Every week I get emails from aspiring start up business owners, wanting tips and tricks of the trade. If these girls and guys are brave enough to reach out and email, I figured there must be others out there pondering the same.
9. Social Media Branding - a Guide
Of course, you guys know we're huge advocates of social media here at Crown and Glory - and not only do we think it rocks for our business, but I just absolutely love it too! I am definitely that person who flicks through twitter/facebook/pinterest/instagram on a rotational business - I'm just so nosey and I love that a wealth of information , inspiration and personality is right at my finger tips.
If you're a bit bewildered by the whole ordeal though, I can understand that it must seem like a frighteningly huge pond to try and dip your toe into - how do you get the balance between being personal and professional?
For me, social media has to be about conversation - of course, ultimately I want to promote our brand but engaging in conversations, posting links to things we think are rad and cute pictures of cats ensures that there's enough personality in-between the sales pitches and business stuff to keep people following us.
I also make the conscious decision to cut out the gratuitous swearing - though, again, I'm a real person posting to these accounts so occasionally a well placed profanity gets the point across. For me, this is fine - it's never aimed at anyone and never in an overtly aggressive manner.
If you're a larger company with more employees, it's really important to set out a social media manifesto right from the start. This should be a guide that all users can access - you want to ensure that your voice and message are consistent. Posting pictures of cool manicures and pastel hair is obviously a-okay at Crown and Glory HQ, but unless we decide on a HUGELY different direct for the brand, we're probably not going to start posting links to Warhammer fansites. Your social media manifesto should also highlight how to react if customers' or followers' highlight any issues, problems of grievances - or fear the wrath of a twitterstorm should you react unfavourably (or worse, retract the initial responses - you've got to stick to your guns, despite the consequences!)
Ensuring we have a tied together visual strategy is also important and something we've changed quite dramatically recently. When Crown and Glory officially became an employer (!) I changed the profile pictures across the various platforms from an illustration of myself to our new elemental icon - we chose something that would represent the brand and be transferable to all sorts of different media. Whilst it's no secret that 'people buy from people', once I took on an employee the brand was no longer just my baby and needed to step it up a notch visually.
Facebook and twitter cover photos are another really useful way to ensure your branding is consistent throughout your online platforms and can be a great place to put call to actions if it suits your business too. For us, we've chosen a super fun image by our fave photographer Chloe Lee - we feel this image captures the essence of summertime at Crown and Glory, and displays a product that is pretty well known for us. It's also one that, on our Facebook cover, we're able to render the text logo with ease and little distraction.
Wedding photographers Tino & Pip have tied in the design of their website for consistency and is also visually intriguing and makes us want to delve deeper into their page (much like a well-stocked bookshelf should do!)
Cake Top Characters' Cassie displays her best work and her achievements whilst keeping it fun with the call to action at the side - immediately we know that Cassie's communications are going to be super friendly and personal.
Rock n Roll Bride uses just their logo - so ubiquitous it needs little introduction and ties in with the editorial feel the blog has undertaken recently.
There are so many ways you can treat these spaces, and if you're unsure of which way to proceed, then absolutely call upon an expert for advice. Much like you'd go to a designer for your website, your social media branding is often the first impression a potential customer has of a business these days so it's imperative you get it right. Can't afford a designer? Try out some ideas and see how your reach improves or drops - fail quickly and move on! We've created a quick pack of customisable photoshop social media templates for you to download and play with for just 99p.
If you've got a burning question about Crown and Glory or business as a whole, either email email@example.com or if you'd prefer to stay anonymous, you can ask us anything via Formspring