Many organizations still think of their brand as nothing more than a collection of graphic design assets. You’ve got a logo, company colors, and maybe even your own typeface. Branding job done, right?
You might be able to tell by the mildly sarcastic tone that brands can be a lot more than a style guide. Don’t get me wrong, having a style guide is important. But the style guide and logo is just the starting point that great brands use as a foundation for the brand itself.
Truly powerful brands take on a personality of their own—one that customers can form opinions on, associate emotions with, and even interact with through social media.
Brands and Social Media
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that helps people stay connected with friends and loved ones. But it’s also a place people go for news updates, entertainment, and communities based around their interests. And your brand’s social media channels can seamlessly fit into any of those roles.
Branded social media channels can act as an information hub for customers to get updates on service outages or tips for making the most of your products. Or your brand might use social media to stir up some buzz for a new product line. Branded social media channels can be all of these things and more. But an effective social media presence doesn’t happen by accident.
Here are some quick tips for creating and maintaining a strong branded social media presence with which customers will actually want to engage.
When your organization is creating it’s brand guidelines it should also be establishing a voice for the brand. Personality is key for doing well on social media. Look at Wendy’s, for example.
Wendy’s is famous for having what is arguably the best social media presence when it comes to Twitter. They nailed down a voice that balances humor and authenticity while still acting as an outlet for advertising their business. Their stuff is so good that just reading through a collection of Wendy’s tweets is a great way to blow 15 minutes while you were supposed to be writing a blog post.
Wendy’s sets the bar for what a branded social media account can achieve. But that doesn’t mean the tone Wendy’s sets is right for every organization. Wendy’s didn’t stumble into being one of the internet’s favorite social media brands on accident. They put time and care into creating a brand voice and sticking to it for years.
Strategizing is a key aspect of all business endeavors, and your company’s social media accounts and posts are no exception to that rule. Branded social media accounts should be more than just another outlet for blasting your messaging into the eyeballs of the masses. Using your brand’s social media presence as another form of static advertising misses the entire point of social media: being social.
The appeal of social media for both companies and customers lies in the opportunities it provides for interaction. As you grow a following, you’re certain to have customers that reach out to you on your social media pages. Reach right back out to them and let them know there are living, breathing, interesting people that work for your organization.
Welcome any and all interactions—even negative ones. The whole point of social media is to create connections and allow for two-way communication. Your social media channels shouldn’t be treated like a grocery store’s intercom system that occasionally drones out messages to listless faces as musac burrs in the background.
If your customers are taking the time to interact with you, you should make some time to respond back and make real connections. No one likes to have their time wasted or feel like they’re just shouting into the wind. Take advantage of the tools at your disposal and put social media to work for you.