The concept of a brand can be easily confusing. In fact, its own definition is limiting. The truth is that a brand goes beyond the name, logo, or symbol that distinguishes one product from another. The ‘brand’ notion has to do with the general perception of your business or product.
We realize that achieving a positive perception is no mean feat. This is why we have put together this piece. We explore the relationship between social media and branding, and how you can harness the power of social media to build a great perception of your product or business.
What is the Relationship Between Social Media and Branding?
Social media is a means to an end. It gives a business or product an opportunity to connect more with customers, even in real-time. This way, businesses are able to have more chances to shape the perception people have about their products or services.
It is also easier to determine perception and areas for improvement if you are using social media marketing. Have you heard of customer sentiment? Like ‘brand’, it has to do with perception, only that sentiment is based on emotions. It is how customers feel about your product or business.
A simple way to understand sentiment is the words people use to describe their experience with your product or service. Words like ‘love’ show strong sentiment.
For example, here are 2 iPhone 12 Pro reviews:
“I love my 12 pro. It’s not too big, not too small, very stylish and cute. I got it in silver but it looks white. I love it has 5g and is fast, camera quality is amazing, great photos and screen.”
“LOve my new i-phone. The salesperson was excellent and worked to resolve issues getting my information to port over to the new phone. She was very patient with me.”
You definitely need more customers to write such reviews for your brand. Let’s dive into how social media can help you achieve that.
How to Use Social Media Marketing to Help You Build a Brand
Isn’t social media all about posting as many times as you can? If it were that simple then all businesses or organizations that use social media would have very successful brands. The following table is a breakdown of social media usage in Kenya, according to StatCounter:
Here is how to use the above platforms to build your brand:
Branding Should Represent What your Brand Stands for
It should be easy for your customers or prospective customers to understand what your brand stands for, even without much explanation. Think about Nike’s logo. It suits their message: Just Do It.
A brief look at history shows that Nike’s founder’s vision was to have a simple and fluid logo that communicates speed and motion. What better inspiration than Greek’s goddess of victory, Nike?
Once you have what your brand stands for right, then you can start to unleash the power of social.
Consistency in Branding
You need to ensure that your messaging on social media is accompanied by consistent branding. Use the same colours, logo versions, graphic types, and even style. We are not saying that you should not be creative in your presentation, only that users need to be able to tell that any content they come across is yours.
This is why brands have brand books. They define the logo versions, fonts, placement, colour codes, and backgrounds.
A good example here in Kenya is Safaricom.
All their images have the logo at the bottom right followed by the particular campaign they are pushing at that particular time.
Find your Brand’s Voice
Back to Safaricom. They always have a particular way of communicating. For example, they usually use both English and Swahili in the same piece of content. They also push memorable seasonal campaigns until they become mainstream. These campaigns span months. That way, customers are able to resonate with them easily over time.
A helpful tool in finding your brand’s voice is the brand voice framework. This is basically a combination of tones that you want to use. Tones can be:
Somewhere in the middle of all of these tones lies the perfect combination for your brand.
Use Images and Videos that Represent your Audience
People need to see themselves in your messaging. If your target is mums aged 30 to 50, then ensure that the images and videos that you use, even if stock, are as close to that persona as possible. This way, you create a positive perception of your brand as the people in the messaging are relatable.
We have explored the concept of ‘brand’, and how it is all about perception. We have then looked at the relationship between social media and branding, and how you can use social to build a brand. We have also come across sentiment and brand voice, all of which are useful in building a successful brand using social media.