Social Media Marketing 2021: How to Brand Your Business [Checklist]
Learn how to brand your business on top social media platforms. Uncover proven social media branding strategies for advertising on social media in 2021.
There are 4.1 billion social media users in the world today, making social media marketing an essential part of any brand’s marketing strategy. If you aren’t using social media to its full potential, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities to reach new customers and generate revenue.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to brand your business on social media so you can grow your following and increase your customer base.
What is Social Media Marketing?
In general, social media marketing refers to creating a strategy to advertise your business on social media channels. Because every channel has its own niche focus, the method you’ll employ on each one will vary.
For example, Facebook and LinkedIn are relatively text-heavy, while Instagram and Pinterest are more focused on images. Meanwhile, TikTok and YouTube are exclusively for videos. Those are some of the main ones, but over 200 social media channels are considered relevant today.
While it would be difficult to market on every channel successfully, it’s a good idea for brands to be on more than one channel. After all, most people are on more than one channel.
Why You Should Have a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The main reason to create a social media marketing strategy is because that’s where your audience is! Americans spend an average of one hour and 57 minutes a day on social media channels. That’s nearly two hours a day spent reading articles, liking posts, and watching videos.
Another reason to be on social media is that your competitors are already there. Over 70 percent of brands have said they plan on investing advertising dollars in social media in 2021. If you aren’t there for your audience to find, someone else will be.
Creating a Brand Presence on Social Media
Now that you’re on board with advertising your brand on social media let’s talk about how to do it. While there can be some benefits to being the first on a new platform, that’s not the best strategy if you’re just starting. Instead, start with social media platforms that have been around long enough to prove their value to brands. Plus, you can see what other brands are doing so you can get inspired for your campaign.
Remember that quality content is key, no matter what platform you are using. Focus on creating content that is valuable to your audience. It should reflect your brand’s voice, giving followers an idea of what they can expect from interactions with your brand via text, chat, email, and in-person conversations.
Setting Up Your Brand’s Profiles
While every platform is unique, there are several things you’ll need to do to get set up on all of them. Use branding tools and follow this checklist to get started.
- Be consistent
Your logo, image, font, and color palette should be consistent across all social media platforms so people will instantly recognize it.
- Post consistently
The more you post, the more opportunities to engage your audience and attract new followers. Use a third-party platform like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social to automatically schedule your posts to publish on your selected day and time.
- Create templates for your graphics
Today’s brands can’t afford to look like amateurs when they create images for their posts. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a designer to create stunning graphics (although hiring one can’t hurt). Use tools like Canva, Pixlr, or Fotor to turn any idea into a share-worthy image.
- Develop marketing personas
TikTok users are different from Facebook users, who are different from Instagram users. Develop buyer personas for each platform you are going to use so you can create content that speaks directly to them. Use any data you have already collected from social media to help you figure out your target audience for each platform.
- Measure your progress
Every platform gives you analytics to help you determine what works and what doesn’t. Check your analytics regularly. Compare your best performing posts with your worst performing ones to see what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. This should be part of your routine so you can consistently post content that is relevant and engaging for all of your followers.
Using Social Media Advertising to Brand Your Business
While gaining organic followers is still a good goal for brands, most brands rely on social media advertising at least some of the time. Research shows that ad spend increased by 56 percent from 2019 to 2020 and is expected to continue growing into the near future.
Three platforms that are big right now are Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. These three platforms focus on different types of content (images, text, and video), so understanding how they work can help you develop a social media strategy for similarly focused platforms.
Promote Your Brand on Facebook
You’ll need to create an account through Facebook’s new Business Suite. If you already have an active business page, it will need to link through the Business Suite so you can schedule posts, create ads, and track analytics.
Once your business page is set up following the above checklist, you’re ready to buy ads. Facebook ads are relatively easy to set up and use.
First, you need to create engaging content. Then, select the audience you want to target. Facebook lets you narrow your audience down by all kinds of demographic, persona, and professional information. You can also narrow down your audience geographically. (This is why developing marketing personas is so important).
Next, you’ll choose your goal for the Facebook ad—drive traffic to your website, drive conversions, gain new followers, increase engagement, or something else. Finally, select how many days you want to run your campaign.
Promote Your Brand on Instagram
Instagram is all about pictures and videos. It also has the highest engagement rate out of all the social networks, making it a must for any brand that invests in social media marketing. Specifically, photos of inspiring quotes and questions in text form work well for engagement.
In addition to images, every Instagram post should include hashtags (they allow up to 30) and a call to action. Your bio should link back to your site to drive traffic.
Because Facebook and Instagram are linked, you can run the same ad on Instagram by clicking one extra button. It couldn’t be easier.
Promote Your Brand on TikTok
Right now, competition is relatively low on TikTok because many brands are hesitant to try it. This is opening doors for marketers willing to take a little bit of a risk.
Short, engaging videos dominate TikTok. By short, we mean no more than 60 seconds, but ideally 10 seconds or less.
Create short, engaging videos that market your brand. Don’t be afraid to be a little “out there.” Funny, quirky content sells on TikTok. Interactive features like polls can help engage your audience. Informative how-to style videos also work very well on TikTok.
How to Make a Great Brand Video
Creating videos to share with your audience is a smart way to attract different types of audiences without making hundreds of different videos. For instance, you can cut your Facebook video down to a minute or less for TikTok.
Here’s how to make a great branded video for social media.
- Create your brand identity using a video editor
- Choose the type of video you want to make
There’s no limit to the types of videos you can make on social media. Being innovative is an excellent way to stand out from everyone else. Nonetheless, it’s helpful to know what others are doing so you can see what types of videos are the most engaging for your audience.
Here are some of the best types of videos to make for social media:
- How-to videos that describe how to do something
- Behind-the-scenes videos that showcase your office and staff
- Live streams of events, product launches, and interviews
- User-generated videos that give reviews about your brand
- Q & A that answers questions from your followers
- Turn blog content into videos and cross-promote them
- Highlight achievements of staff members with interviews and short bios
- Learn by example
You want to be unique, but it helps to know what works for other brands. Here are some to follow for inspiration.
- Adidas Originals uses sleek videos to promote their latest products and tell the stories behind them
- Dove uses videos to spread messages about body positivity
- GoPro uses videos to promote how their products work and get followers excited to take their own adventures
Social media marketing is no longer optional for brands—it’s a necessity. Combining different types of content, including text, images, and videos, is the best way to get your message across and engage followers on multiple platforms. Use these tips and tools to jumpstart your social media marketing strategy in 2021.