Magnified illustration with the word Social Media on white background.

 

Brand awareness and reputation is crucial today for a business to succeed. The need to thrive and stay competitive in the online space is job one. While there are more sources to find a company than ever before, the work effort necessary to keep up is huge.

Social media is a terrific place to start. The presence of social media has simplified the process for a potential customer to find a new business, read what friends and other trusted sources have to say about a business and to be converted into a customer. Social media is also a critical tool for a brand to build their reputation and communicate with their consumers alike. You can see the value of this homogeneous relationship.

About 65 percent of online users utilize social media to find information about people and companies, according to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer. About 90 percent of online businesses and brand managers believe that social media has helped them to increase their exposure, while 68 percent of them reported that they were able to develop a loyal fan base.

Social media is power. If you have not started branding yourself or your company through social media, the time is now. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right track.

1. Be Choosy

Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and a slew of others, you have several options to pick from to create a buzz about your business. Social media platforms are not one size fits all, your branding is your business, so you want to be sure the platform works into your branding. Another pitfall is opting for several platforms at the same time. This can consume a lot of your energy and consequently, lead to having a negative impact.

Facebook and Twitter are great platforms that can be used to promote just about any brand online because of the varied user base. On the other hand, Google+ is heavily used by people in the technology industry and is a great fit for brands working in the same field. LinkedIn is a perfect place if you operate a B2B company, as you can connect directly with corporate influencers, analyze your competitors and promote your business-related content. Instagram and Pinterest rely heavily on images and are effective if you’ve been running in clothing, or the fashion industry.

Once you are up and running, you will want to analyze the performance of each platform. Find what works and figure out how to increase those results and learn to quickly drop what hasn’t generated conversions. The key is, if you fail, fail quickly and move on. If it doesn’t work, use a new platform and start testing again.

2. Maintain Consistency Throughout the Brand

If you are responsible for building a brand online, you want to maintain a consistent look, color and feel throughout social media. From your brand name, to the logo and the profile pictures, updates and everything, you need to keep them in such a way that they are instantly recognizable as your brand.

Create a unique identity through a design that reflects your branding. Use the same color palette and style of your logo to design your social media pages. This is what reflects the identity of your brand online and visitors will know that it is your page instantly.

3. Create Valuable and Shareable Content

Website content, blog posts, along with video and other social media as well as images are highly beneficial to great branding. From increasing the number of pages on your website to increasing search engine visibility, great content supports your brand image. For example, Tweets with images are found to receive about twice as many views as text posts, so never be afraid of visual content, as it resonates very well on social media.

Use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs and Moz to analyze and compare your strategies against that of your competitors and gain a brief outline of how your performance compares. Don’t forget to track visitors to your website. Use Google Analytics to track the traffic details, bounce rate and page views your site is generating. Use this data to ensure that you have an appealing design and see how your website is converting.

4. Engage in Discussions

Branding is not just about building your audience, producing great content and keeping customers updated online. You need to socialize and talk to your consumers in order to build trust and authority.  

When you are a brand just getting started, work hard to publish killer content and consistent brand messaging. Take an accelerated approach early on to try and build your audience quickly and so that your voice is not lost in the noise.

Start noticing and leveraging influencers on your social media. Include them in your blog posts, tag them on social media and email them to let them know. Building a relationship with influencers takes time, but once you connect, you’ll have their help to bridge the gap between your brand and potential customers.