In our previous blog post, we discussed how having a strong website can boost the public’s perception of your brand, including proper branding, usability and attention to detail. Although your website is the centerpiece or hub of your online properties, your social media accounts are also powerful tools for building your brand and boosting your public brand perception. In addition to developing a sound social media and blogging strategy, it’s important to apply the same attention to detail to your social media accounts.

When Your Options Are Limited, Every Small Detail Is Important

You may be wondering why it’s so important to pay such close attention to your social media accounts. You may not fully understand every social media network and service, or you may personally believe that social media services shouldn’t be taken seriously. However, by creating a social media account for your business, you have created another publicly-facing facet of your online brand, and what you choose to do, and equally important, what you choose not to do, with each service informs public perception of your brand.

What Does Your Profile Picture Say About Your Business?

Social media accounts are different from websites in many ways, but one of the most significant is the fact that almost all social media services severely restrict how extensively a profile page and site elements can be modified. Designing a new website is almost like working from a blank slate, depending on the options provided by the content management system being used – just about everything can be tweaked and customized. However, a Facebook page does not provide options for changing design elements such as background images, color schemes or fonts – branding and personalization is limited to an avatar, a cover image, and user-specified text fields. While some may rush through the process of creating and adding these elements to their account, building positive brand perception requires a careful and considerate implementation – what does your avatar and cover image say about your business, how is your branding implemented and what would a social media user feel when they encounter these elements on their news feed or when searching for your page?

Boosting Or Dragging Down Your Brand

Of course, ensuring that your limited opportunities for branding on your social media pages is correct is only the first small step of the process – the most prominent way your brand will represented on social media is through the content you post, which includes original copy, images and video and even the third-party content that you share with your followers. Every update you post, including third-party content, should be an accurate reflection of your brand and brand voice – even one poorly branded or even misaligned post can damage the perception of your brand on social media. This doesn’t just include content that may be offensive of inappropriate, which in most cases is obvious and self-apparent – it includes content that may be perfectly acceptable in most cases but doesn’t properly fit your brand voice. For instance, if you operate a ski shop, reposting a social media update about the state of the ski industry from a business-oriented news website may seem perfectly appropriate and relevant to you, but it likely doesn’t fit the brand voice of your business, which should be fun, casual and informal, and may cause your public brand perception to be subsequently tarnished among prospective customers.

Create An Appropriate Branding Strategy

The most effective way to ensure that your social media content accurately reflects your brand voice is with a thorough and comprehensive social media strategy document. This document, which should be co-developed with whoever is managing your social media accounts, should not only include a calendar of topics, but also a list of acceptable and appropriate sources for third-party content that fits your brand voice.