Thinking about doing a brand refresh on social media? Columnist Jordan Kasteler has some tips to steer you in the right direction.
CMOs always have a wide variety of marketing strategies to work on: social media, SEO and PPC, content marketing and local and email marketing. However, one area that’s incredibly vital and should never be overlooked is branding.
Often, the current brand used for a business just isn’t working effectively on your selected social media and can even be having an adverse effect on sales.
Do you think it’s time for you to consider rebranding to help your business grow or gain back lost ground? If so, you don’t want to make changes lightly, and you need to be sure what’s currently broken, why it doesn’t work and how you need to do things differently in the future.
If you’re losing your competitive edge because of a bad (or simply ineffective) brand, read on for some social media tips to consider as you work on a better brand over the coming months.
Identify your true USP
One of the first things you should do before you begin rebranding on social media is to really analyze what it is that makes your business different.
- What, specifically, is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
- What gives your business an edge over the competition?
- What needs do you address that others don’t?
- Is the organization innovative in some way?
It’s important to ask your customers what they think, too. Posting these questions on social media is a quick way to get responses.
- Find out why they shop with you instead of other businesses.
- Ask their thoughts on your current branding, including things like:
- your logo;
- your tagline; and
- your use of colors.
- your logo;
Social media is all about perception. Discover how the business is actually perceived in the market, not how you think it is perceived.
Often, you’ll find that the responses you receive can be quite different from what you imagined. You may not need to revise your entire brand message, just part of it.
Or perhaps you’ll discover that your true USP is different from what you believed it was. Once you know what exactly makes your venture stand out from the crowd, you can build your new branding around it. And with the large number of businesses on social media, standing out from the crowd is essential.
Next, while you can certainly do a lot of the online rebranding work yourself if you desire, it’s typically a good investment to hire a social media expert to help you with it. Like customers, branding companies or freelancers can act as a third party to give you an outside perspective.
Social branding experts are experienced at viewing brands from a customer’s point of view, and they will often pick up on or suggest details that you would never have thought of yourself.
“The trick is to find the right agency, the first time, one who shares the same views about your business that you do and who’s not just looking at you as a sale,” Steven Picanza, chief experience officer of The Agency Guy, told me. “While ‘full-service’ agencies definitely exist, for a more intimate and time-tested approach, find a proven partner with experience in your industry, one you truly get along with! Time and time again, we find culture to be the deciding factor between a successful rebranding effort and a lackluster one.”
If you decide to hire a person or a team to work on your rebranding, you must also make sure that you give them the room they need to be creative. If you work within a large company, then you should give your branding experts room to breathe and be innovative when it comes to new concepts and designs relating to your social media profiles, and you should try to shield them from any unnecessary bureaucracy.
Your branding experts might suggest adding an explainer video to your site, which can be a cheap and efficient way to refresh your brand and add clarity to your message. Or maybe they’d advise starting an SMS marketing campaign using emojis or leverage digital signage to communicate new branding within the company.
You pay experts to do what they do best, so give them the freedom to provide their best suggestions to you. Give them clear direction and input when you first sit down for a meeting together, and then leave them alone for a time to do their work, without constantly hassling them for results.
If you run a smaller business and are the main decision-maker, then try not to shut down new branding ideas straightaway if they’re very different from what you had envisaged.
Lead the launch from within
Rebranding tends to focus on how new concepts will be perceived by the outside world (i.e., customers, investors, journalists and anyone else who follows your brand on social media), but it’s also important for all the staff within an organization to be brought up to speed.
Team members should have concepts and collateral explained to them so that they can, in turn, speak about it with outsiders. This can include things like what kind of blog site or platform your developers choose, which color palette your designers choose and what social media sites your marketing team prefers for your audience.
“Employees should also have the chance to engage with the new brand profiles before they are made public so that they can develop a sense of ownership over the new look and feel,” said Scott Lazerson of Connector.
You might think about designing activities that allow staff members to get on board and excited about the development. You could, for instance:
- arrange a social media launch party;
- provide prizes for the best shares or updates that promote the brand; and
- run a photography contest to see who can best capture the new branding used around the office, and post it to your new profiles.
Lastly, with any new branding, it’s incredibly important to be consistent. Remember that a brand is not just your logo or company name, but also your tagline, color scheme, product packaging, domain name and style on social media profiles.
Since a brand is the image that customers build up based on both small and large details (including your customer service and the quality of your product or service), you must keep your branding the same in every area and across all media. The same logo and images should be used on all your collateral and on every touch point customers interact with, on any social media platform.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.