You’ve got your brand, you’ve got your unique positioning statement, and you’re ready to offer your businesses products or services to the world, but how will you reach them? Social Media can be a powerful tool for brands – especially for new startups trying to reach as much of their audience as possible. While it can feel trivial, social media is actually crucial to building your brand awareness in 2021 and it’s important to invest some thought and resources into it.

Getting good awareness on social media can be overwhelming and, to be honest, a bit tiring. It’s generally suggested that the optimal amount of posts on your instagram feed is 2-3 times a week. And instagram stories and reels? Those should be posted even more frequently (a suggested 2 stories and 5-7 reels per day!). You don’t need to be on every social media channel, but if you do choose one platform, it’s best to do it right and post frequent, quality, brand-forward content.

It can be tough coming up with enough quality content to build a following, so we’ve compiled a little list of our top tips to help you grow your social media presence.

1. Keep up to date

This doesn’t just mean posting frequently (although, as we’ve already said, frequency is important; if you’re not posting… you’re not visible). Make your posts relevant and meaningful – don’t just post for the sake of posting. What’s happening in the world right now? Better yet, what’s happening in your world right now? Tell your brand story with your posts and your audience will engage.

People also love to read and share relevant information, so make your own content, but also try regularly sharing content by reputable sources in your industry to keep your audience engaged.

2. Make posting easy with a content calendar and apps

Remembering to post on a consistent basis can be difficult. One way to make this easier is to just… do it all at once. Set aside a couple of hours each month or week to create a calendar and schedule your content ahead of time. Plan out what days and types of content you will post. A great tool to help with this is content pillars.

A content pillar is 3-5 topics that your brand will frequently discuss on social media. Being an expert in a few areas, rather than a novice in tons, will help your audience grow faster and help you carve out your brand’s social media niche. They also make planning your content so much easier! When you focus on content pillars that are specific to your business, you can easily stay on brand and constantly refer to these topics to build a resource of ideas for posts. Content pillars and calendars also allow you to spread out your topics so your audience doesn’t get tired of the same content over and over again.

Once you have it all planned out, upload your content to a social media app. Sprout, Later, and Hootsuite all connect to your social media and allow you to schedule and post across different social networks. Schedule everything in one swift move and forget about the worries of trying to remember to keep up your social media presence.

3. Get Visual

No matter what your posting, photo and video content foster the most audience engagement. So don’t just post text. Try posting photos of your team, customers, and events, behind the scenes videos, infographics, or quotes. You can even leverage Canva as a tool to create on-brand visual images to post to your feed (check out our blog on how to make branded social media graphics in canva for more help with this!).

4. Know your tone of voice and brand writing style

Having a consistent voice in your brand messaging across all social media makes you recognizable and trustworthy. Your audience will follow you because they like your style, your content, and what you have to say. If you suddenly switch this up, you’re likely to lose followers and brand recognition. We don’t want that.Think about your brand’s personality, values, and mission and build your brand’s tone of voice around this. Having a distinctive and unique voice that matches what you want to say to the world will turn your faceless company into a recognizable brand.

5. Don’t just plug your brand, start talking!

Translation: be human. This is an important one.

This goes hand in hand with having a brand tone of voice. Don’t be a faceless company with zero personality. If you want your audience to engage, you need to let them get to know your brand on a personal level.

Try talking to your followers as if they’re friends; show the faces behind your feeds; and aim to connect regularly with your followers by answering their questions and responding to inquiries on a first name basis, replying when they @mention you, and commenting on their content. Talking like a human being will make your brand more relatable.

6. Create your own unique hashtag

Having your own pithy hashtag will add to your brand’s personality and make it easier for your followers to share and identify your content. Think of it as a second slogan for your business. Like a slogan, it’s important to get your hashtag right. Choose something that describes your brand, your mission, or what you do, in a few memorable words. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially when so many hashtags are already out there!

One thing that will make brainstorming your hashtag easier is hashtag research. Conduct research into words, phrases, and ideas that are relevant to your business or industry. Use these brand/industry specific hashtags in your posts and to inform the creation of your brand’s specific hashtag “de plume.” While hashtags aren’t copyrighted, it’s pretty clear when a business has claimed one, so it’s important you conduct research to make sure no one is already using the hashtag you want.

Don’t be afraid to use your hashtag on everything you post – when all your communication is tagged with one particular hashtag, the chances that people will find and use it in their own posts increases significantly, which will widen your brand’s reach.

Sustaining your brand on social media isn’t easy, but it is extremely helpful in widening your brand’s reach towards its target audience. As more businesses jump onto social media platforms, it’s important to take time and consider ways to effectively stand out and keep your followers engaged. Just don’t forget the most important rule: at the end of the day social media is about building a community, so use it as a platform where your brand can be true to itself, not just as a vehicle for advertising.