So by now we should all know the importance for all businesses to have a strong presence across social media. If you are to look at the strongest brands that are the most successful across social media there is a common thread – they all deliver a consistent brand message.
Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram they have the same look that identifies their brand immediately and the voice used in their content reflects their brands identity.
There are major benefits from creating a consistent brand presence across all social media including:
- Increase engagement from followers, liker’s
- Professionalism – nothing screams amateur like a mash up of design
- Strengthens brand recall
- Develop and maintain one brand personality
- Eliminates confusion
Essentially creating a consistent brand across multiple social media platforms comes down to two elements – how you look and how you sound.
The impact of an impressive design can never be understated in any area of business, and social media is no different. Unlike your website, email or print design there are relatively strict limitations in regards to the space the designer has to work with. Some may say this is restrictive; I’d like to think it fosters creativity.
Facebook page managers can essentially only have brand imagery in two places, the cover photo and the profile picture (for the dimensions of these and other social media check out here). Twitter is more flexible, with background image, header, profile picture and also the ability to style the colour scheme. On the other hand Pinterest and Instagram are pretty much locked down with only a profile picture available to change.
The most important element amongst all these is the profile picture. This should be the same, or a variation of a theme, across all social media and be the main focal point to represent your brand. Make it bold and avoid too much text as it can become hard to read in when the image is displayed as a thumbnail.
For the other spaces use consistent imagery, colours and themes. If your business has a style guide then this a good time to refer to it and design for the respective networks according to your branding guidelines. If not then I recommend you look into developing one.
It can be argued that the voice of a brand on social media is more important than the design itself as it creates a level of humanity which drives the fan engagement more than any logo or graphic ever could. When I speak of a brands voice on social media I refer to the tone of the conversation, the content posted and the way that the brand responds to users.
A brands identity goes far beyond its visual aesthetic and is truly defined by a number of internal and external elements of the business. Certain businesses, like accountants, may want to exude ‘a more serious tone’ at all times, whereas there may be a much more ‘laid back tone’ around the amusement park industry.
The way in which you communicate this voice needs to be consistent across all social media. Be mindful of this when you are posting content and in particular engaging with followers of your brand. There’s no better advocate for a brand than a customer who has had a positive experience engaging with the business and is willing to tell others about it.
Maintaining consistency in both design and voice across all your social media is crucial in keeping up with the competition, engaging your customer base and developing new leads.