These quick tips are designed to help you get through these hard times. If you have any tips that you want to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org(opens in a new tab)
I work in marketing, so of course I think branding is important! I’ve written before about how proper branding can help your business(opens in a new tab). (All of that is still true, by the way!) I could write more about how branding will change the way customers think of you. Or about how professional branding guidelines(opens in a new tab) will make you look more professional (and able to charge accordingly).
But I won’t do that today.
Today I’m going to show you what you can do yourself, for free, to improve your branding on social media.
You’re obviously on social media, but are you really making the most of it? An important step here is to have your posts look similar. You want people to know it’s you before they even look at the account name. Take a look at one of our Instagram posts:
View this post on Instagram
It doesn’t say Tourism Tiger anywhere on the image, but one of our followers would recognize it as ours. Even someone who is seeing a post from us for the first time might! Let’s break it down.
I use 4 main templates for our Instagram page. The one you see above, one just like it minus the text and blue box, one with a solid background featuring a website before & after, and one with a solid background featuring a video of a website.
“But, Stephanie, four is a lot. Not everyone will recognize all of your posts if you’re using so many templates!”
Well, Dear Reader, they will! Every one of those templates uses our logo in the corners and the same color palette. You won’t see bright red images on our Instagram. Okay, you might, but they’ll have a blue or green filter over them.
What can you do today to get started with your own templates? Jump into free design software! Google tells me than Canva has 2816+ free Instagram templates(opens in a new tab) for you to use. Go to their site, find one that you like, and make it yours. You can change the colors, add your logo, and play with it until you’re happy. There’s your template.
Now think about other ways you can use it. Let’s say you like this design:
View this post on Instagram
???????? ?? ??? | Anita – Right Key Inc It all began when my younger son started school, and I finally got a chance to go back to work but nothing was the same. I didn’t enjoy being an engineer and working 9 to 5 jobs anymore. I wanted to learn new things, things that I love to do, so I started to educate myself on web design and social media – I fell in love with digital marketing as a whole! It was at this time that I got to know Canva, which helped me with all my design needs without having any experience in graphic design. I started my own company, got some clients, worked as volunteer, and found new friends. But that was not the end of it, I worked hard, made my own youtube channel and have loved seeing it improve every day. I opened my own stores in Amazon and eBay and started selling lots of products, and now, I also teach Canva to kids in seasonal camps and women from my community. ?? ??????? ??? ????? ??? ????? ?? ????; ℕ? ?????? ????, ???? ???? ??? ??? ???? ??? ???????. #canva #canvastories(opens in a new tab)
What else can you do with it? You could keep the background color and change the shapes on it. You could keep the shapes and change the colors (remember to stick to your color palette!). You could use the box for images, videos, or text. Boom, you’ve got multiple templates to fit all of your needs and they all work together.
I’ve used Instagram as an example here because it’s the most curated of all social media platforms. However, you can use these tips and templates on any social media site.
Now let’s talk about tone. There’s more to social media than nice pictures. You also have to write. Here is what I said about writing for your website(opens in a new tab):
Take a look at your website. Have a friend take a look. Ask colleagues in the tourism industry to take a look. Ask random people to take a look. What do they think about your business based on what your website says? “Stephanie, your website seems awesome and I think your tours would be hilarious,” is great feedback if you’re offering a casual, friendly vibe. It’s not so great if you’re trying to be the local academic tour.
That is true for social media, too! You need to be sure that your tone matches your images and that both match your business. You can’t post a photo of your SCUBA tours with a caption that cites the Latin names of the fish in the photo along with information about the strength of the current and facts about the Gulf Stream. Or, you can, but with the knowledge that you’re marketing to biologists rather than adventure seekers. It’s okay to market to either, but know who you’re targeting and write your posts in a way that makes them interested.
You did it! You should now have a template, or templates, that you like. You have a voice for your posts. There’s nothing left but to use them – consistently. All of your posts should be in the same voice and with the same templates.
There will come a day when you think of a new thing you want to post about. Something you’ve never posted before. Maybe some user-generated content (UGC), which is to say pictures from your customers. Put them into your photo template. To make them stand out more you can give them a new color for the background, but be sure that you use it for all UGC you post in the future.
Whatever you do, be sure that it matches the image and text style you have established. As long as you do that, your social media branding will be great!
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