Strengthen Your Brand Identity through Social: 7 Steps to Brand Building on Social Media 

A strong social media presence is essential for any business looking to build and maintain a successful brand identity, which can help you rise above your competitors. Social media platforms present unique challenges and opportunities, and a compelling brand presence can set your business apart in this crowded landscape in order to grow awareness and drive conversions. Surprisingly, many brands often have a disconnect on social compared to their brand identity on other channels. This can be due to a a variety of reasons:

  1. Utilizing a lot of user-generated content (UGC), creator content, and influencer content, which puts your brand identity in the hands of your audience and can reduce cohesion across your social posts and with other brand assets.
  2. Leaning into trends that work on social, like memes and short-form video can feel off-brand compared to your more polished brand materials.
  3. Trying to be everything to everyone without a focused content strategy.
  4. Assuming that your audience knows you, and forgetting to highlight your brand attributes frequently.
  5. Disconnected social teams that aren’t aligned with marketing and brand strategy, which might happen when social lives under PR or customer service in an organization, or is outsourced to a freelancer or agency that is siloed from other tactics.

Wondering how can you can cultivate a stronger brand identity across your social media channels while leaning into what works to drive results? Let’s dive into brand building on social media in 2024.

What is Brand Identity?

At its core, a brand identity must include the basics: a unique and memorable color palette, a well-designed logo, meticulously chosen fonts, a cohesive visual aesthetic made up of imagery and video, and an identifiable tone of voice. But a really well-defined brand identity becomes the personality of your brand and its promise to your customers. Hubspot defines brand identity as what your brand says, its values, how you communicate your product or service, and how you want people to feel when they interact with your brand. In short, a well-defined brand identity helps you stand out from the crowd while also building trust, fostering customer loyalty, and creating a strong emotional connection with your audience.

Brand Identity Examples 

  • Nike: Known for its “Just Do It” slogan, Nike’s brand identity is all about empowerment, athleticism, and inspiration. Their consistent use of the swoosh logo, bold imagery, and motivational messaging reinforces this identity across all platforms.
  • Apple: Apple’s brand identity revolves around innovation, simplicity, and premium quality. The minimalist design, clean lines, and sleek product presentations on their social media reflect these core values.
  • Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s brand identity is built on happiness, friendship, and tradition. Their consistent use of the iconic red and white color scheme – along with feel-good advertising campaigns – helps maintain this identity.

7 Steps to Brand Building on Social Media 

In order to build s strong brand identity on social media, you need to first understand your brand and the appeal it has for consumers, and build everything around that. Here are 7 steps to help you define and activate your brand identity for successful brand building on social media.

  1. Define Who You Are and Your Core Differentiators: Start by identifying and articulating your brand’s mission, key values, and competitive advantage. These should align with your target audience’s beliefs and aspirations. Ask yourself: What does my brand stand for? What do I want my customers to feel when they interact with my brand, particularly on social media? What are my competitors doing? How can I stand out?
  2. Analyze Your Target Audience: Critically analyze every aspect of your audience. Delve into the analytics, as well as messages and comments to understand their preferences, behaviors, and pain points. This helps in crafting social media messages that resonate and engage effectively. Use tools like Instagram Insights and Sprout Social to help you analyze.
  3. Develop Visual Consistency: Choose colors for social that reflect your overall brand colors and brand’s personality, and consistently use them across all visual content. This helps in creating a recognizable and cohesive brand image. Build an asset library of images, videos, graphics, colors, fonts, and tone that align with your brand image and ensure all team members understand the visual requirements. Use tools like Canva to help you centralize creative asset design among core team members.
  4. Focus Your Efforts on the Right Platforms. Does TikTok feel off brand? Does Linkedin feel too formal? Is Instagram too visual for your business? You don’t have to be everywhere if it doesn’t align with who you are as a brand. Analyze social media platform demographics and identify where your target audience is most active. Focus your efforts on key platforms to maximize engagement and avoid spreading your brand too thin. If you’re already live on multiple channels, decide which you can lose and let your audience there know to follow you on your primary accounts.
  5. Craft a Unique Voice and Activate with Storytelling: Is your brand an authority or thought leader? Are you funny or serious? Elevated or down to earth? Define your brand tone and create messaging guidelines for social media communication. Whether it’s witty, professional, or friendly, your voice should resonate with your audience so your brand comes alive and attracts your customers.
  6. Build a Content Strategy that Encompasses Everything You’ve Learned: Develop content pillars, themes, and topics that align with who you are, what sets you apart, and what your audience wants. Share brand stories through your authentic voice to connect with your audience on an emotional level, using storytelling to humanize your brand and make it more relatable. 
  7. Adapt Your Brand Identity to Each Platform: Tailor your social media content for each key channel where you will remain active, while utilizing consistent brand elements. For example, Instagram should focus on visual storytelling through video and images with a cohesive color palette and creative that visually showcases your brand’s personality – while X might highlight short snippets of thought leadership through that compelling voice and brand messaging you developed to set your brand apart, with graphics that utilize the same consistent brand elements.

