fundamental elements of graphic designing and play a significant role in developing brand aesthetics.
There can be feelings associated with different colours, such as:
- Red is associated with urgency and excitement.
- Blue creates a sense of trust.
- Yellow is a bright and joyful colour.
- Green communicates subtleness, peace, and calm.
Choose a colour palette that communicates your brand's tone of voice while complementing its existing colours.
Fonts, on the other hand, help your customers recall your brand. When it comes to building a social media aesthetic, having a uniform and unique font as an overlay on your pictures can be really useful.
4. Make a kit of your aesthetic resources
It's critical to maintain all of your brand's colors, fonts, and filters in one place after you've decided on them. Putting together a design toolkit allows you and your team to easily access these resources when designing a social media post or campaign.
There are various platforms that allow you to store all your resources in one place, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Both the platforms make it simple to compile an image library or folder relevant to your social media brand.
Canva is another tool that allows you to create a style toolkit.
5. Align all your social media profiles
Finally, it's crucial to ensure all your social media platforms follow the same pattern.
Make sure all of your profile images and channel names are the same on all the platforms. This helps you build a consistent brand presence across platforms.
Next, follow the same aesthetic on all platforms, don't switch it up. It leads to inconsistent messaging.
While these are a few dos to keep in mind when building your social media brand and its aesthetic, there are a few don'ts too that you should be mindful of.
5 Things To Avoid While Creating A Brand's Social Media Presence
A few don'ts that you could keep in mind:
1. Don't imitate competitors
It's okay to get some inspiration and ideas from your competitors and other brands on social media but don't copy their ideas.
Firstly, because it's unethical to use someone else's work for your benefit. Secondly, imitating someone else's social media branding techniques won't allow you to establish your own unique brand identity and be different.
Apart from that, you won't be offering your followers anything new, and they won't be interested in knowing more about your brand. Therefore, dare to be different and establish your own innovative and creative social media aesthetic that defines your brand.
2. Don't post too much or too little
Posting too much can feel cramped on your followers' feeds. If there are comparable photos or a story that you would like to narrate, it is advisable to do carousels or album posts rather than posting separate pictures that make you appear spammy.
However, you don't want your followers to forget about your brand by posting rarely. Because if you disappear for weeks or months and stop posting on your social media feed, your followers might unfollow you and switch to some other brand.
Setting a pattern on when to post is an ideal way to go about social media branding. The thumb rule is to post not more than one picture daily.
3. Don't stick to one format
It might come across as contradictory, but often brand's focus too much on aesthetics and don't try to experiment with their content.
When you provide your audience with the same kind of content every day, they'll get bored of it. Therefore, you need to freshen things up and keep your audience interested by experimenting with your content. It doesn't mean changing your aesthetics.
You can offer something new without compromising on your aesthetics. There is no need to create new content all the time; you can just repurpose the existing content and post it differently. For example, converting your infographics into a carousel post or video.
4. Don't ignore your audience
Sometimes brands are so focused on maintaining the aesthetics of their feed that they forget they have an audience to cater to. While having an aesthetic brand page is essential for your social media branding, it is vital to focus on what piques the target audience's interest since they are the ones who will buy your products and services and determine its growth.
Know your audience and ensure that the content focuses on being relevant, informative, and entertaining while meeting your brand's aesthetic needs.
5. Don't ignore your logo and design
Last but not least, one of the most common mistakes brands make is ignoring their logos and design. To save expense, brands often choose low-cost logo design services, resulting in a stock image logo that creates a poor brand identity.
Your logo is a visual identity that reflects everything your brand stands for, and it is a critical aspect of your business. As a result, you should not contemplate it and find what fits appropriately with your brand. Scrutinize what you genuinely want and let your creative juices run to create a logo that truly reflects your brand.
Check out our logo maker if you're looking to design the perfect logo for your business. Remember, your logo adds a ton of value to your brand's aesthetic as well as overall personality.
5 Actionable Strategies For Social Media Branding
Brand consistency across all marketing channels is a challenge for every business. How do you make sure that you’re presenting yourself consistently across your email marketing, TV ads, social media posts, and more? And if you have different audience segments, how do you differentiate between how you speak to them without losing your essence? How do you ensure that users can recognize your brand even if it’s their first time seeing you on social media?
Here are five strategies that can help you build that consistency:
1. Get your basics right
This includes your logo, brand colors, your fonts, tone of voice, etc that stays consistent across. Your logo can't be red on one social media platform and white on another. This brand consistency helps your branding in the long run.
2. Push your visual branding
You've got your color palettes and logo consistent across all channels. Now try and include those colors in the images and videos that you share. Try and stick to a color scheme and keep that consistent across. For example, if pink is your core colors, make sure all your posts and videos have a hint or shade of pink in them.
3. Get your marketing personas right
Your marketing persona on TikTok will be different than the one on Facebook. Create multiple marketing personas and assign it to each social network that you're present on. Examine that platform's demographics and how they fit in with your personas. Find that middle ground and then create content to talk to those personas.
