Social Media is dominating our lives these days. We can’t go eat with Instagramming our food, or travel without updating our fam on Facebook of our experiences. As annoying as it may be to some, many have found a way to capitalize on the Social Media dominant society. There are people who make six figures just by having an Instagram account… (I wish I was one of those people lol). If it’s here for the long run, why not join in on the fun?
Making Social media work for you (in my opinion) does not just mean being a celebrity or even spamming people with “BUY FROM ME” post about your pyramid scheme. It means being organic, being honest and establishing a brand that people trust – but if you can do that by the above things then props to you
Before we get to in depth, let’s break down the word brand. A brand can be a product that you sell or have created, a brand can be you, or a brand can even be a hobby turned side hustle (such as traveling, landscape photos or shopping). How you make social media work for you will be based off of YOUR brand. Need examples: For Fashion & Style,, check out @imjennim. For foodie post, check out @dollyandoatmeal. For Travel, look at @gypsea_lust.
Although there are many, many more, the top two social media platforms for brands are Facebook and Instagram - with Instagram being #1. What’s interesting, is that when Facebook acquired Instagram you now cannot have an Instagram for business without having a Facebook business page as well. As frustrating as it may sound, creating a page on both platforms can only increase your brands exposure and not hurt it! So Y A Y.
Now that the basics have been established... let’s get down to the meat of building your Brand through social media. One of your top goals of having a social media account for your brand is to be V I S I B L E. Be eye-catching, easily found and easily understood. Your theme, message and core values should all be echoed through your social media lens. Why? Well back to my first sentence: Social Media is dominating our lives these days. Since this is true, many people will go directly to your social media account out of convenience to learn more about your brand before they ever visit your website.
Let’s explore a few ways to make sure your page stands out from the crowd of other “Influencers”:
Develop a Cohesive Theme. Picking your social media theme can either make or break your brand. Think of the accounts you currently follow and why? Typically it is because something about their page composition caught your eye. Then their overall message pushed you to click that follow button. To develop a theme, think about what your brand represents and how you can display that through visuals. A great place to start is Pinterest. You can search Instagram color schemes, social media layout ideas or even catchy bios that will pull your viewers/readers in to want to know more!
Be Authentic not Cheesy. People have been selling and branding for years. The same has been true for many of those years – People buy from people they like and trust. So if that is true, think about how you can be relatable, engaging, real – without being entirely too personal or cheesy. If you are your brand, talk about real life experiences where others can relate. If you are selling a product or a service, try posting captions about how those things can or have transformed someone else’s life. Never make up a story, because again people buy from people they trust.
Be Consistent AF. Being consistent isn’t only meant for your theme. You also need to be consistent with how often you post and the type of content you provide your followers. For example, if you are a food blogger don’t sidetrack from your original message of food posts to post about rainbows. Yes rainbows are pretty, but that will leave readers confused and might potentially unfollow because your content is no longer relevant to their interests. As for how often you posts, do some trends analysis. When has historically been the best time to post on each platform? Keep in mind, your brand is YOURS – there are so many factors that impact engagement. I also recommend testing out different times and days to see where you get engagement and picking what works best. For my brand, I have found from 6pm-8pm central most weekdays and mid-afternoon on weekends are the best times.
#Hashtag like a pro. Hashtags are like a double edged sword. Sometimes they are the only way to get your post noticed till you are established, but sometimes they just seem like the most – especially to the new FB/Instagram algorithm but we will talk about that another day. It is recommended to use 11-20 hashtags per photo, although you can use up to 30. A huge debate has been: is it better to hashtag in your actual caption or in a separate comment below? I have heard differing opinions. If you hashtag in your caption, try separating your catchy caption from your hashtags, using paragraph breaks. The number one rule for hashtagging is to only hashtag topics relevant to the post. Like don’t post a photo of spaghetti but hashtag #skirts. Doesn’t even flow! At the end of the day, you want engagement from people who will actually buy your product or follow your brand. Hashtagging irrelevant things will pad your follow count but will not earn you true brand recognition or sales in the long run.
Not so social, social media has done a complete 180 from when I first jumped on the social media wagon. Instagram used to be used like Facebook – for friend updates and family photos – real life, meaningful engagements. Now everyone and everything is branding and turning their time spent on social media into real life profits. Although social media interactions may still be meaningful, we have found a way to connect with people from all over, while also marketing your account to be successful.
What are your experiences with branding on social media? Haven’t had any experiences just yet – what are your questions? Comment below – let’s engage and be a little social :)