Did you feel a little cheated when Ben Affleck took over as Batman from Christian Bale? It’s a bit like you have this image of a gruff superhero in mind and then the phoney from Armageddon takes over. Wait no, it’s exactly like that!
Well, that’s how people feel when they catch your brand on Facebook and Twitter and see you running two alien marketing campaigns. With so many brands in play, it’s important to create a rock-solid consistent image of yourself on the customers’ minds. Every time they need a product/service you sell, they should automatically think of you and consistent branding across social media can do the trick.
Why should brands be consistent across social media?
Brand consistency is important for both small and large corporations. In fact, if you are a small business you should get in on this action at the ground floor. It’s easier to align your social media presence in a coherent direction starting with fewer followers. In time, brand consistency will help:
- Assign a unique personality to your brand that people can relate to. Just like fans fight for Beyoncé, they will be on your team too.
- Help you stand as a distinct brand from your competition because of your individual style, visual appeal and your way of communicating with your social media followers.
- Create a consistent brand pushed through all channels which reinforces an image of you that gets imprinted on the customers’ mind. It makes you memorable.
What does brand consistency on social media look like?
Allow us to explain with an example. Check out the pages of Indizine on various social media sites:
Although the content strategy is different on all these websites, we had no trouble picking out the official Target page from the searches on each website. That’s also considering that they returned a number of unrelated “Indizine” pages. That’s because these pages are all similar in terms of:
- Their visual palette.
- Their brand voice.
- The tone of their content.
- The brand jargon.
This is what makes the brand seem consistent across social media in a way that customers identify with it.
How to maintain brand consistency across social media?
Here’s how you can bring the familiar visual palette, brand voice, tone and terminology to all the social media profiles of your brand without appearing repetitive or like a one-trick pony:
- Profile picture
For a brand, it’s best to use your brand logo as the profile picture of the social media profiles. Even if you are a visual brand with high-end clientele like Reebok, nothing says ‘You’ like your logo. That’s if you have invested in professional logo design. Promoting your logo helps customersassociate it with your products. This, in turn, subconsciously steers them towards your shop when shopping for the products/services you offer. We recommend that the logo be posted straight up with no changes or no added text.
Ensure that the logo is from your latest rebrand and customers can relate it to who you are, what you do and how you stand out from others.
- Page Name
As we talk about consistency, we have also noticed how major brands use their actual names on their official Pages on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter etc.. Even if the brands don’t have an active official page, they often create a page with their brand name and simply reserve it on these social media sites. This ensures that when a customer searches for your brand name, your page comes up.
Sometimes if your brand name is a common word, the official name is already taken. Then it’s best to prefix or suffix with a location or a simple pronoun. For example, Cascade Soap has named their Twitter handle @MyCascade.
- Color Palette
Visuals make a deep impression on people. The color palettes you choose for your brand should be re-used across all the communication portals, be it the logo, the website or the social media profiles. Check back the Target pages and notice how the color red is prominent. One look at a Target façade and your mind will automatically trigger images of Target merchandise. On social media sites, you can control the color palette by using similar profile and cover photos.
Related Article: How to create a Color Palette for your Brand
The color combinations of your videos and images can be chosen based on their content. But even so you can ensure that your images and video reflect your brand image. Notice how Reebok uses calm cool tones in all their photos on Instagram.
- Brand Voice Consistency
Think of your brand as a celebrity that you want your target audience to follow on social media. What does it sound like? Is it friendly? Formal and official? Cool and composed? Fun and whacky? Sarcasm spot-on? Whatever it is, this brand voice should be maintained across the social media. Of course, it might have to be toned down for professional websites like LinkedIn. But the tone of your language must be similar across all content.
Please make sure that the same brand voice is maintained by your customer service and in the replies to the posts made by customers regarding their concerns.
- Image, Videos and Terminology
Same promotional videos and images can be shared across the social media profiles. This helps maintain consistent messaging too. You can make marginal changes to them to make them more suitable for each platform. Some of the jargon is specifically attributed to you and can be re-used across the social media. For example, calling your favorite menu item Big Mac on every platform only works in your favor.
- Consistent Messaging
You can have different campaigns on each social media website. For example, you can post professional achievements on LinkedIn, run contests on Instagram and re-tweet funny customer experiences on Twitter. But although the content is different, the messaging must be similar. You should consistently communicate to the customers what you do and how you do it differently.
You can even re-use the same content/images/videos between the websites since the audience on one website might not be active on others. Even if they do, it only reinforces your campaign especially if you are a small business and cannot afford varied promotional material.
- Constant Activity
Being consistently active on all major social media sites alike is the equivalent of bringing your A-game to the branding competition. By being always visible to the target audience, you improve your street cred. To stay active, you can curate content relevant to your brand and mission and share it. But be careful and ensure that the external posts you share are vetted and in line with your own views as a brand.