If you want to grow your audience on social media, and build your business recognisability and awareness in general, your small business branding needs to defined clearly.
If you’re a small business wanting to;
1. Pivot your brand and change the direction of your social media content and strategy
2. Find out more about rebranding a business on social media
3. Overhaul or refresh your existing brand and brand image
4. Launch and grow your business on social media through effectively branding your company
5. Get better at branding a business for social media success
Then our social media marketing and branding toolkit is for you. Read on, business branders!
What is social media branding?
Good question! Let’s have a look at some credible definitions.
According to the American Marketing Association, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
A brand is the ideas, feelings, or concepts that consumers have in their minds when they think about a business. A brand is recognised for its personality, aesthetic, voice, tone, and community.
Therefore, social media marketing and branding is how you convey your brand across to your audience through your choice of social media channels.
Brand strategy for small business: a social media branding toolkit
1. Branding your company aesthetically
Firstly, brainstorm what visuals, design, colours, style (e.g., traditional, contemporary, abstract, bohemian etc.) and imagery you want to be associated with your business when a customer thinks about you. Great brands and businesses have definite, discernible aesthetics. Pick colours and styles which represent you and what you’re about – not what is on trend or popular. For example, if you’re a positive, encouraging company, you might opt for yellow and friendly, circular fonts.
Build a go-to branding kit for your company that features the colours, fonts and styles you are going to stick to build up brand recognisability on social media. Have a core, primary selection, a secondary palette, and a third collection of fonts/colours/styles you may use for specific campaigns or time-sensitive content.
Don’t confuse an audience by using inconsistent aesthetics and if you want to make a lasting impact, don’t be led by design trends and avoid emulating what others are doing.
2. Define, and stick to, your brand values
A business without values or purpose is going to struggle to grow new and connect with existing audiences.
Think about your brand values. Are you people-focused, female-led, or passionate about diversity? Are you strongly independent and local, or determined to keep your business family-run? If you can put this across to your audience on social, you’re going to grow a more authentic following.
Once you’ve established your brand values, consider how you can convey this in your social media content. If you’re proud to be female-led, could you champion your female employees on social? Can you demonstrate the ethics behind your products? Incorporate showing your social good within your social media strategy.
3. Know and determine your brand’s purpose
What are you delivering to your audience and customers? Does your business strive to educate them, advise them, or inform them? Perhaps your business is built on the principle of motivating and encouraging people, or offering them inspiration? Maybe you are a light-hearted, less serious business that wants to build connection and community on social media by humouring and entertaining?
The content you create on social media needs to reflect your purpose for doing what you do, and you need to be adding value to your social media audience when marketing your brand if you want to grow on your social channels.
Businesses that post pointless ‘filler’ content for the sake of it that offers no value, or content that they obviously do not believe in (e.g., posting content about the Euros when the business leaders have no interest, affiliation, or link to football), are going to flop and bore their existing audience.
You can carry out delivering your purpose and adding value to your audience and potential customers through any social media feature, such as video, reels, guides, articles, captions, graphics or images – remember that successful social media branding and content strategies opt for quality over quantity!
So, what is your brand purpose? And how can you express this with your social media content? Here are some of your business’ possible purposes (you may have more than one):
Think about what emotions you’re going to evoke in your audience too – all recognisable, successful brands are known to evoke a particular feeling or emotion within their customers/audiences.
4. Establish your target audience and buyer personas
The key to effective branding is knowing who you are talking to and appealing to those people. Define your target audience segments and create your customer personas.
You should establish your target customer demographics, behaviours, and interests to produce social media content and a strategy that best suits to the audience you are wanting to target. A good place to start is by defining two key customer profiles.
Let us take two kitchen companies, for example. One kitchen company is wanting to reach a high-income, affluent audience. The other desires to reach and appeal to everyday families who own average sized family homes. Both kitchen companies would need an entirely different approach in their branding on social media. Brand your company in a way that speaks to and understands your target customer profiles.
5. Decide on the social media content pillars you’re going to use
Content pillars are themes which inform your overall content and social media strategy. They are the core, and the foundations, of all that you create for social media, and are how you use your voice to brand yourself and market your business.
Define 3-4 pillars integral to your business that your social media content and strategy are going to be centred around.
Let’s take a furniture shop for example. Their 4 pillars might be;
1. Their products – evoking inspiration and instigating sales through aspirational product shots
2. User-generated content, people-focused content e.g. staff member features – to establish social proof and build connection with their audience
3. Furniture maintenance and repair advice and how-to’s – demonstrating their knowledge and educating their audience
4. Interiors focused imagery – inspiring their audience to purchase new, better furniture with aspirational content, demonstrating their knowledge of furniture and interior styling
You may have less pillars or more, but we would recommend defining under 3-5 core pillars that you want to be known for and build your audience and customer base from on social media. They should reflect your business’ purpose, values and personality.
6. Ascertain your brand persona, tone and voice
If your business was a person, what would their personality be like? How do they use their voice, and what is their tone when managing different messages?
It’s crucial that as a business you have a recognisable personality and voice to build relationships with your audience – after all, people buy from people. Having a defined persona, voice and tone boosts your brand awareness and recognisability, which ultimately generates more leads and sales.
Start by picking a set of adjectives to describe your business’ personality, voice and tone, that you want your business to be known for.
You can read our in-depth guide to establishing your brand persona here.
Social media branding checklist
Ok, so before you run off to take over the world with your new branding knowledge, ensure you have followed this small business and social branding checklist.
1. Aesthetics – how you’re going to look
2. Values – the values you are going to celebrate and stick to
3. Purpose – the purpose of your company and what you’re delivering to your audience and customers
4. Your audience – who you are talking and selling to
5. Your content pillars – the content you’re going to produce on social media to build your audience that represents your business
6. Personality, voice and tone – your business personality, the personality you want your business to be known for.
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