While social media platforms have become like a second skin to most consumers with each consumer having a presence on multiple platforms to consume the content available, businesses have also taken to social media platforms to increase their reach. But simply having a presence is not sufficient. Businesses must undertake social media brand-building activities to ensure an increase in their profits and improve their connection with their customers. Here are 4 perspectives to look from for a business to achieve success on social media:
- Social Media Platform Perspective
- Strategic Perspective
- Content Perspective
- Small Business Perspective
In the past, all a business had to do to make its brand famous was to spend a huge amount on advertisements and have a decent commercial. Today simply spending more will not help especially with the rise of social media platforms. Social Media Brand Building is a separate aspect that businesses have to take into consideration apart from the traditional way of building a brand. Social media marketing in today’s time is the way to reach out to potential customers be it a huge established business or a small business that is just starting. With the COVID-19 pandemic-led lockdowns, each business is struggling to physically reach its customers. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc have served as a bridge of communication and connection between them. (For more interesting facts about Social Media marketing check-out the link: https://www.instagram.com/p/COVM6QJD6md/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link) A business cannot simply survive without a presence on social media platforms. Customers today are more aware and need more than just a famous brand in their hands. They want interaction, constant development and more and more personalization from brands. They are socially aware too and want to be associated with brands that have the same values as they have and support causes that matter to them. Social media platforms have proved to be able to give results relatively quickly. They provide the ability for a brand to increase their awareness and engagement with the customers leading to higher conversion.
While an established business can take the benefit of Social Media Brand Building to increase their customer base through social media marketing. Small businesses can utilize social media brand-building activities to start their journey and reach their potential customers. Earlier, entering into the market with a novel idea for the business came with a lot of challenges and hence was only thought of by a selected few with enough financial backing, working space and basic raw material resources. But today, with the rise of social media and its reach, establishing a business has become simpler for the masses. Given the fact that most people were stuck at home due to the pandemic, a lot of them utilized their time to develop small businesses. Some decided to monetize their hobbies and some utilized this time to have a second source of income for their skills and knowledge. Starting a business on a social media platform requires very little investment as such. It is as simple as creating a business account on social media platforms very much alike to setting up an e-commerce business. But simply setting up an account and posting pictures or videos of your products and services may increase the reach but may not convert to sales. Customers today are more informed and at the same time, there are so many possibilities and options available to them that they can switch to competitors as quickly as possible. This is where social media brand-building comes into the picture. Before understanding how to build a brand. It is important to understand what the term Brand means. Simply put, a brand is an intangible marketing concept that helps customers to identify products, company or even people. A brand is what sets businesses apart from their competitors. Brands are not to be mistaken for logos or slogans as these are just the tools to promote products and services. The important point here is the concept behind the brand. The business before delving deeper into marketing has to first determine its objectives for branding. The main question is how the business wants the customers to perceive them. The goal is to ensure that the values and objectives that the business has thought for itself are exactly what the customers perceive about the business. Whether a business is undertaking social media marketing actively or not, the need of the hour is to have an accurate perception of the brand in the minds of the customers. Once the goals are clear, the gears can shift to building a brand.
Here are a few perspectives and points to keep in mind for effective social media brand building:
1. Social Media Platform Perspective:
A. Balance it out:
There are many social media platforms available. When starting the Social media Brand building journey, the focus should be on quality rather than quantity. Start with one or two platforms and see how the response is. At a later stage, more platforms can be tapped. Find out what is comfortable for the business and where it will grow organically rather than forcing it on every platform and the audience. This will give the business time to choose their own pace and also the ability to grow in a planned manner.
B. Choose your platform wisely:
Different audiences prefer different platforms. Youngsters are maybe more active on Instagram or Twitter than on Facebook while middle-aged consumers may be comfortable with only Facebook. It is important for businesses to pick those platforms that will help them reach people they actually want to reach.
C. Understand the Target audience:
If the business understands the target audience that they are catering to, half the battle is won. Each audience has a separate behavior. Understanding the behavior of their target audience will help the business to cater to them more effectively.
2. Strategic Perspective:
A. Make a plan:
Businesses should have a detailed plan for their social media brand-building objective. Businesses should keep in mind that each and every platform has a different type of content. They should do their research as to which content works best on which platform and plan their content accordingly. It also goes without saying that with the dynamic nature of social media with trends changing every minute, businesses should be open to adapting to such trends. The only thing to remember is to not go overboard with the trends. The bottom line remains; to align their goals and objectives with their content.
