The prevalence of social media has implications for one of your biggest marketing decisions: branding. Brand identity is all visual (and verbal) elements of your brand, including name (trademarks), logo, messaging, graphic themes (including color), taglines and messages, and standards or guidelines. Proper social media branding requires a consistent brand identity, both visual and experience.
Below we will share how social media has complicated the naming process, the key to extending your visual identity, and creating a consistent brand experience across all social media outlets. Remember, branding is just as critical in the digital world as in the traditional marketing world.
In previous years, conducting a trademark search was the number one priority for the naming selection process. With the rise of the Internet, domain name availability became an important consideration. Now, one must not only consider the availability of the domain name, but associated Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn account names. This has complicated the naming process and made availability even more scarce.
Though lack of name availability is not a deal-breaker, as there are variations of your name you could use on social media sites, it could have negative repercussions for your brand. Exhibit A: Netflix. Netflix broke their brand in two, creating Qwikster to take over the DVD by mail portion of their business. Unfortunately, @Qwikster is already taken by a man named Jason Castillo, who at the time had a red Elmo smoking a blunt as his icon. Not exactly the brand identity Qwikster was trying to build.
Social media creates an opportunity to extend your visual identity, including colors, logos, and graphic elements, across even more mediums. In fact, visual brands have an advantage. The key? Consistency. Create a consistent, recognizable look and feel.
Brand experience is all communications or interactions with your company or product. Social media increases interactions between brands and customers. Therefore, it is increasingly important to have consistent message, in line with your overall brand strategy and identity. This means similarities with focus, messaging, and communication style.
Your brand should remain focused on its core competencies. On social media, distractions are prevalent. However, make sure you are talking about things that relate to your business. Don’t stray – stay relevant to your industry to avoid brand confusion.
Use a consistent brand message across all social media outlets. Remember who your target audience is.
What is your brand personality? Stick to this personality, using similar communication across all social media outlets. Funny? Formal? Whatever the case, stick to it. For these brands, funny was the way to go. Check out 14 Funny Brands You Can’t Help But Follow in Social Media.
The intersection of branding and social media is clear. Extend your branding efforts across all social media outlets and keep it consistent!
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