Want to brand out from the crowd? Here's are 9 tips for nailing your social media branding and keeping your brand consistent across all platforms.
Are you a creative professional? Do you work as an artist, photographer, or graphic designer? If so, you likely function as your business’s branding department. You’re probably responsible for your logo, messaging, ads, web design – the list goes on. A good brand is vital for attracting customers and furthering your business goals, so it’s essential to get it right.
Branding involves creating a visual identity for yourself or your business. It should establish what you do, who you are, and what problems your business solves.
You need to know how your work fits into the bigger picture and make your point of difference evident to your audience. We’ve put together some tried and tested tips and tricks to help you maintain consistency in your branding approach, but before we get into that, let’s first discuss the need for consistent branding.
When you design for different platforms, there are often subtle differences you need to consider, such as size specifications and screen layouts. As a result, your work can look different depending on the platform.
Using different designs, colors, or branding might seem no big deal initially, but it can lead to credibility issues later. For example, people who see differing posts across various platforms might not recognize your brand, which can lead to a lack of trust and brand awareness.
By keeping your branding consistent across all platforms – such as social media, email, your website, and even business cards – you can build credibility and a loyal audience that will follow you wherever you go online.
Now we’ve explored the basics of consistent branding, let’s dive into our top tips for keeping your branding consistent across all platforms.
The first step to achieving branding consistency is choosing a look that’s true to you. Your branding will set the tone for your entire business. It’s like the foundation of a house: if it’s not strong enough, everything else will crumble.
When choosing a logo, ensure it represents your brand’s personality. Listen to others’ opinions, and look to other brands in your industry for inspiration. In a world where your brand’s identity extends far beyond the logo, choosing something that reflects your personality, values, and mission is essential.
A strong identity is one that people can recognize from just a single color, letter, or shape — think of Coca-Cola’s red script, McDonald’s golden arches, or Nike’s iconic swoosh. If you’re stuck for inspiration, research symbols representing what you do (or want to do), but don’t be afraid to create something new.
Your brand name should be memorable and recognizable so that people know what you do as soon as they hear it. For example, Apple’s brand name is instantly recognizable as being associated with technology.
Some brands have become so popular that their names are synonymous with certain products. For example, Kleenex has become synonymous with tissues, Xerox with photocopying, and Band-Aid with bandages. These companies didn’t just have a catchy slogan or design their logo well; they built their entire business around their brand name so that people would associate it with what they were selling.
If you’re struggling to create the perfect name for your brand or product, brand-naming expert Margaret Wolfson shares her advice for capturing a brand’s essence.
Before using any new tool or platform, consider how it fits your overall branding strategy. Social media is an excellent alternative to expensive advertising. However, evaluate how each platform will impact how people perceive your brand and whether it will help or hinder your ability to attract new customers.
It’s not just about choosing the right tools but also the right ones for your brand. Think about what you want your brand to say and how this will look to others.
For example, if you’re a musician, SoundCloud is a platform that’s easy to use and can help you share your work online. In contrast, if you’re a photographer who wants to share photos with friends and family, then Instagram would be a better choice because of its photo-sharing features and user base.
Take your time and ensure that every piece of content is high quality and reflects your brand values and personality.If you are a creative professional, you might be working on two or more projects at a time, meaning that you can’t afford to spend too much time on branding.
But, if you want to maintain consistency across all your platforms and stay relevant in your field, you need to take time to do it right. Avoid inconsistent branding, as this will only confuse your customers and muddy your business goals.
Quality over quantity is a good rule of thumb for any platform. One particular instance is Facebook, where it’s easy to get carried away with tools and end up with something that looks unprofessional. If you use text overlays or filters, ensure they feature essential creative elements, like your logo.
An excellent example is the All About Cats website, which features many high-quality images with crystal-clear text.
If you’re using an image as your logo or icon, avoid placing it over the text. The same goes for logos with multiple colors or gradients — ensure they’re still readable when layered with another color or pattern. Test your designs in different browsers and devices before publishing them elsewhere to ensure they’re clear and legible.
As a creative, ideas and inspiration are your bread and butter. Your unique style sets you apart from competitors and allows people to connect with your brand, so you should stick to your guns regarding style and design elements.
However, branding is about more than just a logo. It’s also the values, mission, and voice you project through every touchpoint. You can have the best-designed logo in the world, but if it’s not reflective of your brand values and mission, it won’t resonate with your audience.
While design is an essential part of branding, it’s important to understand that design is just as much about strategy as aesthetics.
An excellent example of this is Starbucks’ logo redesign timeline, which was not focused on aesthetics but rather on improving the user experience and making it easier for customers to connect with the brand identity.
Your visual branding elements should have a specific purpose and work together effectively. For example, using red text on one website but blue on another will lead to brand identity confusion.
The best way to achieve brand consistency is by sticking to two or three primary colors consistent across all channels and using the same fonts, branded graphics, and messaging.
For example, if you use Helvetica on Facebook Ads Manager, then use Helvetica on Instagram and Twitter, too. A consistent font will make each advertisement recognizable as part of a cohesive campaign.
A content calendar guides how you create, share, and promote your content consistently across all platforms. It helps you plan your creative output, arrange what to post on what platforms, and allows you to put your best foot forward.
A content calendar will keep your vision organized and ensure your content flows naturally rather than being scattered across multiple platforms. It also helps you prepare, so you’re not scrambling when an event comes up unexpectedly (because they always do).
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that consumers will look for you everywhere. One of the most common mistakes creative businesses make is spending all their time and energy focusing on their website, blog, and social media accounts while neglecting other areas where they can build their brand.
For example, if you’re an illustrator with a website and an Etsy shop, ensure you include links to these sites in your email signature — not just your contact info. If you’re a photographer with a website and Instagram account, ensure you include links to these sites in your Facebook page about section. If you’re a designer with a website and Behance portfolio, post images from both sources onto Instagram and Twitter regularly, and vice versa.
Your business needs a cohesive brand identity that you can implement consistently across all platforms, from print to the web. If you want to save time and money, templates are a great way to maintain a consistent brand identity for your small business.
Offering everything from business cards and social media templates to branding guidelines and mockups, Envato Elements offers a range of customizable templates to take your branding to the next level. Check out all the templates featured in this article below!