Your customers’ gut reaction to your brand is powerful. It can make or break a sale, create years of loyalty, or be the reason they recommend your brand to anyone who will listen. And with customers reported to spend 20-40% more on brands they’ve interacted with on social media, your social channels are now the control room of your brand equity. It’s a tricky game. You want to make sure you’re posting quality content. And you want to make sure that quality content is not only found by the right audience… You want them to feel it too. But it’s absolutely achievable. By understanding the mechanics behind brand equity – those elements that turn one-time buyers into your biggest superfans – you can harness the full power of your brand equity control room to create content that will make customers love you, every single time. Here’s what you need to know: What is brand equity? In case you missed our complete guide to visual marketing, brand equity is all about how consumers perceive your brand. This ‘gut reaction’ is influenced by the experiences consumers have with your brand, and is what can set you apart from your competitors. If you’re wondering what factors influence brand equity, you’ll want to hear about what Kevin Lane Keller (Marketing Professor at Dartmouth College) has to say. In his book, Strategic Brand Management, Keller reveals that building brand equity is all about shaping how others feel about your offering. Keller breaks down brand equity into four key categories: Salience: who are you? This is all about how well users recognise your brand and understand what you stand for as a business. Performance: what are you? This is all about how well your offering serves the needs of your audience and how well your content (such as imagery and videos) captures the essence of your brand. Judgements: what about you? This is all about how people respond to your brand and how they feel about you, based on your businesses’ perceived quality and credibility. Resonance: what about you and me? This is all about how connected audiences feel to your brand, which is represented by behaviour such as repeat purchases, a strong engaged community and active brand engagement on social media. How do customer interactions impact feelings towards your brand? So, how do consumer’s interactions with your brand impact how they feel about your brand? Think of every interaction your brand has with a customer like a scorecard. Each time you surprise and delight your audience, your brand’s score increases. However, if your interactions are clumsy, confusing or disappointing, your brand’s score drops. Let’s walk you through the impact of user experience on how connected audiences feel to your brand: If user’s have a good experience with your brand (such as landing on an easy-to-navigate website or being served relevant, useful social media posts), this will generate positive brand equity. However, if users’ have a bad experience with your brand (such as a slow website, tricky check-out process or poor customer service on social media), this will negatively impact their view of your brand. The more positive interactions your customers have with your brand, the more likely they are to feel connected and loyal to you. On the flip side, after a string of bad interactions, your customers are likely to have feelings of disappointment and even resentment towards your brand. What are the benefits of brand equity? So, what are the benefits of generating positive brand equity? There are stacks of tangible reasons why businesses (like yours) should prioritise brand equity, as it enables you to: Charge a premium for products and services (as audiences perceive your brand to be higher quality than your competitors) Drive repeat business and ensure your customer keep coming back and preferencing your brand Turn your customer into brand advocates who will expand the reach of your brand and encourage others to shop with you Ultimately, brand equity can have a meaningful impact on your bottom line. With a stronger connection to your business and a sense of loyalty to your brand, customers are more likely to spend with you and even encourage their networks of friends and family to do the same. What’s the link between social media and brand equity? Social media has a huge impact on your brand equity – but don’t take our word for it. 54% of users using social media to research their next purchase 64% of customers would rather message a brand on social media than call them for customer service support 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within 24 hours to their social media messages 60% of people cite bad customer service as a red flag when making a purchase online So here’s another way to think about it – when weighing up between your brand and another brand, social media has over a 50% sway in your customer’s purchasing decision. And a great way to see how customers are resonating with your brand is to tune into the sentiment of their conversations on social media. This is known as social listening, which involves monitoring your social channels for mentions of your business, products or services. By tracking, analysing and responding to conversations (whether that’s mentions, tagged posts or comments) about your brand, you’ll be able to better understand the needs of your customers. Plus, you’ll be able to gauge the overall feelings users hold towards your brand and use your social media marketing efforts to shape a more positive sentiment towards your brand. How to boost brand equity through social media marketing Now you’re probably asking yourself: how can I build brand equity through social media marketing? Keep reading to discover 10 of our favourite ways to boost brand equity through strategic social media content. Use consistent branding across your social media channels Did you know using a signature colour can increase your brand’s recognition by 80%? And with users only taking 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your brand online, crafting a striking and consistent visual identity is what will set your social media content apart from your competitors. One of the best ways to craft a compelling visual identity is to design brand guidelines. This document outlines exactly how your brand should be represented throughout your marketing materials, including on-brand fonts, colours, logo placement and even suggested imagery. To ensure your brand identity is consistent across your social media channels, the best place to start is with an audit of your existing platforms. Check whether your branding is applied correctly across each platform and whether your content accurately reflects your brand’s desired identity. In practical terms, this