Are you tasked with frequent social media posts and have hit the big wall of boring? Do you feel staying on brand stifles your creativity? Or maybe your metrics signal a change is needed. So, how do you shake things up without going wildly off brand?
Here are 8 tips to keep your posts engaging while following there-for-a-good-reason brand guidelines and consistently reviewing the metrics from each of your social platforms. At the end of this article, you’ll find a few examples of on-brand, creative posts from one of Verve Marketing Group’s clients, Particle Technology Labs.
3 Things to Keep Doing
If you are looking for a reason to go off brand, sorry to disappoint. That’s for another article, “How to go off-brand and not get fired.” SO, here are three things to keep doing (or begin if you’re just starting out):
1. Follow those brand guidelines.
If your company has a brand guide, use it. These guidelines will help inform the look and tone of your posts—and make your job easier. If you have no brand resources, work with your team to establish at least the correct use of:
- Images. This includes logo, primary and secondary colors, typestyle, and photos. A word about photography: eve if you don’t have a Nike-sized imagery budget, you can still pack a punch with photos. Check out another Verve Insight article, Website Design: Agency Tips on Imagery. These tips are equally applicable to social media.Also, remember the unchosen. Whether from a recent campaign or web redesign, there are often wonderful unused photos. Scour through those files and select ones that best tell your brand’s story.
- Language and Sound. The right tone, voice, taglines, and key messages in social media reinforce and advance your brand. Referencing these save you time and social currency. If the tone of your posts does not align with your brand, that content can come across as insincere or trying too hard to be hip. Regarding sounds: in the next section I touch upon what is now called “sonic branding,” incorporating sounds into your brand identity.
2. Mind your audience.
When populating your content calendar, continue to ask yourself, “Who cares?” Does this topic matter to your audience. Are you posting out of a need to tell vs. your audience’s need/want to know? Stay relevant by listening to your audience. Read the reviews and comments. What tone and words do your customers use when talking about your service or product? Find out from your sales and customer service teams they type of questions they field and the feedback they receive.
3. Keep posting regularly.
Consistency is not the enemy of creativity. If you are feeling stuck or boring yourself with your posts, it is tempting to post less. Don’t do it.
Posting frequently and consistently keeps your brand in front of your audience. Plus, not all your posts will connect with everyone. Multiple on-brand messages increase the likelihood of resonating with individuals based on their interests and needs at the time.
5 Ideas to Implement
Whether you have a small range of products/services or perceive your brand guidelines as restrictive, here are three ideas to help energize your content and further engage your audiences.
1. Consider refreshing or creating new, well-designed social media templates.
Templates save you time and help your audience recognize your brand. But trends and audience preferences change. Even brands evolve over time. Have your templates kept up with how your company presents itself? If your posts are no longer visually aligned with your brand, change them—purposefully. This is an opportunity to stay current yet true to your brand.
An easy upgrade is customizing a generic template. If your template is simply a consistent border with the signature corporate color, look at incorporating more of your brand’s assets. Customize the generic template by adding your logo, brand’s fonts and/or secondary colors.
If your organization has outgrown its own brand oryour logo simply not mobile friendly, you may need to do more than refresh your social templates. This helpful article will help you think through a rebranding initiative: When It’s Time to Rebrand.
2. Sound it out.
Weave sound—music, background, voice—into your posts. You may have already had a “sonic branding” article come up in your feed. This topic is gaining more traction and attention. Of course, jingles, tones and even particular voices have been tied to brands for decades. But content creators are expanding how they use sound to challenge media fragmentation and competition. Social media platforms are the perfect place to express your brand through audio.
Start thinking about sounds that align with your brand. What audio do you want consumers to replay in their head when considering a purchase of your product or a donation to your cause? If your company has a podcast, what sounds are they using for their intro, segues, closes and promos? This can be a tremendously fun project for your team and a critical addition to your brand guidelines.
3. Be curious about your company and its product/services.
Go beyond the standard of “we sell this and these are the features.” Surface stories behind the products and people. Ask yourself and others in your company about its past, present and future:
- What was the genesis of this product? Who had the idea? What need did it meet?
- How did we get here? What did it take to build the company?
- What does it take to make this product or deliver this service? Go behind the scenes and let your audience discover what it takes to deliver on your promises.
- What’s the future look like? Share your vision and your dreams with those who have shown interest by following you.
