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Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Posted on Jun 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Brand strategy as a concept can often be bit murky or esoteric. Whether you’re an established business or an individual searching for a more prominent way to self-brand, it can be difficult to identify a starting point and select a course of action. Social media offers endless opportunity for engagement, so maintaining a cohesive presence across platforms can be daunting. It’s important to remember that your strategy is your anchor, and keeps your team in sync with how your brand interacts with the world.

There are also many tutorials out there, but the truth is that it just takes practice. Proficiency with social media is one of those things that comes through experience. To help get you started, here are some widely accepted components for a basic, well-rounded strategy:

Finding Your Voice

Establishing values early on is essential for staying true to your brand’s roots. Consistency and authenticity (ie: with dialect and tone) also help to foster trust that you are who you claim to be. With that, you develop a personality on social media that makes it easier for consumers to relate and entices them to engage more. People want to feel like the content they are consuming is genuine, and will likely form a positive association with your brand when that is the case. Again, finding your voice on social media takes time, but as long as it’s natural it will soon become second nature.

Tell Your Story

Here at HMG we’re currently in the process of a complete rebrand. When I joined the team in February, one of my initial goals was to increase engagement on social media. The first thing that came to mind was to tell our literal story by sharing what’s happening around the office. However, we also like to see what’s going on throughout the community, which helps to tell a different, more casual side of our story. Once some time has passed, share a few throwbacks to apply a very personal tone to your progress. People love to see others succeed—it’s both motivational and rewarding.

Engage With Your Audience

As you find your tone and start to post more frequently, you’ll see more engagement (trust me). Sparking conversations with your followers makes them feel valued and acknowledged, which creates a sense of community. Keeping up with platform updates will also help you to find new ways to interact with your followers. People tend to notice when a specific brand interacts with them and may become more likely to consider or recommend your brand as a result.

Post Regularly

Staying relevant is every brand’s top priority. Consistency plays a direct role in staying in the consumer’s top-of-mind—even if you only post twice a week. Although the more you post, the more engagement you will likely see. Scheduling specific days for certain content also makes producing content easier and less stressful. For example, I post every Monday. There’s usually a lot going on around here, but if it’s a quiet day in the office I’ll post a little motivation Monday (since we could all use that from time to time). That takes the pressure off if it’s one of those rare, still days in the office. Posting regularly also gives your followers something to look forward to. So if you’ve just hit a milestone with a cool project, share the progress!

Stand Out

Adding value to your content is the number one thing you can do that will make you stand out. This is another one of those easier-said-than-done things. Maintaining your personality throughout your content, while continuously sharing valuable information for your readers to digest will result in reciprocated engagement as well. Share insight, ask questions, ask others for their opinions and post visuals such as photos and videos. It’s always a great feeling when you know that you’ve delivered awesome content. On the other hand, sharing another’s authoritative content says a great deal about what you appreciate and support from your peers.

Social media opportunities are wide open for reaching new consumers. As simple as this all may sound, there are many things that even big brands forget to take in consideration. While it remains a relatively new tool for branding, it has also become essential for adapting to the latest trends, technologies and markets. Let us know how your brand strategy leverages social media in the comments below!

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Identifying Your Target Market

Identifying Your Target Market

Posted on Mar 30, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Identifying your target market isn’t easy, and it takes time. Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to get in front of them, grab their attention and give them a relatable reason for why they should choose your product or service. This is where it gets tricky–it is up to you to also give your customer something in return for their attention. In other words, you had better know your audience.

Who are you?
Okay, let’s take a step back. Ask yourself, as a company: what is your position in your industry, what are your values and why do you do what you do. Meet with co-workers in other departments, and ask them what the brand means to them. Discuss your company’s culture, and dig into building a complete understanding so that you can incorporate those values into your marketing strategy. Your goal here is to become well versed enough to tell your story, and genuinely exhibit who you are as a company.

Once you have a solid foundation and understanding of your company, identify what exactly sets you apart from your competitors. At this point, you should perform a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses should be internal, while opportunities and threats should be external. Being as specific as possible when addressing each element of the SWOT analysis will greatly enhance how you understand your position in the industry.

If you’ve yet to set goals and objectives, do that here. Begin with a specific long-term goal, and then narrow it down. Identify quarterly, monthly and weekly objectives for your efforts, as well as how you define success for each. This requires results to be quantifiable, in a way that they can be closely monitored.

Identifying your target market:
Now that you’re prepared, you can begin identifying your segments. You should create segments so that you understand the often subtle differences in marketing to each specific segment. If you have data or other insights–use them. Otherwise, ask yourself who will benefit from your product or service. Explore every demographic and be as narrow as possible. Once you have a list of segments, create personas for each segment.

When you create personas you should be as specific as possible. Identify their demographics, passions, interests, worries, and goals. What are their lifestyles? What are their needs? Once you have a persona, map out your customer’s journey. The Content Marketing Institute explains that their journey is one of the most important steps in understanding your target market and how to reach them. You are tracking down their daily tasks and what they might search online. Once you understand their journey, you should have enough of an idea to identify what channels they use, and what sort of message is most effective in reaching them.

Tracking Data:
Once you begin engaging with your target market, you need to track the effectiveness of your efforts. This provides insight into what is working and what isn’t. It is extremely important to make sure you are reaching the right people in the right way. For this reason, most marketers perform A/B split tests, by delivering different messages to smaller subsets of the same segment, to determine which is more effective. When you pinpoint what is working, it should then become easier to make adjustments where necessary so that your brand remains engaged with your target market.

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The Importance of Brand Loyalty

The Importance of Brand Loyalty

Posted on Jun 01, 2016 by Jenna Meltzer

Branding is often discussed everyday by individuals in the marketing, advertising and design industries, but rarely is it defined with a simple answer. In brief, branding is one of the most important tools a company can utilize to reach their target market, build recognition and develop customer relationships. It includes a wide range of factors such as logos, colors, patterns, typefaces, imagery, packaging, taglines, wording and more, all of which combine to create your company’s image.

Why Do Consumers Need Consistency?

In order to build a strong brand, you must stay consistent throughout all of your selected mediums. This strategy creates the opportunity to gain brand recognition among your target audience when done correctly. On top of that, consistency brings clarity and purpose that consumers then buy into. In turn, consumers become loyal to a brand. However, building this kind of trust takes time and effort.

Most consumers have to be exposed to a brand many times before they are loyal to it. So a consistent brand message has to be established so that consumers will immediately distinguish it from a competing brand. This means a business potentially loses customers, and may even help its competitors, if a consistent “look” and tone is not achieved. Continue Reading →