means ensuring: Your logo is used as your profile image across all your social media channels You’ve designed on-brand cover images that leverage your brand colours and fonts Your social media posts use the same colours, fonts, imagery and your brand’s logo to build meaningful brand salience with audiences across each platform With consistent branding in place, audiences will have a better chance of recognising and remembering your brand on social media and will be more likely to engage with your content when it jumps into their feed, too. Leverage branded templates to share striking, on-brand social media assets In a similar vein, the next step to creating a captivating visual identity is to ensure it’s applied consistently across your social media channels. It takes (on average) up to seven impressions for a user to remember your brand. And if your branding is inconsistent, it’ll be even more difficult to gain traction and brand salience with your target audience. However, there is a practical solution: craft graphic templates to use across all your brand’s social media platforms. These branded templates take the guesswork out of content creation for social media, with scaffolds ready to go using your brand colour, fonts and graphic elements. This tip helps to streamline and speed up the content creation process, while also safeguarding the quality and visual consistency of your social media posts. With a bank of graphic templates (each aligned to your content pillars), your social posts will remain cohesive and compelling, no matter who is designing each graphic. Plus, to really stand out from the crowd, it’s worth investing in a professional brand photoshoot to capture bespoke imagery for your business. Instead of relying on stock images, creating a library of your own photography will give your social media content the edge and ensure audiences recognise and remember your brand online. Share behind-the-scenes social content that humanise your brand Social media offers the unique opportunity to give your audience exclusive access to the behind-the-scenes of your business. While sharing photos of your team at work or revealing a ‘day in your life’ might sound simple enough, these pieces of content can have a significant impact on your brand equity. Offering a raw, candid glimpse into your business helps to humanise your brand. The more connected audiences feel to your business, the more likely they are to trust your brand and ultimately choose to shop with you. Luckily, there are stacks of practical ways to capture and share behind-the-scenes content on social media, including: Getting a member of your team to show a day in the life of their role on Instagram Stories Posting an Instagram Carousel sharing behind-the-scenes moments from your most recent team building day or event Crafting an engaging TikTok or Instagram Reel showing you or your team at work Hosting an Instagram or Facebook Live broadcast that gives audiences a chance to ask you questions about your business, your role and your industry Crafting a snappy social-ready video that shows your business in action (whether that’s running a class, working with your clients or in your physical office or shop space) The key to crafting compelling behind-the-scenes content is to show the people in your business and using their personal stories to spark an emotive response and connection with your target audience. Proactively engaging with your community and start conversations on social media One of the best strategies to boost your brand equity on social media is to start two-way conversations with your audience. By proactively reaching out to your new and existing audiences on social media, you’ll be able to build a personal connection with your audience and create positive brand experiences for these users. While it’s important to offer a timely response to any messages, comments or DMs you receive from your audience, it’s also important to seek out new connections as a brand on social media. In practical terms, proactively engaging with your audience on social media means: Using hashtags to search for and engage with new, high-intent audiences that might be interested in your brand and social media content Researching for like minded brands on social media, and engaging with their followers with open-ended questions and comments on their recent posts Dedicating a couple of hours per week to finding new audiences to connect with and sending them a DM to start a meaningful conversation By going out of your way to connect with new audiences, you’re creating a positive brand association with these potential customers. Plus, this boosts the chance of these users following and ultimately spending with your brand in the future, too. Use customer feedback and FAQs to inspire your social content What common questions do you get asked by your customers? Whether you’ve already got a FAQ page on your website or simply find yourself answering the same customer questions, you’ve got stacks of powerful inspiration for your next social media posts. When it comes to building brand equity, it’s all about ensuring your content is relevant and tailored to the needs of your audience. By showing that you understand the needs, challenges and pain points of your audience, your content will have a better chance of resonating with your target audience. To turn these FAQs into engaging pieces of social media content, consider: Hosting an Ask Me Anything Instagram Live broadcast that addresses these common challenges and roadblocks Turning these questions into save-worthy Instagram Carousels that help to educate and inform your audience Creating a punchy Instagram Reel or TikTok video that responds to these frequently asked questions in funny, memorable ways The trick to maximising the value of your brand’s FAQs is to transform these questions into social posts that are interesting and engaging. Get creative and consider unique ways to leverage each social media platform’s features to address your audience’s pain points and deliver your brand’s products, services and expertise as the solution. Share your expertise through bite-sized social media posts Boosting brand equity is all about positioning your business as a leader in your field. Luckily, your social media content can help you build this expert status with strategic content that shares new, valuable information with your target audience. Give users a positive experience with your brand by prioritising free, high-value content on social media. Not only does educational content build trust with audiences but it also acts as a sample of your brand’s offering. No matter what industry your business is in, there are a range of engaging ways you