#AwesomeConsistency – How Consistency Makes Your Brand Stand Out

In our last post, we talked about why consistency is essential to your social media strategy. The focus was mostly on what your audience expects in terms of presence. However, there are many reasons why posting consistently is a game changer for your social and one of them is brand impact. Not only are you vying every day for your target audience’s attention, you are competing against other brands to earn influence and credibility as well.
With our shortened attention spans and the flood of content being directed at us daily, standing out as a brand on social media is no walk in the park. Without consistency, it is difficult to adequately get your vision across to your viewers.  If you haven’t managed to deliver this in social, you can bet someone offering something similar has cracked the code. 
The businesses that are doing this will be instantly recognized – at a glance. You don’t have to read an ad to know if it’s coming from Nike or Apple or Disney. Your peripheral vision, and this instant recognition of their brand, is enough for an audience to immediately pinpoint whose marketing it is. 
How can you switch up your social postings to make them more consistent – and instantly recognizable? 
Schedule
The first step is putting together a solid editorial calendar. Having a set schedule for your posts will help you when creating content but also helps your audience know what to expect from you. Brands can also post above and beyond what their calendar entails as long as they stick to the consistent schedule. 
Style Guide
Having an overall idea of what your brand will look like online is a good idea but having it all put together into a branding style guide is even better. If you are investing any amount of time into developing your brand, then a style guide is necessary for maintaining consistency. Here are some examples of what a style guide looks like to give you an idea of what you will need to pull together.
Tone/Voice
Writers (and copywriters) fully understand how essential developing the right tone for copy can be. Having a brand “voice” will remind you how to remain consistent. Are you sassy? Professional? Informative? If you could describe your brand in three words – what would they be? 
First you have to define your voice and then you have to ensure that you are using the same tone in all your branding. Here is an article to help you get started.
Graphics/Images
Last, but certainly not least, is developing visual content for your online presence, marketing, and social media. 
“Visual content has become so prevalent that it’s no longer just a piece of the marketing industry, but its core.”
Kimberlee Morrison
To get attention today, you have to invest in visual content. Videos, graphics, memes, infographics, slide shows – all of these are visuals. Our attention spans are ridiculously short and a brand needs high-quality, stunning, eye-catching graphics in order to grab attention and get noticed. Consistency comes into play when developing these because you want your audience to instantly recognize you, and your brand, when they glance at content you’ve created. 

If you follow these guidelines, you will find that you are already ahead of the curve when compared to much of your competition. Creating your social media strategy, so you can #BeAwesome at what you do, should involve a plan ensuring your branding is consistent across all channels. 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#AuthenticallyAwesome – Authentic Education in Your Branding



Marketing has changed drastically in the past decade. The days of telemarketing, direct mail, and traditional advertising are long gone. People are choosing how they consume media – including how they are being sold products and services. We fast forward through commercials, toss our junk mail, have spam folders, and avoid answering calls or doorbells from people we don’t know. Permission-based marketing is really the only way to connect with a target audience anymore. That is why content marketing and influencer marketing have had so much traction. Today consumers have complete control over who gets to market to them. This is why consistent, quality content is the way to attract potential leads and clients. We have to give our audience something they wantto read, engage or interact with.
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.
Seth Godin
Today’s strategies for reach revolve around creating informational and educational content that the right audience will want to consume.  Our rates of media consumption are off the charts right now, especially on our mobile devices. Never in the history of humankind have we been so connected or driven to consume data, media and content. The online noise is LOUD. How does a small business owner make an impact and be found?
The answer is: they provide content that people find valuable.
Enter stage left – influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has a two-fold effect. Many marketers focus on the benefit of the reach that can be found in connecting with the audiences of popular influencers. However, the other huge perk of interacting with, and then becoming, an influencer is that you are building credibility and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
How do you establish yourself as a trusted expert and advisor? You offer education to your audience. This educational offering can take many forms…blogs, white papers, videos, webinars, or podcasts. Select the medium you feel most comfortable with and that you feel confident your audience will consume. You are a business owner for a reason – you have a skillset that others find valuable.  You provide value. Don’t convince yourself that you have to nothing to say or share. There are people eager to pay attention to what you have to say.
How do you make your educational offerings authentic? Don’t spend time attempting to copy or emulate someone else’s content. This is an easy way to get started but you have to give your followers something unique to you. They are following you because they appreciate what you have to say and how you express it. If you haven’t developed a “voice” for you and your brand – it’s time to do so. Authenticity is creating a voice and tone for your content that not only represents your branding but is also an accurate and honest depiction of who you are. That sort of content is what resonates with people.  It’s the way to create brand advocates – passionate followers who share your message wide and far….for free…just because your content impacts them in a positive way.
Incorporating education into your branding takes time and effort and doesn’t always have a measurable ROI. Finding a way to share this type of content in an authentic way is going to take some brainstorming and effort. However, the end result of this is a wider reach and a more dedicated following. What business doesn’t want that with their online presence?

