Our Approach to Relaunching Our Brand on Social Media
For our milestone birthday this year, we gifted ourselves a new brand positioning and visual identity. Crafting our new future meant that alongside our rebrand, we also needed to reimagine our presence on social media to match.
We set out to devise a brand-aligned social media strategy, taking the opportunity to audit ourselves, our competitors and our aspirants, define both our overall and channel-specific strategies, and of course, prep our social accounts to visually reflect our new brand.
Auditing Ourselves, Competitors and Aspirants
The first step in figuring out what was next for us on social media was analyzing how we’ve represented ourselves and how the surrounding landscape shows up. We audited ourselves, five of our competitors (agencies we are often grouped with) and five of our aspirants (agencies with whom we hope to share the table).
We approached our social media audit as curious researchers gathering facts. We tossed aside all judgments and started digging — asking broad questions and collecting answers to bring the current state into focus.
As we dug in, we analyzed a handful of key areas for each agency/brand:
- Platforms — What social media platforms are they on? What social media platforms do they advertise having a presence on?
- Posting Frequency — How often do they post on each social media channel per month?
- Tone by Channel — What tone-of-voice words could describe their writing?
- Imagery — What types of imagery do they use (professional photos, illustrations, branded assets, cell phone shots, stock or something else)?
- Top Post Categories — What are they posting about?
By approaching our audit as researchers rather than judges, the observations about our brand’s presence on social media became more objective — allowing our findings to be less about “good” versus “bad” and more about how we fit within our market. The audit revealed that we had room to differentiate ourselves from our direct competitors, and room to learn from our aspirants’ use of platform-specific features and content innovation to shape our social presence.
If you choose to conduct a similar audit before relaunching your brand on social media, start by benchmarking your current approach and finding inspiration — allowing other brands’ experimentation to encourage your own as you fine-tune your brand’s unique value proposition across social networks.
Creating a Social Media Strategy Framework
Setting the Overarching Principles of Our Strategy
With our audit findings in tow, the next step was to create the guideposts of our strategy. Between Mediacurrent’s revised brand personality (curious, realistic, crafted and altruistic) and our audit observations, we landed on the following principles for our social strategy:
- Be Platform-Specific — Our audit revealed that our aspirants were successful in leveraging platform-specific features (think Stories and carousels for Instagram, threads and replies on Twitter, etc.). We had yet to use many of them. Being crafted is at the core of our refreshed brand personality, so we knew being platform-specific, both by using platform features and adjusting what content we share on each platform, would honor that facet of our brand.
- Prioritize Quality vs. Quantity — The brands in our audit varied widely in posting frequency, and those receiving the most visible engagement were not always the brands posting most often. Having a post quota had previously put pressure on our teams to be in constant production mode, so with the “realistic” facet of our brand personality in mind, we agreed to set quantity requirements aside and instead focus on quality.
- Focus on Purpose — We noticed that when brands were intentional about the types of content they shared, their content came across more effectively. By taking that into account and recentering our social channels to operate as vehicles of brand reinforcement, we decided that everything we did on social media should ladder back to a larger purpose, business goal or a key message.
For us, these principles have been key. We’ve returned to them when we’ve had questions about whether or not a new idea is a good fit for our refreshed brand, or when we’ve been tempted by old habits and needed to be reminded of our new direction.
Though the principles you set for your brand may look different from ours, we encourage you to take your brand personality and audit findings to craft the guideposts for your social media strategy that are authentic to your brand.
Crafting a Channel-Specific Strategy
Grounded in our three pillars, and honing in on being platform-specific, we also created strategies for each of our social media profiles. For each channel, we defined:
- Channel Purpose — What is the main goal of this channel?
- Target Audiences — Which audiences that are commonly on this platform are we trying to connect with?
- Brand Personalities — Which brand personality aspects are we leaning into for this channel?
- Tone — How will our voice manifest on this channel?
- Types of Content — What types of content do we want to share on this channel?
- Posting Frequency — As a very broad guideline, how often should we post?
Take LinkedIn as an example for each of these areas:
Channel Purpose — The channel purpose, or our main goal for the channel, is to showcase Mediacurrent as an awesome workplace. It’s a space to celebrate our great team and attract more great talent to our company.
Target Audiences — Our target audiences are prospective and current employees and others in the Open Source community who are interested in what we do. Our different channels focus on different audiences, but with LinkedIn being a professional networking platform, we knew it would be the perfect channel for us to connect with our team and potential talent.
Brand Personalities to Convey — As far as our brand personality, for LinkedIn we settled on emphasizing “realistic” (down-to-Earth) & “crafted” (skilled). Our team is made of skilled and down-to-earth people and our goal is to use the platform to connect with others who also fit those descriptors.
Tone — For all of our channels, we set a series of tones on a spectrum and decided which mix made the most sense for that channel. For LinkedIn, our goal was to be more friendly than formal, more inspirational than instructive and more conversational than reserved.
Types of Content to Focus On — We decided we would pivot our content on LinkedIn to showing off our team, our work, our insights and our events.
Recommended Posting Frequency — Our broad posting maximum is somewhere between 4–8 times per month, but we give ourselves flexibility to allow us to focus on quality above all else.
We did this for each of our social media channels, creating guidelines that felt actionable day-to-day.
Going through similar prompts — as the six we used above — can help you be more intentional and allow you to craft strategies tailored specifically to each of the channels your brand has a presence on. While some overlap may happen between channels, having a unique approach to each can allow you to access different audiences across your channels and tap into different skill sets within your teams to meet the content needs of each.
Tactical Brand Launch
Our last step — the step most brains jump to when hearing “rebrand” — was to update our profiles to reflect our new visual identity and dive into the small details of our profiles to ensure our brand refresh was represented through and through.
Our designers crafted new cover and profile images, and we also took time to update the small details of our profiles to better reflect who Mediacurrent is today. Something as small as changing our location on Twitter from “Georgia” (where we are headquartered) to “Global” (how our team is distributed) made every inch of our social presence more consistent and representative of who we are.
We cleaned up our old content, archiving all of our previous posts on Instagram and resharing neutral content on LinkedIn and Twitter to create a visible break in our timelines.
We crafted the messaging to announce our new chapter, and after a lot of hard work, pushed send.
Where We Are Now
It has been a few months since we’ve rolled out our new brand, and we’ve been grateful that we put in the work on the front-end to start fresh on social media.
Since the launch of our new brand, our presence on social has felt like an extension of our other marketing channels and our brand as a whole. We’ve continued our efforts into our social media management, built new social calendar tracking, organized a committee of team members to help with social media choices and also crafted a supporting content strategy that complements our approach to social.
Building a strategy and plan to relaunch our brand on social media has kept us energized about the potential our channels have now and in the future.
If you’re undertaking a similar endeavor and are feeling stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to give you any tips along the way.
Bruna Siqueira-Davis is a creative strategist at Mediacurrent. She’s been an avid devotee of Bejeweled since the early 2000s. She is currently on level 711 (a source of pride and shame) and continues trying to climb the game’s ranks.