Social media isn’t something which should be thrown together in a rush or hurry – in fact your social media profiles should be design and put together with time and effort, ensuring they reflect your brand properly and concisely.
The biggest mistake I see with many companies introducing social media to their marketing strategies, is that they simply overlook the branding side of things – think that the social media is simply an extension of their online presence – not that it is the very crux of it.
The truth is, now, that many customers looking to find your business online are going to start with your social media profiles. Not only because it’s easier for them, but because (naturally, through organic search results) a social media will often appear higher than the website itself if your company website has been properly optimized for search engines.
Because of this, you need to think of your social media profiles with just as much respect and importance as you would consider your website. As you would never launch a faulty website, or promote an unfinished product – you shouldn’t be engaging with customers on an unbranded social media profile.
So how can you being to brand your social media? Keep reading.
- 1. Look at your back ground images
The visual aspect of your Facebook and Twitter profiles are hugely important – so ensure that the background image you have chosen is branded. This means that the colours should be in-keeping with the branding and colours on your company website and company / product branding. Basically, you want there to be visual coherence here – so that if someone finds your website and then your social media profile (or vice versa) then they can easily link the two because they look similar. The biggest mistake is giving your company or product a different design on the social media profiles – as this is the quickest way of making people disassociate the profile from your brand. Keep things coordinated and make it easy for people to see they’re in the right place and they’ve found the right profile.
- 2. Pay attention to your profile photographs
On the majority of social networks you will be asked to upload a profile photograph – as a visual means of identification. This should always be something recognizable (such as your logo) and should (if possible) be reflected on your offline branding somewhere. Never skip the step of uploading a profile photo, as profiles without photographs get around 70% less traffic and attention than those with. If you’re unsure what kind of image to use, your logo is always a safe bet and it’s something that people can easily associate with your brand.
- 3. Listen to your brand’s voice
Every brand has a voice, and it is often reflected in the way you communicate within the brand, and how you communicate with customers and clients too. Identifying your brand voice is hugely important on social media as those who are confused about their brand voice are often those who don’t success. For example, if you brand is a casual, friendly brand – keep to a casual friendly tone on social media outlets. If you’re a corporate brand – keep your brand voice corporate and relatable. Mixing things up too much will have your fan and followers confused, and may even be offensive in the worst-case scenario. Another tip I’d give is to have only 1 or 2 people in charge of social media – therefore the brand voice you develop will stay consistent.
- 4. Be aware of competitors
Always be aware of your competitors online and make sure you don’t end up inadvertently promoting their products. With the “sharing nature” of social media it can be hard to know the source of an update or the original stemming point – so make sure you’re clear that something you share of retweets isn’t coming from a direct competitor.
- 5. Post updates that remain true to your brand
Make sure you keep your updates branded too – this is similar to your brand voice and should be treated with just as much care and attention. Your followers and fans are so because they like your product / service / brand and they can relate to whichever niche you’re part of. It is this niche that you need to concentrate on when updating statuses or updates. If you differ too much, people will become confused or annoyed which can lead to un-following or un-friending. Which is the complete opposite of what you want.
Elle works WhoIsHostingThis.com as a social media advisor and branding associate.