One of the first things many business owners do is agonize over their logo. The logo is everything. The logo is life. This is often the first step in developing a brand identity, and we obsess over it.
And then… something happens. You get lost in the whirlwind of your day-to-day tasks. You become swallowed by the 52 different hats you have to wear.
And before you know it, you’re paying your nephew $50 a week to manage your social media pages because you don’t even have time to hire a professional. All thoughts of branding go out the window—but wait! Before you cut your nephew another check (he’s a nice kid, though), follow along to learn how to create brand identity across your social media pages.
How to create brand identity on social
1. Standardize your color palette
People should arrive on your social media pages and see a smooth flow of photos. Each image should look like it belongs there — instantly recognizable as your brand.
If Monday’s photo is in black and white and Tuesday’s is a splatter of colors and patterns, well, what’s going on over there?
An excellent example of this is the Instagram page for Kylie Skin. Check this out:
Say what you want about her, but the gal knows how to create brand identity. So many of the images are full of pink and have an almost matte feel, creating brand consistency and cohesiveness across all individual posts.
Having a color palette that you stick to is going to be important in your brand identity. Don’t know where to start? There are tools that will combine colors for you. Colormind is one of them. Go nuts.
2. Specify the tone of your text
If you’re witty and verbose one day and in a quiet mood the next, people might think you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
We’re not saying every single post has to sound exactly the same. But just like wanting to stick to a color palette to create consistency, you want to accomplish the same when it comes to your social media brand voice.
Are you going to be uplifting and optimistic? Educational? Succinct and straightforward? Do you want your posts to relay a quick message, or do you plan to write the equivalent of an epic novel?
On a similar note, do you want your copy to be brief and to-the-point, or will you use social media to get chatty with your followers?
Nike Women loves to impart all sorts of wisdom and history.
Sometimes, Reebok is busy and only has time for a few words.
While you’re thinking about how to create brand identity on social, think of how you want to appear across the board: social, your website, emails, etc. This personality should be reflected in your text.
3. Collaborate with influencers who match your brand identity
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days, and for a good reason: The ROI can be insane.
But that doesn’t mean that seeing success with it is as simple as finding an influencer and pulling the trigger. Keep in line with your brand identity by going with influencers whose brand identity matches your own.
Look at the social media of any big brand that works with influencers. Notice anything? Probably not, and that’s because the influencers’ content doesn’t stick out. It fits seamlessly into the brand’s other posts because their aesthetics—their brand identity—go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like peanut butter and chocolate. Like peanut butter and… more peanut butter.
4. Use a branded hashtag
Branded hashtags are a simple way to not only build your brand identity but also to help you better connect with your followers.
You’re hopefully encouraging engagement by asking your followers to do things like post photos and videos using your product. And when you request that, be sure to tell them to use your branded hashtag in the post.
This is for two reasons.
First, it helps spread your business name.
Second, it makes it easy for you to find user-generated content (UGC) to share because you can search that hashtag and see what people are posting. Bonus!
In choosing a hashtag, pick something short and easy to type/text, and make sure it’s an obvious reflection of your brand. Importantly, prior to settling on one, make sure you first search it to see if it’s already popular—and if so, how people are using it.
You want something new and original—not something that’s already super common.
5. Create templates for your various channels
We use templates because they make it faster and easier to create content that’s consistent with your brand identity.
Let’s look at Las Vegas-based clean air salon, Detox Salon, as an example. Here are a few gift guide Instagram posts they created for the 2019 holiday season.
These were all made from a template, which not only sped up the process of creating them but also made it so that they all look recognizable as Detox Salon’s content.
No, not everything you post will require a template. But, you’ll want to consider it. Luckily, Brandfolder’s got a great solution. Check out this Valentine’s Day-inspired example of how easy templates can make your campaigns.
Once your social media identity is consistent, iterate across all marketing mediums
Rather than looking at your social media as its own separate entity, consider it one piece of the brand identity puzzle. Bear in mind, therefore, that while keeping your social media on-brand is vital to your digital reputation, you’ll want to apply many of the above practices to other areas of your digital marketing, like your email campaigns, blog, and even website landing pages.
Develop an email template (or a few email templates) that allow you to simply plug in your content and a call-to-action. Create brand identity on your blog by sticking to consistent photo treatments.
At this point, it’s probably obvious that the social media, content, and email teams within a brand are not separate from each other. In actuality, they should be working side by side in the name of your business’s brand identity.
Megan Grant is a professional writer and the owner of Revenue Spark Digital, a content agency. She loves helping brands grow through the power of writing.