Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Branding

Social media is the place to connect with your target audience. But to do so, you need stellar social media branding. Learn how to do it with tips & examples!

Social media design
September 26, 2023

Table of Contents

If you’re not working on your social media branding, you’re missing out. This is the place to connect with your target audience and build lasting relationships that will help your business thrive for years to come. Keep reading to learn how to build a brand on social media, step-by-step.

Over half of the world’s population is on social media. Over 91% of marketers use social media, while 96% of small business owners use it to promote their business.

But changing your profile picture to the brand’s logo is not enough. Learn why social media branding is important, and how to build a brand on social media.

Why is social media branding important?

There’s nothing easier than setting up a business social media account. But if that’s all you’re prepared to do, your brand will stay invisible on social platforms.

Many businesses that consider their primary revenue to come from other channels (e.g. website and SEO, word of mouth for local businesses, ) fail to understand just how beneficial branding on social media is for virtually any business.

Here are just a few reasons why creating a social media branding strategy can help you.

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  1. Increased brand awareness: A strong social media brand can help businesses to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. By consistently sharing branded content, businesses can build brand recognition and familiarity among their followers and fans.
  2. Building customer loyalty: Branding on social media can help businesses to create a unique voice and tone that resonates with their target audience. By engaging with customers through social media, businesses can build trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships.
  3. Boost sales: A strong social media brand can lead to increased sales and revenue. By creating a strong brand identity, businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors, build customer trust and loyalty, and ultimately drive more sales.

Are you convinced? Then let’s see how to build a brand on social media, step-by-step.

How to increase brand awareness on social media

Building a strong brand on social media requires a strategic approach that focuses on creating a consistent, authentic, and engaging brand identity across all social media platforms. Here are some key steps to building a successful social media brand.

Choose your platforms

The first step to understanding how to increase brand awareness on social media is deciding what are the best platforms to use. There’s nothing worse than spreading your time and resources thin on platforms that won’t yield results.

So, you ought to go back to your business plan and your buyer persona profiles. Based on their demographic, interests, and industries it should be fairly easy to pinpoint what platforms will be most useful.

Use consistent profile and cover images

Cover the basics first. Using branded cover and profile images is the first step in building your social media brand.

Of course, it’s imperative to use images that scale for different formats found on different social channels. That’s why images without text often work best for cover photos, while your profile picture should always be your logo.

Here’s a good example from Slack. The abstract design of the cover photo is easily adapted for Twitter and Facebook. On the other hand, adding more background the Slack’s (relatively) round logo makes it work equally well in a round and circle form for profile pictures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Extend your visual branding

So you have the profile photo and cover done. Now what?

Although there’s always room for creativity, branded social content is the only way to build a powerful brand on social media. First, you’ll need to develop an art direction for your social media. This entails translating your social media/marketing strategy into actionable design guidelines.

Then, relying on your content plan, you can create visuals and organize them for the best effect. Does this mean all of your content will look the same? Absolutely not. But it will be visually cohesive, and have the same type of messaging and feeling.

Shopify’s Instagram page is a terrific example. The ecommerce platform features really diverse content, from memes to actionable tips and fun facts (such as this mind-blowing video on the history of bubble wrap!).

Nevertheless, their Instagram profile has a very coherent look, as each post and video thumbnail is designed to fit the overarching theme.


Define your marketing personas

Developing a social media strategy requires planning and research. Same as you would with an overarching marketing plan, you need to understand who is your target audience on which platform.

Wendy’s is one of the most recognizable social media brands. Almost everyone knows about their Twitter roasts of competitors and even their own followers. The sassy tone of voice is geared towards a younger audience of digital natives that love to partake in the fun.

On the other hand, their Facebook account is purposefully geared towards an older demographic, both in content and style. They use dated-looking visuals, “accidental” all-caps writing, and misspelling of certain words to reflect their target demographic on Facebook (older people) and lovingly make fun of them just as they do with the famous Twitter roasts.

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Even their Twitter audience has noticed the unique style of their Facebook posts and, in line with their social media brand, Wendy’s didn’t shy away from responding.

