July 1, 2020
Social media offers a powerful platform that can help you increase brand awareness and recognition, and grow your business.
Your business can’t afford to ignore social media. According to Statista, there will be 3.02 billion social media users worldwide by 2021.
Here are 3 strategies that will help you increase brand awareness and gain new customers using social media.
1. Engage authentically
Today’s customers value and give their loyalty to companies that show transparency and authenticity.
How you make money matters to customers more and more.
So, interact with authenticity. Here’s how…
Know your brand
Before you can do any “branding” – on social media or elsewhere – you have to know your brand.
This starts with some introspection.
Assess these questions…
- Why are you starting (or why did you start) a business?
- What is your mission?
- How do you want to get there?
- What values guide your business?
- And which of those values are most important to you?
- What personality traits describe your business?
- What problem do you solve for your customers?
- And, how is your solution different, or even better, than the competition?
The answers to questions like these should guide all of your decision-making, your visual brand identity, and the voice your brand uses to communicate.
Identify and use your brand voice
Your brand voice is the way that your brand uses words to communicate. It may be formal or casual, youthful or mature, comedic or serious.
But, whatever your unique brand voice is, it should evolve naturally from your brand’s values and personality traits.
Your brand voice should appear in your best marketing copy and on your social media posts and stories.
That’s not to say that your tone can’t adapt to the subject matter you’re discussing – it should. But, ask yourself how your brand would discuss each topic and vary the tone accordingly.
For more info on how to find your brand voice, check out this great article from SEMrush.
It should go without saying, but you should always respond when people reach out to you on social media. Active conversations grow into authentic relationships.
2. Develop your brand identity
Your brand identity (everything visual about your brand) is one of your company’s most important assets.
Let’s take a look at how you can adapt your visual brand identity to increase brand recognition on social media.
Avatar and company logo
Your social media avatar is a key branding element of your social media account. It’s what other users (your customers and potential customers) will use to identify you.
Most businesses use that space to feature their logo.
And that’s smart.
Your company logo is the visual representation of your business. People know Nike by their Swoosh. And they know your business by your logo.
Be sure your logo is unique and strong before you plaster it all over your social media accounts and invest time in social media marketing. If your logo is generic and not memorable, this might be the perfect time to rebrand.
Marketing psychology shows us that color is a powerful communication tool. And, assigning specific colors to your brand makes it easy for people to recognize your business.
Your brand colors should derive from the colors in your logo. This will create visual cohesion across your branding materials and serve as a visual cue for identifying your business.
Be sure to use your brand colors throughout your social media profile and in the posts you share (when appropriate).
Optimize your bio
Social media platforms include space for a bio so you can tell the world a little bit about you.
There’s not enough space to write a dissertation explaining your core mission, your brand values, and your product’s unique selling proposition. Instead, show people as much as you tell by using your brand voice when writing your bio.
Some social media platforms offer more visual real estate than just an avatar to communicate who you are. Use this space to say more about your brand with a well-designed banner image.
Some businesses feature pictures of their signature products in their banner. Others reveal the members of their team to humanize the people behind the brand. Still, others just want a polished, professional banner featuring their brand colors and logo to reinforce their visual brand.
Style your posts
Your social media posts should always look like your posts.
Consistent visuals allow followers to recognize your content instantly once they’ve learned your signature look. It’s like picking out a friend’s face in a picture of a crowd.
3. Post the right content at the right time
What to post?
Knowing what to post can feel like a hurdle when you’re getting started. Fortunately, there are content marketing strategies that will give you a clear path to follow.
Consider your audience
Who are your customers?
What are they interested in? Where do their interests intersect with your brand’s interests and your brand’s values?
What kind of content does your audience prefer? Are they a memes sort of crowd? Or do they prefer thoughtful long-form articles?
Answering these questions will help you determine exactly what kind of content you should post and on what topics.
Check out your competition
While you should never steal from your competition, you should learn from your competition.
What topics are they writing about?
What format are their posts? (Text-only, article shares, photos, infographics, etc.)
And, most importantly, which posts are actually garnering comments and likes?
Balance promotion with value
Of course, it’s no secret that businesses want to use social media to promote their product or service.
But, that can’t be all you do. Like any relationship, there’s give and take by each party.
You have to put in the time to authentically build relationships by providing content your followers find valuable.
And, the value can come in many forms. The key is to take the time to learn what your audience will find valuable.
Your audience may value humor. Or, they may prefer informative content that teaches them something new – or a unique perspective on a topic they care about. But then, they may just want to see cute pictures of cats.
Or all of the above.
Be mindful to provide more value than promotion to keep your audience engaged.
Once you find a mix of content that your audience responds well to, share that type of content consistently. Your audience will start to pay attention to – and even seek out – your content if they find that they usually like what you’re sharing.
When to post?
Take the time to learn what days of the week and times your audience is on social media. Your brand won’t gain exposure posting at a time when no one can see it.
There may be existing research about the best times to post for your industry. But, you’ll most likely just have to run some tests.
Create a content calendar
Once you’ve nailed down when and how often to post, create a content calendar. It can feel completely overwhelming to know that you need to post something in 30 minutes and have no idea what you’re going to post.
So, spare yourself that heartache. Create a content calendar outlining what you plan to post and when.
Some experts claim that the day and time that you post is less important than posting consistently.
A better approach is to post at the right time and be consistent. But, if you have to choose one – maintain a consistent schedule. Your audience can only build a relationship with you through repeated exposure.
Prepare for a slow burn
Social media success won’t happen overnight. Your social media strategy should leave plenty of space for trial and error, learning, and realigning.
If you want people to get to know your brand, you’ve got to show up to the party. And, the party is on social media.
Katie Lundin is a Marketing and Branding Specialist at crowdspring, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services. She helps entrepreneurs, small businesses and agencies with branding, design, and naming, and regularly writes about entrepreneurship, small business, and design on crowdspring's award-winning small business blog.