4. Look for social connections outside of your company.
The better you know your audience, the easier this will be. If you know what is on your audience’s radar and what they find interesting, you can better connect world/national/local stories that impact them.
“National or International Days Of” and holidays are a natural connection but also look for an interesting angle or image to post. Don’t let your “day of” get lost with similar posts in your audience’s feeds.
5. Bring it to life with video.
Videos are generally more engaging than static posts. Realistically, though, they do take more work and sometimes more money. Even if your tight on time and budget, fit in video. Plan it out. Identify the key messages that could easily be conveyed in video. There are many ways to do this—on your own or with hired help.
If you are a one-person-department, decide what you can do or who within the company can shoot some video for you. Both professionally shot video and cell phone footage can be phenomenally engaging. Just like with photos, surface b-roll and video that has been shot for a promotional or training video. Often, there is something you can use and overlay sound and graphics to make it more engaging.
Now let’s take a practical look at how Verve Marketing Group incorporated some of these tips into weekly social media posts for Particle Technology Labs.
Case Study: Particle Technology Labs
Communicating a complex yet fascinating subject through social media.
Particle Technology Labs (PTL) is a leader in the niche market of particle characterization testing with a particular strength providing insightful testing. Clients in diverse industries utilize particle analysis testing to monitor and ensure product quality and safety standards. The Verve team works in collaboration with Particle Technology Labs to implement an ongoing multi-channel marketing program, including social media marketing. Learn more about our partnership with PTL and how it created a 142% increase in website traffic.
Analytics showed that visitors to the PTL website referred from LinkedIn were especially high-quality visitors with a lower bounce rate, read more pages and stayed longer on the website. Therefore, as part of an overall strategy to increase traffic from these visitors, we proposed increasing posts from 2X a month to 4-5X a month for both LinkedIn and Facebook. The audiences for these platforms may have a strong scientific background, but not necessarily.
Two content challenges.
When creating PTL’s content calendar, there were really two main challenges:
1. Going beyond the expected. “Lab” is in PTL’s name so of course there will be posts featuring the expert team and the technology. But when posting 4-5x/month, you need more than shots of shiny equipment and researches looking into microscopes.
2. Crafting smart but not complex content. As a leader in the field, it’s important that PTL’s posts convey professionalism and scientific expertise. The goal is to not insult the audience’s intelligence but also recognize the audience will include non-scientists.
Below are a few examples of posts that stayed within the PTL’s desire for professionalism and expertise while going beyond the expected images and scientific jargon.
1. Referencing “National Days Of…” and Holidays
While seasonal holiday and “days of” posts are some of the easiest, we like to go beyond the exected. In addition to science-related holidays, we look for ties to the industries that PTL serves.
Here is PTL’s 2023 holiday post—festively scientific. If you search correctly, you can find a most fitting stock image!
What do cows have to do with a lab? PTL analyzes all sorts of dairy products for the food and drink industry. Therefore, we took advantage of National Cow Appreciation Day.
Note: The above was posted prior to Verve Marketing Group redes of PTL’s logo. In the following examples, you will see the new logo designed to visually reference PTL’s services.
2. Let your logo inspire.
With Particle Technology Labs’ new logo debut, we had the opportunity to incorporate similar colors and pattern in posts as you will see below.
3. Drive to your blog to showcase expertise.
A robust section of blogs assists in SEO, furthering the PTL brand and elevating the expertise of PTL’s staff. Many of the blogs tackle highly scientific topics. For instance, to promote article focusing on the roots and of rheology (the branch of physics that studies the flow of matter), we created this image:
4. Connect through video.
Video has a way of connecting and demonstrating like no other medium. We used video to introduce clients to a real life staff member on the customer care team to bring life to the somewhat mundane but all important aspect of sample testing – how clients should package samples to ensure safe arrival:
Video is also used to help customers connect with the chemists actually conducting tests and to get a behind the scenes look at the instruments in action.
By Lucinda Armas, Content Strategist, Verve Marketing Group. Being a content creator is a lot of fun. No day is the same—or should be! Plus, I’ve become vastly more interesting at parties. I can tell you what makes super-premium ice cream better than others, how particle characterization is part of your everyday life or where marginalized Chicago kids can take up the expensive sport of sailing. If you’re ever feeling stuck with your content calendar, reach out for a quick chat: firstname.lastname@example.org.