Consistent online branding is an important element of how your firm is perceived by prospective buyers. In order to keep branding consistent across multiple online platforms, many firms create a brand style guide. Thanks to these guides, firms are able to keep their online presence uniform and recognizable, regardless of who is producing the content.
But one thing that many style guides don’t cover is how to represent your firm’s brand on social media. Social media is an effective way to reach a broad audience on a more personalized level. Posting to LinkedIn or Twitter can help bring your brand to life with your prospects, while providing real time updates and new information about your firm.
Social media marketing is also a great avenue for attracting new clients and keeping current clients engaged with what’s going on in your firm. In fact, about 65% of prospects check out technology services firms on social media before they buy. So, how can you bring your brand to social media and still maintain consistency?
Here’s our step-by-step plan to updating your brand style guide to incorporate social media.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience
As with all branding, knowing your audience is crucial to ensuring your firm gives off the right impression. Think about who your audience is and let them inform how you should speak to them. Consider the conversations your firm has had with prospects and clients, use that information when figuring out how to approach your social brand.
Step 2: Determine Your Messaging Voice and Tone
Your voice on social media should closely align with your firm’s overall voice and tone. Your tone helps create your brand personality, so remaining consistent is essential.
But while it’s not uncommon for firms to take on a more casual approach on social media, keep in mind that you still want your brand’s voice to remain unified. You don’t need a different voice for each vertical or product type. Remember: prospects and clients see your firm as a single entity, so you want to make it easy on them.
Step 3: Consider Type of Content
Your firm needs to be clear on what should and shouldn’t be shared on social media. For instance, will you share job openings on your Facebook page? Do you want your social media presence to provide insight into your firm’s unique work culture? What types of new findings or expert advice should you share or retweet?
Remember that the technology industry is unique. It’s constantly evolving and innovation happens quickly and consistently. Social media is the perfect avenue to keep your audiences informed about these changes and demonstrate that your firm is tuned in to industry trends and news.
Keeping everyone on the same page is easily done with a social media calendar that allows you to plan out your messaging in advance. However, establishing basic parameters in your brand style guide about what you’ll post can help inform decisions as they arise.
Step 4: Plan for Images
Visual content is often what makes a brand recognizable and memorable to your target audiences. Choosing the right type of imagery for your social media pages can affect how followers receive your content and how your brand is represented with each post.
Consider the following:
- Will you use stock photos or upload your own photography?
- Will you use similar images every time or create diversity with the subject of your content?
- Will you focus on slice-of-life style photography or verbatim imagery?
Thinking about these decisions in advance can help prevent posting blunders and allow you to quickly address awkward situations if the wrong type of imagery is used and needs to be changed.
Step 5: Establish Your Communication Style
Your brand’s communication style on social media may vary depending on the subject of your posts, but you should have a general idea about whether you’ll simply be putting out information and educational content, or attempting to get clients to directly engage with your brand.
In a highly technical industry that can easily become confusing to audiences, your firm’s communication style is key. How can you take technical topics and make them digestible for followers?
Determining your communication style will help you decide what type of content you’ll be publishing on your social media platforms.
Step 6: Familiarize Your Firm’s Employees
The entire firm should be familiar with your unique style of social branding to help ensure your brand remains consistent across each platform. While your style guide is a great option for communicating these decisions, make sure your marketing staff and other employees who participate on social media take your guidelines to heart so they can be uniformly put into practice.
With consistent and recognizable branding, your firm can make a strong impression on prospective clients and create a unique presence that your buyers will feel like they understand. Carrying this level of detailed branding over to your social media accounts helps to ensure that your firm’s entire online persona is working together.
For more on building a consistent firm brand across multiple offline and online platforms, check out our Brand Building Guide for Professional Services Firms.