For many businesses, their online branding starts and ends with their website. While someone may have slapped the logo and a suitable background or cover image onto the company’s social properties, they’ve done little else to communicate their message to the world effectively.
If you believe you’ve unintentionally made this blunder and your social environment really isn’t representative of your brand at all, then follow along as we explain how to fix this common problem while building a solid social media branding strategy.
Congruency and Consistency
Okay, so your strategy may begin with the visual aspect of your online presence—it’s important to remember, however, that it’s not the be all and end all of your branding efforts. Being congruent and consistent simply means ensuring the message, look, and feel of your brand carries through from your website to any social profiles, blogs, and forums you own.
Before you set out to evaluate your existing social assets, consider what kind of impression you’re hoping to make. If your brand is a luxury brand, then ask yourself whether that’s something your audience can pick up within the first few seconds of clicking onto your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages. If it’s not, then you have some work to do. If it is, then you’re about half way to success.
#Tip: Pay attention to branding elements such as style, imagery, tone, and colors. Hire a professional designer to create captivating images and creative cover art if you don’t have any that are worthy of your networking sites.
Branding isn’t just about logos, colors, and certain font types. It’s about experience too. Since social media takes the experience between brand and consumer to a completely new level, you need to define that interaction so you can shape and control the way you’re perceived.
Think about the social media train wrecks we’ve seen in the past few years and how those negative experiences went viral faster than the account manager could hit the delete key. Now, think about your business decisions and the potential for them to find their way onto social channels. Will your community love you for your actions, or will they raise up an army of haters and smash your brand to smithereens?
#Tip: Set guidelines for your interactions with customers and develop a reputation management strategy. Be nice, be community conscious, and behave in a way that creates a positive experience. It’s not easy when you’re dealing with a complaint or negative comment left on your social feeds, but the way you react is going to be the tell-tale sign that lets people know what kind of person (and subsequently brand) you are.
One area where companies seem to lose it is in voice development. It’s far too easy to let your own voice overpower the qualities you want seen and heard in your business brand. While they may be very much the same, it’s still crucial to identify what your interactions should sound like. Developing your company’s voice is as simple as asking, “How will I speak to my audience?” When you have the answer, make sure your comments match those qualities.
Are you actively implementing a social media branding strategy or are you letting your community define you? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic so join the conversation below.