What Does It Mean to Be “On-Brand?”

By Jenn Burgess, Junior Art Director

Every day I poke at my keyboard and tablet, nitpick over the arrangement of cookies on a plate, and obsess over using a certain shade of blue—all with the promise of delivering “on-brand” content for my clients. 

But what exactly does it mean to be “on-brand” in the social space? Sure, anyone can refer to a brand guidelines PDF and follow a formula to create an incredibly eye-catching billboard that the client adores, but how does that translate to a Facebook post or an Instagram photo?

Let’s take a look the Essentials of a Brand Identity:

 
 

Now, how do you use those elements on social specifically?  

Facebook

  • Add your brand’s logo to your profile picture.
  • Update your cover photo regularly (perhaps to make an announcement or showcase a new product).
  • Use a graphic template for all images. Do you include a logo at the bottom? Does every image post have the same background color? Is every image the same size?
  • Create a standard for videos. Does that mean including a title card or an end card? Maybe both?
  • Keep typography sizes and colors consistent.
  • Add captions to photos or videos in your brand tone. Don’t make a joke unless it’s fit for your brand. Don’t post about holiday celebrations unless they are important to your brand. 

Instagram

  • Add your brand’s logo to your profile picture.
  • Summarize your brand in the bio section and be sure to include a link to your website.
  • Optimize all designs and photos for square view—this is an Instagram essential! 
  • Use a graphic template for all images. Do you include a logo at the bottom? Does every image have the same filter?
  • Use video wisely! Instagram is still native for photos, but if Boomerangs are a fit for your brand, give them a try.
  • Curate your feed so there is consistency. Try not to post images that look aesthetically similar back-to-back. Break up the feed with images varying in angles, products, or other compositions.
  • Add captions in your brand tone. Don’t make a joke, unless that’s the fit for your brand. Don’t post about holiday celebrations unless it’s important for your brand. 

Twitter

  • Add your logo to your profile picture.
  • Update your cover photo regularly (perhaps to make an announcement or showcase a new product?)
  • Summarize your brand in the bio section. Be sure to include a link to your website and your location! 
  • Tweets are the epitome of your brand’s tone. Be sure your tweets are relevant and personify who you want your brand to be. 
  • Photos and videos add substance to tweets. Use the style guidelines from the other channels above to make sure the content is on-brand. 
     

What do you do to keep your social channels on-brand? Are there any accounts you think do a good job at personifying their brand on social? Share your thoughts in the comments below!