The Importance of Maintaining Brand Consistency on Social Media
4 Ways to Stay on Top
It is safe to say that there are a plethora of social media channels that brands can use to engage with consumers (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn….we could go on and on). Most brands understand that a strong social media presence is vital, but not all brands are successful at leveraging social media platforms to build brand identity. In order to achieve success, a brand must maintain a consistent brand voice and presence across its digital channels.
A clear brand voice and consistent presence will ultimately reinforce brand identity and will drive positive sentiment among consumers.
Here are four tips for brands that will ensure consistency across digital channels while building a thread that ties brand presence on each channel together.
- Understand each platform and its audience
Not all social media platforms are created equally. For this reason, the ways in which consumers engage with peers and brands on each platform varies drastically. It is important to understand how consumers use each platform and how they hope to engage with brands.
- Facebook is a the largest and most mature of the social media platforms and users are highly engaged. The social networking site has more than one billion users worldwide and users spend an average of 20 minutes per day on the network, typically engaging with their friends and followed pages multiple times per day.
- Instagram is a highly visual platform and is used to share images and videos. This is a great place to create and cultivate visual brand stories.
- Twitter is used for in-the-now conversations. Spikes will occur in conversations surrounding major events, such as the Super Bowl, a Game of Thrones season finale or during breaking news. Twitter is best for beginning conversations, engaging with users interested in relevant content and owning direct conversations with brand followers.
- Snapchat is currently the most rapidly growing social network. The platform is unlike any other social network in that it harnesses the power of immediacy. Over 100 million people use Snapchat every day and on any given day Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18–34 year olds in the United States. Snapchat is a breath of digital fresh air — once a post is experienced, it’s gone (though even this is rapidly changing as Snapchat now offers users the chance to permanently save content and Instagram just announced Stories).
- Pinterest is most often used for future planning, such as conducting DIY research for a home project or researching travel or industry and seasonal trends. Here the consumer is actively looking for information, so Brands should be thinking about how they can leverage the platform to inform the consumer about the product or offering. Boards can be used to organize content that links back and drives traffic to owned media channels.
2. Choose your identity and voice, then stick to it
Create a social media playbook that everyone who posts on your social accounts has access to. Determine what the brand tone will be and keep visual consistency to ensure your brand is easily recognizable. For example, does your brand always post in a conversational voice and use emoji? Are you consistent with your hashtags? Have you determined the best posting times and frequencies for each channel? It’s also important to consider the posting consistency — Facebook is great for an afternoon slump and the average lifespan of a Tweet is 18 minutes.
You will be laser focused if you map out the plan in your playbook ahead of time.
3. Remain Active
Your consumers and followers access your accounts to engage with you in a positive (or sometimes negative) way or research your product or service. If they see that you have not posted in weeks it will turn them off and decrease your relevancy. So post frequently, retweet others, have a repost plan for people engaging with your brand (and be quick about it!). Social media is about immediate, two-way conversation.
4. Share curated content with brand-related themes
While going viral and becoming the next online sensation may sound like a good idea, it is near impossible to know if something will take off (nope, there isn’t a magic formula for viral success). Brands will see more success by curating the content on their pages and being engaging with followers. Consumers want and expect the content on your page to be relevant to them and your brand, entertaining and engaging/shareable. Brands should create an online environment that is conversational and encourages interaction — followers will be more likely to respond positively if it does not feel forced. Authenticity will come through your consistent tone outlined in your playbook.
It is important to have a consistent brand voice across all social media platforms in the digital world. Successfully doing so means you will build trust with current and future customers. These four tips will also help reinforce the brand that you have already created using traditional media platforms.
All in all, a consistent brand tone will help to separate you from the competitive pack while strengthening brand recall among consumers. And what brand doesn’t want that?
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