In our Tribe Session for May 2022, Sincere Fidelis (Picture Storyteller) taught Tribe members “How To Build A Strong Social Media Brand”. She talked about building a social media brand from the experience of building her brand. Read through our session below.
What Is A Brand?
A brand is a series of external and internal attributes used as a symbol of identification.
Take note your brand is not what you say it is, but what others say it is.
12 Steps To Build A Strong Social Media Brand
Step 1. List Out Your Skills
For you to build a brand on social media, write a list of things you’re good at. If you’re good at writing, good at singing or being in front of the camera. Write that list. When you have written these things down, some of them may not have any need for brand creation. Some of them are going to continue as a hobby. But for some of them, it would be something you could use to build a sustainable brand like writing. I’ve used that as an example.
Step 2. Choose A Platform
So when you’ve picked your niche, say writing, the next thing we have to decide on is where do you want to build on this brand. You should start building your brand on 1 social media platform first. Build to a level of growth. When you divert to other social media platforms, at least 2% of those who follow you on your first social media platform can follow you to the next. Even if you have 10,000 followers on Instagram and decide to open a YouTube channel. You may not have up to 1,000 subscribers because those 10,000 followers are your Instagram followers. If you have hopes for them rushing into your YouTube channel and getting 5,000 subscribers at once, that is a lie. You are to build another audience on YouTube. What is going to help you is if you have a powerful brand. Also, at least some of them are going to support you on YouTube. Before you get to build another set of followers or audience on YouTube.
The next thing you are to do is to decide on the platform where you want to build the brand. Is it Instagram, Facebook or YouTube? Do you want to build a brand on any of this? That is the next thing to do.
Step 3. Pick A Niche
After deciding on the platform where you’re going to build your brand. The next thing you’re going to decide on is what niche you want to build your brand on. To be sincere with you, writing is a very broad niche. If you say you want to build your brand as a writing brand. Where do you want your writing brand to focus? Like me right now, I am a writer but I focus my writing brand on creatives. I write for creatives. I write tips for creatives. Growth tips for Instagram, Instagram growth tips, and Instagram branding tips for creatives. If you want to become a writer and build a brand, you need to decide what writing niche you want to build your brand on. On Instagram, some writers focus on writing motivational quotes. Some people focus on mental health services, creative writing, lifestyle content or memes. With this, you know when I go to this person’s page; I am going there to laugh. With other pages, you know you are going to learn about relationships. Or motivational quotes that will push you through the day.
So it is not as if these people are not writers. They are telling you all those things in written form. Their writing has a particular focus. Their writing is not everywhere. That is what it means to build a brand. A brand people see when they come to you, what they feel they can get from you. When they come to your page, they know this is what you stand for. They see what your brand stands for and know what they can get from your page. That building a brand is. It is not what you say your brand is. You can say your brand is about mental health, but you are telling me about what happened in your life. It focuses your brand on lifestyle, not mental health. So if you say you want to become a writer, decide on what type of writer you want to become. Do you want to become a writer that shares writing tips or motivational quotes? Do you want to become a writer who talks about mental health, relationships, or Instagram tips? What type of writer do you want to become? Let’s say you want to become a social media manager. Do you want to become a social media manager that posts social media tips for social media managers? Do you want to become a social media manager who posts tips for businesses on Instagram? What exactly do you want to talk about in your niche? That is the next thing you have to think about when you want to build your brand.
Step 4. Decide on Your Brand’s Tone
Next, pick your brand tone. How do you want to have your brand perceived? For some brands, for example, Salem King, from his brand you will know he is jovial. You can come to his comment section and joke and this person is going to understand that this is a joke. He is going to reply using a joke. Why? Because of the way he puts out his content. How he writes his caption, the way he replies to comments and because of the way he replies to story posts and all that. But on some pages, they go straight to the point. Their posts and responses to comments are professional. There is a page called value vision. I started following them. I don’t know if you know them. This person’s page is very professional. They don’t even answer all the comments. The comments they answer are straight to the point. They are not there to come and laugh or joke with you and it is very efficient.
Step 5. Pick Your Brand Voice
How do you want people to explain your brand to others? This person is funny, she can do the work but her posts are funny. You can laugh with her. Or do you want people to say that this person is straight to the point? Knowing your brand tone, you know how you’re going to create content, and what type of content you’re going to create. If you don’t want your brand tone to be funny and jovial, you want it to be professional and straight to the point. You cannot start posting things seen as funny. Post funny images to make people laugh, or post jokes in your comments. Determining your brand tone will help you decide what type of content you’re going to post. It also helps you with how you are going to be replying to comments, and how you are going to be planning stories. Even how you are going to comment on other people’s pages. That’s how you determine what your brand tone is going to help you solve. You cannot be straight to the point on your page and be throwing jabs on other pages. You are deviating from what your brand tone is.
