After painstakingly mulling over names for your new business, you’ve finally found the perfect fit!
So what’s next?
The answer is branding. You need brand guidelines to solidify your brand’s look, from your product packaging/service proposals to your social media profiles. Branding is more than just a color palette and a logo, although you’ll need those too. It’s your brand’s voice, how your business will be perceived, and the cornerstone for presenting your brand to the correct audience.
Let’s take a few moments and break down the basics of branding as it pertains to social for your new business. It will be the groundwork for everything we do moving forward.
Key Brand Values
Exploring your key brand values will help you with your next steps, from where and how you handle marketing, how you approach customer/client interaction, and even how you network.
At launch, you should ask yourself these key questions:
How do you want customers to perceive your brand?
What drives you to go to work every day and grow your business?
If your brand was a mix of businesses or brands you admire, what would they be and why?
Choose Your Visuals
It’s all about cohesive visuals and messaging. You want it to flow, especially on social. From your website to your photography to your social media, you want all aspects to align.
- Logo: A logo is often the first glimpse a customer has of your brand. It’s great when companies have a good logo, but logos can change over time, so don’t get too hung up. A simple principle to follow is to have it be simple in form and convey an intended message.
- Color Palette: Picking the best colors for your brand can be super exciting and, honestly, a lot of fun. Start with considering your audience. Are they mostly women, men, or neutral? What is your audience’s age range, young and hip, middle age or older? Then take a look at other brands in your space. You want to stand out, but you also want to fit in– quite the balancing act.
- Photography: Good imagery is essential when developing your social media presence. And the best thing is that finding good images to use isn’t that let that stop you from finding it yourself. There are many resources to help you find the perfect photography to match your brand’s look and feel online. Luckily, PLANOLY has built-in free-to-use stock photography you can use, or you can use Unsplash. Note: Don’t forget to credit the photographer if you borrow images from a stock photography library.
Shall we shoot for the moon? Let’s talk about business goals. Depending on your business, you are most likely selling a product or a service. Each of these comes with different goals, and thus, strategies. Yet, with both, at the end of the day, you are looking for sales.
For product-based businesses, you most likely have an initial idea of a set selection of products you’d like to sell. You should determine the quantity of each product you want to sell and over what period of time. This will help you determine what kind of marketing budget you’ll need and how to scale it once you arrive at certain sales goals.
For service-based businesses, you’ll likely be looking for a certain number of clients, and those clients may come in at different tiers of services. You should determine what your tiers of services are and what those tiers entail. Then how many of each tier would you like to sell monthly. Once established, you can determine your marketing budget and how to scale.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms
After much deliberation on sales goals, you’ve determined your benchmarks for success. Now you should have a general idea for your marketing budget for social media. According to a 2019 CMO survey, the percentage of marketing budget on social media was on average 20-25%.
Depending on your target audience, your choice of platform focus (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) may differ from someone else. But if you are running on a tight budget, let’s say less than $3000 per month, you should focus solely on a single platform to squeeze the most out of it.
Let’s have a look below at each platform’s audience.
Facebook: With ages 25-55, Facebook has the largest audience of all the social platforms and the most robust advertising platform, most likely increasing sales from ad campaigns.
Instagram: Ages 18-34, highly visual, best platform for influencers and brand trust, more popular with younger generations than Facebook. (Ads done on Facebook)
TikTok: Ages 16-24, specializes in short-form content, great for influencers with a low budget and to run ads with their internal ads platform.
Pinterest: Great for driving traffic, far more women on Pinterest, highly visual, lot’s of interest in décor, food, art, fashion, wedding, travel.
Linkedin: Ages 25-34, for service-based businesses who want to build relationships with high tier positions at companies, as well as run ads using their ads platform.
Setting a Marketing Budget
Previously we talked about using a budget of 3k as our test run for social media marketing. With this budget, we should choose a single platform to invest the full amount and get the most out of every dollar. Let’s continue from this point forward with the most widely used social platform today, Instagram.
To properly market on Instagram using our budget, let’s segment our budget into three main focus areas.