Now go out there and create something AWESOME! I can’t wait to see you spread your message with the world.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#AwesomeBranding – Your Personal Brand is Just as Important as Your Corporate Brand

The Social Media Advisor specializes in training and supporting small businesses in their branding, storytelling and social media strategy. A decade ago the concept of corporate branding was still getting traction. However, today, branding is a must for companies of every size. The advances and innovation that new technologies have brought us are extinguishing traditional advertising methods. This is why branding and permission-based marketing methods are the most effective right now. People are tired of being pushy sales methods. That means that every company needs a solid, clear branding strategy so that their target audience truly understands what they are buying.
“Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations.” Scott Goodson, ForbesContributor
The workforce no longer needs to be convinced that branding is essential. The concept is mainstream enough today that large corporations and entrepreneurs – all of them invest in a branding strategy. A corporate brand focuses on the feeling or impression that their audienceexperiences when they think of your business. A lot of thought is put into a corporate brand and ensuring all the touchpoints that a person interacts with are infused with strategic branding.
What is a personal brand and why is it important?
Your personal brand is a separate entity from your corporate one. However, the idea is the same. When branding your own persona, the concept is to develop or hone the areas of your personality best suited to what you want your audience to think when they walk away from interacting with you. 
Today, people do business with other people… not corporations. They want to build a relationship with their customers, contractors and vendors. Building like, know and trust is more than just a social media construct. This is a cornerstone of relationship marketing. This is why personal branding is necessary. What is your audience seeking? Who will they trust and want to do business with? This is not an invitation to build a fake persona because that is not authentic or genuine and it will turn others off right away. However, it is an opportunity to examine your own personality and interweave it with your corporate brandingto come up with a personal brand that benefits you and, in turn, your business.
Here are five suggestions for developing a strong personal brand:
Keep Your Inner Circle Small
1.     Be mindful of what you say. We all have bad days. On days when you are feeling off your game, limit your negative communication to those in your inner circle that you trust. Do not just vent to any random person. You never really know who is connected to whom…and who would love to repeat what you say. Plus, a negative judgment could be attached to you and your business that will last long beyond your temporary moment of weakness.

Personal Branding Follows You
Your personal brand will move, and grow, with you. If you have a career change, parts of that personal brand will go with you. People will associate your personal branding with who you are…not just who you work with.
Consistency
Don’t want to confuse people? You have to keep your branding top of mind and consistent. If you are worried this will be difficult to accomplish, be certain that the foundations of your personal branding incorporate your true personality so that just being you – at your best – is enough.
Blending Your Branding
Be sure that your corporate and personal brands blend well together. If they are contrary in any way, this will work against you.
Accept the Way Branding Works
As with any branding, what others think about you (your personal brand) is ultimately not up to you. You cannot control another individual’s impressionsand thoughts. All you can do is build a branding strategy, follow it consistently, and hope for the best.

 

If you’ve already spent time building your corporate and personal branding, then it is time to roll out that strategy into your social media marketing and other marketing content. Need assistance creating a great story around your brand? This is where we excel. We can build out your online assets to reflect your branding in the best possible light and get you on the right track to creating quality content that is consistent with your messaging.
 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

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