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Social Media Branding | Your Complete Social Media Handbook

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As we know, social media is a huge part of growing an online business. It’s where we are all trying to share our work, sell our products, and connect with other creatives as well as those who want to support us.

Pretty much everybody is on some form of social media platform so if you’re not utilising social media, you are really missing out on a huge potential to increase your audience,  grow your business, and sell your work or services.

But once you’ve signed up to social media and started promoting your creativity, how do you brand it and make it consistent? I'm here to give you your one-stop-shop social media handbook. I’m here to show you how to brand each platform and what you need to think about on and across each one. 

Why do I need to brand my social media profiles?

When you’ve got clarity about your brand and have turned it into a brand identity with colours and fonts and other assets, it’s time to think about how you apply that everywhere. This is what I call boosting your brand. You’ve got a brand, and now we want to boost it across the internet and in-person.

In this article, we’re going to focus on social media. 

There are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, and this is growing every day. That equates to about 45% of the current population (Emarsys, 2019).

This is so important because I don't know about you, but when I’m looking up a business, other than their website, the place I go to first is their social media profiles. I pretty much always jump onto their Instagram profile, maybe I look on Facebook, I might follow them on twitter. Social media is where I go to find out more information, understand the brand, and see the social proof around the products and/or services. 

And I’m not alone. 54% of social browsers use social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex, 2018), and 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family

So using social media, branding it well, and creating a brilliant customer experience is a winning strategy for sharing your work, growing your audience, and selling your products and services.

What do I need to brand my social media?

When you are building your social media and branding it, it really has to be clear, creative and consistent. As you know, if you have been listening to any of the other episodes or if you've heard me talk about my make your mark model before, this is my whole system for building a brand. It’s about making it clear, creative and consistent. 

Your social media branding needs to be clear.

When it comes to social media it really needs to be clear, and in order to make it clear, it needs to be really obvious what you’re about when somebody comes to your profile. They need to know straight away what you do, tell from your bio what it is that you offer, and understand from your profile what your vibe is and what experience they're gonna have with your brand. 

Your social media branding needs to be creative.

It also needs to be creative. It's one thing to be clear but you also need to stand out, be unique, and capture people's attentions. When people drop onto your Pinterest page or turn up on your Facebook page they need to feel like “wow this so cool, I wanna follow this person, and learn more about what they’re up to, They’ve captured my attention, I'm gonna scroll through some of their posts and like some, comment on some, check out their stories.” You want to capture people's attention, so your profiles need to be creative, eye-catching, and unique. They need to be unique to you and who you are, and represent your personality and your vibe. This is all about using those brand assets, colour, font, patterns, and images to make you stand out.

Your social media branding needs to be consistent.

Most importantly, you need to be consistent. 

Whether you are on Facebook or Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or TikTok, your brand needs to be consistent across all of them. A potential customer could hop onto TikTok, click through to your Instagram page, then click through to your website, and all of these interactions need to be consistent. This means that they will know that they're in the right place, that you're still offering what you were offering on the other platform, and that they want to be following you on these other platforms as well. Not being consistent will be confusing and could lead to you losing that potential customer. 

Three of the main ways that you can be consistent, are through your profile photo, your cover photo and your bio. These are the three main things that are on pretty much every platform.

  • Your profile photo needs to be the same on every profile. It seems super simple but not everybody does it. Whether it's your logo or a photo of you, it needs to be consistent. And as a personal brand, I highly recommend this being a photo of you. I know that putting yourself out there alongside your work can be nerve-wracking sometimes, but it should be a photo of you. People connect with people more than they connect with logos, and I know that as a branding expert that might sound weird - me telling you not to use a logo - but you don’t need one on social media. Use a photo of you. 
  • Secondly is your cover photo. This can be whatever you want it to be – a picture of your work, a photo of you offering your service – but it needs to be consistent again. So whether you have a cover photo on Facebook and then you have a banner on youtube, these should be the same. This makes a consistent, cohesive, and seamless experience for people going from one platform to the other. 
  • And then lastly is your bio. Your bio should be the same or as close as possible across as many platforms as you can. Some platforms have different lengths of bios or ‘about’ information that you're allowed, but as much as you can, make them the same. At least have your title and your tagline all be the same and if you have more room you can add more information. The more similar that they are the more consistent, cohesive, and seamless the experience is going to be. 

Those are the three main things to keep consistent that you can brand and make your own. 

Let's think about all of the platforms and what else you can brand on each one.

How do I brand my social media platforms?

Branding on Instagram

Here are some of the things you can brand on Instagram:

  • Profile picture
  • Bio
  • Highlight covers
  • IGTV covers
  • Stickers & GIFs
  • Story filters
  • Story font/s
  • Your content

Branding on Facebook

On Facebook you can brand your:

  • Profile picture
  • Cover photo
  • About information
  • Groups you run
  • Events you host

Branding on Twitter

Twitter allows you to customize your: 

  • Profile picture
  • Cover photo
  • Bio
  • Profile theme colour

Branding on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can change your: 

  • Profile picture
  • Cover photo
  • Bio
  • CV

Branding on TikTok

TikTok enables you to brand your:

  • Profile picture
  • Bio
  • Custom sounds

Branding on YouTube

On YouTube, you can brand your: 

  • Profile picture
  • Channel banner
  • Account description
  • Featured channels
  • Playlists
  • Video thumbnails
  • Video intro and outro
  • Video transitions
  • Video captions
  • Music
  • Endcard

Branding on Pinterest

Pinterest gives you the option to customize your:

  • Profile picture
  • Profile banner (picture/video/featured boards)
  • Bio
  • Boards
  • Pins

Branding on Patreon

Your Patreon can be branded via your:

  • Profile picture
  • Banner
  • Tier banners
  • Post graphics

Branding on Twitch

Twitch has options for branding your: 

  • Profile picture
  • Profile banner
  • Section headers
  • Stream design
  • Custom emotes
  • Interactions

We have covered pretty much every social media platform! 

I hope this has been helpful in showing you why looking after your social media platforms and branding them is important, and how to do that. Remember you're trying to make it really clear, creative and consistent, so you want to make it super obvious what you do, make it stand out, make it unique to you and then make it consistent across every platform. Those are the key things.

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September 23, 2020




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The Ultimate Branding Checklist

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