It’s virtually impossible nowadays to build your name in the industry and grow your customer base without a strong social media profile and presence.
But it’s not enough to whip up a couple of posts every day just for the sake of it and post them on your channels. If you want to see the results from your social media efforts, you must think your strategy through and think about the vibe your profiles give off.
Every detail, from the tone you use, the way you respond to comments (or ignore them, which we strongly advise against), to the visuals you use, sends a message about your brand. And this message can either boost or hurt your brand’s image, tread carefully.
This article will explore what a particular activity says about your brand and how to cultivate a stellar reputation on social media.
You Can Be Trusted
This is definitely what you want your followers and customers to think about your brand.
46% of people say they are willing to pay more to purchase from the brands they trust.
Apart from sharing high-quality content and encouraging engagement, both of which are obvious indicators of a credible brand, your customers will be sure that your brand is legit if you do the following:
Use Consistent Branding throughout Your Social Media Footprint
Most people around the world can probably recognize Coca-Cola’s iconic Spencerian Script lettering and their bright red brand color instantly. The brand’s entire social media presence is infused with these details, immediately bringing the distinctive refreshing beverage to mind.
The secret to making sure your customers can unmistakably recognize your brand and tell it apart from the competitors lies in consistent branding across all your social media channels. Familiar things make people feel comfortable, hence the trust and credibility that stems from this kind of visual consistency.
For example, imagine how confused followers of a somewhat conservative and family-friendly brand would be to see their Facebook posts containing profanities or inappropriate content.
Apart from the messaging itself, the tone of voice, visuals, imagery, and color palette you use in your social media posts are responsible for maintaining branding consistency.
Here are some tips to ensure all your social media efforts are on brand.
- Create social media branding guidelines and stick to them
- Build and curate your social media visual library
- Implement a content approval process.
SellerPlex is a great example of this approach, specifically their Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles, populated with consistent brand visuals and posts that use the same language, tone of voice, imagery, and templates.
They post frequently, and their social media profiles are active, which signals to potential customers that they don’t have to worry about reaching the brand in case of some post-purchase questions.
Flaunt Social Proof
Social proof is a powerful tool for minimizing uncertainty buyers might have about the quality of your product and the credibility of your brand. 70% of people trust recommendations from someone they don’t know. On the other hand, 90% are highly skeptical of branded messaging and ads.
So, the math is clear — instead of praising yourself, let your happy customers do the talking and use your social media channels to show what they say about you.
Social listening tools will give you insight into the conversations about your brand on the internet and allow you to track whenever someone mentions you. This can be a goldmine of social proof since this tactic presents you with lots of opportunities to repost or retweet positive mentions of your brand. Just make sure to reach out to the original poster and ask for permission to share their content — even if they used a branded hashtag.
If the mention is negative, jump to the last section of this article to see how to handle such feedback.
Whoop doesn’t let all the nice things people say about them go to waste. The brand’s social media channels are packed with numerous reposts and retweets praising their product’s features and gushing about its benefits.
You Treat Your Customers Like Individuals
Your customers aren’t numbers. They’re no ATMs either. They’re individuals, and they expect you to treat them as such.
Successful companies understand this, so their branding efforts are customer-centered. In other words, having meaningful communication with your customers and demonstrating that you care about their needs will get you in their good books.
Here are some activities that will convince your customers you respect them.
Feature User-Generated Content
Including user-generated content in your social media strategy is a great way to add much-needed credibility and authenticity to your brand. But it’s also a powerful tactic for making your audience feel special and appreciated.
When you share an image, video, or any other content created by your followers, you give them a voice and show that you see and care about them.
Known for its branding excellence, Apple turned their Instagram profile into a UGC platform that showcases the quality of iPhone cameras while simultaneously putting talented customers in the limelight. Eager iPhone photographers got to share their works with a massive audience of almost 30 million people. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Give Your Brand a Relatable, Human Face
95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious and, as such, driven by emotions.
Therefore, if you want to sell, you need to connect with your potential customers on a more profound, emotional level and build relationships with them. And nobody wants to connect with a cold, faceless corporation.
The trick is to become more relatable, as it will make your company feel more like a living thing that cares about customers’ needs.
Here’s how you can do that:
Include Your Staff Prominently in Social Media Content
Although brands aren’t human, you’ve got an ace up your sleeve — your employees who are and who could be the faces behind the brand.
Starbucks frequently gives the floor to their partners, i.e., employees, on Instagram. It’s not only to showcase how it is to work for the company or reveal some tips and tricks for making perfect coffee beverages but also to celebrate their personal accomplishments achieved through the help of the company’s benefit plans.
Show Relatable Emotions
All your social media efforts will be in vain if your content is sterile and generic.
To avoid the pitfalls of monotony, infuse your social media content with emotion.
Tap into the power of emotional branding if you want to find a way into the hearts (and minds!) of your customers. By eliciting particular emotions in your customers, you can build loyalty with your followers. Find out what matters to them the most and work this into your posts.
