Getting Social with Signage

Visual Theory

Make your signage results stand out with social media integration.

We use signs to navigate our world every day. They direct, inform and even entertain us. In fact, it takes just three seconds for signage to make an impact on us in a store, according to the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute’s 2014 Mass Merchant Study.

People are visual by nature, which is why signage works, says Scott Seroka, principal of Seroka Brand Management in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But you can’t just create a selection of signage and forget it. Changing the environment, including signage, is an essential component of effective merchandising, he says.

“If you put it up on a wall that’s great, but it needs to change every once in a while so it doesn’t become something people just gaze over and think, Yeah, yeah, I saw that a long time ago, or I’m aware that it’s there,” he says.

Think of the signage you use in your business as a powerful canvas that can communicate concisely with customers and prospects. From billboards and in-store signage to marquees at your location and even vehicle wraps, this versatile form of communication can do everything from reinforce your brand to help customers find and navigate your place of business.

If you use signage as a tool in your business and also have a strong social media presence, you have probably thought about linking the two. While that’s typically easy to do in traditional marketing materials and online, you have to use the space on signage carefully. Devoting too much space to social handles can create clutter, which makes the overall message less effective. You know that when you try to cram too much onto the sign, it may lose all of its effectiveness. At the same time, no one wants to miss a prime opportunity to promote across platforms.

Don’t worry! You can marry the two so they live happily ever after in brand promotional bliss.

Making social and signage work together

The first step in effectively integrating the two is to create consistency. Social media expert Justin Simon, chief social strategist for Evolve Influencer Marketing in Los Angeles, says that it’s a good idea to unify your social media addresses with your domain name. So, for example, if your business name is Sunshine Laundry, claim your Twitter handle, Facebook Page, and other social media designations so they’re consistent. A quick way to check whether the name you want is available across platforms is to use the site, he says. If you can’t get the name you want, consider modifying it slightly. Customers should be able to type a uniform name into the top two or three social media platforms and find your business, he says.

It’s also important to be consistent and meaningful. Customers and prospects should recognize that they’re dealing with the same company whether they’re in your place of business or visiting your social media profile, Seroka says. So, use similar colors, typography, and images in your social media presence as you have in your other branding and marketing efforts.

Use the space wisely

Once you’ve got the look and integration down, create your call to action. It might be a hashtag with your business name or campaign tag line or simply a call to “Visit us on Facebook.” If you have consistent names across platforms, you can use the icons for social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and simply include your company name, Seroka says. QR codes are another method of integrating your online presence with your offline presence. By simply scanning the code with a QR code reader, your device will load the content associated with the code, which may include product or company information and links to your social media sites.

Simon also adds that your integration efforts need to be interactive—you can’t just slap up a few photos and call it a day. For example, create a brand-related hashtag that you share on your signage, and follow it so you can participate in the conversation. Have additional content, contests, community, or other features that will make the payoff for visiting your site worthwhile.

Using signage and social together requires a one-two punch of great graphics and worthwhile social media content. When you integrate the two successfully, you can communicate important messages about your brand.

Explore simple, effective ways to build your brand and business with graphics.

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