Branding and social media – sounds like a great combination, but often they are badly connected and incompatible. Social networking can be used as a huge megaphone for spreading your message, but also as a place where you can easily slip and fall because you didn’t watch closely enough what you were doing. If you are not ready for 24h creativity and communication, do not even start building a brand through social media.
Offline vs. Online communication
To start with, we will look at the differences between offline and online communication when advertising, since many clients, when they first start collaborating with us, are just getting to know social media and how they can use them in commercial purposes. As in offline advertising, it is important that the brand has a visually good solution, is easy to remember and communicates the simple things that users can relate to. If you have a page or a profile that has no product or service information, with a photo that can’t be linked to a story that the brand communicates, its name is complex, difficult to memorize or find, you can’t communicate well with your users because they require simplicity and quick obtaining of information. Be honest, you wouldn’t follow monotonous and complicated page. So make sure yours is not like that either.
Retro marketing posters
Do not use the same old communication used on TV and other offline marketing channels. Remember that on social media you have the opportunity to build a close individual relationship with your users. Be different and unique! And last, phrases that have been used in offline advertising for decades, such as “But that’s not all …” should be kicked out of your vocabulary.
Well-planned, spontaneous communication!
Before you position yourself on social media, you need to know exactly who your target group of people is, what image your brand has now and what you want to have in the future. After that, you need to elaborate a quality strategy, and try a few options to choose the one that the users will accept the best.
The brand is always shaped according to the target group! Never vice versa. Everything starts with the users and their wishes and needs. Of course, some things you may have already determined. There are logos, colors, fonts and general visuals. Some clients already have a well defined and elaborated communication strategy stemming from a thorough market research, so in that case, it’s only a matter of choosing a proper and interesting way to communicate your strategy on social media.
The difference between clients who already have a strong brand and story and those who do not have a clearly defined branding strategy is that the later has much more room for adaptation. Their brand is just developing on social media, meaning that users will be directly involved and will witness brand’s growth. This has two main advantages: you have a market research on the spot, the users work for you instead of a professional team that has to try to think as a user, and if everything is well done, the result will be exactly what the users want and that content will create a strong long-term bond between them and a brand.
After these, more technical tips for improving your communication on social media, let’s consider how to use emotions in creating a better connection with your users and target audience. So let’s start!
Sincerity is the foundation of every quality relationship
Do not force communication with users that are not your targeted audience. Look at it like this: you are spending time, money, ideas, and energy into something that will never develop into a long-term relationship. Your brand has a unique identity and personality. It’s not your goal to connect with absolutely everyone. That’s why the concept of knowing your target audience is so important! Because then, you can invest your time and money into attracting the right people and communicating your brand values to them. Make honesty your core brand value. Even in situations when users will criticize you, talk and communicate with them in a polite manner. Nothing can be hidden on social media and one wrong move or decision can become viral in just a few seconds and cost you the credibility of your brand and the whole business.
Make sure to have a consistent pattern of behavior because on social media users are receiving information from you in the same place they communicate with their friends. This means that as a brand you have to behave as you are one of their friends, have a character and recognizable messages. You have an amazing opportunity to communicate every day with users 1 to 1, so use it wisely. Do not change the visual of your page often. With often changes in visuals and inconsistent communication, the user will lose attention and won’t recognize you, which will only result in scrolling over your content. Regardless of how much social networks you use, they must all be interconnected and communicate the same message because it is highly likely that a user who follows your brand on Facebook will also follow you on your other social media accounts, like Instagram or Twitter.
Creating a “brand engagement”
Branding is a long-term process, nothing is achieved overnight. When we meet a new person, our first impression is most likely based on their physical appearance, and only through time, through conversation and socializing, we get to know their character and personality. Apply this approach to your brand on social networks and you will understand why consistent and sincere communication with your audience is so important. You have to give your users a reason to engage in everyday communication with your brand and more than that, to invite their friends, acquaintances, and family members to do the same.
Branding with a help of emotions
The brand is built so that users are emotionally tied to it for the messages it sends. We know that buying decisions are made on the basis of emotions. You don’t always need to show products or services directly, so avoid this kind of communication. Show something that represents your brand value, and show your users what is added value of your brand. What will they get from following and using your brand?
For example, a mall is a place where you can find virtually everything, from clothing to toys to home appliances. Their social media account could simply show every day a different product, with a nice thumbnail of the branded sales center logo, and invite users to buy it. However, the message it sends is of a technical nature: it is a sales center where you can find anything and everything. There are so many things available that you can’t even remember what’s being shown every day. Also, today there are so many shopping centers that you can surely find all that products in them too. But if this same shopping center communicates its brand values, slogans and messages well, then that’s a whole different story. If it’s, for example, family oriented, it opens space to emotionally connect with a single mother who is working all day and caring for the family, and at the end of the working day, she has some free time on her computer. When she sees a brand message “For You and Your Family” she will connect with it and form a certain, even unconscious bond with that brand. The next time she wants to buy a new vase or a t-shirt for her son, she will remember this center as a place where she can find everything for her family. And that’s how it works!
In the end, we leave you with the message from Martin Lindstrom: “In the future, brands won’t be managed by corporations, but the users!”
Do you take branding on social media seriously enough?
Tell us about your experiences.