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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#BrandConsistency - Themes in Your Marketing Can Help With Consistency


One highly-useful tool for Brand Consistency is the use of themes. Marketing themes help solidify your branding in the mind of your audience. There are two areas you should consider when it comes to themes: visual recurring themes and thematic messages.

Visual Brand Consistency


Visual Brand Consistency is something we’ve mentioned before. You want your images and messages to follow guidelines you’ve built for your company. Think of brands you know. Pepsi and Coca Cola are two that really stand out. Across the board, they use the same branding style: Colors, fonts, etc. to push their brand into the mind of the consumer.So how do you create visual brand consistency? 

  • Create a brand use document where you list how your logo icon can be used. Make sure you provide a color and black and white logo. Place your logos in a group folder so your employees can use the logos as needed for official correspondence.
  • Use uniform colors across your social media platforms and website. 
  • Standard graphic layouts. It’s best to create a graphics template for your preferred social media interaction. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more all have ideal size requirements. Create templates that meet those needs. Don’t forget to include a PowerPoint and video template that has your logo already inserted. Creating these templates will save you time and money since no one will have to guess which layouts work.
  • Uniform images with logo placement. To further expand on your logo style guide, you need to determine where your logo and text should be placed. Consistency is key. 
  • Keep the same cover image for all aspects of your social media platform so your customers aren’t jarred by inconsistency. Modify it, of course, to adapt to the platform’s requirements, but keeping consistent is necessary for making you stand out in a crowd.
Thematic Consistency 
  • Create a one-line summary of your company, a tagline if you will. Expand it, by adding a two-sentence paragraph that further explains the mission of your company. After this, create several in-depth paragraphs with detailed descriptions. Provide your blogs, social media, and website links in that final detailed description package. Use these as needed depending on your social interaction. If you have room for a one-line summary, then use that. If you have an opportunity to further explain, use the more in-depth options. These files, like the logos mentioned above, should be available for your company’s use.
  • Create themed content based on your company’s values. If you believe in speedy delivery, create content that emphasizes that part of your brand. If your company puts the customer first, emphasize that instead. While you can have more than one value, choose the one you want to emphasize over the others.
  • Release themed content on a consistent basis. Whether you’re doing a Q&A, highlighting new trends, or providing motivational content on Mondays, keep your content consistent with both releases and styles.
These are just some ways to get you started. If you’re ready to tackle #BrandConsistency, start with your brand and logo use document. Decide which fonts, colors, and logo can be used. Once you have that established, move into building thematic content. Templates are key to speed and quality, so make sure you set them up as soon as possible.Do you have any tips on Brand Consistency? Let us know in comments. 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#BrandConsistency – How Consistency in Social Media Helps Your Brand



Consistency in Social Media is a necessary component for gaining and keeping loyal followers. Here are some of our top tips on being consistent:

1. Create a familiar look across all platforms. Your brand is a style, a unique voice among a sea of distractions. You want your potential clients and customers to recognize your brand no matter the platform (or mobile device) they use. Visual branding is just as important as the message you wish to share. For brand consistency, you’ll want to use the same color palette, logo/avatar, use the same filters in places like Instagram so your images look organized and part of an overall package, and consider using templates for graphics you share on social media sites. This will make the fonts, colors, designs, and size constant.

2. The voice must be the same across all platforms. A voice is more than grammar and spelling (but that’s important too!). It’s about how you speak to the public. Are you relaxed? Do you take a formal tone? Do you go out of your way to make viewers feel invited? Or do you prefer to keep a wall up between you and your customers and client? Deciding your brand’s voice involves these three elements: company culture, your audience, and your authenticity.

3. Humor is a unique form of communication. It can break the ice, relax or offend others, or reflect on the social and moral core of the individual. Sometimes, it can be all of these things at once. Keep your humor focused on your brand. When you use humor, imagine how someone new to your brand would interpret it. According to Sprout Social, 71% of consumers have unfollowed a brand on social media because they were embarrassed by the brand’s posts. You are on public display. Don’t forget that.

4. Consistent posting is key to brand success. Lack of interaction on your social media pages will leave a potential client/customer thinking you have gone out of business, or worse, that you don’t care about their business. If time is a factor, use social media tools to keep your pages updated.

Brand name recall is key to building a loyal following. Reinforce your brand’s beliefs and goals.
And one more bonus tip: Create powerful calls to action. Don’t be shy. This is still business. 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

#BrandConsistency - Put YOU in Your Brand




We’ve talked a bit out #BrandConsistency this month. We know that people prefer to put a face to the brand and that it’s about who knows you, not who you know. But what are ways to put YOU into your brand? This is really the cornerstone of what personal branding is all about.

Your brand should encompass your values. You are the face, the voice, and the truth for your brand.
Remember that potential customers and clients need to feel connected to your brand and, therefore, connected to you. You are more than a logo and a tagline. You are the heart of your message.

