The sheer number of social media channels available today has made it difficult for some companies to sustain a consistent brand identity across all their social platforms.
The strategies required to succeed on each channel vary, and each platform has its own identity and preferred media formats.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ are great for expressing longer-form ideas, Twitter is more suited to short snippets of information, and Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and Flickr are more suitable for visual content.
Here, we’ll look at why consistency on social media is important, and suggest ways to maintain a consistent voice even when you’re active on numerous social networks.
Why is a Consistent Brand Identity Important?
Strong, consistent branding can boost your image, encourage positive conversations around your brand, and strengthen the relationship between you and your target audience. These are all key factors that impact consumer purchasing decisions.
The benefits of a consistent identity are clear:
- It adds to your professionalism, showing that you care about your company, your image, and your customers
- It boosts brand recall. People form impressions about a company over time via many online channels
- It strengthens your brand’s personality, and people who can relate to that personality are more likely to become loyal customers
Knowing Your Brand
First, it’s important to define your own brand. This involves determining the following:
- Your values. In all your social content, you express company values which consumers look for and identify with
- Your mission statement. What are your company’s main goals and unique value propositions?
- Your identity. This encompasses the visual elements, such as colours, graphics, and logos that you present alongside your content
When you have a clearly defined brand, it’s crucial that anyone representing your business on social media understands these elements and can communicate these values and qualities within your content whenever possible.
Understanding Your Audience
It’s vital to understand that the audience for each social network is different.
If you don’t understand who your audience is and why they’re following you, how can you consistently deliver meaningful content to them?
For example, LinkedIn users will expect a different style of content than Twitter users, or regular users of Pinterest.
Tips for Maintaining a Consistent Brand Identity Across Social Media
Create a Familiar Look
Each social platform has a different look, but it’s not difficult to make sure your profile image and bio are the same.
Your logo, tagline, fonts, and color scheme can also be made to look the same on each channel.
These are the first things potential customers will see when they arrive on your social pages, so you want visitors to recognise your brand instantly.
Establish a Brand Voice
Simply put, this is how your company communicates its messages. When you know your target audience, it’s an easier task to decide how you should express yourself.
Of course, you may have to alter the messages slightly, depending on the audience demographic of each platform, but having the same overall tone of voice will help to reinforce brand recognition, and promote audience engagement.
There are no set rules, other than it should be consistent and it should reflect your overall company philosophy and personality.
Publish Content Consistently
Once you’ve decided which channels you need to focus on, make sure you’re posting regular content to each account.
Otherwise, your audience will quickly lose interest and assume you’re not really interested in them.
A content schedule / calendar will help you plan your posts and keep content fresh
Create a content schedule for weeks or months in advance, so you have a steady stream of fresh content for your followers. This will promote content sharing, and keeps your company top of mind.
Related: Beginners guide to Twitter marketing
If you’re budget is tight, or you have less time to spend on creating original content, repurposing content is a great way to keep your social media presence alive.
If you have several social media accounts, this is one of the best ways to get the most out of your existing content.
For example, turn a LinkedIn post into an infographic, take a quote from a video and post it to your Twitter account, or turn a survey you posted on Google+ into a graphic for Pinterest.
Check out our guide on repurposing your old content.
It’s not always easy to keep your brand identity consistent across social networks, but with creativity and effort any business can pull it off.
When everyone on your social media team understands how important your brand’s identity is and they have a template to work from, your company will be rewarded with more credibility and online visibility, and a loyal customer base.
Do you have trouble maintaining a consistent brand image across your social channels? How do you think companies can improve their social content? Let us know in the comments section below.
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