Social Media for Consultants: How to Develop a Strong Branding Strategy

Scaling / October 30, 2020 / admin

When clients approach you, they expect your consulting firm to find a solution to their problem. In short, they trust you to provide expertise and solve their problem for them.

One of the ways to attain their trust is by maintaining a consistent brand on social media. It helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a reputation.

What’s more, with 75% of B2B buyers using social media to support purchase decisions, you can’t afford to dismiss the importance of having a strong social media presence.

Wondering where to begin? The first step is to develop a social media branding strategy for your consulting business. In this article, you’ll learn more about how you can do that. 

brand strategy

1. Define your brand 

If you think that branding is only for big consulting companies, you are mistaken. Firms of every size need to invest time in shaping their brand identity.

This step is about defining what your brand stands for and owning it. Your brand identity needs to reflect your consulting firm’s core values, principles and purpose. 

It’s also important to note that with several consulting firms in the market today, it is your brand identity that will help distinguish you from your competitors. 

Here are a few questions you can consider:

  • What is your unique value proposition?
  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • What is your brand story?
  • What are the challenges in your niche?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What emotions do you want your clients to associate your brand with?

The idea behind this exercise is to be sure of what your brand stands for and have it reflect in your social media strategy.

2. Develop social media personas

It’s not enough to know that your target market is small business owners. 

According to consultant and best-selling author David A. Fields, “If your target market definition expands too much, you look like a generalist and you become less attractive to new clients than competitors who specialize.”

What’s more, to create targeted social media content that resonates with your audience, you need to narrow your audience down and fully understand them.

Enter social media personas.

Social media personas are fictional representations of your ideal target clients. Here are a few factors you can consider while developing detailed personas:

  • Age and location
  • Business KPIs
  • Company size
  • Role in the company
  • Buyer motivations
  • Challenges and pain points

It’s a good idea to visually present the personas you create. It increases memorability and makes it easier to distinguish the different personas while planning your social media content.

Here’s an example of a user persona template you can create. It takes into account all the important elements while using color-coding and charts to highlight key takeaways. 

Persona Template
Source: Venngage

3. Create a visual style guide

You’ve done the groundwork but how do you ensure it translates onto your social media channels and helps you maintain a consistent brand?

By establishing branding guidelines and creating a visual style guide.

Well-outlined guidelines help you build a more cohesive visual brand on social media while creating posts in line with your brand identity. This also strengthens your consulting firm’s branding, making it more recognizable.

The last thing you want is for your social media posts to look like they belong to different brands.

Here’s an example of a branding guideline template you can use to document the guidelines and break down your visual branding. 

Branding guideline template
Source: Venngage

These are the following elements you must include in your social media visual style guide:

  • Logo usage
  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Format or layout of posts

Visual content (images, videos, GIFs, memes, etc.)

4. Establish your brand voice

A huge part of offering a consistent brand experience on social media is the ability to sound consistent. This comes from establishing your brand voice

Your brand voice represents how you communicate and engage with your audience on social media. Here are a few questions you can consider while establishing your brand voice: 

  • What is your brand personality?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How do you want to make your clients feel?

Establishing a unique brand voice helps strengthen your identity and emotionally connect with your audience. 

Make sure you document your brand voice clearly so that it is consistently implemented in your social media copywriting strategy. 

5. Devise a social media content plan

Developing a strong social media presence takes work and that comes with posting content regularly. 

As a consultant, you need to use this platform to showcase your expertise, position your firm as a thought leader in the industry and spark conversations. That is the only way to increase visibility and gain the confidence of potential clients. 

How do you do that? Here are some social media content ideas for your consulting business:

  • Create educational content 
  • Share insights on current trends in the industry
  • Promote gated content and generate leads
  • Present client marketing case studies and testimonials
  • Showcase your employees and company culture

It’s a good practice to devise a social media marketing plan and create an editorial calendar to ensure you’re consistently putting out valuable content, engaging with your audience and increasing organic reach in the process. 

The takeaway: create a strong brand presence on social media

A decade ago, it would have probably been possible to attract clients and grow your consulting business without having a presence on social media but today, it’s close to impossible.

Consulting firms can’t afford to rely on word-of-mouth marketing, referrals and relationship building because these tactics, however effective, are certainly not enough.

What’s equally important is creating a strong brand presence on social media that helps you come across as a reputable and trusted consulting firm to your prospective clients while boosting loyalty.

These tactics will help you develop a branding strategy and lay the foundation for a better social media presence.

About the author:

Simki Dutta is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform. She writes about all things marketing and communications. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

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