More businesses than ever are jumping on the digital-age bandwagon, with platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram presenting opportunities to enhance brand visibility and reach potential customers almost instantly.
However, the digital marketing revolution carries certain difficulties and protocols with which many social media marketers are still struggling to get to grips.
One of the main challenges centers on brand consistency – i.e. (1) how to firstly build it and (2) how to maintain it across multiple platforms.
Why is it so important to maintain brand consistency across Social Media?
The importance of brand consistency is paramount, especially for small and medium-sized businesses trying to establish and cement their company’s image, objectives and core values.
In short, consistency means you’ll be recognized and not confused with other brands on other platforms. This, in turn, boosts awareness and exposure while creating trust among both existing and potential customers.
Below, we look at some of the key measures you can implement in your business’ wider social media strategy to maintain brand consistency.
Brand name consistency
According to stats collected by Pam Marketing, it takes the average person 5-7 impressions (or views) of a brand name in order for them to remember it. However, research has shown that the more creative, relevant, shorter and simpler the brand name is, the easier it will be for it to stick.
Thus, having a short, snappy and memorable company name covering all your social media channels will put you at an advantage in terms of building up brand identity in the first place.
It’s also worth doing homework before and checking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see if there are any existing pages with the same name. If so, you may want to tweak or change your name. However, this shouldn’t be of concern if the page is not a registered company, is inactive and/or has little to no followers.
This point is not just about designing an eye-catching logo and then plastering it across all your products, social media pages and office stationery. Your brand needs to keep a consistent overall look, tone and feel – which means placing an emphasis on the finer details of every single visual element that is communicated to your followers.
This can be broken down into:
- Color palette – one or two main colors;
- Fonts (one for titles, one for body text), mainly applicable to articles or posts that your followers are redirected to via social media;
- Photography style and filters – this can be ensured by using the same professional photograph(s) for each shoot you do;
- Logo – when designing (or perhaps after you’ve read this, re-designing) your logo, make sure it strikes the perfect balance between being memorable, easy to understand and relevant to your business’ area of expertise.
When it comes to ‘when’ you should be posting on social media, there’s absolutely no need to schedule every single post down to the exact minute of every single day; none of your followers are furiously refreshing their browsers in the hope your page will be updated with exciting new content on Friday after work.
That said, regularity is essential. It’s easy to formulate a rough schedule for when you should be aiming to post; for example, once in the morning, afternoon and evening on weekdays, then once or twice over the weekend.
You can then tailor this schedule over time by using the analytics function of your business’ social media page.
The main problem here regarding consistency is when businesses post content sporadically – at times that suit them, not their followers. The result is a page that looks neglected or even abandoned – which is not a good look for potential customers.
If you don’t have enough time to maintain your social media pages (i.e. to post on a regular basis), there are two options: (1) consolidate your social media presence by deleting those platforms that have become dormant; or (2) integrate your posts (this can be done via WordPress or other free sites) so that one post is simultaneously disseminated across all of your platforms.
Everything your business communicates via social media should be tailored towards your target audience. In general, your target audience is not changing, thus, the language used in posts, articles or comments should be consistent in terms of tone and style.
This begs the question, what is the tone and style of the language used by my business’ target audience?
Here are some considerations to bear in mind when trying to answer this:
- Is your audience familiar with the jargon and terminology of your business niche?
- Is your audience aware of insider’s references, such as local places, people, viral news stories and other pop-culture references?
- Does your scope of business permit the use of slang, colloquialisms, sarcasm and other generally-informal linguistic devices?
- How do you want to portray the overall message of your business? For example, here you should consider whether you want to be perceived as a professional, efficient service provider or, in contrast, as a laidback company that uses conversational language to create or more personal touch.