A brand is your company's identity, and, these days, your business is everywhere. Social media, websites and print all provide opportunities for your business to represent itself. For this reason, a comprehensive brand strategy considers each location and how it fits into business messaging as a whole. With that in mind, here are tips for creating a plan that takes all marketing avenues into account:
Create a Style Guide
A style guide contains all of your branding elements in one place, including grammar, graphic design assets, voice, trademarks, etc. Keeping the information together allows everyone involved in branding efforts to access it whenever they need to. Essentially, the guide ensures continuity no matter who is working or where they're doing it.
Creating a style guide should be a thoughtful process. You might already have some standards, but review them when writing a comprehensive guide. It might help to answer questions like "what image do we want people to have of our company?" or "who is our target audience?" These and similar questions will get you on the right track.
Use the Same Graphics Across Platforms
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all include spots for you to add profile photos and, in some cases, banner images. These areas are opportunities to unify your accounts across platforms. Use the same graphic elements on each, with a few tweaks. For instance, the dimensions on one site might be slightly different than those on another. Make adjustments to your logo or existing assets so they match your brand but are customized to each platform.
Similarly, your brand voice should carry over. You can do this by first adding the same mission statement to the about section on various sites. Then, when filling out descriptions, answering comments or writing posts, consult your style guide. Defining your voice can help. Is your company friendly and an authority? How would you describe your company if it were a person? Keep the answers in mind whenever writing on any platform.
Stay on Message
Another way to think about this is in terms of the message. This is essentially your style guide and mission statement all rolled into one. Asking if something is "on message" simply means you're assessing whether what you're sharing supports your brand.This is especially important on social media where you may share content you did not create. Is the article, photo or video you want to share on message or in line with what you're trying to say about your business?
With all of your platforms on-brand, you can start sharing and supporting within your own web. For instance, if you're sending out a newsletter, tweet about it. Or, share a post from your blog on your company's Facebook page. You can even list your social media pages on printed flyers you hand out. All of these efforts let your customers know what's going on in your business, no matter what social media site they prefer. It also shows your fans content they may have missed.