“Consistency is the true foundation of trust.” ― Roy T. Bennett
The goal of social media is to build a community of followers around your brand. To do that, you need to build relationships – relationships that are built on trust and loyalty.
Consistency is key when marketing online. Think of some of the biggest brands you know – Nike, Coca-Cola, Wendy’s! They are all consistent in their branding, their tone, their voice, their messaging, etc.
We have a lot to learn from big brands like this.
Have you ever looked at a Facebook page for a company and noticed that they haven’t posted in a few weeks, or maybe even months? What does that say about their business?
This could make the company look like they are not taking their social media seriously – being a bit unorganized or unprofessional. If their social media has been abandoned long enough, it might even look like their company is no longer open.
You can tell if a company is making its online marketing a priority because you will see clear patterns. They post regularly. They use the same type of graphics or colors. Even the way the copy is written will stand out as their own.
There are several areas in your online marketing that being consistent is key.
The Frequency of Posting
It is better to post once or twice a week consistently than to post daily for a few weeks and then go silent for a month. The social media algorithms recognize when you haven’t posted in a while and it makes your job difficult when you restart posting. You lose the traction you had when you were posting regularly. Think about it like climbing a mountain. When you stop climbing, you don’t just stay still. You begin sliding back down the hill. The longer you go without posting – the further down the mountain you slide.
The Timing for Posts
There are better times to post than others, but it’s important to remember that the best times that work on one brand’s page might not work on your page. It depends on your audience, whom you’re trying to reach and when they are typically online. You can do market research to find out the estimated best times are to post but once you have a following, it’s best to look at your analytics to see when the peak times are that your audience is online.
The Tone and Voice
To stay consistent with this, it helps to create a “persona” behind your brand. How do they talk? Are they friendly and playful, warm and inspiring, or authoritative and professional? Is your brand's tone more personal, direct, clinical or scientific? What type of language are you using? Are you using slang, whimsical, or complex language? Defining this from the beginning can really help with consistency.
A great example of embracing your own tone and voice is Wendy’s on Twitter. They’ve adapted this entire brand by roasting people who tweet at them or other fast food brands. Other brands have jumped onto this as well. It works for the brand – because they’ve completely embraced it. Now if a brand that has always been professional and warm sent out a tweet like Wendy’s, there’s a good chance that they would get major backlash from their audience or even lose followers.
Whatever tone and voice you decide to use for your branding, it’s important to stick with it. Use that tone in your statuses, tweets, and articles. You don’t want to come across clinical and authoritative in some posts and then come across sarcastic and humorous in others. It’s hard for your followers to follow and determine what posts are serious and which are not. It opens the door for miscommunication and other issues, likely resulting in costing you your precious likes and followers.
There are so many parts of your branding that we can cover. Let’s focus on the visual parts. Your logo for one. If you’re constantly changing the way your logo looks – it can cause confusion and frustration. So, if you’ve decided you want to change your logo – make sure you’re 100% sure that’s the logo you want to use long term. Give it a lot of thought before launching it.
Slack did this incredibly well when they launched their new logo. They released an article explaining the change. Not only did they explain the logical reason for changing the logo, but they took the opportunity to share their story and update their entire look.
What colors do you use for your brand? By using the same color pallet, your followers will begin to associate those colors with your brand. It will catch their attention and increase their awareness of your brand.
Depending on how in-depth you want to go with your branding, you can match the colors of your brand to the tone and voice you’re using for your brand. Each color has psychology behind it. For example, red is known for excitement, youthfulness and being bold. Blue showcases trust, dependability, and strength. Yellow stands for optimism, clarity, and warmth! You can partner different colors together that complement each other and showcase the type of branding you want individuals to associate your brand with!
Just like you watch your tone and voice, you have to watch your messaging as well. If you’re continually posting about legal issues, then posting about the latest sports car that’s come out might not be fitting. Know what your messaging is - what do you want people to think about when they interact with your brand? If you go too far off brand, you’re going to lose people. Especially if you’re posting something controversial. Stick with your messaging!
Your profile photos and cover photos should be consistent across each platform. The profile image you use on Twitter should be the same one as on Facebook. If each platform is different, your followers are less likely to recognize your account to engage with your content. These images should not change regularly.
Your usernames should match across all platforms as well. There are sites like Namechk that help you determine what usernames are available across each social media platform. Its easier for users to remember one username than trying to remember which username goes with which social media platform.
Engagement is so important when it comes to your online marketing. It’s called SOCIAL Media for a reason. Responding to comments, tweets or messages consistently and promptly can be incredibly important.
Did you know that the average consumer expects to hear back from a brand within 1-4 hours of reaching out? And the average time it takes a brand to respond back can be up to 10 hours. There’s a huge gap there!
Answering comments and messages in a timely manner is very important. These things matter to your followers. Being consistent helps your following know how you’re going to engage with them and helps you build a better customer relationship.
Consistency IS key. But not at the price of your brand. If every Monday you post something humorous and a natural disaster happens, Monday Morning, then you adapt. If there’s a part of your branding that’s been around for years and suddenly it’s socially (or morally) unacceptable or becomes controversial, it’s okay to pivot.
Owner, AIM Social Media Marketing Nichole Howson is a social media marketing strategist that works with businesses to increase their reach, engagement and bring in qualified leads that convert. Nichole has worked with businesses globally from both ends of the spectrum – start-ups and well established. She focuses on the strategy FIRST before getting started – building a firm foundation for each business’ online marketing.