A brand’s presence in social media must not be taken lightly. The ultimate goal for all brand managers and marketers is to have strong brand relationships with your customers, but to get there you must ensure a consistent brand experience throughout your touch points and channels. Therefore you need to have a plan for how to achieve this across all touchpoints, especially on social media.
In this blog post, we have collected our best tips in a six step checklist for branding in social media. It is developed both for brands on the verge to launching, but also for experience marketers who needs fresh input to their social media presence.
If you are interested in a more extensive brand building tool, read our article and free e-book on the customer based brand equity (CBBE) framework here.
Step 1: Gotta Catch ‘Em All
If the domain name speculation in the early 90’s has taught us one thing, it is that being future proof and visionary can be a smart move. You have most likely secured your .com domain already, but what about securing all social media platforms? Even if your brand is not present on a social channel now, or if a social channel is not as popular in your target group yet, we still urge you to secure your name, as it can save you a lot of hassle in the future trying to get it back from other brands or even private persons.
Step 2: Be present in the right channels
Even though we in step 1 encouraged you to secure your name throughout social media channels, we also urge you to be careful on which channels you actually choose to start out with. There is no point on going social for the sake of going social. Twitter is a great example of a channel misused by brands for sharing content from Facebook or Instagram, whereas the best features on Twitter is to have active dialogue with customers and stakeholders on subjects that matter to your company or industry.
We recommend that you start focusing on one or two channels that you truly learn how to master, and that those channels are the ones that will drive your business forward.
Marketoonist – A classic SoMe strategy
Step 3: Your name
Our third advice relates to choosing your usernames. The names you choose must be intuitive so your customers easily can find and recognize your brand among competitors or brands with similar names. If you create a barrier you might lose out on a valuable click, mention or possibly a future sale. The rule of thumb is thus to have the same name across channels, but to also be aware of what kind of traffic you expect from the channels.
Nelly.com, a Scandinavian fashion and beauty e-commerce site, has been consistent since the beginning with adding “.com” in all their branding material, whether it be TV-commercials or social media platform names on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This creates a clear link to the brand as an e-commerce site and encourages you to visit their website. For Twitter however, they have added “We’ll help” in their name, clearly signalising that they use Twitter as a customer service channel, as you can also see in their bio. Smart move, closely linked to our point in step 2.
Nelly.com – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Step 4: Your visual first impression
Human brains processes pictorial information faster than text. In fact, 90 percent of the information sent to our brains is visual, and we often process only the “feeling” of seeing or reading something, and not the details in the messaging. Colour is considered the most important component in the visual processing, especially in social media where people have a very limited attention span.
You must therefore keep your colour scheme consistent throughout your channels, and make sure that your first impression is easy to catch with the blink of an eye. The lowest hanging fruit is optimizing your profile pictures and cover photos as that is the first thing your audience will see,
Rebelle, a UK designer second hand fashion online shop, has done a great job with this on their Facebook page. When visiting it for the first time you instantly get what their service is all about. In addition, they also manage to include text in a way that is easy to process visually.
Rebelle – Facebook
On the other side, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin has limited options for your brand colours to truly come alive, which is a shame for us visual marketers. Twitter has the amazing feature of you choosing a specific colour for your page, and together with your cover photo you can really get that brand recognition going. Instagram (the business, not the channel), is a great example of a simple, but brilliant execution of brand colours:
Instagram – Twitter
Step 5: Your visual second impression
We chose to split up the visual branding into two steps for a reason. And that is to also enhance how important visuals are to build a consistent brand throughout all of your content – 24/7, 365 days of the year – not just through the first impression. This is a great way to nudge your audience to always linking your brand to a specific visual look, that being a colour, a font, a photography style or other visual measures.
But not everyone can be as lucky as Tiffany & Co who has a consistent packaging colour that inspires their social media content. Another way to take care of your visual impression is through developing your own style based on your brand personality or mood if you want. As an example, Taco Bell’s Instagram page is not limited to the logo’s colours of purple, pink and yellow, but follows a theme of three and three images in a fun graphic theme in a variety of colours that compliments their logo. This is a great way for Taco Bell to let their fun and vibrant brand personality shine through. Read more about how to develop a brand personality in our blog post here.
Step 6: Your words
Last but not least, let’s talk about the way you talk. Visuals are important, but your customer’s brand experience includes the words you use. On social media you must make sure that your bio’s include your USPs and how your visitors can engage with your brand on that specific channel – as we saw in the beginning of the article with the great Nelly example.
Further, think about the words you choose to use in your copy on your status and the content you upload and share, but most importantly; how you respond to any customer interactions like comments or (God forbid): any complaints. In this matter, one of the best examples out there is the juice brand Innocent who has developed a truly unique and fun tone of voice and interaction with its customers on their Facebook page:
What is not to like, literally….
And with that we end our blog post with you hopefully having a big smile on your face.
We hope you feel inspired to get your brand going on social media.
If you need some direction and support to help improve your brand then our branding team can help you, so feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our branding services.