Your brand identity helps you stand out in a crowded space; however, when it takes at least seven impressions for customers or clients to even remember you, you can’t afford to confuse them with an inconsistent brand identity.
How To Reinforce Your Brand Through Social Media
Social media is a great platform for adding dimension to your brand while regularly reaching a wider audience. The combination of images, text and video allows you to communicate visual identity and a clear, consistent voice in fresh ways so your brand is continually being reinforced. Here’s a collection of brands that demonstrate five ways to up your social media game.
In his capacity as a US elected official, Mark Green presents a consistent personality for his brand across three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He visually picks up on patriotism with bold red, white and blue in graphics, frontlines the importance of family values to his brand with a family photo header on both Facebook and Twitter, and a couple’s photo within his Instagram grid, and emphasizes power and professionalism with repeated elements.
A logo, block font, serif font, and profile photo are repeated and echoed but not present in every single post, which allows the platforms to look visually consistent without seeming too repetitive. Text is oriented toward concise, uncompromising sound bites.
On every platform, visual and text elements both convey boldness and decisiveness with a traditional, businesslike sense of polish. Lesson learned? Know your messaging, then use headers, profiles, text and image content to back that message up, but don’t rely too frequently on a template.
YouTube offers video of features and case studies with fairly minimal customer interaction, while LinkedIn focuses on more journalistic content. Both keep people front and center for a warm, friendly and accessible feeling. Instagram is light and fun, less instructive and more interactive. Twitter balances formal feature marketing with user-generated content and comment/complaint responses, bringing more of a community or discussion feel to the feed, while Facebook puts out tips, tricks and features with some comment/complaint support, but less interaction than Twitter.
Elon Musk doubles down on the approachable aspect of branding with a simple, manageable social media presence on Twitter and Instagram. At first glance, his brand lacks the polish and professionalism of the first two examples on this list, but his millions of followers show that a brand doesn’t have to look or sound traditional to be successful. Personal, casual photos with average quality and minimal, off-the-cuff comments display personality.
Your brand can be professional and polished, or it can be wild and fun, or it can be like the guy next door who just happens to start world famous companies, as long as the personality is consistent and works for your audience and goals. Another key learning here is intimacy.
Elon is famous, accomplished and, by all accounts, a busy, important man. His followers benefit from a sense of immediacy and intimacy, a sense that they’re being invited into the inner circle, to walk beside Elon and be privy to his inner thoughts. A brand identity that relies on intimacy, used right, can be a powerful motivator.
General Electric is an established brand that makes the most of its long history by presenting a reliable, unsexy and unflappable face to the world. Active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+, they use minimal visual elements, mostly consisting of a classic logo and dark, corporate blue. Their content is technology-oriented, long form and uniform across platforms; they’re just broadcasting their messages.
Without a single, strong figurehead, intimacy wouldn’t be solid strategy for them, while fun and approach ability could be a path forward – or a way to weaken and dilute their brand. GE leans in on the dependability, expertise and longevity of their brand by keeping on with keeping on, and customers can respect the quality that comes with that degree of uncompromising focus.
The Points Guy (Brian Kelley) has a brand built on providing value to his followers. With a slogan of “Maximize your travel.”, he shares appealing, fun, informative and useful travel content across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Instagram focuses on a personal narrative voice and bright, compelling photography, which Snapchat takes the personal element and shaves off some of the polish for in-the-moment video and shots.
Facebook and Twitter pivot to sharing comedic, attention-grabbing or useful articles in a more journalistic format. The unifying element is a clear focus on travel content that adds value for his followers while remaining sensitive to the different audiences prevalent on the different channels.
Instagram and Snapchat pick up on intimacy and personality, while Twitter and Facebook are treated more as information sources. While adapting to platform constraints and audiences is a good strategy, a more unified voice would result in an even stronger brand, but The Points Guy effectively demonstrates the strength that consistently adding value to followers can bring to your brand.
Applying these social media brand identity lessons to your brand requires matching your purpose to your customers on any given platform, but don’t be afraid to mix and match from the examples above to benefit from a consistent, effective brand on social media. :)