Bring Your Brand to Life on Social Media

Building and maintaining a strong brand identity on social media is an ongoing process. It requires a clear understanding of your core values, unique selling propositions, target audience, and the unique voice that sets you apart. By implementing consistent visual and messaging strategies across all platforms, you can create a compelling and recognizable social presence that builds your brand over time. 

Encourage continuous social media brand evolution by staying attuned to changes in your audience’s preferences and the ever-changing digital landscape. Revisit how you’re activating your brand on social quarterly and analyze if there are things you can do better. For further assistance and professional guidance on crafting a robust social media strategy, reach out to us! Your brand’s identity is its most valuable asset. Invest in it wisely.

TikTok Ban & Your Brand: What You Should Know

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Senate on Tuesday followed the House of Representatives’ footsteps by passing a bill to force the sale of TikTok by its Chinese parent company, ByteDance otherwise a TikTok ban will take place in the United States. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Wednesday, leaving many to wonder what comes next. 

The answer: Not much just yet, but the future is murky. Here’s what the measure and potential TikTok ban mean for consumers and brands alike. 

@cbsmornings

TikTok has up to a year to be sold by its China-based owner — or face a ban in the U.S., after the Senate passed a foreign aid bill Tuesday night. The potential ban would shut out 170 million users and impact small businesses. #news #tiktok

♬ original sound – CBS Mornings

Why the concern over TikTok? 

First, some context. The legislation was instigated due to national security concerns over the wildly popular app’s Chinese ties. Security experts and lawmakers believe the Chinese government could use the app to spread propaganda to the 170 million TikTok users in the U.S., and/or look to ByteDance to share sensitive information about those users. 

That said, TikTok maintains it protects U.S. user data through an alliance with Oracle, which blocks data from being accessed overseas. (See: Project Texas). 

Is there a TikTok ban right now?

The newly minted law gives ByteDance 9-12 months to sell to a new owner. No ban will take place before the 2024 presidential election. Legal challenges are expected, so this process could take years to settle and ultimately go down in history as just a big flex by the U.S. 

If TikTok is banned, existing users will no longer have access or be able to upload new content. The app would also not be available to download in app stores.

tiktok ban

There are a lot of implications surrounding a new law that would force a TikTok sale or ban it in the U.S. Credit: tashatuvango – stock.adobe.com

Who is in the running to take over TikTok? 

It’s unclear, but whoever buys TikTok (if we get to that point) is going to need some pretty deep pockets. While ByteDance only needs to sell off the U.S. portion of its TikTok business to satisfy the law, it’s predicted that segment could be worth tens of billions of dollars. 

Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai need not apply: tech giants Meta and Google would likely be struck down as potential buyers due to antitrust concerns. There is some chatter that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants to build a group of private equity firms and other investors to buy TikTok. 

So, what does a TikTok ban mean for my brand’s account? 

Keep an eye out for news of a potential TikTok sale, and brace for the possibility of a ban. You can be proactive about your content by downloading it for safekeeping and eventually repurposing it on a different platform, like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and X, which has said it’s now a video-first channel

In the meantime, think about cultivating and owning your audience through other means, like through an email marketing strategy. With the potential for compromised user data and privacy concerns on social channels, it’s certainly not a bad time to invest in other aspects of owned media.  

