As noted by most social media marketing guides, consistency is key. Maintaining an active, engaging presence is what will help you build a digital community, expand your presence, and ultimately, build connections that will lead to sales.
But it's not just posting in itself that's key to this effort - maintaining consistency in your social updates is also a key element, as each update, each tweet and each story frame can be used to further your branding, and help establish your presence. Using similar colors, similar tones, the same fonts - each of these should be considered, and for most, that will also mean establishing content templates, which can help on this front.
This is an element that's often taken for granted, or even forgotten - yet, templates matter because they help you communicate your business or organization more consistently and efficiently.
Establishing brand templates should be a key consideration for all businesses looking to establish their social media presence - and while it may well be something that you already use yourself, within your own posting practices, it's also worth highlighting core templates across your organization and making them a focus.
Get into a "template mindset"
If you organize your marketing activities with a template mindset, then it's much simpler to configure new creatives, messages and communications across digital destinations.
Regardless of which specific tools, templates or systems you use today, we recommend defining all your marketing activities into discrete content or content blocks and keeping close track of them.
To succeed, you should always try to adhere to these important marketing hygiene practices.
1. Develop consistent company-wide, service or campaign details
Admit it - you want to keep your creative assets in one place, but they usually end up scattered in shared files or appear live in different media libraries across the web. Templates help you avoid this.
- Collect your creative banners, logos and other brand assets and keep them updated centrally. At least use a shared access file.
- If you have specific brand colors and fonts, then embrace and use them everywhere that you can apply them - here's an example of brand consistency in colors and fonts on Instagram from make-up brand 'Go-To'.
- Know your latest company or service description, both long and short phrases, addresses, contacts. Make sure they're listed the same on all your social media profiles.
- If you're running a time-limited campaign which alters your brand creative and messaging, make sure you have them packaged well for rollout and rollback.
- If you have different campaigns for targets, remember where they exist via your social sites. Remember to adjust tactics for channel attributes.
- If some of your websites or social sites are fallow and no longer used, take time to redirect elsewhere or say where you've moved.
2. Coordinate all kinds of marketing activities through templates
For any business, your social communications should have something useful to offer or entertaining to say. Of course, keeping your brand sensibility and voice is important, while allowing room for your social media communicators to develop two-way interactions.
We believe it’s critical to sound like the same organization throughout these activities.
- Product/service offers, deals, sales and rewards – Make sure you have one "look" for your promotions, so you'll get recognized when things are shared from your social channel. Here's an example of a set of Stories templates built for promotions.
- Company events in person or online – While you may have a great event, venue, virtual location, agenda or even speakers, ensure you reflect your business while promoting it.
- Feedback via surveys, polls, reviews, net promoter score – Remember that ratings and reviews are part of your business, be ready to respond to customer responses.
- Overall lead generation efforts – Develop your offers with care. Your response style, lead gen form and other contact points should reflect your current messaging and branding, and not age out.
- Digital publishing through newsletters, announcements, blogs – Always get company news, deals or products out there, so that your readers can share and promote effectively for you.
- Consistent messages and offers amplified to your fans – Focus on giving your fans, prospects and customers reasons to talk about and share you among their circles, via social media (without being overbearing)
3. Rely on templates to market consistently across social posts, emails and your website
Perhaps the single most important reason to use the template mindset relates to cross-channel communications.
After all, your fans, prospects and customers will see you in different places.
- Make sure that what you communicate on your social channels aligns with your website content.
- If you attract email sign-ups, make sure your emails incorporate elements of what you share on social channels.
- If you're targeting specific audiences in a social channel, then ensure you're connecting them to landing or web pages which match up.
- When you run campaigns, make sure that your offers, expiration dates, response channels and support details are fully aligned.
How you can put the "template mindset" into action?
We strongly suggest organizing your marketing activities upfront, rather than re-purposing or copying content that's merely within reach.
There's a certain feeling of relief when you're prepared. If you identify with one or more of these next statements, then you're already well on your way.
- You're regularly producing offers and events, at least once weekly.
- You adjust campaigns and creatives and make changes across all marketing activities.
- You test lead generation, with social media ads, landing pages and lead gen forms.
- You distribute marketing tactics reliably and consistently across email and social channels.
- You have a mix of static and dynamically changing marketing activities to coordinate.
A template mindset can help improve your social media marketing, especially given that interested followers may discover you through multiple channels. It's important to keep your messages consistently organized among digital environments, and hopefully these tips will give you something to think about and add into your process.