[Brand continuity: The practice of maintaining consistent branding methods across all channels including personal websites, social media advertising, printed advertising, etc.]
Brand continuity is an important concept, because as a business owner, you could seriously hurt your business by failing to use consistent advertising methods. It gives viewers something to recognize every time it is seen or heard: the same logo, the same color scheme, the same radio jingle, etc.
Social media presents a unique challenge to brand continuity. By its nature, each form of social media presents content differently. They utilize photos, videos, and text to targets audiences with specific interests, which means your brand needs to fit each form of media while maintaining the same look.
Here are 6 of the best ways to establish continuity in your brand across all kinds of social media.
1. Determine your voice.
Every word, every picture, every video should fit the message style of your company. Think about which of the following words might describe the vibe you’re trying to convey to your customers:
Your branding and content should always deliver a consistent voice, regardless of the form of social media it appears on.
2. Design a great logo.
Pictures and symbols are more powerful than words. When you’re in downtown Seattle looking for the nearest Starbucks, you’re not looking for the word “Starbucks.” You’re looking for this logo:
Because the human eye is more readily drawn to pictures than words, your logo may be the most crucial element of your entire branding campaign. It needs to be snappy, original, and aesthetic – but most importantly, it needs to reflect your voice. This is going to appear on all of your social media pages, so do it once, and do it right.
3. Find the perfect slogan.
The slogan works hand in hand with the logo, and often appears directly with it. People see the picture first, then they see the words, and bam, the two concepts have been linked. And don’t forget to ask others for their input. They can see your brand objectively and tell you how your fantastic slogan catches their interest (or not).
4. Adopt the right design.
Your unique voice is not only conveyed through your logo, but through the colors, font, and design of every piece of content you post. Your design needs to both compliment your logo and be consistent with the theme of your business (for example, a law service may not want to use Comic Sans font, and a gardening supply store should probably focus on greens and browns instead of hot pink).
5. Communicate with staff.
Make sure everyone in your company understands the “feeling” you want your brand to convey. This is especially important for employees who manage social media pages, and even more important for anyone who interacts with customers on these platforms.
Imagine a customer asking a question on your company’s Facebook page. The employee on duty responds to the inquiry quickly and succinctly. The next day, the customer asks a follow-up question, but another employee is on duty. This employee doesn’t know that he or she is supposed to check the site every hour to ensure prompt responses. After a day goes by, the employee sees the inquiry and responds with a long, rambling message, and also neglects to invite the customer to ask follow-up questions afterward.
In this situation, two different voices were conveyed, which can confuse the customer and result in a loss of trust. If all employees are on the same page, this isn’t likely to happen.
6. Link, link, link.
Your logo and your slogan are on your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and your LinkedIn profile. Now every single post or picture needs to include a way for viewers to get more information: a link to your website. Preface it with a phrase like “Learn more about our services at ____” or “Start your journey at ____”.
Finally, in your quest to create a consistent brand appearance across every form of social media utilized by your company, take a glance at the methods successful companies have used. Don’t copy them. Be inspired by them and create an original experience for your viewers – and enjoy the results.
Guest Article written by Nick Rojas. Nick is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives. Connect with Nick on Twitter at @NickARojas.