Social media has established itself as an important tool for businesses to connect and engage with their audience. It provides an opportunity to show your brand's personality, values and offerings to potential customers.
But there's a catch. You need to maintain a positive brand image on social media to make an impact and avoid any reputational harm. Here are some stats that testify to the importance of having a solid brand image on social media:
81% of consumers say that they need to trust a brand to buy from it
Only 31% of the consumers say that they trust most of the brands that they use
Consumers are more than twice as likely to buy first, stay loyal and advocate for the brands they trust
Now that you get the gist of why a positive brand image on social media matters, let's understand what it is.
Understanding the significance of brand image on social media
Brand image on social media refers to the perception and reputation of a brand as portrayed through its online presence. In other words, it’s the impression that users get based on the brand's content and engagement on social media platforms. These platforms include Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and many more.
Social media messaging has a significant influence on how a brand is perceived by people.
The perception takes shape when people interact with a brand on social media — they form opinions based on the brand content and its tone of voice. Often, the level of authenticity in the interactions is critical.
These impressions go beyond the traditional elements of a brand, like its logo or messaging. They are also influenced by conversations, user-generated content and shared experiences.
Why does a positive brand image on social media matter for businesses?
A positive brand image on social media can truly make or break your business. Let's see why:
Increased trust: Customers are more likely to trust a company if it has a positive social media image. This leads them to trust its services/products as well. Positive reviews, recommendations and endorsements from satisfied customers build your brand’s credibility and attract new customers.
Improved brand loyalty: Engaging and connecting with customers on social media creates brand loyalty. Your brand can create a loyal community of followers by maintaining a positive image. These loyal customers not only buy your products but also act as brand ambassadors. This spreads positive word-of-mouth.
Positive first impressions: A positive brand image sets you apart from your competitors and helps you stand out in a saturated market. It gives you an edge by creating a great first impression and helping you appear more authentic, caring and responsive. You ultimately attract more new customers and retain existing ones compared to brands with a negative or non-existent social media presence.
Perception of brand values: The smallest of things, like employees wearing ID tags, can matter a lot when it comes to professionalism. Similarly, maintaining a positive image for your brand is essential to show the brand's attention to detail.
How to maintain a positive brand image on social media?
Here are some fool-proof ways for your brand to maintain a positive brand image on social media.
1. Authentic storytelling
Create and share interesting stories that demonstrate your brand's values, mission and customers' interests. Craft compelling narratives that not only empathize with your customers but also touch them on a personal level, forging deep emotional connections.
Craft compelling narratives: Create stories that resonate with your target audience, highlighting your brand's values and mission
Develop characters: Give life to your brand by creating relatable characters that embody its personality and ethos
Show, don't tell: Use visual content, such as images and videos, to tell your brand story in a captivating and memorable way
Incorporate user-generated content (UGC): Encourage your audience to share their experiences and feature UGC in your storytelling
2. Consistency in brand messaging
Make sure that your brand's messaging remains consistent across all social media platforms. This means being consistent in terms of tone of voice, visual elements and core brand values.
Regularly review your content and ensure it aligns with your brand's objectives; consistency builds recognition and strengthens your brand image. Here are some tips to achieve consistency in your brand messaging:
Define your brand voice: Develop a distinct tone and style for your brand that remains consistent across all social media platforms
Use a brand style guide: Create a comprehensive brand style guide that outlines guidelines for visual and written content
Establish key messaging pillars: Identify core messages that encapsulate your brand's values and reinforce them consistently in your posts
Coordinate cross-channel communication: Ensure your brand messaging is synchronized across different social media platforms, maintaining a unified presence
Personalize interactions: Tailor your communication to match the preferences of each social media platform while maintaining a consistent voice
Learn More: Social media messaging: How to get it right?
3. Audience engagement
Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, questions and mentions. Encourage meaningful conversations, address concerns and thank customers for their support.
Incorporate interactive elements in your social media strategy, such as polls, quizzes and contests, to encourage participation and create a sense of community.
4. Monitoring and addressing feedback
Monitor social media platforms for customer feedback and product reviews. Promptly respond to both positive and negative feedback, demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction and addressing concerns professionally.
5. Crisis management
A crisis can occur unexpectedly. Having a well-defined social media crisis management plan in place is essential to protect your brand image during difficult times.
Be transparent, honest and empathetic when communicating with your audience during a crisis. Ensure you consistently keep them updated, promptly address their concerns and take full responsibility for any mistakes made.
6. Community building
Build a community around your brand by actively involving your audience. Encourage them to share their experiences, opinions and feedback. To manage your customer community, you must follow community moderation best practices to make the most out of it.
Successful brands that have cultivated a positive brand image
Several brands have successfully leveraged their social media image to boost their business.
Despite the challenges faced by fashion retailers during the pandemic, the Boohoo Group, including PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal, thrived with a 45% increase in sales. Boohoo's success can be attributed to its effective social media strategy, which was leveraging influencer endorsements to engage a young audience on Instagram. The brand cleverly adapts its content to current trends, staying relevant and relatable.
The Royal Academy
The Royal Academy has successfully cultivated an engaging social media presence on platforms like X, formerly Twitter. Through the efforts of its Social and Content Editor, Adam Koszary, known for his viral tweets, the Royal Academy combines historic and high-end subjects with relatable and modern-day humor. Their fun and interactive campaigns, like the #RAdailydoodle challenge, have contributed to their growing follower base and increased relevance.
Banza, an innovative food company, utilized influencers to spread the word about their chickpea-based pasta. By offering free samples to journalists and social media influencers, they generated endorsements from those who tried the product. This approach helped Banza gain popularity and expand its product line across grocery stores nationwide.
Start working on a positive brand image today!
To sum up, maintaining a positive brand image on social media is critical for any business. You can use storytelling, develop consistent brand messaging and engage with your audience. Plus, monitor feedback and build a strong online community to drive business growth.
If you are looking for an all-in-one solution to build your brand image on social media, try Sprinklr Social today. Its suite of advanced AI-powered tools help drive audience engagement on 30+ digital channels!
Frequently Asked Questions
Building a positive brand image takes time and consistent effort. It isn’t an overnight process but rather a continuous journey. Successful brand revivals and turnarounds often take years or even decades to yield significant results. Many brands like Apple, Gucci and McDonald's have experienced successful brand transformations. The brands achieved this by focusing on the product, story, culture and customer aspects.