Think about one of the world’s most iconic brands, Starbucks. Firstly, brands are led by a company’s mission. Starbucks’ mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit; one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, believed the most powerful brands are built from the heart. Grounded by its mission, Starbucks’ brand began to take form with a person, the consumer, in mind. From the coffee options available on the menu to the physical space of the café, Starbucks created an experience for its customers. Every Starbucks location uses particular plants, smells, sounds, colors and lighting. With social media growing, Starbucks took their brand to the digital sphere.
Each of Starbucks’ social media platforms focuses on engagement. On Facebook, you can easily find your nearest location and scroll through selfies of consumers drinking Starbucks. Instagram is very similar with reposts of consumers’ photos onto their main page. Starbucks responds to hundreds of tweets a day and has used consumer-created snaps in advertising. If you were to do a search on Instagram for photos tagged #Starbucks, more than 19 million photos would pop up – none paid for by Starbucks. Engagement is one of the fundamental key indicators of success in social media branding. Starbucks made the consumer their brand, which makes it easy to stay consistent with their brand on social media.
Are You Still Establishing Your Brand?
If you’re still establishing your brand, then consider taking a similar approach to Starbucks and begin with the consumer in mind. On the other hand, if you already have an established brand, there are key elements to the Starbucks brand that you could borrow to communicate your brand better on social media. These elements will drive the content you post.
Think critically about each item and consider how it relates to your business. Since you probably don’t have a team around you that takes care of marketing, especially a team for every appropriate social network for your business, try not to go all over the place and pick several networks that you will try hard to manage and to update, and then fail – either in advertising or production. And you don’t need advertising if you have no product.
So step by step, learn which outlets suit you and your business, choose a couple, and arrange your schedule so that it allows you to keep on top of them. But don’t let it take too much of your time.
Try to link them and follow the steps below.
The last thing you want to do is confuse your consumers. Eliminate confusion by using consistent messaging across all social media platforms that reiterate your brand. You want to use the same message over and over in order for it to be understood. Consumers receive a lot of messages, and they may only tune in sometimes. By staying consistent, you make sure that no matter when potential or existing customers are paying attention, they are receiving the same message.
Social media is making it easy for companies to overload consumers with content and messaging. Attention spans are shrinking and getting a consumer to pay attention to you is becoming increasingly difficult. Make it easier by keeping it simple. Narrow down your focus and keep your messaging succinct. Use plain language and short words. Get to the point and make a statement.
Every social networking site is changing its display to become more visually appealing. Since the success of Pinterest, social networking sites have caught on to the actions of consumers. As consumers scroll through timelines, they are receiving hundreds of messages. Consumers will tune in and pay attention to strong, bold images. Determine what images are most in line with your brand and consistently promote those images to your audience.
Differentiation Brand loyalty is the tendency of consumers to patronize the same brands. For consumers, although there are likely similar products and services, they continue to use the same brand, with no regard to convenience or price. This is because, in the mind of the consumer, there is something different about the brand they use in comparison to another. Make yourself stand out.
With the example of Starbucks, their product is coffee but in the mind of the consumer, they aren’t just buying coffee. They are buying an experience also. Now that we understand that your brand must be consistent, simple, visually appealing and different, we can help you define your brand.
Consider the following questions: What is your business? What are your business’ core values? What is the delivery method of your product or service? Why would a customer care about your business? As you answer these questions, keep your responses in line with the elements Starbucks showed us.
Then lastly, ask yourself what emotion do you want your customers to feel when they think of your brand. Emotions can range from empowered to joy to hopeful.
Essentials to Build Your Brand on Social Media
Whatever your aim is, the people on social media first want to know who you are. You may take help of social media for selling products, persuading people to donate to a cause or gaining subscribers for the promotion of your brand, but the first question to be answered still remains the same- who are you in the first place? In fact, the answer to this question is always a major attraction to grab the attention of more and more people on social media and make them your followers.
Customers need someone to identify with the brand so let them know something about yourself. It could feel like a scam or fake if you were to leave out that part – don’t be a ghost in your brand – you are the mastermind behind it. You are allowed to have some room for yourself. However, any of the above mentioned actions need to first focus on the authority of your brand.
