So many of my clients ask me about the “right way” to highlight their social network links, such as Facebook and Twitter, on their existing websites. Specifically, they want to know where they should place the social media icons or badges and what they should look like.
Some people just throw up an icon of the Twitter bird and the blue “f” for Facebook, link the icons to their accounts and that’s it. And honestly, that works for them. That’s all they need to be off and running.
However, there are other individuals and companies that want to create a brand synergy across their Twitter account, Facebook fan page and their website (and I think this is a smart strategy).
The word “branding” is a pretty loaded word and there is a lot I could say about it. But for the sake of this blog post, I am talking about visual branding and how to be memorable and stand out visually in a swarm of similar services and products. (Side note: For some great articles on individual branding, click here to check you these 10 posts by Chris Brogan.)
Just today I came across a company that created this type of brand synergy and it caught my eye instantly.
The company is called Theory and they are a high-end clothing company for men and women. The stores remind me of a small New York boutique; almost everything is black, white or gray and their selection is small, but fantastic. I’m a fan of their clothes to say the least!
But despite my complete bias here, they really did a great job of making Facebook and Twitter their own. I was impressed with the way they stylized the icons and used their own branding (a bit edgy, kind of cool) to create exposure for their social media platforms. It seems like such a simple thing, but it really makes a statement.
Here’s their overall look:
And here’s how they created great synergy with their Twitter and Facebook icons:
Not only did they use the same colors and font of their brand, but I love the statement, “In Theory, everyone wants to be our facebook fan.” It’s cocky, cool and makes you want to be a part of the in-crowd. Smart.
Here they give the Twitter bird a little edge to create a synergy with their brand. This, along with their Facebook badge, gives their social media presence on their homepage a great shout out.
Here’s a little disclaimer:How you ENGAGE with your audience on these networking sites (listen more than you talk, connect, add value, listen some more) is far more important than what your social media badges looks like. That’s a no-brainer. However, if we were taking a look at the whole picture, this small branding piece is definitely part of the whole mix and it should not be overlooked.
And speaking of engagement, Theory unfortunately has missed the boat completely. When I went to the Twitter account and the Fan Page, there was very little engagement (actually, there was no engagement). This company only pushes information and does not connect with their audience or try to build relationships. I did not see even one “@ reply” on their Twitter stream. The info they put out is great, therefore it is a shame that they are completely missing the idea of community.
By only pushing out information, Theory is missing a HUGE opportunity to learn more about what their audience wants and turn interested buyers into RAVING FANS. It’s a shame because they do a great job (visually speaking) of getting people to these networking sites once someone hits their website.
Now it’s your turn. Take a look at your site. How are you calling out your social media platforms . . . or are you at all? How could you put a spin on the look and feel of the badges to make them not only stand out more, but look more like an overall streamlined brand strategy, vs. just an afterthought?