With brand awareness cited as a top priority among marketers, and over 3.8 billion social media users online, building a consistent corporate brand across social media is a must in today's digital economy.
What is brand consistency?
If you’ve worked tirelessly to cultivate the perfect brand, you’ll want it to be recognised far and wide. But in order for consumers to know who you are and what you stand for, you need to be consistent.
Brand consistency refers to how a business incorporates its core values and brand identity into its messaging and delivers “on brand” marketing materials across all channels and touchpoints.
Why is brand consistency important?
The biggest benefit of brand consistency is brand recognition. This allows an organisation to foster a strong association between its core messages and visual identity and set itself apart from the competition. Other advantages of brand consistency include:
- More control over brand perception
- Greater trust and brand loyalty
What should you do before launching a corporate social media account?
Define your brand and its goals
Use simple, concise language to work out what it is you want to achieve. If your brand has nicknames or variations, use the same one across all social platforms. It takes nine visits on average for someone to make a purchase – make sure it's the same name on each visit!
Know your target audience
Knowing your target audience is crucial for creating social media content that generates followers. Use a profile of your target audience to inform colour choice, tone and which platforms you use.
Perform a social media audit
If you already have social media, assess your previous content, engagement and what is and isn't working. Take these learnings to create content that performs better, optimising for when and how often you post.
Decide which platforms to focus on
If you're just starting out, choose which social media platforms you want to focus on. Don't spread yourself too thin. It's far better to have one account that aces its brand elements than three half-hearted ones.
How to build a consistent corporate brand on social media
It's worth emphasising that building a consistent brand is a process. You won't see drastic engagement or sales growth overnight. But it's worth the wait...
Much of brand consistency can be split into two basic categories: imagery and written content.
This is arguably the most important aspect of your branding. This is because humans are highly visual and our brains are better at retaining visual information. The following tips are relevant for profile pictures, header images, event pages, social media posts, graphics and adverts, as well as your website, email marketing and blog.
Use a consistent colour palette across your images, graphics and videos so users recognise your brand when they scroll past your content. Colour reflects emotion and purpose, so think carefully about how you want users to feel when they see your posts.
Take your own photographs rather than using stock imagery. This will help you maintain a consistent style.
Use a watermark or logo on any images you publish to prevent other people from repurposing your content and diluting your brand identity.
Maintaining a consistent brand voice is essential on social media. To do this, consider your existing customers and the customer personas you wish to target. Are they professional, young, female, or all three? This will greatly impact the language and tone of your brand messaging.
If your social channels are managed by more than one person, it's worth creating a brand guideline. Anyone who speaks on behalf of the brand can then refer to it and use the same language and tone of voice. Include your brand persona, personality traits, specific vocabulary (such as if you use the word client or customer), and any company phrases. You should also define:
- Tone - Is it familiar, direct or humble?
- Language - Is it colloquial, complex or niche?
- Purpose - Is it your brand's goal to sell, educate or entertain?
If you have more than one social media channel, an effective way to successfully build brand awareness across your socials is to repurpose content. As each platform is built differently, and each platform's audience differs, the way people engage with content will also differ. You therefore need to align your content and profiles with each platform's best practices.
In essence, this means taking snippets of content, rewriting the same information, or marginally altering an image or graphics so users recognise your brand. For example, if you create an extended IGTV video, you can combine snippets into a shorter video for TikTok, or create a slideshow for Facebook or Twitter accompanied by relevant text. See our Northumbria University campaign below.
Four tips for acing your social media marketing efforts
- Talk like a human. Use conversational dialogue rather than corporate. This helps to make your brand more relatable and personal.
- Interact with your following. Reply to messages and comments to create an authentic two-way relationship that builds trust.
- Post relevant content that interests your target audience. Posting content that doesn't interest your followers will eventually lead to subscriber attrition.
- Post frequently. Draw up a social media schedule and stick to it. If you're not visible, you're not building brand recognition.
If you implement these actions on social media, you'll improve consistency and awareness, and demonstrate your brand personality, all of which will help you connect with your target audience. This strategy can be applied to all online channels, including your website, blog and email marketing.