5 Easy Steps to Implement Your Brand Across Your Social Networks
December 17, 2014 | By Christina Sullivan | 9 Comments">9 Comments
How do your customers perceive your business? This perception – based on both fact (e.g. It’s a bicycle shop) and emotion (e.g. It’s socially responsible) – is what defines your brand. Or, as the founder of Amazon puts it:
Your brand is what differentiates you from your competitors, so it makes sense that it should carry through each and everything you do. Your social media presence is no exception.
Social media allows for so many opportunities to express your brand as it puts your communication directly on the computers and smart phones of your customers. At the same time, there are over 19 million active fan pages on Facebook – so how do you stand out?
Use Your Profile Photo
This one is pretty obvious. Your profile picture is the picture that appears in the newsfeed, replies or Retweets and in your comments on other posts. Without ever visiting your timeline, a potential fan or customer could still be viewing your profile picture. This is a massive opportunity to showcase your brand.
The obvious answer here is to use your logo as your profile picture. Your logo is a key aspect of your brand, so it makes sense that this is the first impression of your company that people should see. If you decide to go this traditional route, make sure your entire logo fits into the dimensions of the profile photo. You don’t want to cut off any text or icon that’s a part of your logo. If your logo is a different shape or ratio than the profile photo will display, you could consider recreating a square format of your logo, or choosing just an icon version of your logo to use as your profile photo.
Besides the traditional route of using your logo, there are also a few unconventional ways to leverage your profile picture for your brand.
Tie it in to your cover photo. This creates a one-of-a-kind, memorable experience each time someone visits your timeline. Keep in mind that this is an advanced strategy that’s not easy to pull off! You’ll want to ensure that your profile photo can still stand on its own when it’s viewed in the newsfeed or elsewhere on your timeline.
Mix it up. Keep your primary logo or symbol the same, but change the colors or backgrounds to line up with holidays, seasons, special events or even your mood! This adds a festive element to your profile and makes your company a bit more relatable to your fans. Plus, it’s a good idea to give your profile a visual update every month or so.
Overall, make sure your profile photo is high quality and takes full advantage of the layout for each particular social network. Keep in mind that these optimal sizes vary between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and others so do your research!
Lastly, within each social network, there are multiple sizes that your profile photo can display – on your timeline, in the newsfeed, in your comments on posts – so be sure that your photo can be translated to these smaller sizes without losing any of its clarity or readability.
Take Advantage of Cover Photo Real Estate
While your page’s profile is the first impression your fans have of you on social, your cover or header photo provides much more visual real estate and a bigger opportunity to make an impact. This is where you can really get creative and showcase what makes your brand unique. Pay special attention to #4 below to help keep these cover photo masterpieces on brand.
Notice how World Market uses high quality photos of healthy food with witty captions – this helps give you a sense of their brand. They are your go-to store for healthy foods, but they still have a sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously.
Here’s another great example from Etsy, an e-commerce website that lets users set up individual shops to sell handmade or vintage items. Their tagline is “the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.” Through their cover photos, they communicate the vibrant, unique element of their brand.
Talk the Talk
Your brand should be crystal clear in your communication style. Consistency is key here! Are you the funny guy? The reliable informer? The go-to expert of your industry? The easygoing and relatable “company next door”? Whatever you are, be relentlessly consistent in your communication on social media.
This style should be visible in all of your posting, hashtags, your ‘about’ section, interaction with customers and more. If you have multiple people managing social media for your company, make sure they’re all on the same page when it comes to communication style.
Below are some fantastic examples of companies that have implemented their brand throughout all of their social media communication. As you scroll through their feeds, you can really get a feel for their persona. That’s exactly how apparent your brand should be.
“The Funny Guy”
“The Industry Expert”
“The Company Next Door”
Graphics that you post are a direct extension of your brand’s voice. This, combined with the popularity of images on social, is reason enough to implement or update your visual strategy on social. For example, did you know that photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook with an 87% interaction rate?
How do you want your fans to feel when they visit your page? Cozy and warm? Inspired and motivated? Nostalgic? Energetic? You should convey these feelings through every image you post.
As with our other categories, consistency is vital here as well. Your images and graphics should be instantly recognized as yours. Here are a few key ways to use image posts on social to up your brand.
1) Keep fonts consistent. For instant brand recognition, tie in your company’s fonts to all of your graphics with text. Determine which fonts will be used for headlines, sub-headlines and any body text and stick to this! Photos.com does a great job of this strategy, making these images instantly recognizable as their own.
2) Place watermarks or logos in the same position. Determine the standard size of logo or watermark that you plan to place on your images and keep this consistent. Make sure it’s not too distracting by keeping it in the same place (e.g. bottom right corner, 200 pixels wide) throughout every image. Notice how H&M sticks to this strategy and their images, while all different subjects and backgrounds, tie in to one another seamlessly.
3) Use similar photographic or graphic styles. Again, consider the feeling you want customers to experience when they visit your page. Weave this emotion throughout all of the photographs or backgrounds that you use for your image posts. Below you can see how Anthropologie uses photos to evoke a cozy, rustic and warm feeling throughout their timeline – the same feeling you get when you visit their website or their brick-and-mortar locations.
Canva uses a different but equally effective strategy with their post graphics. Below you can see how they evoke creativity and inspiration on their social sites by posting beautiful, bold and consistent graphics. Not only does this grab the viewer’s attention and enhance their brand, but it also showcases Canva’s own product – a drag-and-drop design tool.
4) Replace a text update with an image post. Why post a text status update when you can share a branded graphic with the same message? Try implementing themes like #MotivationalMonday, #TechTuesday or #TGIF that you can consistently post each week with a matching image. Have a company announcement or an upcoming event to promote? Create an optimized linkshare post with the perfect graphic to grab your fans’ attention. Remember to follow the rules above to ensure consistency!
Check out how Nike uses images to share motivational quotes and phrases instead of simple text updates. They use bold images and consistent typography throughout – notice how easy it is to identify these images as theirs and the strong inspirational feelings that these images convey.
Run a Social Media Campaign
A custom Facebook campaign is the perfect way to communicate your brand regularly to your customers and fans. Consider running monthly or quarterly campaigns to keep your engagement up and your brand top-of-mind. You can center these campaigns around the holidays, a major company milestone or current events.
When you create a campaign with Heyo, you get plenty of brand real estate to showcase what makes you unique. First, your logo should be placed at the top left of the campaign to convey brand trust. Fans visiting your campaign will recognize your logo and this will immediately bring to mind whatever feelings they associate with your brand.
Next, use a hero image – or, as Goorin Bros did below, a custom background image – to communicate your prize or giveaway. Your brand should be evident in this hero image. Keep your fonts, photographic styles and color scheme consistent with your branding to add an additional level of brand trust to your campaign.
Finally, your linkshare posts, email marketing and all other promotion of the campaign should tie in these brand elements as well. Notice how Goorin Bros. used a different photograph (with a similar feel) to share their campaign on Facebook, but included the same red contest graphic on both to tie the post directly to their campaign. This is an excellent job of showcasing your brand through a custom campaign.
You’ve just read five easy ways to implement your brand across social media. Now, it’s your turn! Do you have an example of how your company has used any of these strategies? Would you add anything to this list? Tell us in the comments below!