If you’re struggling to find your way, don’t worry, we have some fantastic tips to help pave your path to solid brand consistency.
  • Your voice needs to reflect your brand. How do you want your brand to come across? Whether you’re the friendly neighbor who always helps out, the subject matter expert they go to for advice, a troubleshooter who can always get the job done, or the mentor who helps others overcome obstacles, your brand’s voice is important. Is it professional but understanding? Is it fun or quirky? Is it supposed to be conversational and approachable? What do YOU sound like when you talk business?
  • Here is a key element to brand consistency. If you prefer a formal tone, keep it that way through your personal messages, interactions, and emails. If you prefer a more conversational tone, do the same. Be consistent or else you will confuse your audience. Many of your followers are already sold on your brand and you don't want to frighten them away.
  • Determine your purpose, and your vision. What do you want to provide to others? You are more than a title. You ARE your brand. How will you help people find what they need? Instead of thinking in terms of what your business does - think in terms of what pain points do you help solve for others?
  • Be authentic. The world doesn’t need copies of successful brands. They need someone who stands out from the pack.
  • Find what you really enjoy doing about your job and integrate it into your brand. Do you enjoy talking on the phone? How can you integrate phone consultations into your business? Your enthusiasm will translate to your customers and clients.
  • Put your story into the brand. Be vulnerable to your clients and customers. Let them see what you went through to get where you are today.
  • Give them a peek into your personal life and the things that you love - but just a peek. There is not need to flood them with personal information. You want them thinking about what you do in relation to who you are.
Your personal brand is a blend of who you are and what you do. They aren’t separated. Don’t be shy. It’s time to step out and let your brand shine.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#BrandConsistency – Branding is About Who Knows You, Not Who You Know


#BrandConsistency involves putting yourself out in the public eye with a clear and concise message. It’s about overcoming hesitancy in new sales and clients. Loyal customers buy based on their feelings. To build a solid foundation of success, it pays to be known. 

Your brand is the idea, the emotions, images, thoughts, etc. that comes to mind when people hear your name, pass by your store, see your ad, or view your website. It’s your complete online presence. People remember how you made them feel over everything else. The world is flooded with other people and brands who want to corner the market on success. So how do you stand out from the crowd?

Word of mouth, brand consistency, customer loyalty, and dedication to the customer experience will go far in making your brand known.


Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Do you offer a unique product, service, environment, etc.? If you’re not sure, find a way you can do it better than the other guys. 
  • Are you consistent in delivering your customer service promise? And do you do it every time?
  • How is your business memorable? Is it memorable for the right reasons?
  • What is the first impression that you offer potential clients and customers? Is it consistent across all platforms? Remember that visitors to your Facebook page may not visit your site and vice versa. Try not to refer them back and forth unless it’s absolutely necessary. The same goes for cross-platform promotion. A twitter follower has no interest in your Instagram ad, and your YouTube subscribers will rarely care about your Facebook Live Q&A.
  • How easy is it for new customers and clients to do business with you? Call your company or use the website. Perform an “experience audit” to determine whether or not you fall short.
  • What are you good at? Where do you consistently get great feedback in your business? Highlight that as a great selling point. Networking with other companies who have used your service is another key aspect.
  • Are you being genuine and sincere in your interaction with your clients and customers?
  • Have you reached out to influencers who also interact with your target market? If you get them excited about your brand, others will get excited as well.
  • Do you convey confidence in your interaction online and with customers? Your employees should be subject matter experts on your brand. Even apologies for making mistakes can be done with confidence. “I apologize for this mistake,” is much more confidence-inspiring than “I don’t know how it happened”. A quick and favorable interaction with a customer will build brand confidence.
It takes time and consistency to build a loyal customer or client base. These tips will put you on the right track for success and to #BeAwesome with your branding.


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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

#BrandConsistency - People Do Business with Individuals, Not Brands


Your personal brand is different than your company’s brand, but it is just as important, if not more so. People do business with individuals, not brands. So how do you create a personable brand that potential clients and customers want to work with?

