With numerous marketing channels available today, brand consistency is no longer as simple as making sure your logo is being used correctly in a brochure. The advent of social media presents a large opportunity where your brand can live and breathe, however, it can also lead to numerous brand inconsistencies.
Whether social media posts are being sent from employees, customers or even your own corporate profiles, ensuring brand consistency can impact how much future customers remember your brand. On average, 5 to 7 brand impressions are necessary before someone will remember your brand.
This is why many companies are guarding their brand, image and developing precise standards to ensure it’s being used in an appropriate manner. On social media, brand consistency can mean that your overall corporate brand profiles align with your overall brand messaging. This seems like a simple concept, but the rise of diverse workforces can prove to be challenging to even the most seasoned marketers. The result of unenforced brand standards can cause damage to your brand image and a loss of brand equity, so it’s important for many companies to ensure they take the right measures to ensure brand consistency on social media.
The key is to set up branding to correctly manage the process from the get-go in order to create a unified brand presence on all of your social media networks. But that won’t happen without some serious know-how and careful planning.
This article will review some of the common pitfalls and challenges with brand consistency in social media and how you can mitigate any brand mishaps.
Pitfalls of Being Inconsistent in Your Brand Messaging
First, let’s delve into some pitfalls of being inconsistent in your brand messaging.
A successful brand delivers what customers expect. When customers don’t know what to expect, they’ll be confused and turned away from your brand. Another pitfall to watch out for is using your brand name in an inconsistent way. That’s why you don’t see Starbucks referring to themselves as “SB,” even if consumers may have a habit of calling them by their nickname.
There’s also the danger of your messages getting lost online and on social media networks. It’s important to start with guidelines to ensure your message is clear and recognizable.
Overcoming Challenges with Social Media Branding
As you can imagine, avoiding all those pitfalls on social media doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of smart planning to overcome the challenges standing in the way of building and maintaining a strong brand online and on social networking sites. There are some common challenges that stand in the way of good branding on social media. Here’s what you’ll need to tackle…
Finding Balance Between Your Brand Voice and the Platform
Balancing the voice of the platform with the voice of the brand is critical to communicating effectively. It all starts with context. Remember where you are. People on Twitter have a different conversational style than on Instagram. Have conversations that meet the expectations of the social media network without compromising your brand voice. Sometimes, that can even mean pulling back from networks that don’t meet your brand’s needs and redoubling your efforts where they make the biggest impact.
Encourage Employees to Post Authentically Without Going Off Brand
Encouraging your employees to post authentically while staying true to your brand is one of the biggest challenges to any employee advocacy program. Having an organized employee advocacy program provides structure and guidance to employees in a way that gives them the tools to better manage themselves – and be good to your brand.
Get the Whole Team Aligned on Brand Messaging
Rally everyone to your cause, even your far-flung colleagues in different departments and offices (or countries!). That way, you’ll get everyone aligned on messaging. Consistency is crucial in branding. It’s important not to have any squeaky wheels going off-brand as this will dilute all your other efforts.
How to Achieve Zen-Like Brand Unity
You’ve sidestepped the pitfalls and tackled the challenges, now it’s time to put it all into action. Start by creating brand guidelines and training programs to teach your employees about your brand. Before you can talk about your brand the right way, you have to know how to talk about your brand.
You’ll also want to be consistent in the design, colors, and graphics surrounding your brand (i.e., Style Guide). Once you start posting, be consistent in the way you post. Don’t Tweet 25 times one week, then go dark for a month. The frequency of your social media posts becomes part of your overall brand, so be (you guessed it) consistent!
Make Sure You’re Consistent Across All Brand Dimensions:
- Fonts and typography
- Frequency of posts
How Can Employee Advocacy Help?
Every post, social share, and social media account must contribute to your brand message in a coherent manner. Otherwise, you risk the chance of confusing your customers about the identity of your brand.
An employee advocacy program gives employees brand-approved content to choose from and guidelines for posting messages that help build brand consistency. It’s about empowering your employees, not dictating to them. When an employee wants to post, they’re still free to express themselves. They’re just given some handy guidelines and safeguards to make it easier to be consistent with your brand.