Anytime Baseball Supply has built a decent Instagram following simply by reposting existing baseball content with captions that show how much they love the game. Just like their customers!
Show That You Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Nothing will humanize your brand better than sprinkling some humor over your social media posts. People love brands that make them laugh.
Being funny generates likes, shares, comments, and engagement. All this will ultimately expand your reach and bring you even more followers.
Career Sidekick leverages this approach on Facebook to promote their blog post that discusses a pretty standard, serious topic, but instead of a boring caption, they infuse it with a relatable, funny voice.
Have Authentic Interactions with Your Followers
Brands that ignore their followers on social media come across as insincere or somewhat artificial. Using social media for the purposes of promoting your products or services while not treating your customers like individuals is a recipe for disaster.
Make sure you post content that sparks and stimulates conversations. When someone replies, kick off a discussion and try to engage them by being interesting and even provocative.
Don’t ever leave a comment unanswered, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. Responsive brands see higher engagement rates and clearly show they care about their audience’s opinions.
Zappos takes pride in always being there for their customers. This doesn’t only refer to their exceptional customer service but also their social media strategy that acknowledges every comment, question, or complaint. The company’s Twitter profile is a textbook example of how brands should treat their followers.
People Have Confidence in Your Brand’s Insight
Publishing high-quality content that generates engagement will help you establish trust with your audience. Showcasing your expertise on social media will, in turn, get people to have confidence in your brand’s insight.
As a result, your social media channels will become your customers’ go-to source of relevant information and educational resources.
There are many con artists and phony products available online, and you need to distinguish yourself as a legitimate brand that’s safe to purchase from.
Although it’s easy to call yourself an expert, especially on the internet, the good news is that if you actually are an authority in your industry, your content will attract attention and gain traction. The key is to constantly publish excellent, in-depth content on your platforms that will add value to your audience. Persistently creating and posting superb content won’t go unnoticed — all the comments, number of views, and other engagement stats will boost your followers’ perception of your authority.
Shop Solar Kits published a flagship educational video on YouTube that has amassed over 750,000 views, despite its relatively modest production value.
The reason for such enormous engagement lies in the fact the content is so incredibly authoritative. Plus, it explains a complex Solar installation process in a simple and accessible way which scores it some additional brownie points.
Similarly, BuzzFeed Tasty shares all kinds of mouthwatering recipes on their Instagram profile. Paired with short and visually appealing videos that show the prep process, this kind of content triggers physiological and neurophysiological changes in our brains, thus boosting engagement. For example, this crispy eggplant recipe garnered over 12,500 likes.
Your Company’s Leadership Is On Point
Successful brands are helmed by leaders with stellar reputations.
According to a survey, 45% of the company’s reputation is attributed to the reputation of its CEO. So, building your founder’s online persona and establishing them as a thought leader in the industry is a must if you want to grow your brand.
This particularly applies to the B2B landscape, in which a CEO is seen as the embodiment of the company and its values. In other words, customers identify and associate them with the brand they represent. Leaders with a strong and polished online presence instill trust and credibility in people, which in turn helps with attracting top talent to the company and boosts sales.
70% of customers feel more connected to brands whose CEOs are active on social media, which makes them more likely to convert.
Trustshoring’s founder exudes trust, expertise, and authority, all of which can be seen on social media. Apart from having a well-optimized LinkedIn profile, he is very active on this network, engaging in conversations with other users and sharing his opinions and tips on relevant topics.
Besides that, he’s featured in a number of videos on the company’s Instagram profile, in which he interviews industry experts.
You Care About Your Existing Customers
Although bringing in new business opportunities is your priority, you shouldn’t forget your existing customers and take them for granted.
The likelihood of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%, while in the case of new customers, this probability drops to between 5% and 20%.
Providing customer service via social media is one of the most effective ways of showing some TLC to those who have already purchased from you. Social media is no longer just a powerful advertising channel as it lends itself very well to customer support.
You should meet your customers where they are, and that’s mainly on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t expect them to come to your website, email you, or call when they have a question or a product-related problem.
Thanks to their instantaneous nature, social media channels allow brands to answer customers’ questions quickly. Bearing in mind that 90% of people say getting an immediate response is an essential element of good customer support, it’s obvious why you should leverage social media if you want to delight your existing customers and keep them coming back.
Every complaint or support request that you receive on a public forum, like a social media platform, is an opportunity to show how much your brand cares about keeping existing customers happy.
So, don’t even think about turning a blind eye or deleting unfavorable comments. Transform them into wins by being proactive, helpful, and empathetic — the fact you’re being transparent and committed to solving the problem shows you’re not taking your customers’ needs and satisfaction lightly.
Evernote extensively uses their Twitter profile as a customer service tool. The brand responds to harsh criticism and complaints tactfully and gracefully by offering further assistance via direct messages.
Wrapping up Your Social Media Profile
Your social media profile is a reflection of your brand and its values. That’s why it’s crucial to carefully build your social media presence, as every interaction counts and paints a picture of your company. Make sure to follow these tips if you want to send the right kind of message to your audience and present yourself in the best possible light.