Social Media Branding Strategy: How to Drive Results

By Mamie Patton | November 15, 2016

Brands have a lot to learn about engaging on social media.

Sprout Social recently surveyed over 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to learn what social media branding actions drive them away, and what entices them to become followers. The survey, called the Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index, reveals important information about brands and social media, especially how they can improve.

Surprise. They seek relevance and authenticity.

  • 58% of respondents say they dislike too many branded ads.
  • 1 in 4 respondents say they dislike when brands don’t respond to them. Since only 1 in 10 brands actually do respond, that means there are a lot of disappointed brand followers (or maybe ex-followers) out there.
  • 35% of respondents say they like brands to have a personality.
  • 38% of respondents say they dislike when brands use slang.
  • 32% of respondents say they dislike a brand tries to be funny.

In other words, a brand that is not clearly defined and authentically communicated is less likely to encourage followers.

Sprout recommends, “Instead of bombarding social feeds with stock images or forced copy, do the work: Identify your brand values, collect data, identify audiences and target your content accordingly. Additionally, pull together guidelines that steer clear of over-played phrases and stay true to your brand’s personality.”

Repeated Exposure is Important

75% of respondents purchased something because they saw it on social media. But 60% need to see a product or service 2-4 times before purchasing. So brands have to find a respectful and creative balance between promoting enough and crossing the line too much.

Is a Social Media Branding Strategy Worth the Effort?

57% of respondents are more likely to buy if they are following your brand. In today’s digital world, brands have to be present where, when and how customers want them. Having good content and carefully managed promotions in the right social media channels is one way to do that.

The Bottom Line

  • Success begins with a clear social media branding strategy and appropriate brand messaging.
  • Be prepared to commit the time and resources to create quality content.
  • Likewise, make sure you commit to responding in a timely way. Treat your followers as respectfully as you would treat your real life friends.