Ensure Your Social Brand is Protected and Consistent
Register Your Brand and Trademarks
People are registering for usernames and social media accounts every day. It is vital that you protect your brand and trademarks by creating company branded accounts on all social media technologies even if you are not utilising them yet.
This way, when you are ready to embark on your social media strategy, you can be confident that no one else is using your brand name. Also, if you have any trademarks, it would be a good idea to register and protect those as well.
Use a tool like namechk.com to see if your desired username or vanity URL is still available at several popular social media sites.
Some companies have failed to reserve their brands, and as a result, other users have gone ahead and registered accounts using their brand names. For example, Microsoft does not own the channel, youtube.com/Microsoft, a channel that has almost 20,000 views. Also, the channel, youtube.com/McDonalds, doesn’t belong to McDonald’s, but to a company that is using the channel to promote their own line of burgers.
Define Your Social Presence Look and Feel
Your company likely has a branding policy, which outlines corporate branding standards, and a style guide outlining your corporate colours and fonts. In all of your marketing materials, you likely follow these guides to keep your company’s look and feel consistent. So why should your social presence be any different?
Your social media presence should be treated like any other marketing endeavour. It should consist of the same look and feel as your company website and marketing materials. This way, when visitors migrate from your website to your corporate blog, Twitter page or YouTube channel, they won’t feel like they’ve landed on a totally different page. A consistent look and feel for your social pages will give visitors a consistent experience with your brand.
Create Company Branded Templates
When creating a corporate blog, you generally have freedom to customise your blog’s look and feel. Some social media platforms, such as Twitter and YouTube, allow for the same freedom. In these portals, you can upload a personalized template to represent your social page. In such cases, you would need to have a company template created for you, which consists of your logo and corporate colours and fonts.
Establish Your Organisational Voice
Social media empowers us to communicate to more people quicker than we could with traditional channels. Before interacting with the public using social media, your company must first establish your organisational voice –the tone and language that you will use when communicating with your audience. Your organisational voice is a major component to your overall brand identity. Aside from social media, your organisational voice is found in sales materials, advertising brochures, news releases, website content, emails and direct contact between customers and employees. It’s important to maintain consistency in your voice in order to communicate authority, value and professionalism. Your voice should reflect your company’s overall goals and objectives. Before establishing what your voice sounds like, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your mission?
- Who is your audience?
- What unique information do you have to offer?
- How would people benefit by listening to you?
It’s important that your voice accurately reflects your organisation and its mission while speaking to your target audience in a way they will best understand.
Tips to Consider When Defining Your Organisational Voice
- Be authentic. The first step to establishing credibility online is to be authentic. Authenticity doesn’t necessarily mean absolute transparency, but it does involve being honest with your audience, especially when it comes to responding to their feedback, inquiries and complaints.
- Show some personality. Nobody wants to hear from an unnatural and robotic voice. People should sense that there’s a real person on the other side of the keyboard. So don’t be afraid to express personality through your voice.
- Speak in a language your audience understands. If your target audience consists of primarily teenagers, you wouldn’t use lingo that resonates more with adults. Likewise, you wouldn’t address business executives with slangs that only teenagers would understand.
- Establish authority. You do this by offering useful information that will bring value to your audience.
- Answering questions and sharing expert advice will help you establish authority.
- Be timely and relevant. Determine how often you will communicate and ensure that your voice is heard when it is most appropriate. People use social media to find out what’s happening now. So remember to give them new and relevant information.