Looks Matter: Branding Across Social Media
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn—the list of social media platforms is a long one, and chances are, your brand is represented on more than one. Management of these accounts is key for developing an impactful brand image—to keep your brand looking good from every angle.
Simple, right? Not so much.
Here’s where things get tricky: while staying consistent is key, each social platform is unique and requires a different approach. An article published for Social Media Week 2015 suggests taking “the different personality types of social media users and where they play” into consideration, which will “help you make better decisions of when it might be okay to share content across channels. SMW also recommends that you “establish conversation guidelines for your community manager that will open more opportunities for real-time content on more fast-paced channels like Twitter.”
Your social media image should also be reflected in other assets. It’s just as important to align your brand image on your website and in email marketing campaigns with your brand image on social. Overall, the goal should be to represent a unified theme across all outlets.
With all these things in mind, here are a few touch points to visit when crafting your brand image as you switch between channels.
The Picture-Perfect Image
Logos, backgrounds, color schemes, graphics—all of these assets together create a strong visual impact that you can easily mirror in each account. People tend to resonate with pictures, and having consistent image identity creates a stronger memory in the mind of the consumer.
This Is the Voice
Think about how you want to sound. Are you humorous and personable or strictly business with a sarcastic edge? Are you playful or serious? How you convey your message reflects your company values and mission, as well as how you want your brand to be perceived. “Understanding your audience should also make it easier to decide what type of voice your brand should have,” suggests Duct Tape Marketing.
Promotions Across All Channels
While crafting your content for a specific campaign, make sure to keep in mind how the content will sound and look on different social channels. It’s essential that both the content and visuals convey the message to the right audience and it looks consistent across all channels. This can be done by simply having the same color scheme on design elements, using the same hashtag across all channels or even just having a consistent tagline for your brand.
Different Channels, Different Tone
Different social channels gives your brand the opportunity to talk to different audiences. Around the Insightpool office, we always say that Linkedin is your office, Facebook is your living room and Twitter is the bar. Each social channel offers a different community and this means that it’s even more important for your brand to identify who the audience is and how to speak to them. Making sure it stays on brand and consistent with the promotion strategy.
The wonderful and scary at times power of social media is how quickly content, video or images can go viral. We have seen the power of this with the viral user-generated content around the ALS challenge, which increased donations by excessive amounts. To ensure that in the event that your image, video or content goes viral, making sure you have branding on the images (logo, hashtag, etc.) is very important. It’s wonderful to have influencers, brand advocates and customers share content so make sure that your brand doesn’t get forgotten in the process.
As with any strategy, the end goal should be kept in mind when crafting a message or post. Always ask yourself: what is my end goal, and how will this post help accomplish that strategy? Maybe it’s something as direct as making a sale, or maybe it’s something softer, like nurturing a relationship—regardless, the thought process should always lead to the big picture, and posts should support an overarching message.
Now that you have steps on achieving greatness on keeping branding consistent across social channels, let’s check out a few brands doing it right:
Facebook: Hootsuite champions social as a great management platform but also understands the value of social in regards to branding. Hootsuite in consistent across all social channels and focuses on similar but tweaked copy but the same images.
Twitter: Consistent with the campaign look and feel, the branding is still a key component to the overall branding. In addition, Twitter allows for the brand to engage in a 1:1 engagement conversation around the topics.
Linkedin: Still consistent with the overall branding, Hootsuite chose to follow a more corporate style which makes sense if they’re catering to their B2B audience on LinkedIn. This gives its fans an inside look into what Hootsuite’s employees see every day.
Facebook: Fun and playful is Oreo’s goal across all channels. Their Facebook channel engages the audience with short videos, playful images and fun content. They also always have the images and videos branded with product or logos. Makes sharing easy and fun!
Twitter: Consistent in images and logo, the conversation is more engaging with other brands and customers then on Facebook. The great thing about engaging other brands similar to you is that you are getting their audience involved, opening up the conversation to a new audience.
Instagram: Visual, colorful and playful – three perfect descriptions for branding on Instagram. Many brands think they have to be on all social platforms – this is only if you can achieve greatness on all of them. It’s important to be great on the platforms that help your brand reach the right audience. Don’t waste time on a platform if you can’t put a 100% behind it.
If you are B2B or B2C brands, branding across all social platforms is incredibly important. With these examples and tactical ways to get your branding right across all channels, you are sure to increase engagement, conversations and ultimately increase ROI.
Can you think of more great branding examples? Maybe you have some experience yourself? Share in the comments below!
About the author: Hillary Byers Settle is the Digital Marketing Manager at Insightpool, a social sales and marketing platform that creates real connections with real people. She is a digital marketing buff, vintage enthusiast, ultimate fashion junkie, and enjoys building new relationships on social. Follow me @hmbyers
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