can transform your industry knowledge and expertise into social content. These sources of educational content could include: What tools do you use to make your job easier? Share your top tools in a save-worthy Instagram Carousel. What techniques do you use to streamline your job? Share a few of your favourite time-saving hacks with your audience in an Instagram Story. What recent industry news stories would your audience be interested in? Share your top takeaways from this news in a Live broadcast. What skills make you an expert in your field? Share your top tips and tricks in a fun, memorable Instagram Reel or TikTok. What stats or research will help educate your audience about your industry? Share these stats as graphic tiles and give your expert opinion and insights in the caption. By prioritising value-first content, your audience will see you and your business as a leader in your field. As a trusted expert, your audience will also be more likely to recognise and remember your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase, too. Showcase what you stand for and your brand values on social media A key element of building brand equity is to be transparent about your organisation’s values. By articulating what you stand for as a brand, audiences are more likely to resonate with your brand and preference you against your competitors. On social media, showcasing your brand values is all about designing content that articulates what you stand for, including: Crafting Instagram Carousels that showcase your charity partners or other organisations that you give back to. Designing Feed posts that spell out your mission and vision statements and explain what they are important to your business. Running social media ad campaigns that demonstrate your brand’s values or core principles in action (and show that you practice what you preach). Hosting Live broadcasts with your founder that explain why they started the business and what core values are important to them. Sharing behind-the-scenes content that shows your team living out these values, such as volunteering, running a charity event or simply living up to your company values at work. Reshare user generated content to build social proof Authenticity is a key factor that influences 90% consumer’s purchasing habits. And if your brand is looking to build trust and rapport with potential customers, you need to be prioritizing user-generated content (UGC). In fact, 79% of social media users say UGC has a big impact on their purchasing decision. Why? Because UGC allows your customers to share their positive experience with your brand in their own words. This style of content is seen as a more reliable indicator of your brand’s value. Just like referrals, recommendations and online reviews, UGC lets your past customers advocate for your brand with their own friends and family online. To gain the most value from this style of content, it’s important to strategically encourage and share these posts. Start by creating a branded hashtag and encourage your customers to use this and post their experience online for a chance to be featured on your social media channels. Next, it’s time to find ways to repurpose this content and share with your existing followers. Some ways to do this include: Creating a weekly Instagram Carousel that shows the 10 best pieces of UGC from that week Using UGC to support your next brand awareness ad campaign on social media Leverage UGC in your next Instagram Story to let your customers speak for your product in their own words Streamline the user experience and leverage social media features Creating positive brand experiences is what will boost your brand equity. And on social media, there are stacks of helpful platform features you can leverage to remove friction in the path-to-purchase. While you already know how important it is to design a user-friendly website, have you considered how easy it is for users to convert on your social media channels? If not, here are some practical tools to consider using to improve the user experience on your social media platforms: Add shoppable tags to your Instagram Posts to allow users to buy your products within the Instagram app. If eligible, ensure your Instagram Stories slides leverage the ‘swipe up’ link. Ensure all your LinkedIn and Facebook posts include clickable article links to drive traffic to your site. Use an Instagram bio link builder to allow users to access specific pages of your website in just one tap. These simple optimisation techniques will ensure users have a positive interaction with your brand on social media, and decrease the chance of them abandoning a purchase from your online store. Use social media to gather real-time feedback from your audience to improve their experience with your brand Social media offers stacks of important opportunities to gather real-time feedback from your target audience. But are you leveraging these tools to your brand’s full advantage? If you’re looking to improve your brand’s user experience, it’s important to understand how your followers really feel about your brand’s content. Luckily, each social media platform has a range of interactive tools to gain instant feedback from your followers. Here are just a few ideas to get you started: Run an Instagram Stories poll to see which style of content users prefer to see from your brand. Use the Instagram Stories ‘Questions’ sticker to ask for feedback about what topics they’d like you to cover in your upcoming posts. Add a call-to-action to your post captions that asks users to respond to your post using a particular emoji or reaction. So, there you have it. If you’re looking to boost brand equity, you need to ensure your social media presence is consistent, tailored to your audience and allows opportunities for two-way conversations. By treating your social media channels as an extension of your customer service experience, you’ll be able to proactively reach new audiences, respond to enquiries in a timely way and ensure users have a positive experience with your brand from day one. You may also like: Complete guide to visual marketing Visual marketing trends to look out for in 2021 21 best visual marketing app for social media managers 12 tips for creating effective visual marketing Keep your brand name out there without losing hours on social Your feed needs to look busy – but you only have so many good hours with your brain per week. So if you want your feeds full all the time… But without you being on social around the clock… Check out Sked Social. You can schedule weeks’ worth of content in under two hours, so you can set, forget, and get on with your other work. See if it’s right for you with a free 7-day trial.