And more than ever, that's being given to social media.
Yet with so many platforms, so many graphical formats, and so much continual change in social media, it's more than a bit confusing for the average Jane or Joe.
What's clear is the rewards of a consistent and successful social media brand presence can be significant-even if the route to get there isn't.
More than ever, every platform and every impression matters.
Study after study and post after post of best practices by leading experts informs us that the social channels a business participates in need clarity in message and consistency of brand image and personality. If you want to align with your audience's expectations and meet any meaningful business objectives, you're going to have to get this right first.
But let's get real.
How many people or companies do a great job of managing all of their social channels and presenting them so that visitors know and understand that they're engaging with the same brand from Facebook to Google+ to Vine? It's no secret that all of the competing platforms want you to spend most of your online time exclusively with them. And it's not in their best interest for you to consider any other site or how to unify them for your community of followers or fans.
If you're a mega company with deep pockets and lots of resources, developing and maintaining a consistent brand presence on all of your social networks is within reach. And here are some good examples for what success might look like.
But if you're too busy running your company, meeting the needs of your customers or just having too much fun on Facebook, brand consistency across your social networks is certainly more of a challenge.
A roadmap to a consistent brand presence.
Fear not for all is not lost. For those using social media, everything you want to know about customizing and consistently branding your profile on the most popular social media platforms is now all in one place.
First, create the right picture with a small set of words.
The best place to start is by writing a very brief profile summary or a one sentence tagline that people will easily recognize and associate with your brand. This is the content that usually appears in the about information area.
If you make your profile summary authentic and focused on how you're different, it will connect with and hopefully be remembered by your community members as they travel from one of your social profiles to another.
Consistency of language fosters a sense of familiarity and it stands out from the sea of confusing and convoluted profiles that are everywhere on the web.
Get cracking on an audit and get into the details.
The best way to figure out what kind of visual impression you're making in social media is to start with an audit and inventory of your visual assets on the social platforms. If you do this, chances are good that you're going to find an opportunity or two for improving or unifying the visual presentation of your brand.
But if your intention is to purposefully be as diverse and disconnected as possible with many voices and a schizophrenic personality, stay the course and let chaos reign.
For everyone else, producing a rather large inventory of tailored components is going to have to be added to your "to-do" list. Your aim should be sensitivity to avoiding a heavy-handed, rubber-stamp approach. You'll be way ahead of the pack if you systematically integrate consistent use of:
- Image Styles
- Icons styles
Don't leave this to chance or hope that you just might get lucky. And if all of this is just way outside of your skill set or comfort zone, seek professional guidance from proven experts who will get you brand where it needs to be on social media.
The great infographic below provides all of the granular specs on how to size your visual brand components and where it they will be displayed on the social media platform of your choice. How cool is that?
So how's your brand presence on social media these days?
If you make it clear who you are and what value you're offering, social media will be a lot more rewarding for both you and your communities. Without this, expect confusion and a limited chance of success.
Are all of your social media platforms aligned and in sync with one another? Do they present your brand and your value in a way that your audience "gets it"?
Share your success or a poster child or two that has serious room for improvement.