It’s difficult to run a small business. Often times, they are run from creative entrepreneur’s homes or in the after work hours of the day/night. Most times, it’s run by one person and that means that this one person has to do everything from product design to creation to shipping to trouble shooting. Social media is a god-sent form of promotion for small businesses, but what if after all that work and all those hours you still weren’t seeing an increase in sales and followers even though you have an instagram, a twitter and even a facebook page and you’re posting frequently enough?
You may want to look at your branding and ask yourself: Do I have a clear branding strategy in place? Branding is all about customer experience and it is the most important piece to your social media strategy that can help you convert people into followers and followers into customers.
Why is branding so important you ask? Here are 5 reasons why branding is important for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs:
1. Branding creates recognition
Having consistent branding across all social media platforms and in your visual content makes it easy for people to recognize you, your shop or service. This recognition familiarizes people with you and your brand and that helps build trust. What this results in is more sales and follows because it has been shown that people tend to buy from brands that they are familiar with.
2. Sets you apart from your competition
In this day and age you are no longer competing on just the local level. Social media has made a global reach possible and this makes branding all the more important in setting you and your shop/service apart from the rest of your competitors. A good brand identity will make your Instagram, Twitter and website/blog stick out.
3. Tells people exactly what kind of business you are
Branding is the whole package. Everything from colours, fonts, visual cues, styling, word associations to the description is a part of creating an overarching image/lifestyle/ideal person that your brand projects. When all of those individual pieces come together, people landing on your shop/blog or social media platforms know exactly what you stand for, what you do and what need you are fulfilling for people of that particular niche. People will either resonate with this image/lifestyle/ideal person and follow or they will move on. And that’s okay! Because you want to attract the right people and this is what branding does: It weeds out the people you don’t want and keeps the people you do want enticed and willing to become customers.
4. Your brand is YOU
While it is important to keep private and business life separate for professionalism’s sake, you need to remember that at the end of the day the brand is a representative of YOU and what you are selling. This is important because if you’re shop and social media platforms are disorganized, non-cohesive or in-consistent then people will associate you and your products with such concepts and will then be less likely to trust you and buy from you. However, when we say your brand is you we mean that it is still important to remain true to you and why you began creating or offering a specific service in the first place. Often times people are able to see through forced branding. Meaning, if you are a surfing-Californian-beach-lover then sell your shell jewellery with similar people and that brand identity in mind, don’t try to appeal to the urban young hipster.
5. People invest emotionally in brands
If people stumble upon your website/blog/shop and its cohesive and consistent AND they resonate with your brand identity, then they are more likely to become loyal followers and customers. This is because people invest emotionally in brands. Playing on emotions is another form of trust building that is created through an understanding of a specific lifestyle or ideal person that your brand identity is built upon. Resonance with a brand leads to many things, but most importantly, it means that people tend to spread word about brands they love and remain loyal to brands that remain consistent and loyal to them.
If you want to learn more about how Instagram is key to growing your brand and how you can use Instagram to increase your sales, followers and traffic then click on the button below to sign up for our FREE 7 day Instagram course!