Social media can be a huge driver for creating a strong brand. Learn the 3 ways you can build a brand reputation on your social channels.
It’s no secret that our lives today are shaped by social media.
(If you’ve managed to avoid that, I’m jealous.)
From checking in with family and friends on Facebook to following an influencer on Instagram, there aren’t many moments during the day when we aren’t interacting with the online world.
We’re scrolling…and scrolling…and scrolling some more.
In fact, because of this, you may have even taken a deliberate break from social media to come “back to reality.”
However, from a business brand perspective, you cannot ignore this social media side of the world – no matter how hard you try.
The reason is:
Social media can be one of your main sources of awareness, community, and building brand reputation!
Studies have shown that 76% of consumers look at the online presence of a business before ever visiting them.
No matter what they’re looking for when they check your channels, it’s important to show people who you are and why they should care about your brand reputation.
So while you don’t necessarily have to use social media personally, maintaining an active business profile has its advantages for creating more visibility, connection, and conversion with your customers.
What’s more, consumers are relying on their peers for thoughts and experiences about brands they are considering.
This perception by the public directly affects brand reputation – in fact, that’s what it is.
What is brand reputation?
Brand reputation is the perception that people (such as customers and employees) have of a particular brand. When a brand reputation is very strong, it increases trust, loyalty, and advocacy.
Since everyone (and their mother!) is spending such a large amount of time in places like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok – let’s look at 3 ways that you can grow your brand reputation online using social media.
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3 Ways to Build a Solid Brand Reputation With Social Media
1. Create content with a consistent brand voice
Before you can determine your brand voice, it’s helpful to write down a list of words or phrases that defines your brand and what it represents.
What personality do you bring to the table that makes you special?
Your brand voice is the main way you speak to your ideal customer.
What do you want the voice of your brand to sound like when you’re communicating?
Is it casual?
The voice should ultimately reflect who your brand is, and attract those people who resonate with it.
A more casual brand might try to show users that they’re approachable. This type of voice is common with lifestyle brands, wanting to be helpful as they aim to be a part of their customer’s everyday life.
If your brand is a bit more serious, then you may want to use a more informative or guiding voice.
On the other hand, if your brand is more entertaining and humorous, your brand voice can be more fun and light-hearted.
Use the scale above as an exercise to start to plot out your brand voice.
No matter what the characteristics are of your brand voice, it must be used consistently on social media to build a strong brand reputation.
The easiest way to understand and develop your brand voice is to think of your business as a person.
A person has, well, personality and character traits. Aside from an actor, every person typically stays true to their traits and characteristics.
Since people typically want to do business with people (not an abstract company), why not communicate on a human level that resonates?
Apple is a great example of a company that knows exactly who its brand is.
Their voice is sleek, simple, and modern, which also happens to reflect how their products are designed. This creates synergy between brand reputation and product.
Staying consistent is key to a positive brand reputation.
You want to ensure that your voice can be carried over throughout all of your social channels and can be seen as undeniably your brand.
Even though different social platforms are used for different things (Instagram for photos and short videos, Twitter for short, witty blurbs, etc.) being consistent with your voice will make sure there is no confusion about what your brand stands for.
Consistency is the best way to boost confidence and create a strong connection between your brand reputation and the people who support it.
2. Engage your audience with relatable content
How are you supposed to sell to someone you don’t even know? If you haven’t already, it’s time to create a customer profile, or buyer persona.
This is beneficial for several reasons, but the main purpose of a buyer persona is to know who your customers are before you can start engaging with them!
What is their lifestyle?
Do they have needs or concerns?
What is important to them?
Once you learn more about your ideal customers or clients on a deeper level, you can develop the best content for your social channels that will speak to them and begin to draw them in.
When you know who your customer is – it’s time to find out what they’re talking about.
Use trends and topical media to help you figure out what your average customer wants to hear.
Ask yourself: Can my brand add to this conversation? Does it make sense for us to be talking about this? Can we offer a new perspective?
