As the new year gets underway, many brands are recommitting themselves to their social media goals. In an effort to help brands find success, I’ve come up with a list of branding mistakes I saw on social media in 2017. My hope is that by explaining what went wrong, your brand can learn how to make it go right.
1 Inconsistent Posting
Whether your content is curated or created, there are two major factors that will determine it and your brand’s success on social. The first is your contents ability to offer value to your audience. The second is the consistency with which you post.
Brands garner attention by successfully understanding their audiences and their respective needs. If, as a brand, you are able to utilize consumer insights to tailor your services, products, and content, so that they communicate, a genuine interest in helping your customers thrive, then, you’ve hit gold. It is all about making your audience feel valued, accounted for and listened to. The tendency is to think in terms of solving a market need and yes, all businesses must strive to do so in order to find success, but your day-to-day is about delving deeper to meet each specific customer, where they are.
That being said, being sporadic with your content and your posting online does not allow you to build the rapport and trust needed to create such deep-rooted relationships with your target. Being on social, as a brand, is as much a commitment as any other part of your business (finance, management, HR). You develop your community online, your thought leadership and your digital footprint over time by consistently sharing value.
2 Inconsistent Message
A solid understanding of your brand’s purpose and its message is crucial, especially when it comes to being online.
It is no secret that social media moves quickly. It is a constant bombardment of information and it almost feels like, in order to gain traction, a brand must live online. They must post frequently, respond quickly and keep up with current happenings. However, what that often translates into is a lack of congruency in the message that the brand puts out.
It is not only okay but wise, to say no as a brand. You must remain true to your brand’s vision and mission in all that you do, and that includes your social media posts. Each tweet, status update and photo shared should be mindful and intentional. They must serve your larger objectives and they must reinforce your main message. A failure to do so can erode brand trust and loyalty.
3 Inconsistent Tone
Brand tone is something that is often overlooked. It’s frequently buried under the brand voice umbrella and as result, it isn’t always given the importance it deserves. However, as we move into 2018, tone is more important than ever.
Humanizing brands is both successful and, in my opinion, needed. People connect with people. Emotions are universal and the ability to appeal to them, and to acknowledge them as a brand, allows you to design a more meaningful brand experience. It enables you to understand your audience further. It facilitates the creation of a community and a sense of belonging. It drives repeat engagement and business. It’s a must.
However, you have to be VERY careful when it comes to building and sharing your brand’s personality on social. We’re human. As such, it’s difficult to separate our personal feelings, beliefs, humor, colloquialisms, etc. from those that will best benefit and represent our brand.
Yet, it’s crucial we do so. You must think of your brand’s content, purpose, objectives, industry, market and adjust your tone accordingly. Additionally, it’s extremely important that you remain consistent in how you dialogue with your online community. Maintaining the same, appropriate tone across all brand communication helps your audience determine what they can expect from you. Thus, helping you create a strong reputation.
4 Inconsistent Tracking
Last, but not least, one of the biggest branding errors I’ve seen on social media is when businesses (or personal brands) forget to track their efforts over time.
Your social media analytics are filled with invaluable information about your brand, your audience, your content, your performance and more. Looking at your metrics provides you with immediate insight into what in your social media strategy is working and what needs to be readjusted. While contrasting your data with benchmarks you have previously set, enables you to gauge your overall brand performance.
Moreover, long-term tracking allows you to predict trends ahead of time. As you continually track your efforts and, compare and contrast them with your previous results. you begin to find patterns that might be indicative of current, or soon to be, changes in your market, audience habits, content needs and so forth.
Really, it is as simple as taking advantage of the built-in analytics on social platform you are using (ex. Twitter Analytics). Data is empowering and sets you up for social success!