In today's overcrowded online landscape, a recognisable brand identity makes you memorable and unique in the minds of your customers. This is why consistency across all social media channels is essential to drive loyalty.
Of course, your posts on every social platform should feature content tailored to the interests and expectations of users on that particular platform. For example, LinkedIn content would have a more professional approach while Instagram would be used for a lifestyle, human touch.
However, a customer who comes across any of your social profiles and then clicks through to your website should experience a smooth visual transition between the two, rather than a jarring jump. All materials put out by your brand should ultimately look and feel like part of the same family.
This can be achieved through the following:
Branded colour palette
Own your brand colour palette so it is instantly recognisable (think Tiffany blue. More on that here). Avoid diluting your brand with too many colours.
Consistent imagery style
All photography and illustrations used across your social media pages should be uniform in style. While the subject matter of your images will obviously vary, you can tie them all together in a few ways:
Selecting or shooting photography that is framed in a particular manner e.g. close-ups of people.
Maintaining a particular colour tone by applying a standard filter to photos so they look consistent, even if they are from different stock image libraries or photographers.
Sticking to your brand colour palette for illustrations.
Defining a specific style for your icons and illustrations that remains constant both on social media and on other assets.
While you may wish to work with different fonts for web and print, the same font family should be used across all social media posts and other online assets. Ensure you are using a typeface with good readability online, and test all your posts on each platform for mobile as well as desktop.
Creating video templates
Create a standard opening and closing for all your video content, such as an animation of your logo and tagline. Your audience will easily be able to recognise your content anywhere within the first few seconds, even when shared by people outside your organisation.
Creating static templates
For image-based posts, create a set of standard templates for the type of posts you tend to create the most, in various sizes for different platforms. This will enable you to quickly churn out variations and keep them consistent, whether in terms of logo placement or font sizes.
Uniformity in your main images
The basic structure of your social pages should be aligned as much as possible, such as profile and cover pictures. Your profile picture should be immediately recognisable when users are scrolling through any of their feeds, so having this appear differently on different platforms creates confusion.
Updating your Facebook cover photo to show off an award that your team just won? Resize and use the same post on your LinkedIn company page. Updating the key images on all pages simultaneously also prevents any of your pages from seeming out of date.
Developing a guidelines document
It is certainly helpful to create a set of guidelines defining all of the above information for your brand, so that multiple designers or marketeers working on your social assets internally or externally are aware of all the standard requirements. Having all the information in one place for quick access will save time and prevent errors.