Letting your company’s personality shine through your social network activity is essential if you want customers to believe in who you are and fall in love with your brand. We chatted to Tessa Holladay of Saint Luke – a London-based startup that makes holdall bags and clothing – and asked her for some tips in bringing your business to life in the world of social media.
Want to launch a new brand? Come along to our 'how to build your brand' meetup in London on July 10th.
In the times of Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, who collectively claim over 330 million followers, it's hard to deny the importance of social media. These days, starting a new business with no social media presence is not a recipe for success. People wouldn't have a clue who Saint Luke were if it hadn't been for social media.
The Internet is saturated with bloggers, brands and celebrities that all have their own personalities, so how did we make sure we stood out? Building a valuable following takes time, consistency and patience. But when you get it right, the rest of the sales process becomes more efficient. These are our four key areas we focused on to make sure we weren't wasting our time.
Who is your brand?
Boil your brand down to its essence. What words best describe your brand? What is its personality? Why was the company started and what are its core values?
When I started Saint Luke, it helped me to create a fictional character that the target audience could relate to. I went into detail and wrote down a few characteristics, including what the person did, where they travelled, how they dressed and what things they liked. Once I had this character established, it became clear what imagery, lifestyle, hobbies and interests fitted in with the brand and what didn't.
Who are you targeting?
You have to understand and know your target audience like the back of your hand. This knowledge allows you to take a precise, tailored approach to your marketing rather than a blind, blanket one. Step into their shoes, look at their problems and ask yourself questions to help identify with them.
Start simple: are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? Identify your competitors by asking what other brands they like. Not only does this help you to understand your audience, but it will also hugely benefit you if you want to invest in paid advertising further down the line.
Content, Design & Authenticity
The types of content and visual design elements you share on your social media platforms play a crucial role in how your followers perceive your brand. Does it fit in with who your brand is? Is it appropriate for the platform you're publishing on? For example, you might want to share an interesting interview on Twitter but that wouldn't work on Instagram, which is much more visual.
Make sure you create a social voice that seems genuine and congruent. People want to be associated with a brand they can trust; a brand that believes in itself and doesn’t have to try hard to be itself.
A consistent voice should permeate every level of your marketing communications, otherwise, you risk creating a dissonance between how you present yourself and who you really are. Although you may be sharing interviews articles on Twitter and beautiful imagery on Instagram, these need to tie together.
For example, a link to your interview would work on Twitter, but an engaging picture taken from the interview would be a better fit for Instagram. However, make sure you are using the same language on all of your channels. Consistency is also important in terms of the regularity of updates – your audience is more likely to engage with regular, familiar updates than monthly posts.
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