Social media branding is a critical element in generating brand leads and conversions. While once thought of as merely a vehicle to increase awareness, social media has proved to be a valuable tool in developing a loyal audience that will actively engage with your brand. When looking to optimize social media, you will need first to finalize your social media brand and establish a social media strategy.
Determine Social Media Branding
When developing social media branding, consistency is vital. The brand’s tone and voice should align with the brand’s visual style; deviation could create a confusing, unreliable landscape for the target audience. To ensure your social media branding is consistent with your brand, refer to the style guide. The guide should include visual style rules, such as logo size and placement, color palettes, acceptable fonts, and how to implement these elements.
Voice and tone are essential to social media branding. Once you have established your target audience, Social Media Explorer suggests creating a brand persona that would speak to them. Should your voice be friendly and playful or professional and authoritative? With a voice in mind, determine the underlying tone of your social media branding. Are you irreverent or direct? Choose a tone that your audience will appreciate, keeping in line with your brand voice.
Social Media Marketing Funnel
With a brand established, consider how to implement it with the marketing funnel. JC Social Media describes the marketing funnel as a visualization tool used to detail the marketing stages: brand awareness, engagement, and action. When applied to a social media marketing strategy, the social platforms used in each stage should dwindle down to achieve more specific results.
Building brand awareness is the first stage (the wide part) of the marketing funnel. Through the awareness stage, you want to expose your targeted audience to your brand before you can expect engagement on your posts. The engagement stage covers the consumer’s interaction with your social media presence.
Action is the stage where you can evaluate whether you are achieving your goals. Do your social media tactics translate to conversions and leads? If your social media activity is not generating measurable actions, then it is time to reevaluate the content and to which platforms are you are posting. NewsCred recommends evaluating your target audience and competitors’ social presence to shed some light on where you can adjust your strategy.
Social Media Strategy Goals and KPIs
The first step to building a social media strategy is establishing your goals. For inspiration, review your brand’s current marketing strategy. NewsCred suggests splitting your goals into primary and secondary categories, each pertaining to a different stage in the marketing funnel. These goals can range from conversion rates on newsletters to gaining more followers on a specific social media platform.
With goals in mind, you will need to determine how you will measure them. Selecting key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to track your progress as you reach your goals. KPIs should relate to your goals and the stage of the funnel. For example, NewsCred writes that KPIs for the awareness stage should measure your total impressions and reach across unique accounts.
Keep in mind that during the engagement stage, KPIs such as likes, comments, and page views should be viewed within the context of the bigger picture rather than as individual metrics. When establishing KPIs, evaluate which ones will best suit your needs and serve your goals.
Social Media Ads
Sponsored posts or ads are a direct way to reach your target audience and can be an important part of your social media strategy. But with all of the social platforms available, it is critical to choose which platforms you will advertise on wisely. To do this, you will need to understand your target audience and where they spend most of their time.
Once you have picked the social media platform that is best for your brand, you will need to determine what type of ad will best convey your message. Each social platform has various ad types ranging from images to video, slideshows, and even filters and geotags. When choosing your ad, consider your audience and how they will most likely see your ad. Will they be on mobile or desktop?
According to Hootsuite, most social platforms price ads using an auction format. You will have the option to pick from cost per click, per 1,000 impressions, by conversions, or by video view. The price can depend on the ad quality, objective, the time of year and day, target audience and other factors. To get the most value for your money, consider your goals for the ad and target audience, remaining consistent with your brand.
Create a Calendar and To-Do List
The creation of a monthly social media calendar is key to not only keeping track of your social media presence but also to determine the resources necessary for the department. Create a calendar that includes a list of social channels, content topics, dates and times of posting and whether you will need images or videos.
In addition to your posting calendar, establish a daily to-do list that will promote awareness and engagement on social platforms. To create a relationship between your target audience and brand, use this time to engage with the community by responding to direct messages and liking and sharing brand-mentions.
Final Notes on Social Media Branding
Remember to post frequently; otherwise, you will become obsolete in the digital space. Through trial and error, determine the frequency of posting and the time of day that yields more engagement. Remain on only the platforms that best serve you. There is no need to be on every platform if your audience is not there or if you don’t have the resources to post frequently.
Overall, your social media branding should tell a story about who you are as a brand and how you interact with your audience. Stories resonate and will draw your audience in to engage, leading to leads and conversions.