About the Author
Sarah is co-director of Malvolio. She brings her creative skills to the business, and loves concept development in commercial projects, illustration, and working on various self-initiated paper craft projects in her spare time.
Category: Social Media
We were recently asked to design a series of images for social media, helping one of our clients promote their school holiday activities.
But instead of going through the typical details of this project, I’m actually going to use it to explain what’s important as far as your brand image on social media is concerned.
Social media is very easy to use, especially for those of us who use it every day for both personal and business use. In some ways, it’s almost too easy to share things on there – whether articles, experiences, comments or images – and with brands, I see a variety of things happen:
- a collection of beautiful, carefully-curated images, but not always directly related to the business
- a storyboard of day-to-day images from both the business and personal experiences
- quotes – both branded/styled consistently, and a mash-up of various styles
- various other images that don’t match the brand
While it’s easy to get carried away on social media – whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, even LinkedIn – thinking about how your brand looks on any platform is just as important as every brochure, flyer, business card or advertisement looks. Spending the time to make sure your branding and style on social media is consistent might seem a bit silly at first, but when you end up creating a style that people can recognise by a glance of a photo, then your branding is doing what it should – creating brand recognition.
Our client had a somewhat consistent brand image on social media – the foundations were there, but more could be done. So we developed a consistent kid-friendly style of illustration, and chose one font to use across all images. This created a style that is meaningful to our client, easy to recognise for their customers, and builds a template to work from for future images.
A consistent brand image on social media isn’t just good for brand recognition – it also speeds up the time needed to come up with new images each time, having a visual template to work from. And any time that is saved running a business can always be invested in other tasks (or getting a chance to stop and enjoy your coffee while it’s still hot!).
When helping a number of our clients through getting their social media in order, we’ve often been presented with questions around whether a Facebook page, group or profile is best for their business, so we decided it was time to put up an article on what works and why when using Facebook to promote your business.
What’s the difference between a Facebook page, group and profile?
Pages were originally set up to connect with bands and celebrities who wanted a public profile to share information on. This then turned into a tool to promote businesses, brands, events, products and more. Pages allow all visitors to view information on the page, and all of the updates you put into the page go into each fan’s news feed. A page is also not connected to any particular person, unlike a profile. People can “like” a page and they are instantly connected. Pages come up under a person’s “Likes” on their profile page.
Groups were set up to share information between a group of people – good for people collaborating on a project, organising an event together, etc. These are often private, or if they are public you need to request to be added. Any member of a group can add updates, and these are published to all members of the group. Groups are not listed publicly on any member profiles.
Profiles are set up for individuals to share news with their friends and family. People have to request to be added, same as groups. Profiles show up in a person’s friend list, and show a first name and surname; it’s not set up for business names.
So, why are Facebook pages best for businesses?
- Anyone can follow your updates without needing to confirm them.
- Your business updates on the page show up in your fans’ news feeds.
- People can search for your Facebook page on both Facebook and search engines.
- Pages are public, making it easier for yourself and fans to promote content on the page.
- You can add customised pages and applications to add extra content to your page.
- Your individual profile can be disconnected from the page, ensuring your privacy.
- Fans will have your page linked on their profile, helping promote your business.
If you’ve read this and are feeling a bit stuck with the Facebook presence of your business, get in touch and we’ll help you out.
Yes, there’s an entire gamut of social media sites, but many of them have different uses, and you may find some are more relevant to you than others.
The best thing to do with social media is find 2-3 sites that will be useful in promoting your business, and then put your efforts into those alone. Very few businesspeople (and nobody we know!) have time to be updating and interacting regularly with 20 different social media profiles.
At the moment, Facebook has the most active users of all social media websites across Australia (6.6mil users checked Facebook daily in 2011, according to Gizmodo), which gives you the biggest audience for your business. It is also one of the easiest platforms to interact with your customers in a public digital space – you put up a post, “fans” of your Facebook page comment, and you can respond. If you also run a retail store or cafe, your fans can check-in on their phone to say they have visited your shop.
YouTube is the next most popular as far as the amount of visitors to the website, as well as the time spent on the website – however, it requires you to be handy with a video camera to create content to upload. YouTube works well for musicians, commentators and professional consultants.
It also comes down to which social media websites your target audience are spending most of their time on: as an example, if you create stylish homewares and your target audience likes to collect and share images of homewares they like, then Pinterest may be most suitable.
I’ve only really started to scratch the surface on social media – there are many, many more out there; some which we probably haven’t even discovered yet.
What social media websites do you use, or ones you want to know more about? If there’s any you would like us to write an article on in more detail, please let us know.
Qantas – a company who has upset more than it’s fair share of Australians over the past few weeks after grounding their entire fleet on October 29.
So why not start a competition on Twitter? Win some hearts back, perhaps?
The prize? “A luxury amenity kit and our famous QF PJs.”
Passengers who were disrupted by the recent Qantas debacle are still heated, and this is plain poor timing – along with a prize that seems more like a poke at the Australian public. Nonsense prizes equal nonsense responses.
Social media is a fast-moving medium: #QantasLuxury is one of Australia’s top trending hashtags today. You can’t control what is published by the community in the social media sphere; I wonder how Qantas PR are coping?
Twitter is often used as a venting board for opinions. Qantas should have seen what was already being posted before launching the competition, then listening and responding to the current (negative) publicity first. Customer service is about listening to your customers before taking action – no matter how large or small the company is.
Considering this competition goes until Thursday, who knows where it will end?