Step 6. Plan Your Content
The next thing to focus on now is your content. This is one of the main things in branding. Your content. You have decided that you want to be a writer and you want to focus your writing on sharing tips for creatives. That is what you want to focus your writing on. That is what you wrote in your bio. Later on, you’re posting motivational quotes that are not related to Creatives. For example, on my page, I write branding tips for creatives. Even if I want to use motivational quotes, I try to relate them to creatives. Why? Because this is what my page is about, this is my audience. What are they expecting to see on my page? They are expecting to see things that creatives related to. They are not expecting to see me tell them about a movie if I cannot pick up any lesson from it that will relate to them. It is okay if you add a lifestyle to your brand. Lifestyle is general, you can talk about your skincare, you can talk about anything. You can also choose to talk about lifestyle and creatives. When 80% of your content is about lifestyle. Yourself, your hair, your life and nothing about creatives. People will not see your brand as a brand that talks about creatives. When they come to your page, they don’t expect to see creative things. Even if you write creatives in capital letters on your bio. They won’t tell people that this brand is creative. Why? Because your content does not show that it is a creative brand. people don’t expect to see things related to creatives when they come to your page. Let me use Social Media Oga as an example. Social Media Oga is a social media manager. She branded her page as a haven for social media girls. This is where social media managers come to get social media management tips and social media-related lifestyle content. She posts lifestyle content. But these are things related to what social media managers experience. Why? Because she focuses her page on social media management. This is what you’re going to check for. Your content should be what you want your brand to be about.
Step 7. Connect and Network
After determining the content, you would like to post. When you are sure that your content is in line with what you want your brand to get perceived as. The next thing you have to do is to build connections. When you start your brand, if nobody knows that you started your brand, nobody’s going to tell anybody about your brand. What you need to do now is to build connections with people. That is also what you mean by building followers. But this time, you’re not building followers, you’re putting your brand in the faces of people. How do you do this? Browse people that are in a similar niche as you. This person must not be posting about Instagram tips, browsing about writers, or social media managers. Follow some of them. Drop comments on their posts, meaningful comments, not emojis. To show that you are reading their posts, you like them and it is relatable. You can also re-post them on your page, post on your stories and tag them. Some will repost it back and some won’t. Some will follow you. When you get connected with them, they check out your page. Put out content for them to see. They may follow your page because you’re already connecting with them. You are already building an audience with them.
How do you do this? Check big creators in your niche or communities like Diary of a Naija Girl. Drop relevant comments. People are going to engage with your comments if it is relevant. If you should get an on, you are ready. Because it will make people click to see what your page is all about. That is where your content will push these people to become your followers. Because they will talk about your brand. Follow big creatives. You can also follow medium creatives and small creatives in your niche. But the main thing is to connect with them. To connect with them, engage them. Make sure that they notice you. If they don’t notice you, following them is a waste of time. By noticing you, I don’t mean liking their posts and going. 100 people can like their posts. They won’t notice everybody that likes their posts. Make useful comments on their posts and make them notice your comments. Reshare their posts, and tag them. Then add extra comments about how you feel about the post. Something that makes them pause. They may repost you and that is it. Try to build connections with them. This will make them notice you and that will help you build your audience.
Step 8. Work on Your Brand Aesthetics
Then, I am going to talk about brand aesthetics. Brand aesthetics talk about colour and how you arrange your feed. It Is not compulsory because many people don’t have their aesthetics in line but they have built sizeable communities. Their content speaks for them. Your content should speak to you. Even if your aesthetics are not so beautiful, your content should speak for you. When someone needs knowledge, they move to your page. They know you will provide them with the content they need. When we talk about brand aesthetics, I am not talking about logos. Your logo can be your face in a personal brand. But for a business, you can create a logo. For this, I am talking about brand colours. With my brand, I chose white and brown. Fixing the aesthetics on Instagram is not as easy as it seems. Let me be truthful. Sometimes it will get scattered. Sometimes, you will get confused or you may get it. Try as much as you can. Try to get steady aesthetics like content creators. So you can arrange your page. So what do I mean by brand aesthetics? It is something that they will remember you for. For example, Salem King uses black and white. If I see a black and white post, my mind is going to think this is Salem King’s post. Even if it is not. Why? Because I know this is the colour he uses.
There is a page called Aesthetic Flatlay. If I see a flat lay that is orange brownish with flowers on it, Aesthetic Flatlay comes to mind, even if it’s not her. If I see a Twitter post that is purple, my mind goes to dang because she uses that colour for her logo. People can know you by your brand colour. people can know you by the style of Carousel you use. There is a person I started following recently, his name is Chinosom Nnaji. He does posts on Canva, his colours are greenish. He uses a particular carousel style and I recognize it when I see it. It may not be his but unrecognised that carousel with him I started using brown to make my audience spot me. I am not saying you can’t switch things up, but be consistent. Have a specific colour or style. Be recognizable even without your audience reading it. If you go out and you soot yellow, you think MTN or green, then GLO. Your brand colour can be what people used to notify you. Your style of design as well. Without you saying anything.
