Many companies overlook social media because they have fears and misconceptions about the platforms involved. One of these fears is that it is easy to appear off-brand and send mixed messages to customers. Whilst possible, this should not be a reason to avoid social media, so here is our guide to keeping on-brand and remaining professional when using social media platforms to communicate with your target audience.
Multiple Users vs Single Users
When you begin in your social media strategy, you should have a conversation as to whether there will be one singular user who will be in control of the account, the content, the comments etc. or whether there will be a few users who will either take it in turns or collaborate when it comes to decision making on behalf of your organisation.
Each has its pros and cons. But if your main priority is to keep on-brand and if your company is still relatively new, it’s probably best that you allocate one member of staff to the day-to-day monitoring of the pages to keep your social voice coherent and consistent; that way, you don’t get multiple comments or contradictory posts.
If there is a tricky situation and that one user needs help, then there's nothing to stop them asking for help or to ask for proof-reads of posts from other members of your team. Or, if there are particular campaigns or competitions that need extra hands then with the right planning and communication, multiple users can work well - there's always someone with their eye on the ball.
Whoever you choose to lead on your social media account management, it's important that they are familiar with social media. This could be your marketing executive or company owner (in a smaller company) or even a marketing assistant if you're lucky enough to have this type of support.
Having a social media planner can really help you stay on brand when designing your social media strategy. But what goes in a social media planner?
Planning should be personalised for each company depending on their objectives, but there are a lot of common threads which all contribute to helping companies stay on brand.
You can plan in advance the type of content that you will share, you can plan the ratio of self-promotion to content curation and you can also plan when you want campaigns and competitions to take place in accordance with times of the year. Many companies start to appear off-brand when they post ad-hoc too much without planning what they’re going to post and think about what they want their activity to achieve.
If all of the users keep an eye on this planner, then it's far easier to ensure that each message, response and interaction is on-brand. Planning is key!
A big part of having a social media strategy is content. What are you going to post? Are you going to share industry articles? Are you going to upload photos and videos?
This will be different according to your brand. Funnier, more informal brands will post memes and viral videos whilst more corporate and professional brands will want to share more industry-specific articles to position themselves as experts in their field. It’s important that whoever posts for you knows your brand and is aware of the type of content that you want to produce.
- Will you post formal or informal content?
- Where will you curate content from - are there any sites you'll avoid taking content from?
- What will be the ratio of self-promotion and content curation?
- Will you post ad-hoc company updates? Will there be a limit to the number of ad-hoc posts?
- Will you use smiley faces? Will you use emojis? Will you use kisses? Some companies do well with these but for others, these features will infer of a lack of professionalism.
If you post off-brand content it can give the wrong impression of your products/services and your company, which could result in less conversions. Set some guidelines with answers to questions like the ones above and make sure people are aware of it and follow it.
Similarly, content can also mean responding to your followers. This can be a very positive experience for users and they will be more likely to purchase from you if you build that relationship. But just like when you’re posting content, you need to think about how you respond and set some guidelines.
Content and comments can be tricky to measure and keep an eye on. What constitutes as formal and informal?
But one thing that can help keep that consistency and keep you on-brand is the artwork. Make sure that your profile picture, cover photo and any other photos are brand-focused. Do they have the same colour scheme? Do they have the same images within but with small alterations?
Making sure that your followers get the same on-brand messages can help build that trust that you need if you want followers to take an interest in your brand, and eventually become your loyal customers.
If you want any further help with your social media strategy, we’d be happy to help. Send us a quick message and a member of our team will get back to you.