Have you ever clicked on a website or Facebook page and were immediately confused by what you saw? “This can’t be right,” you think, hitting the back button or clicking over to another tab to find the mistake. Perhaps it was a logo, name, or description that caught you off guard and made you second-guess yourself. Sure, there’s a chance you typed in the URL wrong or clicked a fake Facebook page. But sometimes, the logo seems off because it is off or the “About Us” section is so different than what you saw on Twitter, or in a recent email, that it just doesn’t seem to be the same company.
This means the company could use some brand consistency. If a consumer or user ever have to second-guess themselves, the marketing department is doing something wrong. It’s easy to see when someone else makes this mistake, but have you checked your own company for inconsistencies lately?
Brand Awareness & Recognition
Brand consistency helps build trust and clarity. If the brand is easily recognizable and people understand what it stands for, they are more likely to trust in the brand and choose it when the time comes.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every photo, description, and post is the same on every channel and the website. For starters, a company may be serving different audiences on each channel. Second, social media platforms have different specifications and rules about what can be shared where. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it easy on your visitors to recognize and trust in what they’re seeing if they jump from website to Facebook to Instagram.
Getting Back on Track
How do you know if your organization is consistent? Conduct a social media and marketing audit. Review all your channels, your website, your printed materials, and even your press release boilerplate. Everywhere you talk about your company should be assessed for consistency. It’s fine to use the same keywords and descriptive phrases without putting the same description everywhere.
For example, Twitter only allows 160 characters in the bio. Facebook gives you a few areas to describe the business: mission, short description and long description. You can even update your Services Tab for added clarity and searchability. While your website technically offers unlimited space, it’s best not to abuse that. Start small and keep it simple.
Once your audit is complete and you have a plan for updating each platform, do what you can to roll it out all at once. This will help cut down on confusion when one site shows old information and another shows new information. If you plan and prepare the content, create the banner images for each page, and schedule a time to make the changes all at once, you’re less likely to make a mistake or confuse a customer.
Bonus: Make your usernames or handles all the same wherever you can. If it’s not possible due to character limits or unavailable handles, try simple but logical variations. For example, Commonwealth Public Relations uses the handle @CommonwealthPR on both Facebook and Twitter to make it simple and keep to character limits. But it’s clear who we are and that we belong to the same company. Keeping our profile picture the same (our logo) makes it easy to see each page belongs to the same company. The bio copy may vary, but there’s no doubt it’s the same Commonwealth PR you see on our website and in our press releases. The banner images vary slightly but are consistent in the content and style.
How does your company stack up? Do you know a brand that does this particularly well?