4. Be consistent with your voice and tone
Don't sound like a hip millennial one one platform and a serious corporate professional on another. Visuals will attract your audience but it's your copy that will close the deal. Your brand voice is consistent; it's your tone that changes depending on where you are, who you're talking to, and what you're talking about. For example, you cannot sound peppy when addressing a serious issue.
5. Create different accounts for different areas of focus
If your business is large enough or has a diverse set of products and/or services, you could consider creating multiple accounts for them. The advantages of having these different accounts include being able to hyper-focus your branding, cater to a specific audience and serve up relevant content.
How To Make Your Brand's Facebook Presence
Facebook is a hugely popular social networking platform, and being able to stand out here requires work, especially if you want to grab your audience's attention. However, by making your brand's Facebook page appear aesthetic, you can attract many more users to interact with your posts, which will eventually help you with your social media branding.
Here's how you can make your brand's Facebook page aesthetic.
1. Create an aesthetic cover photo and profile photo
The cover photo and profile picture on your brand's Facebook page make your visitors' first impression. Therefore, they must be elegant, professional, and make a strong impact on them. Here are a few things to keep in mind while designing your brand's cover photo and profile picture.
- Your profile photo should be representative of your brand. It can either feature your logo or an image that represents what your brand stands for.
- Including some text on the cover photo informs visitors about the company. It might contain your company's slogan, vision, or a catchphrase.
- To provide a consistent brand experience, your cover pictures should feature your complete logo or be comparable to your website header.
2. Be consistent with your posting schedule
Experiment with your content and give your audience something new every now and then.
If you are creating content for your blog or YouTube channel, make sure to share it on your Facebook page as well.
Here's how you can offer something new to your followers:
- Make your followers feel connected by adding a human touch to your posts. These can include behind-the-scenes videos or testimonials.
- Make use of different multimedia such as GIFS, infographics, etc., to keep your audience engaged.
- Make use of memes. People love seeing content that's funny and relatable.
3. Make use of your brand colours throughout
The colors of your logo on your cover and profile let fans know they've landed on the right business page. That's why you should be using those colors across your brand's Facebook page—applying them to all content and images you create. It will make your brand's page more engaging and the experience for your visitors seamless.
The Facebook page of HubSpot is a fantastic example.
How To Make Your Brand's Instagram Presence
What initially used to be just a photo-sharing platform has now turned into a synonym for business cards for brands.
Instagram quickly became a must-have online social media platform for artists, influencers, travelers, bloggers, dog lovers, creators, and business owners, to mention a few.
With its rise to fame, Instagram aesthetic just became as crucial as the Pinterest aesthetic.
With an aesthetic feed, you can communicate your mood with your audience with a collection of photos, videos, and stories that revolve around your brand and its products and services.
Here are 3 simple ways to make your brand's Instagram feed aesthetic.
1. Create a colour palette
One of the most significant factors while designing your brand's Instagram aesthetics is to choose the right colour palette.
According to research, colour affects consumer's purchasing decisions by 85 percent. Apart from that, color can boost your brand's awareness by 80%. Therefore, picking the right colour palette for your brand's Instagram aesthetics can impact its bottom line.
There are several methods to use the magic of colour to enhance your Instagram aesthetic. One way is to use your pre-established brand colours from your brand's website, logo, and presence on other social networks.
2. Edit your pictures
Once in a blue moon, you might get lucky and click a picture that fits perfectly with your brand's Instagram aesthetic, but that's an exception. In the end, you will have to edit your photos to be consistent with your aesthetics. The good news here is that there are many editing apps on the internet today that'll help you edit your photos and make them look aesthetic.
Instagram presets are the most readily accessible tool. They are pre-made filters that you may add to your photos when editing them using software such as Adobe Lightroom. You won't have to mess about for hours trying to make your images match your brand's Instagram aesthetic.
3. Plan out your feed
This might seem like a really tiresome task, but it's helpful when it comes to maintaining your brand's Instagram aesthetics.
Once you have figured out your colour scheme and editing style, the next step is to plan out your Instagram feed. After all, you want your brand's profile to come across as professional and thoughtful.
When you plan your feed, you will be able to classify what posts appear best next to each other and which ones don't. You'll be able to notice where you need a hint of your brand's primary colours and where you might need to tone it down.
Planning your Instagram feed can save you tons of time and energy while allowing you to improve your feed's overall look.
Get Your Social Media Branding Right
Social media can be a fantastic tool to build your brand and enhance your online presence. However, as more brands jump on the bandwagon, the noise increases and competition gets more challenging. Avoid using social media just as a branding tool and truly stand out and keep customers engaged and interested.
Do your homework before starting your business so that you know what you’re building. Then take small steps such as getting a domain name and designing a logo. Slowly, you’ll make your foundation, which will help you create a compelling brand on social media.