Consistency in your branding – how you portray your business, or even yourself, to others – is important. For businesses, branding is all about controlling the message and ensuring that your audience (customers, prospective customers, etc.) sees you the way you want to be seen. The internet is no place to start slacking when it comes to your company’s branding. The content you place on the web is, in one way or another, permanent so it’s important to make sure you’re setting the right tone.
There are so many different online platforms – from social media outlets and online directories to your business website – that businesses can take advantage of to promote and expand their web presence, When it comes to social media, it’s not just important to get your social media cover images right. Your posts, blogs, pages and photos all need to reflect the your brand.
Who’s getting it right when it comes to online branding? I’ve picked a few big-name companies that are great examples of what nice, well-rounded branding looks like on the web.
Whether you look at their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Company Pages, Microsoft quickly asserts its brand with inviting and inspiring imagery and stories. For them, social media is not simply a way to promote products, but also to provide glimpses into the inspiring lives of people around the world – like their #DoMore Instagram campaign – and ways for us as an audience to challenge and improve ourselves.
Each of Microsoft’s social media site serves a specific purpose, but they are all brought together as a whole under the brand standards that have been laid out.
I’ve discussed Starbucks on this blog before, and this probably won’t be the last time, but now I want to really focus on how the company utilizes the web to give its audience what they want and thereby draw people to their door.
Videos and tweets emphasize not only their current promotions but also Starbucks’ ability to bring people together. I mean, really, what’s more social that meeting friends over coffee? Especially if there is a BOGO deal!
Starbucks even takes the time to go the extra mile and find out how they can truly provide customer delight. Not only do they keep track of any customer complaints or issues, but they have a whole page dedicated to what they can improve or add to make the Starbucks experience even better for customers.
Old Spice definitely brings one of the most interesting dynamics to the web. Their hilarious and eccentric videos regularly go viral and I personally find myself amazed that they keep coming up with even stranger and more, shall we say, intriguing commercials and posts all the time – yet they do, and they rock it.
Old Spice understands what catches the attention of their fairly specific demographic, and they own the hilarity of their brand. And even then, they manage their social media well enough to make different jokes for each of their social media pages and to keep things interesting no matter what site you spend your time on, and whether you fit into their target audience or not.
Amazon is a go-to destination for online shopping, so you may wonder what use hey have for social media? The answer – plenty!
Amazon uses its social media presence to subtly remind people why their services are helpful and reliable, and to keep their customers updated on their product offerings and promotions. I personally love Amazon’s approach to its Pinterest network. While their other social media outlets can only do so much to promote products without getting overwhelming, Pinterest allows them to organize their posts so that their audience can get great gift or wish-list ideas all on one neatly-collected board.
Their LinkedIn, meanwhile, takes a slightly different approach. It serves to show them as a sturdy business and reliable employer and helps to drive in those looking for a new career.
I’ve always loved the innovation and education of a good TED Talk. And honestly, when is there such a thing as a bad TED Talk?
The TED community knows how to impress and inspire, and generally put on a great show. It’s no surprise that they reach out on pretty much every main social network. It allows them to continue to share the wealth of knowledge that collects within their community as a whole. And it helps to emphasize that they are not limited by the scope of any particular network – digital or otherwise. Knowledge demands to be shared and enjoyed by the world, and the TED organization is here to help.
I’ve mentioned some of these brands in other blogs before, and I truly believe the strength of a brand is relative to how successfully it uses its available marketing tools. These five companies understand their audience personas and they know how to reach them. They have found the social media outlets that work best for their marketing strategies, and they keep their brand consistent post to post, tweet to tweet. They know how to maximize their web presence.
The question fo you is, are you making the most of your social media management in order to reach your target audience? And are there any brands that you like to use as an example of how you can make improvements? Feel free to share!