Maintaining Brand Image Consistency Across Social Media Channels
- Understanding Branding Importance in Marketing Your Business
- How to Perfect Your Brand Message
- Maintaining Brand Image Consistency Across Social Media Channels
Social media used to be a relatively easy game. There were one, maybe two different social media sites you had to be on, and that was it. Those days are gone. While a few social media channels seem to get the lion’s share of mainstream coverage, the reality is that there are now several different social media platforms with very active and diverse user bases.
Be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, or LinkedIn, if you want to reach various demographics and audiences, you need to be on many or all of these platforms to find them. Therein rises the dilemma of how to maintain brand consistency across these many social media networks.
Your brand, after all, is everything to your company. It’s how people view you, how they view your content, your services, your products, and everything in-between. Cultivating that brand image is indeed one of the most important aspects of appealing to new customers and earning their loyalty.
The problem then, as you’ll see in our first tip below, is that you not only need to be on these various channels, but you have to excel on each of them. A poor effort or inconsistent message on one of them could ruin all the hard work you’ve put in through the other channels.
Let’s get started then on maintaining your image across social media platforms.
Same Content, Different Message
You may feel that posting the same content on every platform is redundant, and that many people will witness it more than once. Forget about that. The more often you get your content out there, the better, as it’s easy for your content to get lost in the social media flood. In fact, it’s the best way to make many social media posts, without actually posting too often on one platform and alienating your fans there.
That said, you should be tweaking your content slightly for each platform. On Twitter, focus on shorter messages, using hashtags and other search terms to allow your content to be found by those beyond just your sphere of followers. On LinkedIn, give a slightly more professional tone to your content, while on Instagram and Pinterest, you’ll want to focus on making it slightly more light-hearted.
Maintain a Consistent Look Across Platforms
Your brand image (and I mean the literal image now, not the figurative one) is so essential to making you easily identifiable. As with the above point, while you may think it boring to use the same content (in this case, your cover image) across every platform, it’s really a must. You want people to recognize your company instantly when they see your content, not struggle to sort out your various images in their mind.
Invite Feedback on All Your Channels
Whenever you can, on just about everything you post, ask for feedback or responses in various ways, and provide the links to all of your channels so they can do so. This will let your fans know you’re interested in hearing from them and encourages discussion and further adds to your various channels so they feel they aren’t missing out on any of the discourse.
Of course, this also requires your interacting with them at times, thanking them for their contributions, and offering their opinions on topics or responding to some of their own questions in kind.
Be As Relevant and Trendy as Possible
This is hard to do, but is such a great way to build your brand image. You appear as an informed citizen of the world, and one who is on top of trends, which translates very positively to your customers, who can anticipate the same from your service.
Follow news and trending topics and incorporate relevant ones into your content when possible; relevant meaning not only to your post, but to your customers in general as well. There’s a right audience and a wrong audience, to quote Justin Bieber. Make sure you know your target audience, and which references they’ll appreciate and which they’ll groan at. This ties back into the nature of your varying audiences on each platform and may allow you some flexibility to make references on one platform that you wouldn’t on another.
Make sure to stay on top of new and up-and-coming social networks as well. While not every social network is destined for ubiquity, use of these can provide you with new, niche audiences, or even give you a leg up on other businesses in the event that a given social network does become a success.
Just remember to avoid being snarky with such trendy comments; it’s an easy path to go down in the social media world, which is snark-filled, to say the least. It’s also one that often turns out badly or casts you in an unfavorable light. Keep it classy!
If it all seems like a lot of work, well, it is; but it should also be a lot of fun. Embrace the process of social media transparency and interaction. It’s your chance to build a dynamic and ever-evolving partnership with your customers that will reap immense benefits. If you’re going to play the social media game (and you pretty much have to), you may as well do it right and take full advantage of its incredible potential.
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Owen Andrew is a tech writer and multimedia enthusiast who has spent several years writing for publications both in print and web format. He is based in Southern California and is also versed in social media, video production, viral marketing, computer networking and cloud technologies. He often contributes his writing to the DunkelBros blog. He graduated from UC Irvine and when he's not writing or editing the work of his close peers, he enjoys attending EDM concerts and hanging with his children.
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