With over 3.6 billion people active on social media, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the perfect place for promoting your business. As opposed to other online marketing strategies, social media focuses on inserting branded content directly into the online conversation.
On social media, the interaction between a business and its target audience is more straightforward, engaging, and informal compared to say, an email marketing campaign.
However, in order to engage with your target audience on social media, you need to first build a strong brand identity.
What Is a Brand Identity?
Not to be confused with a brand image, brand identity refers to the visible elements of a brand, such as its logo, color palette, and design that helps consumers identify and differentiate a brand from others.
In short, brand identity is how you would like your audience to perceive you, whereas a brand image is how that audience actually sees you.
Why Is Brand Identity Important on Social Media?
First and foremost, with so many people actively using social media, having a strong brand identity will help you accelerate the process of creating brand recognition.
Second, as we’ve previously mentioned, the interaction between a business and its target audience is more direct, informal, and transparent on social media, ultimately building a sense of trust in the audience and strengthening relationships with existing customers.
How to Build Your Brand Identity Using Social Media
1.Know Your Brand
Before creating the visual representation of your brand, you first need to take some time to thoroughly understand what your brand is all about. By doing this, you will figure out what type of message you want to send to your audience.
Write down your mission, vision, and values of your brand. After that, ask yourself the following questions: Why was this brand created? What does it value the most? How does it distinguish itself from other brands? How would I describe it in a few words?
The answers to these questions will help you outline the personality of your brand and also distinguish a set of powerful words that relate to your brand, which will be used in communicating with your audience.
Take some time to find the answers to these questions. If you’re having trouble, consider consulting with a company that offers brand identity services.
2. Know Your Audience
Remember when we talked about the meaning of brand identity and brand image? As we have previously mentioned, brand identity represents how you want people to perceive you, and brand image is how those people actually see you.
Now, when building a strong brand identity, your vision of who you are as a brand has to align with how your audience perceives you. And naturally, to make that happen, you need to know who your audience is.
Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. Let’s say that you’re targeting millennials. Well, there are lots of them on social media, and chances are that not all will resonate with your brand, so narrow things down a bit.
Create an image of your ideal customer. What type of music does he listen to? What kind of hobbies does he have? What does he value in life? Does he have a more shy or outgoing personality?
After you’ve done that, compare your target audience with your brand values and see if things align. Think of it as if your brand is trying to spark a friendship with your target audience. To make that work, there certainly have to be at least a few things in common.
3. Choose a Platform
It might be tempting to go all out and create a social media page on just about every platform out there. However, it’s best to start small and choose one or two platforms at the most.
Create a social media presence on the channels where your target audience spends the most time. For example, millennials will be more prevalent on Instagram, whereas, you might encounter an older population of people on Twitter or Facebook.
4. Establish the Look of Your Brand
Now it’s time to define how your brand is going to look. As social media platforms mostly focus on visual content, you should first emphasize colors, fonts, etc. to ensure that your brand is consistent across all channels and platforms.
Start by picking the colors of your brand, something that will associate with its personality. For instance, blue can represent the fact that your business emphasizes security and trust. Whereas, yellow might give your brand a more joyful and energetic look.
Much like your color palette, the font you use will also play a role in showcasing the personality of your brand. As an example, serif fonts commonly represent respectability and seriousness, while display fonts are more friendly and jovial in nature.
5. Find the Voice of Your Brand
Now that you’ve decided on the look of your brand, it’s time to figure out how it is going to sound.
Your brand’s voice and aesthetic need to match the type of audience you are targeting. In other words, if you choose a more lively and youthful color palette with flashy fonts, you’ll might want to use playful language, maybe with a few slang words thrown here and there, since this will fit well with younger audiences.
However, if you choose a more down-to-earth color palette, your brand would have to speak accordingly, by using a more serious language containing acronyms or industry-specific terms.
To get this right, think of your brand as a person. It has its own personality, style, purpose, and its own way of speaking with other people.
6. Be Consistent
Now it’s time to start posting. When posting content, remember to always be consistent, both in regards to frequency and in the way your brand interacts with your audience.
When it comes to the frequency of your content, you’ll need to find a sweet-spot. Don’t post too often, since that will only flood users’ feeds and that will most likely get them to unfollow you. But don’t post too rarely either, otherwise, people will hardly remember you.
When it comes to the brand itself, remember that once you’ve chosen its colors, fonts, and its voice you’ll need to stick to them. Create a template for the content you are going to post, that showcases your brand in the best way possible.
Don’t constantly change its aesthetics or its voice, as that will confuse your audience.
Keep in mind that by being consistent in both of these aspects, your ultimate goal is to get people to instantly recognize your brand, judging by the content you post, without ever looking at your logo or name.
7. Keep Your Audience Engaged
Speaking of getting people to easily recognize your brand, just posting content is not enough. You need to keep them constantly engaged and encourage them to interact with your brand and also share your content with other people.
A great way to do so is by hosting giveaways or contests, where you’ll get people to post their own content, such as photos or videos of them using your products. A giveaway will spread the word like wildfire, attracting new potential customers.
However, when doing so, don’t forget to create your own branded hashtag, which people will use when posting this content. That’s how you will get to spread the name of your business.
When creating the hashtag, keep it short and sweet. It needs to be made up of a few easy-to-type words at the most, all the while keeping it original. Come up with something that reflects your brand.
Creating the identity of your brand is no easy task. It requires time, creativity, research, and effort. You need to make sure your vision of who you are as a brand perfectly aligns with how your audience perceives you.
After reading this post, hopefully, you’ve managed to get a better idea of how to portray your brand on social media. Keep in mind that once you’ve established the look and voice of your brand, stick to it. Also, post content regularly. Your main goal is to get people to instantly recognize your brand by developing a unique brand personality that aligns with your brand’s values and your target audience.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.