Brand Consistency Across Social Media Is No Easy Task

eCornell recently launched a free online course focused on training hospitality professionals in the new media marketing skills needed for professional success. In Marketing the Hospitality Brand through New Media: Social, Mobile & Search, one of the key topics we talk about is managing a brand in today’s marketing environment.

Communicating the company brand across channels has always been a challenge, even before new media came onto the scene. Now it takes even more of a disciplined, concerted effort to create “one voice” for the brand. No matter the medium or venue, you want the consumer to take away a clear understanding of what experience they’re going to have with your brand.

As a hospitality marketer, you also want to make sure not to create marketing “silos” or messages that are so distinct that they are disconnected from all others. To do so would be to create confusion in the eyes of the consumer about what your brand means and what it stands for.

Add to that equation that an increased number of media channels are outside of the marketer’s control (for example, online travel agencies and review sites). It was hard enough managing the brand voice across traditional channels that were essentially marketer-driven, but now with consumer-generated media, the consumer very much influences the brand.

That doesn’t mean that that influence can’t be managed or shouldn’t be managed. This means across the company’s Facebook presence, for example, or in responding to TripAdvisor posts, or in Twitter feeds or whatever other social media or mobile media channels are used, that brand voice still has to be consistent.

Adding to the complexity is that social media strategists within the organization may not be working inside the silo that is the brand management team. The way in which they would communicate with customers through social media still has to convey the brand. It still has to use the same kind of language and symbolism.

In short, this makes the management of that communications task all the more complex but also all the more necessary, since this is a two-way dialogue between the brand and the customer.