How is it possible for a business to get recognised and stand out on Social Media when there are so many companies posting so much content? The main way is through effective branding – something which can be easily overlooked as businesses get bogged down in keeping up with changing content formats and new technology!
Great branding is the best way of getting your company instantly recognised by users and the good thing about strong branding is that it works across every platform – as well as your traditional and digital marketing. So, spending some initial time and investment getting it right is absolutely worth it.
There are a range of ways to ensure you are successfully branding your business on Social Media, and all of them are key to building an all-rounded brand online. In this blog, we share those we think are the most important to consider when thinking about how to brand a business online.
When companies start creating their Social Media accounts it isn’t always done at the same time and potentially the company name has to be altered slightly as it might have already been taken. But if you can get the account handles on your social media platforms the same it will be the first step to brand recognition – if people struggle to find your accounts when they search, they will end up giving up!
When was the last time you checked your Bio or ‘About Us’ section on your accounts? Make sure this is up to date and consistent, you may want to have some subtle differences that take account of the fact you may have a certain type of follower for example on LinkedIn, but a different group on Instagram.
The devil is always in the detail and when it comes to branding on Social Media. There are some things that you should do, such as, using a consistent logo across your social media accounts, some companies amend them slightly depending on how visible they are etc but in the main, for smaller brands consistency is key. Think about your colour palette if you are using every and any colour the chances are users won’t immediately see a post and know it’s your company. Getting between 4-7 colours for your brand means you can still mix things up but not use so many that people don’t see any consistency.
Depending on what research you look at the use of an image in a post can increase engagement from one with only words by 150% – so images matter. They don’t all have to be professionally shot (see our blog about free image libraries) and people love real people and authentic images.
For branding purposes think about the types of images you use – do they all have a theme that’s in keeping with your product or service? For example, using images of nature, those with your brand colours, or perhaps you prefer clean-cut graphics? The important thing is not to use too many themes that don’t seem to be connected either to each other or your company.
Companies will often have a tone of voice they use for general marketing collateral and their website, but often little thought is given to tone of voice on Social Media. The clue is in the title in that things should still be a little more social – even if you’re writing for LinkedIn and your company is B2B.
Some brands can really use social to build relationships and come across as jokey/sarcastic, or friendly and approachable. Think about how you want to appear, and make sure that anyone who is posting on the social media accounts is aware of this, it shouldn’t be different just because someone else is running the account that week.
We’d say approach these with care – not so long ago there was a trend for having accounts that the images linked across 9 squares or that every post had a white frame, or the same filter used. These helped with making an instantly recognisable brand, but as Instagram has changed priority in terms of launching reels and before that stories, these ‘themes’ make less of a difference and can in some cases look too engineered – which can put people off. If it works for your brand and what you do go for it, but this beware of style over substance.
The ability to have such detailed analytics on Social Media means that you can take the guesswork out of knowing if your branding efforts are paying off. Have you seen an increase in Engagement? Have you noticed an increase in new followers for example?
Your branding strategy should be audited and updated quarterly ideally as things do change. Over time, your customers will see the consistency in posts and begin to recognise when a post is from you without even having to see the brand’s logo or social media handle. This type of brand recognition is the ultimate goal for your social media branding efforts – and is when you’ll really start to see results from your efforts.
Could you do with an expert pair of eyes looking over your Social Media branding and accounts? Contact us to see how an Audit could help identify how you could strengthen your branding on Social Media.