Another thing to consider is that if TikTok is sold to an approved buyer, it may not come with all its parts – meaning the algorithm that has made the app so popular and addictive might not be part of the deal. And that could be just as effective at killing TikTok in the U.S. as banning it would be. 

Influencer Marketing 101: A Guide to Getting Started

In today’s dynamic digital landscape, social media platforms have become a multipurpose spectrum where individuals can get everything from national news to the latest trending beauty products. Influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful force shaping consumer behavior and brand strategies. The intersection of technology and social influence has given rise to a new era in marketing, where individuals with significant online followings hold the key to reaching and engaging millions of people in some cases. 

As we delve into the realm of influencer marketing, it’s essential to explore its pros and cons, how influencer marketing has changed over time, strategies brands are implementing, and whether brands should be incorporating influencer marketing into their marketing budgets.

Influencer Marketing: Pros and Cons

There are equally as many pros to influencer marketing as there are cons. Brands must weigh whether or not they should be investing more time and money into their influencer marketing strategy. The initial investment may  potentially be small, but the return on impressions, engagement, and eventually conversions should ideally surpass partnership fees. For the Gen Z audience, influencers are their main source of truth when it comes to where to get the best products for various categories, offer the best tips, and make an overall powerful impact on the purchases they ultimately make – aka what we used to know as “word-of-mouth” marketing. 

More than ⅓ of Gen Z customers have purchased products based on an influencer’s social media content. However, a notable drawback that’s been gaining traction revolves around the perceived lack of authenticity in promoted content. The key lies in seamlessly integrating promotional material, a practice that has garnered positive responses from audiences as seen in the engagement. In essence, it becomes imperative for brands to collaborate with influencers whose message, audience alignment, and overall synergy align with their own values.

The Evolution of Influencers

Over the last 10 years or so,  influencer marketing has changed in many ways. Early collaborations were based on personal relationships between brands and content creators on various platforms, including blogs. Surprising personal collaborations often yielded the best results, captivating audiences with unexpected connections. The element of surprise, stemming from previously unknown associations, generated considerable buzz around these collaborations. 

As these collaborations gained traction, influencers began to see their value in the amount of engagement and impressions their partnership content received. They developed media kits, set prices, and established guidelines. Brands saw the impact this had on sales, and they began to understand the value partnerships brought to their business – and so they began to carve out influencer marketing and brand partnership budgets. 

What to Consider with an Influencer Marketing Strategy 

Choosing the right type of campaign, message, and influencer partnership is essential to a successful collaboration on either end. Partnering with an influencer who can effectively communicate your brand’s message while maintaining authenticity with their own voice and identity is crucial. This is especially important as a significant number of individuals consuming advertising content tend to avoid posts that appear overly promotional or lack a seamless integration. It plays better when followers don’t even notice ad content on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. 

Before diving into any sort of influencer marketing strategy, you must define your brand’s target audience and goals, and find a personality to mesh well with these. Collaborations now more than ever need to be genuine and seamless to elicit better engagement and increased brand awareness to lead to conversions.  

So, is Influencer Marketing Right for Your Brand? 

Does every brand need to utilize or include influencer marketing in their overall brand marketing strategy? The short answer is no. As with all aspects of marketing, it depends on the brand, your goals, and your audience. 

And, you have to understand that this strategy is often part of a long game. An initial surge in results may diminish over time, especially in the ever-changing and fast-evolving social media landscape. 

Influencer marketing is all about building sustainable success over time. Take charge by optimizing your strategies and allocating your resources. But don’t let perceived cost or workload prevent you from exploring influencer marketing. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and you’d be surprised at just how well the right micro-influencer can work for your audience vs. vying for the attention of a major personality. 

Ultimately, you want to focus on getting your product into the hands of someone who has an audience and can authentically weave your brand, your product, and your messaging into their lifestyle. 

Ready to get started? Reach out to us to explore strategies that make sense for your brand.