High-quality brands display continuity across all social media platforms where they are active. Regardless of the platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and more), users engage with the same look, voice, values, products, services, ethos and even color schemes. Everything reflects the same unity of projected image. Therefore, users have no trouble distinguishing them from competitors.
What about your brand? Does it display the same degree of continuity on all your active social media channels? This can be a great benefit to your brand – or a significant deficit if it is lacking. The last thing you want to promote is confusion about your brand: who you are, what you are, why you are and what you have to offer.
Follow these tips for creating and maintaining brand continuity on social media.
Begin With a Memorable Logo
Your brand logo is a vital and basic component to create a visual representation, so begin there. A brand logo should define who you are and what you have to offer, while being memorable and simple enough to remember. Study some popular brand logos to see how even the simplest of ideas can invoke powerful memories and/or impressions.
How iconic is this painfully simple logo? It is recognized all over the world, in numerous cultures and languages, even when it cannot be accurately pronounced. Simple white script on a red ball background, but this represents perhaps the most powerful brand on the planet.
No words. None are necessary. One quick look and everyone knows what they offer and, more importantly, who they are. They are primarily known for three things: delicious chicken, outstanding customer service and being closed on Sundays. A simple while outline of a chicken’s head on a red ball (influenced by proximity to Coca Cola in Atlanta, maybe?) says it all.
Another red logo that needs no introduction. A plain N identifies the company that revolutionized how we watch movies and even television-type series. Netflix also uses a basic word form of their logo (red on dark backgrounds), but this capitol “N” is all that is really needed to excite movie lovers everywhere.
Since the earliest automobiles, the family name has remained at the forefront of the auto manufacturing industry. White script enclosed in an oval on a blue background; this legendary logo remains unchanged for decades, as it needs to further enhancement. One look says quality, reliability and longevity.
Originally known as Federal Express, later shortened to FedEx, this Memphis, TN-based freight company revolutionized how we receive goods. Virtually anything can be shipped via FedEx and delivered right to your door, quickly, safely and affordably. FedEx is shipping at its finest.
These and thousands more are easily identified with top companies. The logo has come to represent everything about the brand, and it is the most recognizable aspect of a brand.
Colors, shapes, text, images and more are all important when conveying what you want your brand to represent. Consider each carefully as you create a company logo.
Create a Brand Identity
Your brand identity is more than the logo you design above – it is who you are. It is reflected in your manner and tone when answering queries or replying to comments, posting content and sharing material or media. A brand identity forms the human side that connects and communicates with users and clients.
Your identity is really a reflection of your values and ethos. This can be virtually anything, ranging from respect for employees’ family and religious preferences that prompts Chick-Fil-A to close on Sundays to going above and beyond to insult every patron at Dick’s Last Resort (where their motto is “Putting the F.U. in FUN since 1985”).
How do you want others to perceive your company and brand? Think carefully along this line before creating your brand identity.
Establish a Brand Voice
Closely connected with your brand identity is your brand voice. Imagine how you would speak with a client or potential client, how you would use words and patterns of speech, as well as tone. This should be consistently used in all your social media posts, regardless of platform.
As a great example, Mailchimp writes in their style guide, “We want to educate people without patronizing or confusing them. Using offbeat humor and a conversational voice, we play with language to bring joy to their work … We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Now look how this is reflected in their writing, as represented in this blog post on personas:
They write about various “highly unscientific personas,” including the fainting goat, which links out to a hilarious video. “When startled, its muscles stiffen up and it falls right over.” Casual voice and style with a touch of reality seasoned with humor.
A good place to begin is to peruse examples from businesses or organizations you admire and obtain their style guide to study their brand language. Use what you admire to shape your own voice.
This chart of brand archetypes from Map & Fire will be immensely helpful.
Create a Branding Guide
Once you have established your own brand logo, identity and voice, create a branding guide that explains each of these for your associates. Anyone who participates in creating content for your business and social media accounts should follow this guide. This will facilitate your team representing your brand more consistently.
You should include your preferred color palette, fonts, icons and different forms of your logo. Be sure to include how these are to be used and formatted. Develop style rules for how communications are carried out, posts are to be worded and more. Make your instructions simple, so everyone interprets the guide the same way without confusion.
Take a look at these brand style guides to inspire your own: Bullhorn, The Economist, Instagram and Netflix.
Create Media Templates for Brand Consistency
The nature of social media posting is rather fast paced, demanding quick content creation to follow along with trending interests. This makes brand templates ideal for helping your team create social media posts that follow your branding guide. Fix branded elements for images, video and content and add some reminders about what you like to post and absolutely refuse to post. Then, all creators or managers need to do is add fresh content that aligns with the established template and post away.
Establishing and maintaining a quality brand takes work – usually far too much work for many small or medium-sized businesses to undertake on their own. 1-FIND can help you create a winning brand and promote that brand across all your social media platforms. Contact us today for more assistance with branding, content, social media management and more.