Social media has changed the way brands communicate with customers. It has also changed how people interact with each other. And each platform has its written and unwritten rules. We don’t refer just to netiquette, but the kind of content that creates engagement through likes, comments and shares. Over the years, analysts and researchers noted that companies that brand social media posts and add context to their shared links get more views and a higher engagement rates.
The Social Media Challenge: Making Your Posts Visible
Whenever you open asocial media platform (app or browser version), you are overwhelmed by the number of new posts since the last time you checked it, just a few hours ago. This happens on all platforms, but some of them are more active than others. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook users generate millions of posts every minute. This means that the posts your company page shares are lost in a long thread of cat videos, baby photos, online challenges and the latest memes.
Yet, companies with a smart social media strategy continue to enjoy a lot of organic traffic on their pages. You can create such a strategy, too, without hiring expensive specialised services or in-house social media experts.
Here are the most effective ways to brand social media posts and add context to them:
1. Use a Consistent Voice in Your Posts
The brand voice is not an abstract concept. Each brand has a specific personality in its communications with clients, be them via e-mails, text messages or social media posts. You can instantly recognise your favourite brands from an email title and the first words in a social media posts.
This is what your company must have: its unique brand voice. Once you have identified it and created it, make sure that you use it consistently in all your public communications. To help your team in charge with social media, PR and customer service, develop a style guide where you detail how your brand voice should sound: professional, friendly, addressing customers in simple words or in a more elevated manner (applicable to B2B companies in most cases).
2. Use a Key Element from a Shared Post as Text for the Social Media
Even the most informative, helpful and best researched article can get lost on the social media if you don’t attract the users’ attention to it. How do you do it? You brand social media posts and add context, instead of simply copying and pasting the article title or introductory paragraph.
Why would you like your followers to read it? What is the valuable or interesting information you want to share? Once you identify this key element, use it as introductory text for your link.
This can be:
- An inspirational quote
- A significant statistic
- A solution to a common challenge
- A short summary for long form content.
3. Add Your Company Logo to Photos and Videos
Creating unique photos and videos to share on the social media has several benefits: you can stand out from the crowd with original visual content, you can communicate your message more clearly, and you can brand this type of content with your company logo.
Adding your logo to photos and videos is the simplest and most effective way to brand social media posts. You can further add context by writing a few meaningful words that reinforce the message transmitted by the visual content.
4. Choose Visuals Carefully
We tend to become less careful when sharing on the social media, especially when we crave engagement. This has the potential to go viral, that is really cool and that is funny. It may be true, but not all types of engaging visuals are a good match for your brand.
You do not want to turn your company page into a collection of funny memes and pointless cartoons. They may earn you a lot of ha-ha reactions and shares, but not sales and loyal customers. Social media fans are not your main target, unless you are a celebrity looking for vanity statistics. Small and medium sized companies need a constant source of income, not just online popularity.
5. Animation Is Always Preferable on Social Media
When you start your social media calendar for the week, consider several aspects:
- The right time to post
- The content mix
- Remembering to brand social media posts and add context
- Encouraging conversations around your posts.
One of the key aspects in this process is choosing the type of visuals you will share. Here is one smart tip: between a static photo and a short film or animated GIF, choose the latter. Social media platforms, especially the mobile app, are now capable of rendering all types of interactive and animated content, including:
- 3D photos
- 360 degree photos
- Animated GIFs
- High definition videos.
You can easily create animated images and short video, either with your mobile phone or directly into the social media apps.
6. Use Memes Only If You Know Their Meaning
Memes are photos accompanies by text with a funny or ironic meaning. From celebrities to children and pets, there are many memorable meme characters and new ones crop up every day.
When you are too eager to jump the meme bandwagon, you may make mistakes that will hurt your brand image. The same thing happened several times to big brands with Twitter hashtags. Here are the key challenges of using memes when you want to brand your social media posts and add context properly:
- Inconsistent fonts
- Inconsistent colour palette
- Messages that may offend your potential customers
- Creating unnecessary controversy.
7. Use Emojis and Hashtags
So far, you feel like our tips are trying to take all the fun out of your social media posts. It is not so. You can stay entertaining and engaging on the social media, without breaking your branding rules and the general rules of netiquette.
For instance, we encourage you to add emojis and hashtags to all your social media posts. This is a must if your target audience is the younger generation. Young people in their teens, 20s and early 30s can carry on entire conversations on the social media only using emojis – and this is an impressive skill, we must add.
This means that you must know your emojis – because your followers definitely know them very well and will quickly spot any inadequacy or wrong use. As for the hashtags, do not use only your keywords, but also popular motivational phrases and acronyms (for instance TGIF, standing for thanks God it’s Friday).
The effort to brand social media posts and add context will not make your company pages dull and boring. On the contrary, they will be meaningful, interesting and useful for the right type of followers – the ones who are interested in your products and services. So, don’t fall victim to passing trends and stick to your social media strategy.