It’s no surprise that companies with well-defined and consistent branding messages are generally more successful.
Industry leaders go to great lengths to keep their brand coherent, but too many smaller businesses fail to recreate their approach across multiple social media sites. Their reasons for losing sight of their brand’s identity?
- Trying to appeal to too many different audiences
- Having to work with a variety of media types
- The need to adapt their approach to generate success
These are legitimate challenges, but the simple actions discussed in this article can help business owners overcome them and stay on-brand.
Know your audience
It may seem like ‘social media 101’, but all too often companies make the mistake of skipping the audience research stage and then trying to compensate by having profiles on many platforms. Having a presence everywhere might seem like the best way to reach a lot of people, but it just waters down your message and waste valuable time and money.
You built your brand around your ideal customer. Instead of trying to please everyone, find out where those people are and only target the channels they use. If your brand works for them in other contexts, you can present it the same way on these channels and be fairly sure you’ll get the response you want.
Some website builders include audience analytics but, if yours doesn’t, use an application like socialbakers.com or Audiences in Google Analytics to get the information you need. Getting an idea of demographics (age, gender, etc.) and geographics (common countries, cities, etc.) will take you a long way toward choosing the right platform.
Use the same profile information every time
Almost all social channels offer the same profile personalization options:
- Profile image
- Cover image
- Short description or ‘About’
To be instantly recognizable, your company needs to present the same information across all channels. If you change the details on one, change it on them all.
“But shouldn’t I adapt to the style of the platform?” I hear you ask. Not necessarily.
Even though different styles and approaches appeal across different sites, it’s more important to cultivate brand recognition than it is to adapt to specific channels. You want past, current and potential customers to easily associate your signals with your company and its products or service wherever they find you online.
Take a leaf out of MaybeTech’s book and use the same:
- And fonts
If you need to shorten your About or description to fit different word counts, make sure you keep the keywords that express your brand.
That said, you should always go custom
Stock photos are the nemesis of brand recognition. If you use images that are common to many other businesses, you’re not building a unique presence, you’re simply blending into a not very popular crowd.
You can use images to stand out by:
- Commissioning a photographer to create images that are unique to your brand
- Having on-brand custom illustrations or graphics created
- Using a tool like Canva to create your own unique banners/cover images if you need a frugal option
Pixity Land uses custom graphics with a sustained color palette across all of their social profiles.
When you use imagery made specifically for your brand, you will better express your company’s approach to business and be recognizable no matter how people find you online.
Focus on specific topics
Many of our favorite brands are recognizable because we know the kind of content they produce. For example, we all recognize Apple as champions of creativity. So, when we see their posts across social media, we know what to expect.
To emulate the big brands, you need a well-defined content strategy that narrows down the range of topics you use. What topics you choose will depend on your brand voice and personality. Apple focuses on creativity and that’s evident from their posts which are all about how people use their products to be creative.
Your focus might be ‘ethical business’ if you’re creating sustainable products or ‘independence’ if you’re a driving instructor. Whatever it is, consistently creating content that signifies it will make your business recognizable across your social platforms.
Maintain a brand voice
Your brand voice is a mix of the tone, style, and vocabulary you use when representing your business in text. Your voice will express your brand personality, for example by being formal or informal, jokey or serious, fun or sarcastic.
The easiest way to maintain your brand voice is to charge a single person with creating all your content. But, if that’s not possible, you’ll find it helpful to create a brand book or tone of voice guide and give it to all of your writers.
If you do have more than one person creating content, it can help to appoint a single editor to double-check that content is in line with your brand book.
In the digital market, nothing is more important than connecting with your customers across a range of social platforms. The best way to make sure they can find and recognize your business is to maintain a consistent brand identity. To build an approach that works, be sure to:
- Research your audience
- Make your profiles coherent
- Use custom visuals
- Narrow down your content topics
- And define your brand voice