Why Your Social Media Content Needs to Fit Your Brand
Social media branding is an integral part of modern digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing is most effective when it is aligned with a brand’s entire marketing strategy, including branding itself. Aligning branding and social media activity can strengthen the public perception of a brand and build trust between the brand and its target audience. To achieve these synergies, marketers need to ensure that brand values and messages are reflected in their social media activity.
Conversations about Brands online
This blog came about after a lengthy conversation with a friend about a brand she helped build and is now being run by another Social Media manager. She lamented that the business had a certain character, and now she can’t recognize it when she sees it online. It seems the new direction the brand is going, is alienating long time repeat business and chasing away new business. The messaging is all off brand. But in the end, what is a “brand”?
A brand is more than a company logo and its strapline or slogan. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines a brand as “the set of physical attributes of a product or service, together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it.” Whenever people think of a brand name, it is not only the name that comes to mind. Instead, even if someone has never used the brand’s products or services, the name alone evokes associations. Leading brands take great care to build and manage their brands. This includes logos and straplines, a well-defined brand voice and carefully crafted brand messages. These elements form the building blocks of an evocative brand.
Why a brand?
Coke is not Pepsi and vice versa. This is an old reference. Back in the day Coke tried to change it’s brand by becoming New Coke, the brand failed. In the 90’s Pepsi was onto a good thing with its messaging, but in recent times seems to have lost its way. Both brands cannot simply pivot into new territory without some issues. One just has to look at the recent Anheuser-Busch debacle with the totally off brand use of Dylan Mulvaney as an influencer/spokesperson for Bud Light. The risk is always alienating your core customer base in the hope of getting new customers to grow the brand.
Social media branding takes the tangible and intangible attributes of a brand and combines them with the powers of social media channels. A little over a decade ago, social media channels started out as a way of connecting people and entertaining them. They have since evolved into some of the most powerful digital marketing tools available to brands. Today, social media networks around the world have more than 4 billion users every month.
Social Media Managers, what are they good for?
Be careful who you hire to represent your brand online. A social media influencer is not going to manage your whole social media presence. Hiring a social media manager who doesn’t understand your brand, who then in turn subcontracts an influencer who doesn’t represent the core values, is a recipe for disaster.
If your business is a restaurant and you cater for the fine dining experience to people 30 years and up who have families, then hiring an 18 year old influencer who then posts funny TikTok’s will not bring you new business and may turn off those already engaged with your brand. Running a social media campaign on “autopilot” only works if you have it focused on the right message. Just because the influencer, possibly a friend of the SMM, has 250k followers doesn’t automatically mean those followers are going to come to your fine dining restaurant. In fact, they will not.
Branding is critical on social media – a highly-competitive platform where businesses try to attract and keep loyal audiences. Your content needs to stand out for your business to gain a foothold on social media. At the same time, your social media content must be consistent with your brand.
Where the Social Media Manager and the content creation fit together
Any SMM worth their salt will include a strategy document. Having come from an advertising background I know how to analyze and build a strategy that works with brands. This is brick and mortar level ad agency stuff for less cost. You need to align the brand with the message, and the strategy build a foundation for that. The influencer is just an executed of the brand’s strategy and the SMM is the manager of the assets. What happens if there is a problem with your product and the customers start commenting on how bad the brand has become. Do you have a social media response policy in place, do you have a line of communication open from owner to SMM? This is crucial in the event a catastrophe happens, social media continues to be a two way conversation. Without the right strategy in place you may do irreparable harm to your brand and I don’t like to see that.
In conclusion, aligning branding with social media activity can help businesses build trust with their target audience while strengthening their public perception. Social media branding takes the tangible and intangible attributes of a brand and combines them with the powers of social media channels. It is critical for businesses to ensure that their social media content is consistent with their brand in order to stand out in today’s highly-competitive digital marketing landscape.
This blog was written by Ian a Reid, the owner and manager of ReidDesigns.pro, he’s worked in Digital Asset Management since Facebook was a thing, he’s seen the rise and fall of Twitter and the advent of Threads. He knows a thing or two about brand building and advertising. Get in Touch here to help your brand make money online. Thanks for stopping by!
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