You probably hear every day at work that social media must be part of your company’s brand to be successful with today’s consumer. Though the idea of presenting your brand on social media may be trite at this point, it’s still undeniably important.
It’s not just the content that matters – it’s the appearance of your company accounts and profiles. Are the composition, design and overall look and feel in line with your brand guidelines?
It’s all about “brand experience” – how people feel when interacting with your brand. You want visitors to feel almost as if they’re not on a social media platform at all but on your company website, meaning your social media accounts accurately reflect your brand in look, feel and tone. Visitors should come away with the same impression of your company as they would on your own site. Then, when they (hopefully) click a link taking them to your site, that transition feels seamless.
Here are 5 places on your profile where you might need to whip your social media branding into shape:
1. Profile image and cover photo
These are the first things anyone sees when they get onto your account, so make sure they know they’ve navigated to the right place. Make your profile picture your company logo – always. You don’t want anyone mistaking who you are.
Your cover photo offers a bit more room for creativity. Do you have a secondary image that’s associated with your brand, or a great picture of your team that you want to show off? Use something that makes a statement about who you are, but that also sticks to your brand’s color scheme, like Pendleton Square Trust’s LinkedIn profile or our Facebook page.
2. Stock images
It’s common practice to include visuals along with your social media posts, but it’s lesser known that even the stock images you choose can be on-brand. Choose images with colors that complement your brand and with sentiments that complement your intended brand experience.
For example, our company colors are yellow, gray and white, and we want our branding to give the impression that we are fun and creative but also professional. So this photo of a professionally-dressed, smart but funky woman in a yellow sweater is a great choice for our feed.
Try not to get too in-the-weeds on this point, or you’ll make yourself crazy. But give some thought to the photos you post before you post them.
Visuals such as event graphics, charts, infographics and more can be a significant part of your marketing strategy, so it’s necessary to get them right. Whether you make them for your business or you bring in an outside designer, use your brand guidelines – fonts, colors, style, etc. – throughout when making any graphic, whether for a formal report or a fun social media campaign. Just like with any other content, it needs to be clear who is presenting the information.
4. Instagram posts
This is probably a place you haven’t thought of before. If you scroll down anyone’s Instagram profile, chances are you’ll see a ton of different images in different colors all sitting in their boxes side-by-side clamoring for the visitors’ attention. However, your company’s Instagram profile appears more unified when its overall layout is simple and sticks to your brand.
For example, the Bradford Group Instagram is woven with yellow and white and has a very bright, happy
aesthetic. You can’t help but feel excited by our brand when navigating it, and if you follow a link to navigate to our site, you’ll barely notice you left Instagram.
You can use a tool called Plann to lay out your feed profile posting new photos. You’ll get an overview of the whole feed, so you can make sure the images look good together and don’t clash too much with one another. It makes the page cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing.
5. Instagram story highlights
Just like your photo feed, your Instagram story highlights appear right at the top of your profile page, so make them part of your branding as well. Many Instagram
aficionados are now using branded icons as the “cover” photos for each of their story highlights. The icons are relevant to what the highlight is about and appear within the brand’s parameters. Plus, they are eclectic and fun. See ours below, for example.
Not sure how to start your social media overhaul? Let us help you.