Increase brand awareness & engagement with a cohesive message on all platforms
by Ben Laube

Developing and representing your brand effectively on social media is one of the most important tasks to consider before jumping into social media marketing. By doing so, you bring brand awareness and cohesiveness to your audience, which builds familiarity and trust.

Representing your brand on social media is fairly simple so long as your business has a secure image and a set of ideals. On multiple platforms, you are able to upload cover photos. It is important to use the same design concept in each cover photo for visual brand cohesiveness. Though some dimension variations of the photos have to be taken into consideration due to the size limitations of each network, having the same graphic concept will help people remember your brand. This is called "social branding." Make sure your logos are consistent across all social media profiles, too.

The next step is ensuring that your brand's "voice" is heard throughout the text of the page, as well as in the posts. For example, a financial management company should not be using slang terms and internet abbreviations, such as "lol" and "jk." Establish a voice that clearly defines who you are and the culture of your company. Remember, social media is essentially your online persona. Let it represent the best version of who you are. Having a cohesive social content strategy is another component to strongly consider. Take a step back and decide how, what and when you want to post. You never want to bombard followers with promotion after promotion.

Ask them questions. Find out their opinions. Engagement is key. Talking at your followers rather than talking to them is the quickest way to lose a following. With the array of social networks out there, it can be a bit confusing to decide the networks on which your brand should be present. You have to think strategically and find the best fit to represent your brand. Many companies now believe they have to be present on every platform, but not every platform is right for every business. Below is a quick rundown of the top platforms and how they can be utilized by all brands:

  • Facebook—This platform is basically the home base of all social media today. No matter the industry, your business needs a Facebook page to interact with your customers and build stronger relationships.
  • Twitter—This popular microblogging (140 characters or less) platform allows users to reach out to others and find people with the same interests. It is also a fantastic news outlet to syndicate your brand\'92s press, ideas and thoughts to the world.
  • Google+—This platform has great collaborative abilities, such as Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is a new messaging, video, chat and file-sharing platform created by Google. In addition to being free, unlike other services, Google Hangouts integrates well within your other Google apps and allows you to easily share information.
  • LinkedIn—This is the professional social media hotspot. LinkedIn is where you can represent yourself and your business in a professional manner by building connections and further expanding your company's outreach.

With those four main social networks being utilized by the majority of all brands, there are other popular platforms that may not suit every brand.

  • Pinterest—This platform is a fantastic way to share and explore creative ideas and visuals. However, if your brand isn't a visually heavy concept, Pinterest may not work well for you.
  • Instagram/Vine—These mobile social network sensations that rely strictly on pictures and videos. If your brand doesn't produce images or products, these networks may leave you with lackluster results as well.

Once you select your networks, your social strategy and how to represent your brand online, you will be well on your way to ensuring a positive social environment for your audience.

Do's and Don't's of Social Media Branding

Do engage with your followers.
Do post on a regular basis.
Do choose what type of content is most appropriate for your brand.

Don't over-promote yourself.
Don't post too much.
Don't criticize other brands on social media.