Every brand takes a while to find its voice on social media, especially if there are multiple people behind a brand, its products, and its messages.
Social media posts and engagement take planning and forethought. While you should post consistent messages with coordinated branding, too much matching can bore your audience. Conversely, you don’t want a scattered or disjointed message to affect your brand.
As you strive to connect with your consumer base and form meaningful relationships on social media, you’ll start to form your brand’s voice. Here are five tips for navigating that process effectively.
1. Avoid Template Overload
Some businesses use the same template for nearly every social media post. Templates can refer to:
- Text posting strategy or form
- Video format – same introduction
- Visual images – same format, border
While it’s good to have some consistency in what you post, your fans will start to scan past your content if it looks the same. Plus, think about what that says about your brand. Do you want to give the impression of creating the same thing with little variation? If you’re in an innovative profession or industry, this could damage your reputation.
Additionally, avoid posting duplicate content often. If you’re using a helpful tool like CoSchedule, you may be tempted to post the same link several times. Use this feature judiciously – and use it less often on Facebook than you would on Twitter. Audiences tolerate repeat content differently depending on the platform.
If you want to re-promote a piece of content, consider switching up the image or pull quote you provide with the link.
2. Establish Consistency
Do you ever follow brands that publish completely random things? Brands should publish items that interest their readers and consumers. If you’re blogging about knitting and have built a brand around that community, it would be pretty strange to suddenly start posting about water skiing. Establish consistency with your:
- Frequency: Post consistently. Even a goal of 1-3 blog posts per week is acceptable for a solopreneur or small team as long as you always hit that one.
- Tone: Are you serious, compassionate, humorous or sarcastic? Are your colors subdued and calming our loud and energetic?
- Types of visual content: photo, video, illustrations and more.
If you want to use variations on your logo, for example, try changing just one element of it, like the color. Avoid using several radically different versions of your logo.
3. Set a Featured Image Every Time
A featured image is an image that shows up when a link is posted to social media. Most social media sites automatically search for an image to use. If you don’t designate which image to select, the social media site in question will usually default to the first image in the content or to your logo or other default image.
This can result in a series of posts with either a blank space or the incorrect featured logo. If you use WordPress, your theme (or plugins) may allow you to select a featured image.
Don’t confuse your audience – remain consistent and confident by including a featured image.
4. Apply Consistent Branding
To maintain a successful social media presence, you want to include subtle, persistent, consistent branding. Here are some examples:
On the SEMrush Blog, we include our logo on our blog header images, even though the images themselves vary wildly in design.
Kim Garst brands her images with color-coordinated variations of her logo.
5. Connect During Holidays and Special Occasions
Holidays and other special occasions are opportunities to connect with your customers or readers.
If you serve an international audience, target your Facebook posts appropriately. (For example, Canada’s Thanksgiving or the United States’ Independence Day).
Consider events that include the whole world, such as the World Cup or the Olympics.
Unless it is part of your brand, consider avoiding overly political or religious holidays.
When it comes to holiday posts, focus on connecting with your audience. A spa owner, for example, might post a discount code for a massage to help customers or readers deal with holiday season stress. Such a gesture garners business during a peak season and it’s considerate.
Have you ever been curious about your favorite brand? As a lover of chocolate, I appreciate the behind the scenes look on Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour Ride. The ride is free – but do you think I ever walk out of there without a stop at the gift shop?
Chances are your customers feel the same way. They want to know who is posting those social media messages or what your office looks like. And if they like what you see, they may be more likely to engage your brand or make a purchase.
Corporate special occasions are perfect for connecting with your audience in this way:
- Digital milestones such as social media follows or likes
- Company anniversaries
- Corporate conferences
- New or renovated office space
- Extracurricular events (such as a company softball game)
Have you established your brand’s voice through consistent social media posts? What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them? Let us know in the comments.
Tara M. Clapper is Technical Editor at SEMrush and Senior Editor at The Geek Initiative, a website celebrating women in geek culture. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.