What the FAQ is Social Media?! #3 Preserve your brand image over social media

This is the second post in the series “What the FAQ is Social Media?!” – a back-to-basics blog which answers all of your Social Media questions.

Check out the previous ‘What the FAQ’s’:

If you have any specific questions that you would like me to answer as part of the series, then just tweet me @GracePoole92.

  • 3Week #3

“How do I maintain our brand image over social media??”

Preserve your brand

Giving the right impression of your business at all times is essential to growth, but how can you build a consistent brand image over so many different platforms of communication which all ache to be used in completely different ways?

Voice & Tone

As a business you may have more than one person managing your social media, if this is the case you need to ensure you keep your voice and tone uniform as to not give mixed messages and a confused brand identity. This not only applies to social media, it’s also relevant across all your outgoings, online and offline, to ensure your brand identity is clear and cohesive.

You can guarantee this by creating a comprehensive guide which every employee should follow when communicating to the public, whether on social media or simply over the phone. Take a look at MailChimp’s excellent ‘Content Style Guide’, this gives a great basis for your own guide. Don’t worry, yours doesn’t have to be so extensive, just make sure you cover the basics and reinforce what you definitely don’t want represented as your brand’s identity.

The tricky bit is varying your brand identity to suit the different social platforms you’re present on, where you must maintain the same voice but occasionally vary the tone. For example, at Midas Media our voice (our character/personality) is consistent but our tone varies depending on which platform we use. On LinkedIn for example we maintain a professional and reasonably serious tone whilst ensuring we don’t completely lose our witty, straight-to-the-point voice which is important to our brand identity.

If you’re unsure of what kind of tone you should portray across each platform we’ve put together a little chart so you can tailor your brand’s tone to suit each platform:

voice and tone

Visuals

Visual content has become hugely prominent across all social networks; this trend is definitely growing and is evident by the introduction of more and more social networks that are based around purely visual content. So it’s essential that your visual content is reflective of your brand as you should be primarily using visuals across all of your accounts.

Here are the most important tips to help you to create visual, shareable content to adequately reflect your brand’s identity:

Define your brand colours and use them across all of your images, I’d recommend you stick to around 3-5 colours in your brand’s palette. You can use your brand colours in different ways – Cadbury’s for example use accents of their signature colour purple across their content, making their posts instantly recognisable.

cadburys
Or if you take a look at our Twitter feed you will find that we mainly use red, blue or grey whether the colours are used as a filter over the image or as the colour of the text.

twitter
It’s not only about where and how you use your colours, you need to carefully consider the colours you choose to adequately reflect your brand’s personality.

A helpful blog to assist you in deciding which colours to use is from CoSchedule. The blog will help you pick colours that go with your brand’s logo colour and also consider which emotions you could evoke by using different colours, for example, red is associated with passion, power and energy which adequately reflect Midas Media’s brand identity of being straight to the point, assertive and passionate about what we do.

Colour Psychology

The use of strong imagery will be the next thing you will notice after checking out our feed, you’ll see that we often feature retro objects like typewriters, cameras or pieces of pop culture. If you take a look at the image below, although not a strong image it is instantly recognisable as a scene from Jurassic Park. It’s loosely related to the post’s content which discusses the hazards of publishing content online but it also evokes a sense of nostalgia which other marketers will be able to relate to, this creates an affinity between them and our brand (it’s all about transforming your brand into a story).

This feeling of familiarity is then anchored to our brand as they subconsciously associate with our logo and branding (which are consistent amongst all of our social images), giving a feeling of connectedness to all of our content. Ideally, this helps to turn the consumer into a loyal advocate of our brand.

twitter2

Combine your epic images with a gripping caption, your logo and web address
and you’ve got yourself a winning formula. Your logo is an important element to your Social Media visuals, it guarantees your brand receives the credit when others share your content – just make sure that you keep your logo subtle (people won’t share if they feel like they’re just advertising your brand).

Your website address should also follow these rules, keep it small and in an unassuming font – this will keep your content shareable but allows you to leave a pointer to your website to drive traffic ;). Your font should also remain consistent, decide on no more than three easy-to-read fonts to preserve a unified brand. It’s a whole lot to remember when creating images for almost all of your social media posts, so to save time and stay consistent, create a template in your image editor.

By following these actionable steps you will be creating a clear and cohesive brand identity which will help in building deep and strong connections with your audience. By creating familiarity through using consistent, relatable and evocative graphics you will increase audience engagement, raise awareness of your brand and boost traffic to your website.

Grace Poole

Author: Grace Poole

Grace has worked on apps, websites and emails for huge brands such as Nike, Mondelez and Nissan. Not that she's bragging! She also likes cats and gin, but not together in the same glass.