Establishing a strong brand today requires some hefty planning, as well as a presence in a variety of advertising mediums. Out of all the traditional areas of advertising, social media has emerged as one of the essential pieces of building your company's branding strategy.
The reason for this importance is because of how visual people are and the graphical and pictorial nature of social media. Often, it's up to a business to communicate an extraordinary amount of information in just a few words (with Twitter) or with an appropriately captioned picture (on Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else with pictures).
Changing Perceptions and Attention Spans
The suggestion that the average consumer's attention span has grown particularly short isn't a myth. If you take a look at a silent film from Hollywood's early era, you'll notice relaxed editing and a leisurely pace of the story presentation. You'll even see people reacting in what feels like slow motion.
That sort of filmmaking wouldn't cut it today because of how over-stimulated the average consumer's senses have become with colorful advertising everywhere one looks. As a business owner, you know that branding is one of the key elements of a sustainable business, and social media should become the primary element of your branding campaign.
Top Benefits of Social Media for Marketing
For several years now, social media has remained the "next big thing" even though it's no longer something that today's marketers are looking toward as the future. Rather, social media is a part of every business's current marketing scheme.
Even so, many businesses have been lax in taking up the social media banner. There are several significant benefits of social marketing that should make any business owner want to set up every social media account he or she can find.
Forbes offers several simple benefits of using social media for your branding efforts:
- Better brand recognition (this one is obvious but most important)
- Enhanced brand loyalty
- Additional opportunities for conversions
- Better conversion rates than outbound marketing
- Enhanced brand authority
In addition, a healthy social media campaign also enhances the traffic enjoyed by a company's website, boosts search engine rankings, and may even lower marketing costs. When done correctly, social media campaigns are extremely cost-effective.
The Importance of Images and Social Media
You can do so many things with social media from short videos, shared articles, status updates, and photographs. However, static photographs might just be the best way to convey brand with social media.
A study conducted by Socialbakers presents some fascinating information regarding just how powerful pictures are, particularly when they're part of a Facebook social media campaign.
"In August 2012, we reported that 85% of the most engaging posts on Facebook were photos. According to our latest results, the number has increased to a whopping 93%! Our data shows that only 2% of the most engaging content on Facebook is generated by links, another 2% by videos, and 3% by status updates."
An interesting article on Hubspot's marketing channel suggests there are four ingredients you must use to create a successful social media campaign. Those ingredients include consistency in:
Much of what makes any branding campaign successful is remaining consistent. The message shouldn't change during the course of a campaign, the colors shouldn't change, and the layout of posts and websites should match.
Great Guidelines for Media
Creating a consistent message for any advertising campaign is important, and consistent visuals often require some basic ground rules such as the size of watermarks and what images can be used and when.
For example, Social Media Examiner offers clothing manufacturer and retailer H&M as an example of consistent logo use with its official watermark.
"If you’re going to include a logo or other icon with your images, create guidelines addressing size and placement. Inconsistent logo sizes or random placement can appear sloppy… consistency plays a part in their overall brand recognition."
When you work with your graphic designer (and you should work with a graphic designer!), you'll want to establish guidelines such as the standard size in pixels of your logo, as well as images used from various social media websites.
Hint: Each social media website – like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter – offers marketers high quality, optimized logos. So, don't try to make your own Twitter picture. Use a graphic directly from Twitter instead.
Established Companies Can Use Social Media
The use of social media for branding seems like a modern and hip method of marketing, but it's not restricted to new companies that consumers perceive as "young." There are several recent examples of established companies using social media even though their venerated brand was around several decades before the internet.
The Huffington Post shares some basic concepts of how any business – no matter its age – can succeed in social media.
- Develop a strategy for social media
- Create valuable, sharable content
- Optimize the campaign for mobile users
- Partner with influential bloggers
These essential concepts should be part of every social media branding campaign, but only after a consistent message and visual design have been constructed for the project.
These social media projects won't bring the desired result for improving brand without the requisite consistency in visual presentation.
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