Building Trust with Social Media Branding Consistency
Why Does Social Media Consistency Matter?
Answer: It builds trust with your audience. Why are we attracted to things in life that are safe and familiar? Because decision making is easy when we know what outcome we can expect. We order the same meals from our favorite restaurant, we have a go-to beverage for evenings out on the town, and we are drawn to music produced by our favorite bands because we’re creatures of habit. We hear that consistency is key in just about any habit-forming activity, and social media marketing isn’t any different. Establishing a high level of familiarity and expectation helps your audience positively connect with you by teaching them what they can expect from your brand. People buy from brands they trust, and trust takes time to build. That’s why consistency is vital to building a lasting connection with your audience.
McDonald’s built a fast food empire on one thing— creating a consistent experience. No matter what location a customer visits, they know they will have the same experience when they order food. The chicken nuggets and french fries you order in Seattle will taste the same if you order them in Texas. Your food will be made with the same ingredients, their customer service approach will be the same, and you know what atmosphere to expect when you walk inside.
Consistency is dependable, logical, and steady. It is the glue that holds all of your marketing efforts together to create a seamless experience from your website to the literature you distribute to the social media posts you publish. When it comes down to decision-making time for your audience to choose your product versus an alternative choice, brand consistency could be the most important thing that helps you win them over.
Creating a Social Media Brand Your Audience Trusts
Think about it. What’s at the core of all relationships? Trust. Consistency nurtures the trust you need to build meaningful and lasting relationships between your brand and your audience.
Every time you post on social media you have a chance to connect with your audience, and each post you publish should embody the promises you have made through your brand’s mission. Make sure you’re sending the right message at the right time.
Consequences of Inconsistency
Let’s face it, we all know how easy it is to be distracted by impulse ideas that sound great. But if your post’s tone, visuals, and message aren’t consistent and aligned with your company’s brand, it starts to feel scattered and disjointed, raising red flags and causing confusion for your audience.
Keeping Social Media Branding Consistent Across Social Media Platforms
Every social media channel your brand has serves as an additional opportunity to meet your audience where they are. Each of these communication channels serves as another opportunity to create trust between your audience and your brand.
Content— Each piece of content you post communicates a message to your audience. Make sure that message is aligned to your brand. Before you post, ask yourself what goal you are trying to achieve. If it does not promote your brand, educate, or entertain your audience in a way that is consistent with your brand, you risk confusing or losing your audience.
Brand Identity— Your brand identity is more than your logo. The visual elements you incorporate in your posts should be created with your brand standards in mind. You should always have a set color pallet, typography, textures, and other design elements. By maintaining uniformity in visual elements in every post across your channels, your brand becomes more easily recognized.
Brand Voice— Your brand voice acts as your brand’s personality. If your brand’s tone is formal and serious, your audience won’t understand the shift in content if you begin using playful language or retweeting witty jokes on Twitter. Determining if you will use industry jargon and what punctuation rules to follow will help guide your content during the creative process.
Frequency— The time and frequency of your posts should follow a strategic routine and should not be done at random. SproutSocial, an industry leader in conducting social media research, published information on the best times to post on each platform so that you can plan your posts on the days and times that maximize your posts’ impressions. Be careful not to under or over communicate, as both can lead to a disconnection from your audience. Every platform has a sweet spot for post frequency that should guide your scheduling, which will ensure you are staying at the front of your audience’s mind without becoming annoying.
Four Ways to Maintain Social Media Branding Consistency:
Develop brand guidelines and stick to them. This applies to social media and really everything that you do with your brand— from your digital assets, like your website and your online store, to the brochures and promotional items you distribute. Brand guidelines are part of your branding strategy. This should not limit your creativity, but instead help provide a framework that supports your brand consistently through all endeavors.
Establish length and frequency guidelines of content for each platform. It’s possible to be consistent without becoming boring. Choosing the right time of day to post and the length of content to include will help to provide structure when creating content.
Don’t abandon any of your channels. We know first-hand that writing an entire month’s worth of content and creating complementary visuals for several social media platforms is no joke. If you find that maintaining several accounts is more than you or your team can handle, scale back on the platforms that don’t make the most sense, but don’t ghost them.
Schedule in advance. Using a social scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Loomly will help you organize your posts, schedule a week or a month in advance to help you focus your attention on other tasks, and help you check for consistency.
Need Social Media Help?
Jennasis & Associates is a digital marketing and branding agency that can help you with social media management, branding, and content marketing so that you can focus more of your time and attention on managing the areas of your business or organization that make the most sense. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Katlyn is drawn to problem-solving, passionate about life-long learning, and anything that embodies creative expression. Marketing allows her to combine these three things into a wildly fulfilling career. Fun facts: During the warmer months, she and her husband spend every weekend on their boat on Lake Erie. She also likes to unwind and recharge by gardening and cooking.