Social media has emerged to play a critical role in marketing, and you really should be promoting your business regardless of what type or size, using social media platforms. Surprisingly enough, there are companies out there who aren’t making full use of their social media pages. These should be treated just like any other piece of marketing collateral, and should follow your branding guidelines. If you aren’t branding your pages, you are missing out on the opportunity to make a lasting impression.
As an art director I am overly concerned with how things look, it is a hazard of the job. It is my job to make sure a that all of the various pieces and elements throughout a marketing campaign are visually consistent, so they look like they belong together. Now, “matchy-matchy” is boring, but carrying design elements throughout multiple pieces of collateral is a must. Following this simple rule will help build your brand awareness and portray a consistent brand personality.
Here are four things you need to take into consideration when branding your social media:
Having your social media branded by a professional is the best way to go. We stay on top of layout changes, trends, and we can give you a tailored look with our mad design skills.
We’ve all had the experience and freedom of choosing our own typefaces. Remember in 5th grade when you wrote your report on the Aztecs, using Comic Sans because Times New Roman just wasn’t as much fun? Comic Sans appealed to us as children because it has an easy-going, cartoon-like quality about it (exactly the reason it was designed.) But something like Times New Roman is all business, very serious, like the kid who actually studied in study hall instead of doodling little hearts on their Trapper Keeper and passing notes with their friends.
Typefaces have the power to make or break a design. Different typefaces and how they’re used can completely change the message you’re trying to communicate. The typography of a design not only catches the viewers attention but it also helps to convey the mood and emotion of a piece, as well as helping to establish an audience base, who are you marketing to or designing for? If you’re designing a label for a liquor company you probably don’t want to use Comic Sans or Curlz MT, people may not be very happy that you’ve created a vodka for 8-year-old girls.
For designers, and much too often people who think they are designers (please I’m begging, leave it to the professionals?) choosing the right typeface is much like choosing the right pair of shoes. Typographer extraordinaire, Gail Anderson, put it in words best in this July’s issue of How when she explained, “Typography can be the vehicle for communication or it can even become the concept itself, which is pretty exciting”. The concept can be outstanding, but using the wrong font or even worse, fonts that don’t work cohesively, is like wearing running shoes with an evening gown. (Yes, this IS a bad thing.)
For as long as there’s design, and as long as everyone has access to a cornucopia of typefaces, there will always be examples of poor typography. That’s just life. But maybe go ahead and put it in your notes, Papyrus is unacceptable, and while you’re at it jot Comic Sans and Curlz MT down on that list too. Let’s leave it for the 5th graders and the comics.
Let me leave you with some font related funny (watch video).
Social media technologies have indeed touched humanity on a global scale. At almost no cost, we can connect with like-minded groups easily at tremendous scale and speed. All you really have to do is look at the statistics to realize platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have completely changed the marketing and advertising world for the better.
The transfer of information now is almost instantaneous. Marketing in the past was mostly limited to snail-mail, which is still the same today- costly and slow. Now we have communication at zero cost, with the capability of instant feedback in seconds. It’s easy for us to see which pieces of communication are working, and which aren’t. “Friends” can share what they “like”, and companies can easily engage with customers, which of course, increases your brand credibility. Who could possibly find negatives in that?!
From my own personal experience, I follow tons of brands, companies, and musicians and I always feel like I am up-to-date on what’s going on. There have been many times where I have posted a comment or question to a company Facebook page and almost always receive an immediate response, either from the company themselves, or other like-minded people. It’s easy and way more fun than sitting on the phone waiting for a store or company to pick up.
I think the key to social media profiles being successful is the “maintenance”. You constantly need someone checking in, following others, posting news items, and generating conversation. You need to build awareness by recruiting followers and fans. If you’re not responding to your audience and answering their questions, they will go elsewhere. Nothing will produce great results if you aren’t committed… and the same goes for social media in marketing and advertising!
I find it amusing that my co-workers, friends, and occasionally even family members send me the art direction fouls of others as if to infer I am guilty by job title. Enter the latest AD slip-up brought to light by Tim Nudd’s article in ADWEEK shared with me by my creative director. I stared at the image astonished and mouth gapping. As I read the blurb that gave quick and painful lashing to the Where Magazine art staff, it became apparent this was not their first, but their second offense of the year. All finger-pointing aside, let’s discuss a few basics—some design basics and some basic common sense—and reflect on what we can learn from the mistake of someone else.
Pay attention to details, and don’t forget the basics—they can make you, and they can break you, too.