It’s important to remember that your social presence should be focused on providing solutions, NOT overtly selling yourself to your audience.
Social media should be just that: social!
It’s a way for your brand to interact with consumers on a new level that isn’t just about promotion.
Fostering a social relationship can be just as important as a business one. By offering resources as well as products or services, your brand will inherently become more valuable to your customers.
Brands that care are easy to be loyal to – it’s the best way to develop a brand reputation that matters.
Humor and topical memes can bring your audience in especially since memes are such a staple of social media. Plus, you could even integrate it into your overall brand’s voice if you find yourself landing those jokes.
Let’s take Wendy’s, who created its “challenger with care” voice known for the iconic roasts they deliver on Twitter.
These simple yet clever quips have allowed the company to be widely known as a master of the social (specifically Twitter) world. People may know them for the burgers, but they also know them for the side serving of sass.
Now, while this makes sense for a fast-food restaurant, this might not be right for your brand.
Consider your own brand reputation and how you wish to present yourself on social media. Take the same care in crafting your brand strategy (just as Wendy’s has).
3. Be human because robots aren’t compelling
Well, this could be debated if we include famous favorites like C-3PO or Buzz Lightyear.
But think about how annoying robot voices sound when they call to talk about your car’s extended warranty. (Straight to voicemail for me.)
This could become your brand if you’re not taking the time to be human. An inauthentic, robotic voice is easy to spot, even on social media.
According to Business of Apps, 89% of young people follow influencers they relate to.
People are more likely to engage with a brand that genuinely seems like they have real people running it instead of a group of marketers trying to force their product.
The more natural and human it feels, the more engagement your content is likely to receive.
Retweeting and being conversational with your consumer base can be extremely beneficial as they can see you as more of a part of their life than just a company.
For example, Yakir Gola of Gopuff is known to constantly be retweeting and commenting on customers’ posts, thanking them for being a customer.
These actions can make someone feel connected to a brand in a seemingly small way, but they are likely to remember a shoutout (from a CEO, no less) very easily.
Little things like this can truly go a long way when it comes to brand reputation.
Furthermore, participating in causes you truly believe in can show the human underneath all the advertising.
Take KimChi (real name Sang-Young Shin), a drag queen turned makeup mogul who is the founder of KimChi Chic Beauty.
This beauty brand supports many causes that KimChi truly believes in and makes that an integral part of the brand.
All throughout the year, 2% of their proceeds go to supporting The Trevor Project, a foundation that helps LGBTQ+ teens and young adults in dire situations.
On their Instagram page, you will find some of their products swatched in the colors of the trans flag to signify the beginning of Transgender Awareness Month and their caption will include an explanation of why we celebrate that month.
Not only is KimChi Chic Beauty managing their online brand reputation, but they are ensuring that their customers are more likely to engage with the content since there is a true sense of heart behind it.
As long as it isn’t performative (actions taken to gain social clout rather than showing devotion to a cause), consumers will feel good about a brand that cares about them and the causes they care about.
Finally, showcasing your employees, administrators, and even customers can make a brand feel more personable and people-focused.
Post pictures of the workplace, employees, and quotes from customers to prove yourself as a brand that cares about the people it serves.
Some businesses and organizations participate in social media takeovers, a fun way to show some behind-the-scenes action of what a day might look like for your brand. It is also a great way to cross-promote and collaborate with other people and brands, and even reach new audiences.
Conclusion: Brand Reputation Matters on Social Media
People will always be evaluating your brand online. Whether it’s to decide to do business with you in the first place, or to continue to.
How you communicate your brand on social media matters. It can be the difference between a raving engaged fan base – and crickets. Or worse, indifference.
If your business is present on any social channel, use these tips as a guide for strengthening your brand reputation for the long term:
- Create content with a consistent brand voice
- Engage your customers with relatable content
- Be human because robots aren’t compelling
How do you feel you stack up with your brand reputation?
Share with us in the comments below, or ask us a question!
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