Your personal brand is the image you wish to project. Here are ten tips to get you started in #BrandConsistency:  
  1. Be clear about the image you wish to cloak yourself in. Keep it simple. Keep it authentic. How?
  2. Be true to yourself. Spending days, weeks, and even years projecting an image you don’t like can be exhausting to maintain. If you seem to be faking it, the word will spread and your authenticity will suffer. Inconsistencies will cause a rift in trust. You don’t want that.
  3. Become a public speaker. You must develop your communication skills. You can do this either live or through video sites like Vimeo or YouTube, but you want to project confidence and speak from a platform of power and control. Your videos don’t have to be long. Ten minutes or less is more than fine. Just find one topic and speak on it. Your speaking engagements, on the other hand, are as long as you’ve been slotted for. Prepare in advance. Double check your numbers. Provide value, and your brand will shine.
  4. Be consistent in branding across all platforms. This includes synchronizing your LinkedIn profile with your resume.
  5. Create leadership articles and participate in interviews. This goes to credibility. You want to be seen as a subject matter expert, and you gain that by providing proof of authority.
  6. Show numbers, dates, etc. to back up your broad statements. You want to be seen as a subject matter expert so that your clients and customers can be confident in your ability to lead them through the darkness.
  7. Build an online presence. This goes back to #4. Be consistent in who you are. An online forum or community is not the same as your private home. Remember that everything you put on there can be screenshot and used against you at a later date.
  8. Be brief in your mission statement. You can’t do everything. Specialization is key to business success.
  9. Never stop learning. You must remain relevant to your industry. Take courses in subjects outside your chosen field to widen your perspective. You don’t want to box yourself into your own world and lose touch with your customers and clients. Expand your knowledge as much as possible.
  10. Finally, one of the most important tips: talk about what you’ve done, not what you plan to do. You need to build your brand on results, not ideas. It’s okay to admit your weaknesses and shortcomings. It’s okay to be vulnerable. That makes you more human and relatable. It’s not okay to spend all your time ramping up for ideas that may never solidify. Clients and customers want results-driven numbers. Keep that in mind.

Take some time to develop your personal brand and opportunities will come your way. 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#SocialIsntScary – Fear of Getting Started




With around 78% of people using at least one social media platform, nearly 1/3 of the Earth is on social. This infographic from Uzu Media breaks down the number of users on the most popular social media websites to give you an idea of the possible impact of participating on these platforms.


While small business owners are aware of the need for social media marketing, as well as the potential it generates, many have yet to get started. Only 31% of small business owners have created and cultivated an effective social media strategy. These professionals are afraid of quite a few things when it comes to doing their own social media. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • Don’t know where to start
  • Afraid of failure
  • Not sure what to post
  • Not sure where to post or how often
  • Worried about negative engagement or reviews
  •  Not comfortable putting myself out there
  •  Concerned about the level of commitment necessary to be successful


I bet at least one of those resonated with where you are currently. That’s okay. With any new endeavor, sometimes you just need to make a plan and jump in!

Have a Strategy
The best way to eliminate your fear is to make a plan. Marketing and social media strategy is essential. Goal setting, analytics, decision making, ROI and impact will be difficult to incorporate and track without a plan. You need to know what you want to do ahead of time and then you need to be able to measure what worked and what didn’t so that you can adapt your strategy for success as you go. 

Here are the elements that need to be included in your strategy:
  • Where to post content.
  • When to post content.
  • Who you are posting content for currently.
  • Who you’d like to reach with your content.
  • What to post
  • Why you are posting.

Monitoring
For those concerned about negative social engagement, the key to keeping the trolls at bay is having a plan in place to monitor your social accounts. You will need to understand the difference between engagement that offers opportunities to fix the problem versus engagement that is spammy, inappropriate or harassing in nature. The quicker you delete the spam, the inappropriate posts and harassment – the better. Understand how to delete, block and remove content from your social feeds.

On the other hand, don’t go around deleting every negative comment. Part of what makes social media work is that it gives your audience the opportunity to connect with you and be heard. If they have a genuine complaint or concern, simply deleting and ignoring them will not be viewed favorably by your audience. Once you see this type of negative engagement, immediately post so that they know you’ve seen their comment/post and want to have an off-line conversation to cover what can be done to resolve the issue. They are giving you an opportunity to turn it around. Just take the conversation offline so that it’s private.

Consistency
Once you get started, be sure you’ve come up with a way to remain consistent. This may mean starting small and working your way up. That way the audience doesn’t notice that you aren’t posting as often as you used to and then make the assumption that you are no longer invested in your social. Adding more is always better than cutting back. The old adage of don’t bite off more than you can chew is the key here. You can always add new platforms or more posts later if you discover you have the capacity to do so.

Be Authentic
Today, people are more likely to support brands that they know, like and trust. That means they aren’t investing in a logo, or a big office, or an online shop. They need the opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you. Purchasing anything has an emotional element to it as well. Provoking an emotional response from your audience will help them become more interested in you and what you do. 

However, people are smart. They are assaulted on all sides by direct mail, spam, advertisements, commercials… they’ve learned how to spot a person who is being authentic from a used car salesman type. 

You will need to truly understand your target audience and what they are seeking. The more authentic, genuine and real you come across, the more they will trust you. If you can combine that authenticity with a message that appeals to your followers – you’ve hit the social jackpot!

Team Up
It can be frustrating to create great content when you haven’t built a following yet. However, that content is what is going to grow your audience. If you want an organic way to fast track your exposure, find influencers that have a similar target audience and collaborate with them. Guest blogging is the easiest way to do this. This will expose you to their larger following and connect you with experts in your field or industry at the same time.

Once you create and implement a solid marketing strategy for your social media, you will only need to focus on maintaining it. Start small and work your way up – just one social platform to start is more than enough if you are worried. If the effort you are putting into social is too time consuming, contact our team. We specialize in helping small businesses #BeAwesome with their social media, branding, and marketing strategy online.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.