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Don’t Mess Around with Your Brand

Caroline MonahanWhen you are looking for more information on a business, a product, a vacation or even a celebrity whose name you can’t remember, where’s the first place you go? The quick answer to that question is, of course, “online”. But that no longer tells the full story. Online can mean Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn … the list goes on infinitely. So how do you make your brand stand out and be noticed in the social media jungle?

The fact is that there is no central location for information seekers anymore. Your business likely has a presence on multiple online platforms, hoping to catch the interest of your target audience and get them to respond to your call to action. With this in mind, it may be time to audit your social media messaging to be sure that when your target audience sees your content, they know it’s your brand.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are creating content for your different social platforms:

  1. Don’t leave your brand open to a variety of interpretations. A constantly changing brand (appearance, voice, personality) will confuse customers. Develop a style guide of brand standards and templates so that content is consistent and clearly recognizable as your brand. Make sure all employees have access to and use the approved visual content throughout communications with customers – both on and offline. Be vigilant of outsiders using your branding materials without your authorization.


  1. In the digital age, content can be created quickly and published without a thorough vetting for brand consistency and accuracy. Take the time to do it right. Social posts may seem “easy” but actually require careful strategy and attention to detail.


  1. Since it may seem “easy”, it could be the case that several employees at your company hop online to make social posts on a whim. This can dilute the brand if there isn’t a proper approval process for consistency before publishing. Make sure there is a calendar for content strategy and a central person proofing and checking against the style guide before content is published.


  1. Use consistent keywords and hashtags throughout your campaigns. People search Facebook and Instagram as often or more than they search Google. Hashtags and keywords are one way that new customers can find you.


  1. Experiment and learn about which platforms your target audience calls home. Develop a strategy for each platform with content delivery that makes sense for that subset of your audience. The overall message will be the same, and your brand should be clearly recognizable, but an Instagram post should deliver that message in a different way than a LinkedIn post will.

At this week’s Marketing Communications Affinity Group meeting, we learned that consistent branding can result in a 23% increase in revenue for your company. Why? Because people want to do business with companies that they trust. Your brand is your handshake. It’s the vehicle by which you start to build a relationship with your customers and prospects. It communicates your value and will give your business top-of-mind awareness to the people you want to serve. Make sure it’s clear and consistent everywhere it has a presence.

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