Ever wondered why some brands become synonymous with their service or product? Think Xerox and photocopies, when folks just said “Xerox me a copy” before the democratization of the word. When customers cannot distinguish between a company and its service, you know some master branding has taken place.
But these days, branding has to be done on social media. Consumers tend to trust social media more than TV or paid ads or commercials because it is more direct and engaging.
And that says alot about what companies need to do to be successful in their social media marketing endeavors. In order to create a strong brand on social media, companies should toss a few key ingredients in their daily or weekly recipe.
Ingredients for visual branding:
When you think visual brands, what comes to mind? Coca Cola’s classic red logo, or maybe Apple’s iconic fruit? Logos are at the heart of a visual brand, but with social media comes the ability to share, engage, to be versatile.
And that’s our first ingredient — versatility. To show your clientele that you can adapt, that you are inviting to a diverse spectrum of clients requires an multipronged approach to social media. Plus it will assure your customers that you always on the move, and you won’t let moss grow on your feet.
What you depict in your images says that world about you. If your graphics and images are outdated, you are representing yourself as someone who is slow to change, or who simply doesn’t do their online housekeeping. The right images will put your best foot forward with a highly professional and innovative online presence.
While stagnancy is fatal to a brand, there must also be a level of verisimilitude. In other words, it should be easy to tell just from looking at a graphic that it belongs to you. Often this boils down to color pallete and subject matter. Going back to Coke, there’s always a classic red and white color scheme. And most recent campaigns depict theme of friendship with youth enjoying each other’s company on a summer day. Even though the particulars change from ad to ad, they typically have a similar subject and that’s how Coke makes its mark.
So following Coke’s example, color scheme and subject matter are two more ingredients to throw in the mix. But first you should consider why you are choosing that palette. Does it inspire confidence, or does it connote sophistication and expertise? The real question is, how do you want to connect with your audience? As a friend or as a guide? The tone you set in your social media pages will determine whether or not you become a daily accessory to your audiences’ life.
The element of story:
For many, the deal breaker is whether or not they can relate to what you stand for. The fact is, you can’t identify with everyone so just stay true to your core values and then create a strategy to express that identity visually.
Every image tells a story — about who you are, about what you offer and about what you hope to achieve. But it tells something more important still — why does any of it matter? What value can you provide that will improve lives beyond the superficial? That value is the story you want to tell. Your story may have multiple narratives, played out differently in the lives of various characters, but that you tell those stories will help you connect with the right customers.
Your story includes where you come from. Are you a family oriented business owner or an artist advocating equal rights? Where are you going? How are you getting there? Although unspoken, images will always answer these questions for your audience, so it is crucial to properly represent your story through the graphics, designs and comments you post.
The element of intentional layout and organization:
Closely related to story, timing and organization show the movement and progression of your brand. Posting in the morning shows your drive to outpace the daily grind, while posting in the evening shows your more personable side.
As you consider what and when to post next, you might account for the lifestyle of your audience and what kind of a lifestyle you want to uphold. Are you a socialite or an early riser? Again, what is your core identity?
Your entire page should express that identity, especially in Instagram where pages are viewed as a gallery. Perhaps you will switch color hues to match the season, using more oranges and yellows during summer, and colder shades during winter. But you see the linear progression from week to week and all throughout the year. Be sure the movement makes sense on the overall layout of the gallery while matching your core identity.
It’s always fun to play with series and collections on Instagram. An entire series might portray a single endeavor, or work as a campaign with a unique narrative. But as the viewer, you can always tell which pages are planned and which are haphazard.
On Facebook, there are more avenues for posting into different categories. Your main profile and cover pictures should bear the verisimilitude of your brand, but wall pictures offer an opportunity for deviance – funny pictures and memes are welcome.
Think of Instagram as a quilt of stories sewn together, and Facebook as an archive of compartmentalized collections. Each serve different purposes but speak equal volumes about your brand. At times, you might invert the processes for the two platforms, but the basic ingredients to create a compelling visual brand remain the same.
Having trouble creating a branding strategy for your social media? MBDM Group can help! It would be our pleasure to create a strategy to express your unique brand identity. Give us a call to find out how our digital experts can create stunning graphics for your social media pages.