Within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone you make a solid decision of what you think of them. That’s exactly the same with your brand and your audience. The only difference on social is that you need to impress your audience near enough immediately before the user scrolls past your content. That’s why strong and consistent brand messaging is key.
You might not think that brand messaging is particularly important when approaching your social strategy but it can make or break the performance of your content!
First impressions count.
Can you remember the last post you didn’t scroll past? What was it that made it memorable? Was it simple and clear brand messaging with a particular personality? (most probably!)
The key is to not over complicate things and get straight to the point. Copywriting these days doesn’t have to be complex. The average UK reading age is around 9 years old so when crafting content, don’t use cool, snazzy, long words. Write as if you were talking to a 9 year old you.
Find the right platform.
Having so many different social platforms and different types of content, it’s so important to understand which ones are the best fit for your brand and adapt your brand messaging accordingly.
Just because your competitors might have accounts across multiple social platforms, doesn’t mean you have to. Do some testing or market research across channels to see which one is right for you. You want to avoid having an account on a channel which is then left dormant, with the last post being a year ago.
There are some cool platforms out there, like IFTTT, that help pull the data and publish it across platforms. Yes, it saves you time in the long run but is taken as a more scattergun approach.
Make your brand messaging feel authentic.
Just as finding the right platform is important, each platform also has it’s own way of working. Audiences will behave differently depending on which platform they are on. To really stand out and make a statement on the different channels, you need to understand how the audience interacts and how your ads and brand messaging can tap into this. If it’s not authentic and in keeping with the platform, it won’t perform well.
Every platform has a unique ‘best practise’ format and it’s best that you find out how your brand can mould content and create authentic messaging around those expectations.
Let’s look at some examples;
- If you were to put a tailored TikTok ad on Facebook and a Facebook ad on Tiktok, they would both feel inauthentic and the user would, most likely, scroll past it. The key is to try to make your ads blend with the user’s feed, so when scrolling they feel that the content feels natural and not glaring obvious.
- Youtube has bumper ads which are 6 seconds long so if you blink you’ll miss them. Even though Youtube is treated as a television to some audience members, bumper ads are not like your typical TV ads. The bumper ads need to attract the audience immediately.
- To create a solid ad across social I follow a four step process to make sure we hit every point; ABCD (Attract, Brand, Connect, Direct). Following these steps alongside your unique brand messaging will help hook the audiences and make a greater impact.
A distinctive voice.
As previously mentioned, first impressions count! A tone of voice is something that your audience will immediately notice and remember. It will be one of the reasons why they are interacting with your brand. Against your competitors, your tone of voice is something that can set you apart.
Does your brand have a confident voice when talking to your audience?
If you’re stuck on how your brand should sound, test it! Plan out a few posts and make them sound slightly different; add some humour to one, have one with a more serious tone, maybe more analytical and one super simple. Push them all out and see which one performs best. This can then give you more insight into how your audience likes to be spoken to.
Don’t just leave it at social though! Pass it through your website, emails, packaging, invoices – every touchpoint that your audience sees. Keep adding little things and testing to see how your audience reacts. You might not get there overnight but if you’re keen to understand how your audience wants to be spoken to, it’s worth it!
Always remember, it’s not what you want or how you want to sound, it’s how the brand is perceived and how the audience wants to be spoken to that’s important.
Who is doing it well?
Innocent Drinks and M&S are two great examples of companies with a consistent tone of voice. Innocent are always really witty with everything they say across all consumer touch points from packaging and even their bio on Twitter!
M&S are memorable in so many ways. Everyone can recite their commercials, ‘It’s not just food, it’s M&S food’. They have a recognisable style with a smooth, sensual voice, creating a really engaging way to speak to the customers.
Each brand, although both in the food and drink market, have completely different brand messaging that is centred around their audience. It’s unique, memorable and really works!
It’s becoming harder than ever to attract a consumer’s attention. So have a strategy for your brand messaging, test it, change it and make valuable content!