Step 9. Build A Community
The next thing I’m talking about is building a community. A community differs from followers. You can build followers. They will follow your page. But they are not your community. A community member loves everything you do, even if it is selling sachet water. They will engage with your post and reshare even if they don’t buy. If you are influencing a product, they will help. They will subscribe to your newsletter and repost it. This is important for you to do. So how do you build community members? Building a community is a give-and-take process. If you should build a community, that means they are members of your community. Also, you are a member of their community. They are people you support and they support you right back. Like me, I have a particular group of people that if they sell slippers tomorrow, I will repost and if I can buy, I will buy. Why? Because we belong to each other’s communities. Even if they post anything about their business, I will share and encourage you to buy from them. Because we are a community and I know they will do the same for me. Your community might not be large as big brands. Even as a small brand, build your small community or circle of friends. With that, you know that when you post and no other person engages with your posts, these people will show up. You are already counting on them when they come online. How do you build a community? It is a give-and-take process. You support them and they support you. Watch out for other communities and support them for a while, not weeks but months. Once they notice you, they will also receive support from that community. This is how you build communities. Send them direct messages. You should not talk about their deep secrets. Talk about your brands, ask questions, and engage with their stories. Stories are a direct link to their DMs, even when you don’t know what to say. Start conversations with them. Take note, that community building is about support. You need to build one.
Step 10. Choose The Type of Content to Create
The next thing I’m going to talk about is the type of content you can create. You can create problem-solving content. Content like this answers the question that people in that niche ask. Most of my content is problem-solving content. I look for problems. Like how to build a brand strategy and I go to answer those questions. I go to answer those contents immediately. The next type of content you can post is motivational content. You can post motivational content to motivate people. You can post inspirational content and you can also post relatable content. By relatable content, write about things people can relate to in your niche. As a creative, talk about anything that has happened today. Creatives can relate to your laptop getting spoilt or not meeting a deadline. Issues with procrastinating or having problems with time management. Those are relatable content. Things that people in that niche can relate to. You can also write about lifestyle content, e.g., a day in your life as creative, and share things in your life. You can create educational content. educational contents differ from problem-solving content. Problem-solving contents are content that solves a particular problem. It can be how to build brand strategies, or how to build Communities. For educational content, it can be 3 mistakes you’re making on social media. Or 3 myths about Instagram that are fake. You are educating them on a topic. Problem-solving content is solving problems for a particular thing. For example, how to get more clients? Trust Building contents. contents that will make people trust you more. Things like reviews, snippets of your work, videos of you working, pictures of your workspace, and sharing your word count. This shows that you write. These are trust-building content.
Step 11. Reach Your Target Audience
How can you reach your target audience? Know who your audience is first. For you to reach your target audience, you need to know who they are. So, if you want to reach your target audience, start by checking out where you can find them. To reach students that are creatives, you can check out pages like Zikoko Mag, and YabaLeftOnline. Sure you see people who are teenagers and creative. They may not even be creatives, but you will meet people of that age range. Go to pages where they hang out. Engage with their comments, go to their pages, and interact with them. If you like what they put up, follow their pages.
Step 12. Learn To Collaborate
The next important thing is collaboration. To build your brand, learn to collaborate. Collaborations can bring you, customers, asides from the audience. It can help you make sales with your brand. Collaborate with someone in a similar niche as you. Don’t see them as your enemy. You can decide to share one post. Instagram has made it easier with its collaboration feature. So both of you can have the content on both your pages together. This means that the post will show on their pages and also show on yours. Their Followers are seeing the post. They see that list; they are seeing your brand. It moves them to you because the person you’re collaborating with is in the same niche as you. Their audience is also the same audience you are looking for. They want the same thing your brand has to give. You can get followers and sales from there. Rather than collaborating with someone in another niche. Collaborating is the best deal.
Questions and Answers on How To Build A Brand on Social Media
Is there a need to separate my personal brand from my business brand?
Do I need over 1 social media account?
There may be a need depending on what your business brand is about.
For example, Tohmeewrites has a business and lifestyle brand. Where she is a creative writer and focuses on lifestyle content. That is talking about what happened in her life, telling stories about what happened to her during the day or how her workday went. You can see that her business brand is like her personal brand. She can interrelate them with no problem. She focused her brand on lifestyle content, which is her personal life or happenings in her life.
But if your brand is about focusing on posting social media tips for social media managers like Kinitomolola or The Social Media Oga. You would see that posting personal content like the food you ate for the day or the cloth you wore for the day or how a bus splashed water on you cannot work out. So you need to separate your personal brand from your business brand.
It depends on what your brand is about.
Thank you for reading through.
I curated this blog post from our Tribe Sessions done via audio messages. I have transcribed and edited it to enhance reading. Please ask questions and leave your comment below.
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