Social media brand strategy: What you need to know

Guest bloggers Annelise Sealy and Anika Simon run the disruptive marketing agency 06:pm, a new agency aimed at helping young fashion and lifestyle brands, or in their words “we help these brands to differentiate their brand strategy and comms – creating content that’s relevant and SAYS something, instead of churning out the same imagery and opinions over and over.” Here Annelise guest blogs about the state of social media today and what every start-up needs to know to improve their brand strategy:

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Social media (as we know it) is 13 years old; I’ve been a social media marketer for 8 years and have watched it grow into the crazy thing it is today. There are some amazing things that social has given us – connectivity, communities, Instagram filters that make you look great. But there’s a lot of crap out there too, rearing its head like a giant Internet monster. And everyone’s trying to make money.

Here’s what you need to know about how to make your mark in the world of social media:

WANT TO ACTUALLY START A COMPANY? Make sure you have a) an original idea for a product or service – but not a niche that’s so small you’ll never generate any business, b) a defined target market – how are you going to reach your potential customers?, and c) strong brand and digital comms strategies in place (06:pm can help you out there, just sayin’).

DO THE GROUNDWORK: Make sure you first figure out your company structure, do your research, pick a brand name (and make sure it’s available/register it on key social platforms). Then think about next steps.

EVERYONE IS A CEO/FOUNDER/ENTREPRENEUR/ALL OF THE ABOVE: Anyone can be the founder of a company. That’s the beauty of the startup age! But just because you thought of a brand name and set up social media channels for it doesn’t mean you’re a ‘CEO’. It means you can think of names and are capable of setting up social media profiles. Just like, oh, everyone else. Make it legit – at the very least you could register the company officially (£12 in the UK) – not saying that you should just so you can feel important. Don’t waste your time unless you have necessary funds to invest, know there’s potential business from it and how to actually run the business (or can pay people to do it for you – do you know anything about accounting?). Otherwise you’re screwed.

CUT THROUGH THE CRAP. There’s so much social noise, and so many brands trying to get themselves out there. Your brand needs to be authentic. 100% unequivocally genuine.

Take a cold, hard look at your social comms and ask yourself: is my brand REAL?  Are we creating AUTHENTIC MESSAGES that REAL PEOPLE can relate to? IS EVERY OTHER POST AN #INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE. Maybe you need a new strategy.

CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT DOESN’T JUST APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE. You can’t invade the comments sections of people’s profiles and expect them to engage with you. Create meaningful content that provokes reaction and interest from your target demographic.

Brands have access to anyone and everyone on social. Now, I don’t mean exploit consumer personal information, I mean TAKE YOUR CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT TO A NEW LEVEL. Why not do your next campaign casting via Instagram à la Marc Jacobs. This is also a highly cost-effective way to cast a model, btw.

Follow these rules and you’ll be off to a strong start.


* This is a condensed/edited version of the blog that first appeared on 06:pm, check out the full blog in its entirety here. To find out more about 06:pm follow them on Instagram.

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