B. Design a relevant Logo and be mindful of the colours:
A logo speaks a thousand words. It is an effective tool to ensure recognition. It helps consumers identify a brand and differentiate it from others. Businesses should ensure that logos are as close to their values and objectives as possible. While logos are the design element, colours also affect the minds of the consumers. Some colours are perceived as calming while other aggressive. It is important to research which colour is perceived as what and accordingly choose them in the logo. (To know more about consumer perception click here)
C. Be Human:
Social media gives the businesses to connect with the consumers and form a relationship. When addressing consumers, posting content or when having a one on one conversation, try and be as human as possible. This will take the business a long way as it makes a human touch possible even in times of digital reach.
D. Be Transparent:
While many businesses have cracked the knack to become successful on social media quickly, this quickness has also resulted in their downfall even more rapidly. What a business needs to remember is that social media gives them the opportunity to be able to communicate with the audience on a grass-root level. This communication and the ease of it is not to fool or betray the consumers but to maintain a healthy relationship with them. Businesses should take all measures to give information that is accurate, collaborate with only credible influencers and not delve into any kind of activities that will lead to consumers receiving half information or being misled into believing lies.
E. Be Mindful:
In today’s day and age, it is important to be aware of the current affairs of the nation and also the world. Businesses must be aware that their actions and statements make an impact on their consumers. They should be mindful of what they post on their social media handles. They should always keep in mind that they have to be sensitive towards certain topics and also keep in mind that raising a voice for what is right is no more a choice but a duty.
F. Make use of Analytical tools:
Social media platforms give out details of many aspects like follower count, their countries of origin, which photo/video received how many likes, etc. All these insights can help businesses understand more about the type of audience that they are attracting and what content is working for them. This will help them analyze their current situation and develop further plans that they want to achieve.
3. Content Perspective :
A. Be consistent:
Businesses need to be consistent with their social media presence. Across all platforms, their thoughts, values, objectives and goals should be the same. There is a lot of scrutinies that take place before a person decides to follow a brand’s page or social media handle. A slight inconsistency can cost the business a huge loss in the form of customers who bounced off their page without following or without checking their products.
B. Be persistent:
Building a brand on social media does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence. The way to reach an audience is to keep delivering quality content that is aligned with the business’s objectives. It also takes a lot of back and forth, research, improving strategies according to what works and what does not work for the audience.
C. Spread the Knowledge:
The trend on social media platforms at the moment is to create short attention-grabbing content. But the audience quickly gets bored of the constant promotion of products and services. Businesses should try and make content that enhances the knowledge of the consumers. For example, if you are a baker, your content could be about giving simple tips to make a good cake or different types of ideas for decorating cakes at home. The audience in the time of pandemic has resorted to making everything at home. By giving them useful tips, not only makes them see that the business is more than just about promoting their products but wants to make an effort to communicate and build a relationship with the audience.
D. Make Visual Content:
While making content for social media platforms, it is important to use a colour scheme that represents the business/brand in some or another way. Looking at content with similar colours will help the audience to quickly get familiar with the brand and they will be able to recognize the brand in midst of multiple other options. Audiences get attracted to pictures and videos more than just text format. If there is some technical data to be presented ensure that you present it in a colourful manner.
E. Tell a Story:
Storytelling is the way to attract more consumers. If the business can tell its story most compellingly, then it creates a special relationship with the consumers. People want to know more about the brand. The idea before starting, how it started, the path of development etc. when people know the brand from the beginning it is more likely that they will be more connected to the business.
4. Small Business Perspective:
While the above-mentioned perspectives definitely are for small businesses too, here are a few more specific tips for social media brand building for small businesses:
- Create a hashtag specific to your own brand.
- Post reviews from customers: it helps other customers develop trust in your brand.
- Keep a healthy and polite conversation going with the audience.
- Explore the features available on the platform and try and incorporate most of them in your plan/conversations.
- Try and get insights by asking the audience what they would like to see/learn more about.
- While collaborating with other brands, do your research. Do not blindly believe in what they say and offer.
- If you are choosing to collaborate with social media influencers, understand their working style and make sure it matches your working style.
- Weigh the opportunities and benefits against the cost before jumping into collaborations, especially if they are unpaid ones.
- Ask the consumers to follow you, tag you and share their reviews with you. Repost this even if there are negative comments. It will ensure that your brand believes in constructive criticism and works on what is best for consumers.
In conclusion, social media platforms are always developing, consumption pattern of the audience also changes. Building a brand on social media is a blend of a lot of patience and hard work and some easy tips that can ensure growth. Businesses need to have a good plan of action and have the ability to quickly adapt to changes and be prepared for contingencies.