How to Build a Brilliant Brand on Social Media [Checklist]

December 17, 2019

Branded social is one of the most dynamic mediums in modern marketing. But it’s also one of the more challenging to master. 

That’s because the best social media can be dynamite. A consistent bevy of well-crafted posts has the potential to deepen relationships with key audiences and elevate your brand to superstar status. 

For proof of the power of great social comms, look to the team at Wendy’s, who have become the envy of the digital universe with their deliciously witty content.

As it turns out, all of their captions and ‘clap backs’ aren’t just for fun. Their efforts are being celebrated by industry greats at Cannes Lions, and pulling in impressive headlines like this.

Wendy’s wild success confirms that social media isn’t the fluff some may assume it to be. Rather it’s a powerful business tool that we marketers can use to drive ROI

But notably, there’s a dark side to the outsized success that brands can find online. 

When your social handles are, well, mishandled, just a few hundred characters can set a brand back years in well-earned trust and credibility - every social media manager can *nervously* rattle off a list of branded posts gone wrong.  

That. Could. Have. Been. Me. 

We Get You, Social Media Managers

That’s why we decided to host an entire Live with Marketers episode on the intricacies of #winning the social game. And all of the successes, the epic misses, the rollercoaster of potential outcomes we discuss inform what we’re advising below.

In hopes that our tips can help you become the master of your brand’s social media universe, here are five areas to think through before you press “send.”  

Identify Your Brand’s Purpose

A brand without a purpose is like a captain without GPS. How will you know what direction to steer your social program in if you aren’t guided by the principles by which your organization does business? 

Start by looking at the mission, vision and values of your organization. Ask, “what does my brand stand for?” Getting solid on this answer serve as a compass for what your brand should say and do on social. 

Develop a Voice, Tone & Point of View

Your brand can be snarky. It can be empowering. It can be macabre. But, by George, just make sure it’s not boring! 

Audiences expect brands to sound like people, not robots. And that shouldn’t be too tricky, because (surprise!) humans are running the accounts. Find the right tone of voice that fits your brand by asking “what does my brand sound like?”

Note that you may need to change this voice slightly to fit the context of each platform you publish content on. Our members expect comms on LinkedIn to be professionally-minded, for example. 

Post Often

Building a social media presence takes time and effort. Encourage audiences to crave your content by posting *at least* once per day, per platform. Your burgeoning follower base will thank us later. 

Consider Context and Value-Add

This one’s tricky. Part of developing a human point of view on social means sticking your neck out for what your organization supports or believes in. 

But how can we know when to lean in to contentious conversations or make a statement, especially when that statement might expose your organization to risk? 

Here’s a secret: In many cases, staying quiet is just as powerful as speaking up. 

To determine if you should engage, look back to your organization’s values, and speak up where taking a powerful stance could align your organization’s mission with a community, cause, holiday, etc. that matters to your audience. And make sure that whatever you say is adding value to the online conversation.

If you don’t have a clear, value-driven reason to activate on a holiday, cultural moment or current event, it’s best to refrain. 

Iterate and Optimize

Every business is different. And as such, each business will have something different it wants to get out of its social marketing efforts. Some organizations may want to increase brand awareness, while others will want to drive leads. 

It’s up to you to identify (and stick to) the KPIs that will align your social media efforts to the metrics your C-Suite cares about. Only then will the Social Media Manager have the seat at the table they deserve.

Hungry for more? Download The Social Media Manager’s Guide to LinkedIn for more of our top tips on how to gain digital superstardom.

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