Social Media Branding is easier than you think. After all, it's an extension of you.
One of the biggest advantages you have as a blogger is your ability to be you and let that shine through everything you do for your blog. Publishers and companies have a challenge to create an image of how they want to be perceived through branding, and you already know. You know who you are, why you're blogging and what you can provide to your readers that no one else can.
Your biggest challenge is figuring out how to have YOU shine through to your audience.
So let's dig into social media branding and some ways that it can help you do just that.
1. Intentionally define YOU
You will be the critical element in your blog branding since it's your voice that will be heard and your voice is what readers will ultimately connect your readers. We as humans are complex creatures and don't always feel the same way all the time. Which brings us to the ultimate question, which may be difficult for you to answer at first (and that's okay!). If you can't answer now, come back to it.
Who are you?
It's a big one, am I right? It will be the definition of "your brand" because you are your brand. How you answer will impact every aspect of your blog, writing and social interactions. I know that sounds a little scary, but if you answer truthfully, it's all natural and you won't have to think about it.
Next, we need to figure out who you're trying to reach. Who is your target audience?
Chances are, this answer will come naturally too. You are probably targeting someone like you, someone who is interested in the same interests you have(because if you're blogging about something you DON'T know or have interest in, your blog will probably be short-lived).
You've probably heard the suggestion to write like you're having a conversation with someone like they are sitting in front of you and you're telling them a story or explaining something to them. That is a perfect way to answer this question. Who is sitting next to you? What have you already started telling them?
Next up, we'll talk brand design.
Your brand design is the look and feel of your brand and blog. It might seem unimportant but it's crucial. It's someone's first impression of you online. So if your site is a mess or looks like those old MySpace profiles, chances are you won't be taken seriously and won't make a connection.
There are five elements that go into your brand design.
4. Image Style
5. Image Themes
Your logo is the reflection of you and your blog. You want to make sure that your logo is easily recognizable (think Coke, Pepsi, FedEx), includes your branding colors (coming up) and is not in violation of any trademarks or copyrights.
You don't need to hire a professional to create a logo. There are a lot of options out there. Buy one on Etsy, or Fiverr, you can even create one on your own in Canva.
Colors make a huge difference in the way people will perceive your brand. There is a science behind colors and the best way to start is looking at the different emotions that colors convey. Check out this color meaning article on Canva to help you choose yours.
Once you've decided on a color or two, it's time to pick out a color palette. Coolors.co makes it super easy (I use it all the time). You can lock colors and continue to shuffle through new ones in the spots that aren't locked. I usually have it open in a couple of tabs and come up with a few variations of palettes so that I can then choose the one I like best.
Fonts are another important way that we communicate our brand. Typically, you'll want to choose fonts that are included or are similar to a font within your logo to keep a cohesive look and feel. You'll want to choose at least two fonts; one for your titles (H1, H2 ...) and one for your body text. Your body text should be easy to read and at least 16 pt font. 99Designs has an awesome walk-through on choosing fonts here.
Image Style & Themes:
All images that you use on your blog and social media profiles should have a similar look and feel, not only to each other, but to your brand as well. The style includes having a similar concept for each image (If you blog about parenting, your images should be focused on parenting).
Coming up with image themes is where you make them your own especially for social media. The theme is where you add your overlays, colors, fonts and general design over or around your images.
How your branding is reflected on social media
We'll cover a brief outline on how you can incorporate your branding into social media.
When you finalize your brand, make sure you add these elements into your social media profiles.
Facebook Page: Use your logo as your main image (or your personal picture if that is more reflective of your brand). For your cover photo, you'll want to choose an image that goes with the style and theme of your brand (or, if you've chosen your personal image as your main image, include your logo in your cover photo).
Twitter: The same main and cover image rules apply for Twitter as they did on Facebook. One added feature is that Twitter allows you to choose a color for your links/profile. Choose the main color of your brand.
Instagram: Again, logo or personal image should be used for your main image.
Pinterest: Logo or personal image for main image and when you create your board cover photos, keep consistent with your image theme and styles.
Social Media Publishing:
When publishing to social media, you'll always want to follow your branding rules no matter what site you're publishing to.
Keep at it and you'll have a solid, cohesive brand that can be easily recognized in no time.
What's your biggest branding challenge? Are you doing anything special to brand yourself on social media? Do you prefer your logo or your personal picture as your main image on social media? Let us know in the comments!
Catrina Carne has been blogging since 2009 on various blogs and publications including the Huffington Post. She founded Boss Bloggers (https://bossbloggers.com) to allow bloggers to collaborate, partner and learn from each other. Professionally, Catrina's focus is on digital content, social media and interactive marketing.