Building or creating a memorable brand lies mainly on consistency. If you go shopping for your favourite box of cereals, shampoo, or bar of soap, you would want to spot the item/s from afar.
The best brands stick in our minds because of their identifiable presence through their logo, images, colours, and fonts. The more times we see them, they become easily recognisable, which instantly brings us a sense of security and reliability.
The development of a consistent brand begins with the creation of a brand style guide. It takes the heart and soul of your brand and translates them into a cohesive design. It tells people concerned about how to communicate with your brand.
Creating a brand style guide also help your marketers, web developers, graphic designers, community managers, and even your product packaging designers to stay on the same page and present a unified vision of the brand to the public.
The process of creating a step-by-step plan to maximise interactions and engagement online is a social media strategy. The process also details the summary of what you plan to do to achieve your social media goals. Inclusive in this plan/guide are steps you might undertake to garner lead generation and/or improve brand awareness.
At the most basic level, a social media strategy defines how your organisation will use social media to attain its goals and objectives. It is employed to understand and converse with customers about things they care about in platforms or places where they usually ‘hang out.
Regardless of whether your goal is to build a big following or build a more active community, defining goals and objectives in your social media strategy is the first step in achieving them. Either way, the goals you set will define your social media strategy and will also determine the amount of time, resources, and energy you will need to dedicate to your campaigns.
What is a Branding Guide?
A branding guide is also known as a branding style guide or brand guidelines. Essentially, it is a document, an instruction manual, or a rule book on how your brand should be communicated.
It details guides or rules on how official company logos are used, the font type used, the typography, colours, and tone. Including your brand’s identity, mission statement, positioning, and values.
Brand guidelines help you formulate a set of tools and rules on how to properly use all your branding elements and ensure professionalism and consistency in all your messaging.
What is a Social Media Style Guide?
Modern businesses today look to social media to gain a better foothold of the consumer market as opposed to employing traditional marketing methods. It is where brands and people alike go to see and be seen.
For businesses, that means establishing a horde or a community of raving followers, with a voice that is unique to your brand and an identity that is unmistakably yours.
A social media style guide is your go-to source, a map if you will, for how your brand appears and acts on social media. It displays and informs your approach to multichannel content.
This in turn moulds and establishes what people think of your name, what they say when they tell others about your brand, and more importantly, how you make them feel.
Note that a social media guide is not the same as a social media strategy. A social media strategy, in addition to what we already discussed above, consists of tactical information such as what, how often you publish content for you to reach your social media goals.
The style guide breaks down how actions are represented and conveyed online in terms of your brand voice. As an example, your social media strategy might list down the type of content you plan to publish. Your style guide, on the other hand, would explain how that content should appear once it is shared.
If you follow a particular brand’s social feed, and it looks like it is being managed by 10 or more different people, chances are, they don’t have a style guide in place. Regardless of the number of people handling your socials, with a style guide, whatever you put out should align with the brand you’ve worked so hard to create.
Combining Social Media Strategy and Branding Guide To Increase Brand Presence and Loyalty.
Any social media marketer worth his/her salt should know that building brand loyalty and awareness are top priorities, and for good reason. The greater your online visibility, the more your brand is in front and top of mind of potential followers.
By turning those followers into customers, you create a community of long-term advocates that will potentially spend more money and also recommend your brand to others.
Before the advent of social media, and the internet, for that matter, it was done through traditional promotion and advertising. However, the rules of customer engagement have changed since then and are still evolving.
Traditional marketing is on the wane, and today’s social media savvy users are now more discerning about where, and to whom they place their trust. Brands have to move with the times, work harder and smarter to earn that trust.
Your goals for social media should always align with your overall business objectives. Setting brand awareness as a goal is tied with growing the brand.
Loyalty, on the other hand, falls under engagement and consumer perception. This is how customers see, think, and feel about your brand. If you manage to get a great handle on this, you can accomplish two objectives:
- Turn your customers (old and new) into advocates for your brand.
- You can improve your customer retention immensely.
The combination of these goals and objectives will provide you with meaningful metrics that your marketers will be able to track. But before you formulate any new plan to meet your goals, take a look and review your existing social media presence.
Start by reviewing and examining all your existing official and unofficial accounts, most especially those that you are most active on and those that have gotten little or no traction.
To keep them organised, put them all in a spreadsheet and consider:
- Why am I on this social media platform?
- Do all this fit in our social media mission statement?
- Is our target demographic using it?
If any of your existing accounts isn’t contributing to reaching your goals or your target audience, drop it. This will free up resources that you can use for more profitable accounts.
After which, check to see if all your social media profiles are consistent. Are all your logos identical? Is branding the same? Are all descriptions and URLs present and correct?
Do note that brand consistency alone can rake in as much as 33% increased revenue since it develops familiarity and builds trust for your brand. Additionally, take into serious account your brand messaging strategy and ensure you put out consumer-centred content that resonates.
These are just a few things you can do to increase awareness for your brand. Your business is more than just your logo, and your brand name. It is an amalgamation of a myriad of qualities that you have to convey to your target market. It is for them to get to know you, gain their trust, and turn them into a community of loyal followers and advocates for your brand.
We, at The Growth Manager, can help you attain your social media marketing goals by helping you tap your creativity that may be buried deep. We can guide you to help you create a well crafted Social Media Style Guide the soonest time possible. Furthermore, we are here for you. Get in touch with us today.