Most companies are well aware that branding is essential for growth and success. But branding can refer to many things, and not all individuals and companies use it the same way, so understanding which aspects matter most can be confusing. And with the prevalence of social media platforms, retaining brand consistency becomes more difficult by the day.
Here are a few tips for taking control of your branding, keeping it consistent on social media and using it to grow your brand.
Once your business is established, you should create a branding book. This set of guidelines incorporates your logo (and any alternate versions), your company’s chosen fonts, acceptable color schemes and any guidance around specific verbiage that is important to use (or not use) when speaking about the brand. If you have a marketing agency that developed some of your branding assets, then it’s highly recommended that you use the same agency to put together a branding book for you. This can then serve as the uniform set of guidelines for all branches and employees of your company to follow.
Consider an example like Amway, a global, direct-selling consumer goods company. By establishing its branding parameters early on, all of its employees and consultants can stay “on brand” as they set out to promote the business individually. This helps consumers to feel comfortable with the quality of the brand. Amway’s LinkedIn page is regularly updated with pictures of employees and business-related conent; the company’s Twitter page is maintained in this way too. Hashtags are used consistently across social media platforms, helping consumers to find the brand and stay tuned into news. But none of this would work effectively if the brand didn’t look the same everywhere it appears, so the branding guidelines are of utmost importance.
Set the Tone
Another aspect of branding that deserves attention is a bit less tangible. This is the tone that your company wants to convey, sometimes referred to as your company’s “voice.” Disney is a great example of a business that has nailed down its tone and keeps it consistent in all of its marketing materials and across all social media channels. One look at Disney’s Facebook page and you quickly see that the company is all about family-friendly fun. Disney also regularly uses video snippets on its social media pages, like Tumblr, which keeps all of its accounts consistent and draws attention to the tone it wants to capture.
Play Up Your Strengths
If you’re looking to showcase your brand, especially on social media, it’s imperative that you know — and own — your unique strengths. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is a brand that serves as a great example. With consistent messaging around boutique properties and mouthwatering restaurants, their social media pages are chock full of stunning imagery. Kimpton’s Instagram and Pinterest profiles are especially rich, which is no coincidence since these two platforms are centered on visual imagery. By making its digital footprint one that is visually compelling, Kimpton is able to engage visitors on every social channel to immediately understand the strengths of its brand.
As you seek to display a consistent brand across your social media pages, remember that branding is ultimately about creating an experience. Your visitors should immediately recognize your designs, images and messaging as your own, no matter where they find you online. You can do this through locking down solid branding guidelines, setting a tone that can be woven throughout your digital presence and remembering to lead with your strengths.