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Establish a style and tone of voice

Creating a recognizable tone of voice is an essential part of building brand awareness on social media. Your brand’s tone of voice is usually outlined in the brand guidelines, along with things like catchphrases, and specific terms you prefer to use.

However, be mindful of the different target audiences on different social channels, and what they will respond to best. As we’ve explained in the previous section, adapting your content and tone of voice slightly can be a great way to engage the main target demographic on a specific social media platform.

Moreover, consider the technical and statistical details about the length of your posts on each platform.

Here’s some data:

  • Facebook posts with 40-80 characters perform best.
  • LinkedIn favors longer posts, of around 100 characters.
  • Tweets mustn’t be longer than 280 characters, but the optimal length is between 70 and 100 characters.
  • Instagram posts ought to be up to 125 characters in length.

Develop a content strategy

There’s no way you can build strong social media brands without a long-term plan. A long-term content strategy is helpful for several reasons:

  • Regular posting increases your visibility (more posts = bigger reach).
  • You will give yourself time and space to develop your tone of voice and create a relationship with followers.
  • You won’t miss important dates/milestones. Imagine an environmental charity forgetting to mark Earth Day? Mark important dates and calendars so you can join in the social media conversations.
  • You will save time and resources. Planning ahead means you won’t get stuck on a last-minute piece of content and visual, working for hours under stress.
  • It’s easier to measure results. An odd piece of content might bring a lot of engagement, but it won’t necessarily bring actionable insights you can use in the future.

A social media content strategy should definitely include a list of graphics or visuals that you need to create. Some brands opt for creating a so-called social media brand kit, which includes editable post templates. This can be useful, although limiting in the long run. Instead, it’s better to consider affordable design solutions that allow you to get all the custom social media graphics you need (we'll talk about this at the end).

Create a different account for products/areas (optional)

Depending on your industry and the size of your business, it may be worth creating separate social profiles for your best-known products, or different geographical areas that you do business in.

For example, Netflix has a separate Instagram profile for almost every film and TV show it launches (any Love is Blind fans out there?). It also has different country profiles, which makes it all the more enticing for people to actually follow and engage with their profiles since the content is in their native language.

Engage with your audience

Last, but certainly not least, boosting your brand on social media doesn’t end with a growing follower count. You need to keep people engaged and get them to interact with your posts regularly.

Here are some tips on how to increase social media engagement:

  • Utilize video content: Videos have a staggering 1200% more engagement and views than images and text combined. If you don’t like to be recorded, motion graphics and animated videos are a fantastic alternative.
  • Ask questions: Remember that, at its best, social media is about dialogue. Give your audience food for thought, or ask them for input and opinions on how you can improve, or what matters to them. Utilize interactive components such as Instagram story polls and quizzes.
  • Organize contests: Getting people to engage with you to win a prize is perfectly valid. Just ensure that the prize is close to your brand. Otherwise you may end up with engagement/attention that will diminish right after the contest.
  • Partner up: Collaborating with another brand gives both of you more visibility, allows you to tap into a new market, and engage more people on your socials.

Can we help you with branding on social media?

The best social media brands know their audiences, pick their channels, have a long-term content plan, and a cohesive visual brand identity. You can always hire a social media agency to run your socials for you, but this comes with a hefty price tag. Moreover, remember that if you let someone take over, you might miss out on valuable opportunities to use social media to propel other areas of your business, such as sales, or improve your product or service.

If, however, you decide to do it yourself, there’s no need to do everything* alone. Creating branded social media content can take a lot of time and effort if you’re not a designer. Moreover, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with sloppy graphics that don’t reflect your brand properly and can hurt your efforts to build a strong social media presence.

Our unlimited design service allows you to get all the graphics you need for a flat monthly rate. Whether it’s a custom Twitter cover photo, or thumbnails for your reels - get everything you need designed with one affordable monthly rate.

Find out more about how we can help you create stellar social media branding! Or book a free 1:1 consultation to tell us about your needs.

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.

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