Social media is one of the most powerful weapons brands and marketers have at their disposal. It’s free to post your content and with the right profile, your reach can put you in touch with millions of people around the world.
But social media brand awareness success doesn’t happen by accident, it takes a dependable approach and a considered strategy. Let’s look at why and how companies can create a consistent approach to maintaining and improving their social media brand awareness.
What is Brand Consistency?
Brand consistency is concerned with how companies deliver messages that align with their core values, brand identity, and brand guidelines. With a cohesive approach to branding and messaging across social media platforms, companies can create a consistent experience for all of their existing and future customers.
Consistency in message and branding helps to create trust, which is fundamental to building a sustainable and successful brand. Gerald Zaltman, a Harvard Business School professor, says that 95% of our purchase decision-making takes place in the subconscious mind. The emotional connection that customers make with brands can be the difference between choosing one brand over another. If brands are constantly flitting between different visuals, voices, and messages, it can be confusing or alienating to the consumer.
Given the wide range of social media platforms available to brands, it’s important that content is managed accordingly and attention is paid to its consistency. Building up a level of trust with your audience through social media also means your brand is memorable, especially if they can see your brand across a range of different marketing channels. In a crowded market, being memorable is an important asset and will lead to increased conversion rates.
Content Management is Critical for Consistency
Companies and brands can choose to engage across multiple social media channels, each with slightly different demographics. Whether that is through TikTok to approach a younger market or Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram to appeal to a slightly more mature crowd.
The challenge facing companies is to create consistent content that speaks to the audiences of each platform, it is engaging and is organic rather than a paid-for placed advert. That is the role of a content management team; to monitor and maintain a consistent level of visual and written content with your brand messaging, values, and ethos always in mind. A dedicated content management department should ensure that before any content or messaging goes live they check it aligns with your core values and brand guidelines.
Content management is also tasked with keeping your social media material on-brand while continually talking about your brand day after day. Remember that, like your business goals and creative ideas, social media channels are constantly evolving so, without losing any core and consistent messaging, your content must also evolve. It would be easy for the content to grow stale and for the quality to drop by being less interesting, no longer appealing to your demographic, and distinctly off-brand. Therein lies the challenge of creating social media content for raising brand awareness; keeping messages and visuals fresh while sticking with your brand identity and guidelines.
Creating Brand Guidelines
Your brand guidelines are the one-stop shop for all of your digital communications and they help maintain that consistent communication that is so essential for raising and maintaining brand awareness and growing your reach. Think of them as an extension of your mission statement. Here you will establish clear rules and standards for your visual and written materials that can be used in all of your digital marketing campaigns going forwards.
Some of the instructions and themes your guidelines should outline include:
- Tone and voice – What is the personality of your brand? Think about how you wish your brand to come across when communicating with your social media followers.
- Logo – Your logo is one of the most important ways for customers to recognize your brand, it must remain consistent across all communications. Strong design makes a brand instantly recognizable by its logo alone, for example, McDonald’s, Apple, and Nike.
- Images – Determine which types of imagery you use, for example, fresh and modern, vintage, or corporate. Given you’re posting on social media, you must also be consistent in how you shoot your photos and videos while featuring your target demographic in your imagery. Or, if you’re using paid visuals on social media, be careful that your image selection supports your brand’s consistent message.
- Font – Perhaps overlooked but the font you use should remain the same in all marketing exploits. From the style to the color, it all helps improve brand recognition.
- Post frequency – Important for social media, in particular, to decide when is the optimum time to post to ensure you aren’t over-communicating, especially when taking emails and outreach into consideration.
- Color palette – Just as important as your logo and font style is the color palette you choose. Maintaining the same colors for all activities leaves customers in no doubt about the brand behind the communications.
The Importance of a Social Media Calendar
You can plan your communications ahead of time by creating a marketing calendar that is accessible to everyone in your team and automated to save time or communicate timely reminders. This calendar helps you stay on top of each social media post across your entire team. For multichannel campaigns, a social media marketing calendar puts everything in one place so you can see how it all fits together and falls in line with your brand voice and guidelines.
With such an overview of your social media marketing, from posts to emails and ads, you gain a better perspective of the consistency you need. You can check on the timings of your messaging to ensure future messages align. And the ability to schedule posts means you have more breathing room to make changes that can enhance your brand’s reputation and build on any success sparked from social media activity, such as:
- reacting to positive leads
- addressing conversions and sales queries promptly
- responding well to customer requests
- updating content running across social posts and sites, and
- adjusting timings as and when required.
Knowing Your Audience
Brands must know their key demographics and audience, and it is a vital component for consistent content. Once you know who you are marketing to, you can create a plan to make it happen. Take time to truly understand what motivates your audience to click on and engage with social posts.
Once you have a better understanding of your audience’s tastes, interests, and behaviors you can create consistent content that you know they will engage with. This is even more true in an age of personalized ads, which are tailored to various demographics and tastes.
Failing to recognize your audience means you could be wasting your ads on people who have zero interest in your brand. By consistently targeting the right people, you can increase conversions and sales rather than taking a scattergun approach and seeing what sticks.
A consistent approach to communication should also be a major part of your social media approach. The detail in your branding guidelines how you as a company will approach social media communications. Ideally, you will respond to users within an hour but a minimum expectation is 24 hours before returning a message.
Your guidelines can spell out how your company as a whole will approach this, and ensure that each person responsible for communicating with your audience does so the right way.
From the tone you use to the speed of response and even how you address the customers, keeping a consistent format is important as it allows you to change the people in the communication chain at your end but the user will not notice the difference.