Most of us automatically recognize the golden arches, Nike’s swoosh symbol, the apple for Mac products and what they stand for. Branding isn’t only important for big name companies, but also a responsibility for small businesses.

Just as your personal social media profiles are outlets for you to express who you are and what you stand for, social media profiles for business are an outlet for you to express what your company is all about. One of the easiest ways to allow customers to relate to you is to build an online brand: logos, phrases and designs that make it easy for consumers to identify your business. Here are a few tips for building your brand:

1. Be consistent.

Be consistent both with your values and with how your brand looks visually. Make a photo of your storefront your Facebook Page’s profile picture; make it easier for customers to find you on Twitter or Instagram by using the same photo for those social media outlets as well. Be sure to have ONE logo and have ONE slogan which will make your business more identifiable.

                                                                                                              Showcasing a SnapRetail customer's brand on Facebook  Showcasing a SnapRetail customer's brand on Twitter

2. Decide on your voice.

When it comes to building a brand, it’s not just about your look; it’s about your voice, too! Decide whether your posts will be formal or casual. Everyone has a different vocabulary and style of speaking, so if several people are updating your social media profiles, make sure they are using the same voice. Customers love to get to know who they are working with, and trying to interact with several people who communicate differently can be difficult for them. If you’re going to be using a casual voice, posting something short, sweet and relatable will be a huge hit.

Using friendly meme's to keep branding consistent

3. Consider your audience.

If your customers are young and into technology, your brand should be geared toward them. If you cater to an older audience who values tradition and community, your company should have a community-friendly brand. Just as you choose a gift to suit the needs of the receiver, you should tailor your messages to those who will be receiving them. For instance, if you’re a winery and your audience is primarily middle-aged women, sharing a craft idea using products from your store is the perfect post!

Using your audience to drive the brand and products

4. Create community.

Social media makes it easy to get involved in your community. Share content from other local businesses to add value to your customers. If there is a local musical, bake sale, fundraiser or other events, social media is a great place to pass on that type of information and, essentially, get involved. Surrounding retailers will surely appreciate this generosity and be more likely to return the favor by sharing a post of yours.

Bums Away making community take center stage in their brand

5. Talk to your customers NOT at them.

We’ve all been through the frustrations of talking to a machine on the other end of the phone. Don’t let your customers feel that way on social media. Make your posts and tweets conversational. This creates more engagement and gives your customers a sense of who your business is. Post questions to start a conversation. This is a great opportunity to get to know your customers and to strengthen the bond between them and your brand.

A SnapRetail customer showing how to interact with customers on Facebook

Not only can you successfully build your brand on social media by keeping all of the above in mind, but by treating your customers how you would like to be treated. It sounds cliche, but it will help you offer them the best content, information and customer service which will in turn build your brand.