By Jessica Austin
eLocal Social Media Manager
Branding can mean different things to different people depending on what department they work in. In general, good branding distinctly identifies goods or services from a competitor’s by means of visuals, messaging, naming and symbols. Social media platforms, and the strategy that underlies how a company utilizes them, are an extension of a company’s brand. Therefore, it is imperative that they correctly represent the company in order to establish trust, credibility and loyalty.
The networks your business is on say just about your brand as the content posted on them. Resist the urge to participate on every social media platform just because you feel you should or would be missing something if you weren’t. What type of business are you? Who is your target audience? What kinds of content are you sharing? Where are you most likely to find new customers? B2B businesses tend to find more success on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. B2C is also successful on Facebook as well as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but plenty of companies out there don’t seem to get this one right. The business name, as it appears on social media profiles, needs to be identical. Handles should all be the same too. Try your best to have your handles match your business name, but sometimes this might not be possible. Perhaps the name is already taken, or you have a long name that isn’t conducive to handle naming-conventions. If this is the case, all the shortened handles should be identical. Clients who are familiar with one of your platforms are naturally going to search the same name on other platforms.
Your brand communications should have a consistent identity. This includes messaging, tone and voice. The way you communicate to your clients should always be consistent across all your channels, from website to email to social media. Your social media strategy should reflect and reinforce your brand values and those of the goods and services you provide. Are you formal? Authoritative? Maybe you’re funny and sarcastic? Do you use emojis? Slang? Whatever the persona your brand embodies, make sure it’s constant. Brand confusion can turn off consumers.
The way your brand shows itself to the world is powerful. Think of Tiffany’s blue or Nike’s swoosh. These are visual cues that can cause immediate feelings and beliefs in consumers, both positive and negative. The visual aspects of your brand should be reflected throughout your social media. Logos should be consistent across all platforms. Colors of any additional profile or feed images should fall inside the brand color scheme. Filters used in posts should be consistent. Fonts should be from the same family. Images in posts should reflect the voice and tone of the brand. Words are only one way to communicate so make sure every outward-facing facet tells the consumers a story, even though it might be subtle. Social media is not a place to start introducing new brand elements.
You are the expert in your field so be sure you communicate that. Your content should focus on your expertise, your service or product offerings and information about your industry. Share confidently about what you know, stay away from topics you don’t. Even if you have a breadth of knowledge, focus on content that will help you reach your business goals and objectives at that time. Are you pushing sales of your air conditioning units for the summer? Create and curate content around that. As winter comes, switch to heaters. Consumers have short attention spans so don’t overload them. Content also includes particulars like hashtags. The use of hashtags is important but should be employed after research and analysis and should always be consistent.
The best quality branding strategy is done with intentions. From a company name to the size of the font, every part of a consumer’s interaction with a brand matter. Is your social media strategy using branding to best reach current and potential customers? Contact us now.
eLocal Solutions specializes in marketing your business via the digital marketplace. We use search engine optimization, social and review promotion, and Email marketing for all types of businesses from local to global. We utilize various digital marketing techniques to increase your Internet presence, optimize your traffic and generate new business.