If a potential customer were to find your website, Facebook Page or Twitter account, what would be their first impression of your business? Would that first impression be accurate? Do your online properties truly represent your brand – not just the basic branding elements, but also the content and interactions as well? What can you do to put your brand into action on your website and social media accounts?
What Does Your Web Presence Say About You?
Now that you have a handle on your branding, it is important to ensure that every facet of your online presence accurately represents your brand. This includes your website, your social media pages and accounts, your content marketing, and your online interactions. For many small businesses and organizations, their online presence either fails to properly represent their brand, or else some aspects of their online presence is properly branded while other aspects aren’t. For instance, your website may properly reflect your brand, but your social media pages do not – either your pages have out-of-date branding elements, or some elements, such as avatars and cover images, are missing altogether. For other businesses, the branding elements are correct, but the content included is not – either the content is out-of-date, or it is out of sync with your brand. Last but certainly not least, many businesses are communicating and interacting with new and existing clients and customers in a manner which does not represent the voice of a brand. All of these issues can lead to ineffective branding and wrong or even poor impressions of your brand and company.
In Sync Branding Messaging
There are many reasons why your online presence may not truly reflect your brand – for many small businesses, websites and social media accounts are often neglected, or handled by an employee or an independent, third-party marketing company that may not know or care to know the importance of branding and a brand voice. In order to properly ensure that your online presence accurately reflects your brand, it is important to make sure that branding elements are fully implemented and that your content and interactions are in sync and on message.
Properly Implementing Your Branding Elements
The first step towards putting your brand into action is ensuring that your branding elements are properly implemented and integrated into your online properties. Your branding elements include your logo, tagline, color scheme, and typography and fonts. It is easy to ensure that your branding is actually being used – if your Facebook Page is missing a cover image, or the existing cover image includes an old logo or retired branding, it needs to be replaced immediately. It is also important to ensure that your branding elements are being properly implemented as well – for instance, if your logo is meant to be bold and striking, is it the primary component of your social media avatar? If your color scheme is meant to be tranquil and soothing, is it applied to your page design and images in a tranquil and soothing manner, or is it used in a manner that is uncomfortable or jarring to a prospective client? Even if you can’t immediately define how your branding elements are being misused or misapplied, it is important to take notes of what you think may be wrong, and then work with web design and marketing experts to ensure that issues are fixed as soon as possible.
Have A Consistent Brand Voice
The second step involves studying your content marketing and interactions through your website and social media accounts to ensure they properly and accurately reflect your brand voice. These can include the content posted to your blog, the comments that are attached to each blog post, and the content and interactions posted to and conducted over social media networks. Even if all of your branding elements are properly implemented, the content and interactions may be damaging or even ruining your branding and brand voice online. For instance, if your branding is designed to be conservative and formal, a relaxed or even joking tone to your content is inappropriate. On the other hand, if your brand is designed to impart feelings of fun and relaxation, a formal or brisk tone to your content and interactions could be alienating potential customers. If your content and interactions aren’t appropriate to your brand, rewrite the content and reconsider how you’re communicating online. If you’re using a third-party writer or consultant, make sure they understand your brand and brand voice and request that the content they create more accurately represents your brand.