Maintaining brand identity on social media
Marketing Assistant at Shaw
The world of social media presents an exciting opportunity for brands to flourish and prosper, with innovative videos, engaging articles, and striking photography being just a few routes through which brands can grow their digital presence.
Social media allows businesses and organisations to express their individuality, convey their values, grow an online audience, and tailor content to support their marketing objectives. Of course, establishing and maintaining a consistent brand across social media is essential, and here at Shaw, we have a few key measures that we would encourage you to adopt to ensure you are maximising your brand potential.
Know your basics
It sounds simple, but knowing your basic brand guidelines is our number one rule for maintaining a consistent brand identity across social media. When starting a new project or creating new assets, always refer to your brand guidelines to check that what you’re creating really is consistent with your brand. If you’re new to brand guidelines, the basics would be to agree on a brand identity, colour palette, typeface, imagery, and graphics for your business or organisation. If you have guidelines already but think they’re probably irrelevant to social media, think again! Include a social media section and create a suite of graphics which includes a brand Instagram story typeface, and go-to gifs. Having the right tools, means that everything you’re posting look professional and consistent, creating immediate brand recognition.
Brand guidelines are so important, particularly in the current climate, with your team very possibly working from different locations, often with limited access to business assets and restricted communication with colleagues. Clearly defined guidelines keep everyone informed and eradicate basic brand blunders such as an overstretched/badly presented logos or adopting incorrect colour routes or typefaces.
Establish your voice
Using specific messaging and tone of voice helps to enforce the brand, what it stands for, and how it differs from the competition. Ask yourself how you want to be perceived by your audience – do you want to be recognised as corporate and professional, or, perhaps, your brand is more conversational and witty? Whichever route you decide to take, stay consistent across all platforms.
Your brand guidelines might include a section on your brand’s voice; the essence of your brand captured in a strapline; key messages; a particular tone of voice; the rules around customer interaction; and a voice appropriate to the wider business community. Such a guideline sums up what your business stands for internally within your own team, as well as affirming how to communicate with your wider audience.
TOP TIP: Don’t post in haste. Run your visual and caption past a colleague for a second opinion, or take a break and look at it later yourself. Social interaction is instant – best to be sure that you’re not breaking your own rules or even missing the odd typo!
Draw up a content calendar
Creating a content calendar is time well spent for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it affords you the time to plan out innovative and essential content well in advance. You can consider key calendar dates and events that are fitting to your brand, plan photography, create graphics, and write appropriate captions at your leisure. Putting out on-brand, quality content in a hurry can be tricky, so creating a content calendar is a great organisational tool.
Create a customer response strategy
Social media provides a simple communication channel between you and your customer. In a matter of seconds, users can easily write a comment or send your firm a direct message with any questions they may have. Whether these comments are positive or negative, responding to customers can be a daunting task, especially if there isn’t a clear customer response strategy in place.
Creating such a strategy gives the respondent the agreed tools to respond promptly to customers, whether it’s a query, complaint or a positive review. This might include a straightforward layout guide, and a list of appropriate and valuable terms and phrases to use. Your brand reputation will be greatly enhanced by providing a swift and satisfactory response.
Lastly, be consistent
It’s all about consistency. Be it tone of voice, basic branding or frequency of posting, it is so important for building a relationship with your audience and strengthening your brand image. Use the same tone of voice on Facebook as you do on Instagram, and maintain a regular posting schedule that works for your company. The last thing you want as a brand is to weaken your identity through an underwhelmed, overwhelmed or confused audience.
In summary, being organised, communicative, and consistent is crucial for maintaining your brand’s reputation across social media. While these measures don’t always guarantee business success, they are highly effective habits to enhance your social standing.