So, how to ensure the authority of your brand which plays a pivotal role in ensuring your success on social media? And the best way to build your brand authority is possible through the optimum use of social media. As per the recent research done in the field of social media, more than 70% of brands have developed their immense trust in social media and plan to make huge investments in this field in the upcoming year. This move will certainly help such brands to build their good reputation in the market and reach new heights by making new followers.
So, are you ready to make a strong place in your industry and get good ranks on search engine giants like Google? Let’s take a quick peek into the steps which you can follow to improve the strength as well as the popularity of your brand on social media:
Check if the Networks Chosen Support Your Brand Image. As per the information provided by Convince and Convert, more than 22 percent of Americans make use of social media services multiple times a day, which specifies how a strong role is played by social media to build their brand.
Yes, hundreds of networks are available nowadays, but you need to select the best as not every network can support your brand with similar efficiency. So, invest your time and energy only with on such networks which can really be fruitful for raising the popularity of your brand in the long run. How to choose the best platforms for boosting your brand image? It is certainly one of the most essential steps as it plays a crucial role in supporting your brand image.
Here are a few factors which must be taken into consideration before selecting a platform for supporting your brand image:
Facebook – Until now, this platform has certainly proved itself to be the best platform for creating as well as promoting brand awareness. Undoubtedly, its wide usage all over the world gives one an easy way to make one’s brand popular and reach millions in a go. Not only this, but Facebook also finds an upper hand over other networks for its heterogeneous user base. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to raise your brand’s awareness among people of all the groups rather than being restricted to any particular segment. It automatically increases your brand’s awareness and that too at a much faster rate.
Instagram – It is a wonderful social networking site for such brands which basically rely on images for grabbing the attention of the customers. It is a great option for mainly retailers and clothing companies who depend on images for promoting their brands. It’s great popularity among the youth who love to try a variety of clothes and mainly like watching images help a great deal in establishing one’s retailing or clothing brands with the help of this social networking site.
Google+ - Though the popularity of Google+ didn’t raise the temperature of social media platform as expected by many, it can certainly be a wonderful opportunity for such brands which are related to technology and want to strengthen their hold in the field. It is categorized in this way as over two-thirds of the people using this network are connected to the technology industry in some way or the other. So, if you have something to promote in the field of technology, it can certainly prove to be a reliable site.
Pinterest - Is your brand related to jewelry or clothing? Then, Pinterest can definitely prove to be a good option for you. It is one of the favorites among women, and your clothing or jewelry brand can gain instant popularity on it.
Linkedin - If you are a business oriented person and want to promote your company, no other platform can be better than Linkedin for you. It is also the first choice of people whose jobs demand promotion of business related content. It also provides a good platform for connecting with influential business groups which can help in strengthening the effectiveness of your brand.
GitHub - If you have an interest in programming and computers, then you need to know that this is one of the greatest sites you will visit. Development of the GitHub platform began in October 2007. It is a social network for software engineers and enthusiasts. You can learn everything you need to know, present your work, share ideas with GitHub users who think alike, and you can do all that without unnecessary distractions.
Flickr – This is a vast gallery for managing, organizing and presenting photos. You can either show your talents and skills in photography and hope you’ll be noticed by some agency, or present your design on this high-quality photo sharing website. It is always worth a try.
AngelList – This is a social network that helps startups find investors. It is a great way of presenting an idea for the job and to raise money for it. This page also allows browsing startup jobs. The only bad side is that it is only available in the United Kingdom, but hopefully, the expansion is coming.
Quibb - This is a social network that connects job professionals by introducing them to various business topics, business news and up to date explanations. You can sign in with Twitter or a Google account. It includes members from almost 30,000 startups as well as companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Amazon and Skype.
Tumblr – This social network might not be your first choice for marketing purposes, but you might just be wrong, as it has been proven that Tumblr is a great blogging platform and social media tool all-in-one. Tumblr accounts are effortless in terms of personalization - it fits any brand’s style and attitude, and it is easier to acquire followers than it is on other blogging sites.
The best suggestion for you would be to start your social media marketing campaign as soon as you can – implement it with the latest techniques and apps to enjoy the growth of your business and brand. Take this opportunity, don’t stay behind, get ahead of everyone else and lead the way.
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