You finally update your cover images on Facebook and Google+ and then wake up to an email informing you new changes have been rolled out requiring you to modify the cover image. Just as soon as you do such, then here comes Twitter with new updates.
So how do you build any sort of consistency when everything is changing around you?
Did you know that it takes a minimum of 6-7 brand touches before someone will remember your brand? Every brand encounter counts. You only have one time to make a first, second and third impression.
Your goal as a marketer or business leader should be to deliver the most powerful, compelling and unique brand experience possible.
Consistency is very important when it comes to branding. The more consistent your brand is, the more memorable it will be.
1. Your profile photo matters!
Don’t use your high school photo or the photo of you in a dress with a lot of skin showing. Keep the photo professional yet real. Spend the time and money to invest in a professional photo if possible. Make sure your photographer is familiar with best practices for online photographs.
You don’t have to have a boring photo. Instead, get creative and have fun during your photo shoot! Your photo should be simple yet memorable. It should help establish trust and build relationships from first look.
In addition, be consistent with the profile photos used across the social networks. Select 1-3 photos that you use regularly. It will help people remember you and help leave good brand impressions at each brand touch point.
2. Choose a social profile user name and stick to it.
Select an online user name that can be used consistently. It’s best to use the same name when possible. If not possible because someone else or another brand has already taken ownership of the name, select one as close as you can.
3. Brand architecture.
Your brand is so much bigger than your logo or a set of colors. Your brand is everything you tweet, post, pin, +1, say and do! Take the time to develop your brand identity. Develop a brand architecture that serves as a foundation for you to execute your digital brand.
Your “social brand” is not unique to your overall brand. Your digital social brand should be an extension of your overarching brand. If you are not sure where to start with this, ask for help. There are many agencies and consultants that can help you quickly and cost efficiently. Our agency, Marketing Nutz helps organizations of all sizes develop and execute their brand architectures both online and offline.
4. Message architecture.
Develop a message architecture that will help you communicate with your audiences and communities both online and offline in a consistent and relevant manner. Your mission with social media should be to figure out where your audience is hanging out online and then figure out how to have the most relevant conversation with them you possibly can. Doing such is going to take research, commitment and a structured messaging and content marketing platform.
We help our clients develop what we call a “message house” which basically serves as their messaging bible and platform for conversations and content development. Create once, use many is a mantra all marketing leaders should try.
A message architecture provides a consistent platform that enables you to build dynamic, inspirational and meaningful conversations while still being consistent and based upon your brand architecture and promise. Download -> Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template for 2014
5. Bio and description.
Your bio and description is very important when it comes to social media. Use the message house to help you write your bio, description of services offered, mission, vision, value proposition etc. Do not “wing it” each time you sign up for a new social network. Also, keep the content fresh on your social network profiles. Be certain that the way you describe yourself and your business is always accurate of your current state of business and life. It’s a good habit to get into checking and if needed updating on a monthly basis at minimum.
6. Images properly formatted.
Take the time to understand the guidelines for images provided by each social network platform. Don’t create one image and then force fit it into each social network profile. Instead create your brand and message architecture. Then work with your designer or outsource the work to someone who can properly size and optimize the images to display properly. Don’t skip this step. It is a very important first impression you don’t want to mess up!
7. Stay on brand and don’t be lazy.
The fastest way to mess up your digital social brand is to be lazy. When you get lazy with execution of design or content marketing, it’s easy to get “off brand.” Using the message house and creating the brand architecture will help you stay within the framework of your existing brand. Take time to slow down to speed up but don’t get lazy. Focus on quality yet don’t let perfection keep you from ever launching. Embrace the imperfect perfection and do the best you can.
8. Create supporting images.
Focus on more than just your profile image, cover images and logos. Create a set of supporting images that you can use for call to actions, Facebook tab icons, posts on Facebook, images to support blog posts and more. Don’t wing it when it comes to selecting images for your online profiles or for your content marketing and communication efforts. Instead as part of your brand architecture select images that can be used on an ongoing basis to help you inspire and connect with your audiences, properly represent your brand and build lasting relationships. We live in a visual world and images are a great way to share your brand story.
9. Create a memorable experience.
Think about the most memorable experience you have ever had with a brand. Why was it memorable? What is it that makes it meaningful? Make it a goal to inspire and connect with your community in a real and emotional way. Connecting emotionally often becomes memorable because it is purposeful and meaningful. To do this you must know your audience, know yourself and know how to inspire and connect with them.
10. Be human.
There is only one you so be that person, period. Social is not going to transform your organization, but instead it will reveal it. Focus on being you and being human from day one. Treat your audience and social communities as human beings. Care about them, and speak to them as human beings, not as robots. Bottom line, you can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them. Read-> Talk Human to Me and 13 Characteristics of Human Brands
Bonus Tip: Think mobile! IDC predicts there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015! If this statistic doesn’t make you think, it should! Make sure your website and all online properties you have control over are mobile responsive. You have approximately 5 seconds to impress your online visitors. Make each second count and don’t send them running away because of a bad design or unreadable font. Establish a home base that you own. Don’t put all of your eggs in a social network basket that you do not own! The big and little details matter and can help you make a memorable, meaningful and positive first impression!