What’s in a name? A lot, at least if that name is your brand name. Your customers – and your potential customers – will form an image of your brand in their minds. And how people think of your brand is very, very important.
Positive associations with your brand means people trust you, think of you as an expert in your industry and are more likely to purchase your products or services.
Negative associations are, well, pretty much the exact opposite. Obviously, you want people to have a great impression of your brand instead of a terrible one. Here’s what you need to know:
The Positive Power of Social Media
There are all sorts of ways you can help build a positive image for your brand. For starters, you need to cover the basics of business. This means creating a high-quality product which you sell at a fair price. You’ll probably also want to offer a no-hassle refund policy or other purchasing guarantee.
Once you’ve got the basics down, then it’s time to take a more proactive role in building a positive brand impression.
Where do people go to voice their opinions on brands? Where do they interact directly with brand representatives? That’s right – social media.
Social media is where customers and potential customers develop their understanding of your brand. They’ll watch how you interact with your followers, including how you respond to complaints.Social media branding is based on authenticity. At the same time, a positive social media brand doesn’t just happen by accident. Here are the strategies you’ll want to follow:
Consistency Across All Channels
Sometimes, internet marketers adjust their message across different social media platforms. This does make a certain kind of sense. After all, each of the major social media platforms has a different general audience.
Tweaking your message a bit to fit the format of each social media platform can be effective. But be careful about what you change. You want to keep the description of your business consistent across all platforms.
Don’t assume people will only follow you on one social media platform. Also, people searching for your brand might find many of your platforms in the results. Regardless of how they find them, you have to prepare for people stumbling across a few of your social media platforms.
Imagine you found a business which described themselves one way on Facebook but a completely different way on Twitter. Most people would feel very confused. Which business is the “real” business? You’d probably be wary of dealing with such a business.
Research backs this up. Over 60% of millennials expect a consistent experience when dealing with a business. We’re willing to bet non-millennials also value consistency, too.
You want to keep basically everything the same across all social media channels. This includes:
Develop Your Brand Persona
Part of developing your brand’s voice is developing a larger brand persona. This is how you present yourself online. Your brand persona depends on the product or service you provide as well as the general image you want to convey.
For instance, if you sell financial products, your content should probably have a serious, professional tone. If you sell fun, electronic toys, you can have a looser, more informal vibe.
Even if your brand is fun and informal, you still want to act professional at all times. Don’t make fun of customer concerns or act too inappropriate.
Automate… but Don’t Forget the Human Touch
Social media isn’t used to just sell, sell, sell. Your followers will quickly tire of that approach. Instead, you want to follow a general 7/3 rule.
Share seven pieces of content you didn’t create yourself. You can post cartoons, news updates, opinion pieces and basically anything else interesting related to your industry.
Along with your seven shares, you’ll want to post three pieces of original content. These can be blogs, special offers, podcasts or similar. The idea isn’t to directly sell a product but to bring customers into the conversion funnel.
Here’s the basic idea: Your social media followers will develop a habit of engaging with the posts you share on a regular basis. When you post your original content, your customers are more likely to engage because they already trust in your brand.
Social media is all about authenticity. You don’t want your brand to feel inhuman. Instead, further develop a connection with your followers by showing them a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
This means posting pictures of the people who work at your brand. Share blog posts about some of the fun which occurs in the office. Generally, showcase the people behind the products.
Engage with Your Followers
Social media isn’t a one-way street. You’ll need to respond to the bulk of comments you receive. Ideally, you want to respond to all of them. This is where an internet marketing agency can really be handy.
Try to respond in at least a day, if not sooner. When replying to compliments, a simple “thank you!” is often all you need.
Complaints are a different story. You’ll need to address every complaint. Some complaints are perfectly valid. You can simply apologize, offer appropriate restitution and hopefully resolve the situation.
Other complaints are, well, a bit bizarre. There’s a small segment of the market who simply will never be happy. That’s okay. You want to still try to resolve the complaint.
People often want to see how you resolve complaints. For instance, remember Amy’s Baking Company? They attacked their customers on social media! As a result, their business failed. Remain professional and polite at all times. Other potential customers will be watching – and they’ll appreciate your efforts.
Creating a Connection is Necessary (and Easy)
People don’t necessarily trust brands. But when they do trust a brand, that trust leads to increased engagement and sales. Social media is a great way to develop trust in your brand.
You’ll want to develop and maintain a consistent persona across all your social media channels. Engage with your customers frequently and professionally – but don’t be afraid to have fun. You’ll also want to show your brand’s human side by posting selfies and behind-the-scenes info.
Your social media brand is an important part of your SEO efforts. By using the techniques above, you’ll be able to develop a popular brand customers want to engage with.
How do you maintain your social media brand? What techniques have you used to increase engagement? Share your strategies below: