Social media is a pretty intrinsic part of every business these days. In fact customers expect brands to have a social media presence. But without starting right at the very beginning, with a core understanding of what your brand looks and sounds like, your efforts may be misinterpreted or wasted. So how do you go about ensuring the messages you are sending on social media are both clear and consistent?
Understand the purpose of different platforms
There are so many different social media platforms and which ones you might choose to use will depend largely on your target audience, the type of business you have, and how much time you have to dedicate to social media. Being active on social media—particularly being active across a number of different social media platforms—can be time consuming. For the majority of small businesses, and particularly if you're running your business by yourself, it will probably be difficult to find the time within an already busy work schedule to dedicate to using multiple platforms. (Saying this, there are plenty of apps available to help with social media scheduling. Check out Hootsuite, or Sprout Social for instance.)
The solution to this, even if you go down the route of engaging a scheduling app, is to narrow down the social media platforms you use to two or three targeted platforms. Each platform has its own purpose, and the types of users of each platform can vary greatly, and so it's important to know which platforms your particular customers or potential customers are using. Everyone knows about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're the right platforms for your brand and brand messages. So research which social media platforms are relevant to your business and your target market, and focus your efforts there.
Be active and engaged
A consistent posting schedule is a pretty significant aspect of creating awareness of your brand on social media, but quality over quantity is absolutely key. Excessively posting irrelevant content will quickly become annoying for your followers, so putting some thought into creating quality content that aligns with your brand is the way to go. Less can be more!
And don't forget, the whole point of social media is to be social.
This means not only sharing content, but engaging with your followers too. All interactions on social media are the perfect opportunity to demonstrate what type of business or brand you are.
Use consistent messaging
This one is possibly the most important when it comes to keeping your brand consistent on social media. Your messaging, in terms of the actual content you post, but also the tone of voice you use, needs to be consistent (and authentic). Don't send your customers mixed messages.
In terms of your visual branding, there are a number of ways to ensure consistency. Firstly, keep the names or handles of each social media account the same. Secondly, take care to ensure your profiles match your overall brand identity. Most of the social platforms offer loads of customisation options which will allow you to create a profile or page that effectively reflects your brand's personality and message. And lastly, within your posts, particularly on the more visual platforms, make sure you're using your brand's colours and fonts, and also a consistent style of photography and layout.
Social media can be overwhelming, and it can be easy to lose track of what the purpose of it all is. However thinking of it as an extension of your business, and prioritising keeping your branding consistent on and across social media will help you connect with your customers and ultimately get better results for your business.
If you'd like some help with your social media graphics, get in touch to see how we could work together.