• Hayley Velandingham

How to Use Branding Through Social Media

When people think of branding, they think of logos, colors, and typography. Even though all of that is still extremely important, technology and the use of social media forces companies to evolve and portray their brand through the next biggest marketing platform. When you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, do you need to see a logo on the image to know which brand/company it belongs to? The answer to that question depends on how well you know the company, and how well the company does in portraying themselves visually to their audience. The company profile can contain beautiful pictures, but unless they find a way to set themselves apart, they become a blur in the sea of social media.

Different Platform, Different Audience

Instagram isn’t the only platform that businesses use to portray their brand. The main social media platforms as of right now include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and now TikTok is on the rise. Depending on the business goals of the company, they could inhabit each of these networks as long as their target audience is using them. Each platform is unique in how it delivers content. Understanding how people use these platforms is important in order to determine what kind of content needs to be posted. I have attached an image from LikeableMedia where they go into detail about how each network is used as well as the pros and cons of using each one.

Businesses need to determine what social media platform different audiences use, where their target audience lies, and what kind of content their audience should expect to see on specific platforms. This will help with the overall voice of the company and how they communicate effectively with their market. As stated before, each platform is different. Adding personality to the content can help the business relate to the different audiences within these networks.

Something to keep in mind is knowing which audiences are using which platforms. The younger generations like Gen Z and Millenials are using platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and some Facebook. The older generations like Gen X and Baby Boomers are mostly using Facebook, and business professionals are using LinkedIn. The audience that uses each platform expects to see different things. The younger generation would prefer content that can be digested quickly. Facebook is more well-rounded in that it could allow for quick content as well as lengthier content, depending on the subject. Those using LinkedIn would expect to see a certain professional language used throughout the platform. It’s simple things like this that businesses need to consider when creating content for their target audience using different social media networks.

For example, if your business is a furniture store, some good platforms to use would include Instagram and Pinterest. Everyone likes seeing nice furniture in a clean space. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have a tendency to inspire and motivate those who utilize it. Another example would be if your business is a recruiting agency. The best place to advertise your services would be LinkedIn based on it’s percentage of business-professional users and those looking for employment opportunities.

Profile Consistency

Regardless of which platform(s) companies choose to have a social media presence on, it’s important to keep the branding consistent throughout them all. This includes having the same profile picture, which is normally the company logo. The logo can vary slightly between platforms based on the sizing that’s available as well as the audience. It can be normal to have a more visually appealing logo on Instagram rather than LinkedIn which is more business-oriented. Each brand should have their own recognizable brand guidelines that consist of their color palette and typography. This should be consistent throughout the networks as well. As far as a bio or description, these can vary slightly, but should still give the same message to the audience.

A profile doesn’t consist of just profile images and cover photos, these also include the content that is posted on a steady basis. This leads me back to the question I asked in the first paragraph: “When you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, do you need to see a logo on the image to know which brand/company it belongs to?” What are some design consistencies that you notice on your favorite brands’ pages/posts? What makes their profile pop? In most cases, the first thing you notice when looking at a company’s page is their specific content.

I follow a company called Wacom on my personal Instagram account because I enjoy digital illustration and they sell various graphics tablets that allow artists to draw by hand and capture it in digital form. The majority of their content consists of artwork that was created using their products.

The interesting thing about businesses like this is that they don’t need to use a consistent color palette to set themselves apart. Instead, they let the capabilities of their products speak for themselves.

Get to Posting!

There’s more to branding now than just logos and brand colors. It’s now the voice that businesses use to communicate with their audience on a daily basis. 54% of social browsers use social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex, 2018). People are using social media networks to research items and view recommendations and reviews. This means that most customers research a business on the internet and social media before even stepping into the store. This shows the importance of having a strong social media presence for potential customers to experience before committing to a product or service.

Sometimes it can be difficult to measure the success after beginning the branding process. The main thing that businesses should keep track of is the amount of engagement their posts get whether it’s likes, shares, comments, or retweets. An increased amount of engagement means that the target audience is reacting to what is posted. It takes up a bigger space in their mind and makes them think about the post as well as the company. It will take time, patience, and consistency for businesses to build that relationship, but it’ll be worth it.

Stay tuned for future blog posts where we’ll dive deeper into methods for marketing on various social media platforms. If you’d like to know which social media platform is right for your business, send us a message here! We’d be happy to help!

Hayley Velandingham

Social Media Manager