What are they?

Any attempt at investigating the impact of social media on branding should start with defining what we mean by these two terms. Social Media is constantly evolving as new platforms become available, the recent launch of Threads is a clear example of how quickly a platform can gain global followers almost overnight. For the purposes of this discussion, we shall consider social media as defined by wiki:

Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks.[1][2] 

Branding is a more established concept for most than social media, yet it constantly evolves to incorporate new developments and changes in customer behaviour. For the purposes of this discussion, we shall use the same definition for branding that we have used in other posts such as Branding: Can you do it yourself? 

Branding refers to the overall image and perception of a company or product in the minds of consumers. It encompasses the company’s mission, values, personality, and customer promise.

We shall uncover the reasons behind the growing influence of social media on branding.

 2. The Role of Social Media in Branding

Over the last few years, Social Media has grown exponentially around the globe and the number of people accessing the internet via social media platforms is only set to increase. As of April this year data reportal reported the following shocking statistics:  

As the infographic clearly shows the number of users of social media is significant and an audience of that magnitude has a direct effect on potential increased brand visibility and reach.

The challenge of not just building your brand identity but communicating your brand personality in this competitive arena needs to be considered and measured. Purely creating content to be seen for creating content can say a lot about your brand and it is not positive or helpful. You need to establish brand authenticity and trust before you can consider ramping up your volume.

Harnessing Social Media Platforms for Branding

Not all social media platforms are right for you and your preferred customers, choosing the right platforms to use is the critical first step. Research each platform and ensure they engage the right audiences for you and your brand. For example, if you are in the financial services sector and promoting life insurance then TikTok may yield little to no return for your brand, or at worst a negative impact which you won’t be able to counter. 

Once you have chosen the right platforms for you, it is essential that you craft a consistent brand voice and visual identity across them all. Many users access several platforms and jump between them and you need to ensure that your brand is delivered in the same way, whichever platform they choose. This absolutely huge opportunity to engage with the target audience through interactive content is just too important to miss or get wrong.

Leveraging Influencer Marketing on Social Media

A significant development in social media is the rise of the importance and power of influencer endorsements. Youtuber’s are now online celebrities and have millions of followers, Hollywood celebrities, musicians and film stars can often have millions of fans following them across multiple platforms all over the world. If one of these influencers uses a particular brand or directly endorses them then the effect can be colossal sales and instant brand recognition. 

Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Branding

 

The challenge is in finding the right influencers for your brand, as users have become incredibly savvy and aware of product placement. Finding an influencer that matches your brand’s values and personality will always work better than just choosing them based on their popularity.  Once chosen it’s important to agree on the right metrics to allow you to measure the effectiveness of your influencer collaborations.

Responding to Feedback and Managing Reputation

As mentioned above, it is important to be able to monitor and measure the effectiveness of influencer campaigns on your brand. Monitoring brand mentions and conversations should be the very least of the activity, ensure that they reflect and embody your brand’s core values. 

Be responsive: address customer feedback quickly and resolve issues immediately before they have a chance to develop. If key themes or issues are identified, use positive customer experiences via social media to address any direct concerns.

Future Trends in Social Media Branding

Although you can never truly tell what the future may hold for social media and its impact on branding, you can anticipate some of the advancements in social media platforms. The growing use of AI in all aspects of our lives will almost definitely impact how we use social media, so it is essential you ask how this will impact your brand. Will AI spawn new technologies or refine old ones? The key is to be open and flexible to evolving consumer behaviours and preferences and being ready to evolve with them.

Conclusion

To recap, Social Media has grown and continues to grow at a speed we have not experienced before. The impact on brands is huge and a considered, measured and monitored response is required. Real growth will be seen by those brands that embrace social media as a powerful branding tool and plan accordingly. New technology such as AI will impact social media and therefore the brands operating in it, but by being aware of changes and applying a consistent brand identity any evolution should be relatively easy to respond to. 

Change is inevitable, those brands that are willing to embrace social media and apply their brand correctly will always see a benefit. If you are unsure about how your brand can be applied to social media in a consistent manner or have any other brand-related concerns, then get in contact and we will be more than happy to help in every way we can.

Talk to Toast today

If you are considering any form of branding, then Talk to the Toast team and we will help you every step of the way, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form.

 


Do you need help with your branding?

If you would like to discuss your branding, logo or identity project, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form.

Top