Social media is now a part of our everyday life. Billions of people across the planet spends hours every day scrolling through their accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Tik Tok, Pinterest, YouTube, and new platforms popping up every day. Modern businesses must appreciate that a social media presence is no longer optional. To differentiate yourself, however, and remain in the mind of followers and target audiences, a business must maintain a consistent brand across all digital mediums to reinforce who you are, what you offer, and why you are the right choice. In this article, we delve into how you do just that by following some simple practices.
Understanding the Appropriate Audience on Each Platform
Simply posting the same content and material across all your social media channels won’t work. The reason why a variety of different platforms have survived in this competitive digital space is because they offer different experiences for users, and therefore create an expectation for what your target audience will see. A post copied and pasted from Instagram onto your LinkedIn account will have very different receptions across the two platforms. So, to begin, you need to understand the appropriate audience for your platform and build your branding around them. For example:
- Facebook: The most versatile platform, with highly engaged users interacting with each other, following pages, and actively sharing content.
- Instagram: Heavy on the visuals, themes and aesthetics, users are more likely to be absorbed by an account’s content (if engaging).
- LinkedIn: A domain for the business minded, professionally searching job and partnership opportunities. Content is therefore expected to match.
- Twitter: A platform for conversations on current events. Jump on topical issues and events or engage with others posting similar content.
- Snapchat: This platform leverages ‘immediacy’ – a snap viewed before instantly disappearing. Again, content is expected to be fitting for this use.
- Pinterest: Most users visit this platform to assist in ‘future’ planning (i.e. researching renovation projects, travel suggestions, fashion trends). Brands use this to their advantage by advertising their offerings in a stimulating way, redirecting traffic back to their websites or other social channels.
Create a Fitting Brand Identity & Voice
Maintaining a social media calendar can be difficult and time consuming, which is why many people often collaborate to share the workload. To ensure everyone involved has the same understanding of what should be posted on each channel, build a brand identity stating who you are in your space, that can also be tailored for each platform. For example, this might mean developing a tone of voice that is appropriate to your messaging, or in choosing colour schemes and designs that leave your brand instantly recognisable to your audience. It may seem trivial, but locking down a tone that is conversational vs. professional, or using posting templates with colours triggering emotions in your audience, can slowly but surely work to building the rapport needed to convert customers.
Keep Active on Your Channels
Social media is just as much about keeping up appearances as it is creating value-driven content for your audience. When your followers don’t see a post from you after a prolonged period, they will begin to forget you. Or if a potential consumer is researching your brand, and can’t find any activity in recent weeks, months, or years, they will immediately be hit with a sense that your business is stagnant and outpaced by more active competitors. Keeping front of mind with frequent, well-curated posts that engage followers in a positive manner is key to success. Which leads us to our final, and most important section for social brand consistency.
Post Value-Driven Content Within Branded Themes
Going viral (for the right reasons) is every business owner’s dream, but it happens to one in a million. It’s like basing your financial goals on winning the lottery; for most of us, it isn’t happening!
Much like consistent saving and smart investing to achieve financial success, brands will see more rewarding results from their social media profiles by releasing content that is relevant, entertaining, and/or educational to their audience. This prompts followers and consumers to engage with comments, likes, and shares. And as your pages grow to be seen by new accounts, having a branded theme will aid them in remembering who you are, what kind of impact you are having on that channel, and start the conversation that invites them to interact.
Following these simple, yet crucial elements will help you develop a consistent brand tone and presence across your social media channels, setting you apart (and ahead) of your competitors, and reinforcing your relationship with platform users. So, get creating!