Whether you are a startup, a growth company or a mature company, and whether you want to sell products, gain subscribers, persuade followers or sway hearts and minds to your cause, you will first have to tell them who you are.
Billions of us now use digital marketing and social media to connect with friends, family, and random strangers around the world. And it is precisely this connectivity that makes social media an immensely powerful tool to grow and improve your brand image and – eventually and hopefully – your company.
So, how can you make the marketing and connectivity of social media work for you and your company? Frankly, the rules are pretty much the same.
First – WHAT Is Brand Image Anyway?
Your brand is the impression other people have of your products or services. Brand image is a feeling or a reaction people have when they see your logo or company slogan, advertising or actual products. For example, some car brands are associated with a certain lifestyle, so when a middle-aged man purchases a sports car, he is not buying the vehicle per se, but the idea that owning such a flashy car will boost his sex appeal and make him more attractive to ladies. That’s true guys (don’t giggle -:). Hopefully, the reaction to your attempt to develop, refine, or reinvent your brand image will be positive, although you may sometimes find that the brand image you were aiming for is not necessarily the impression you want your customers to have.
WHY Is Social Media So Important and HOW does it impact Brand?
Social media has the power to influence how people view your business. Every time someone sends a tweet or posts a comment on Facebook about your products or services, the message spreads. Positive recommendations and favorable product reviews have an instant effect on how your customers interact with you, and with the global reach of social media websites, you have the ability to promote your brand to a worldwide audience.
People use social media to chat, exchange opinions and talk about everything and anything. Inevitably, shopping is a popular topic, and it is very common for users to offer opinions on products they buy, or share their purchase and usage experiences with other users. This of course affects a brand greatly and it is not difficult to see how even a few negative stories can soon spread virally across sites such as Twitter and Facebook – “trending” they call it -, and have disastrous consequences for your brand and reputation.
Now let us talk about the STRATEGIES TO BUILD A BRAND with social media?
Social media is a great way to spread the word about your business and get the message out there. It goes without saying that you have to be honest about the product or service you are selling for, it will soon come back and bite you if you try and mislead your potential customers about the benefits of buying into your brand. Your key strategies to build a brand should revolve around three key themes:
- Create interest using various social media channels
- Listen to feedback from viewers
- Keep the content interesting
Here is a quick summary of tactical items that a company can focus on:
- Create a Familiar Look & Feel – Before you even worry about posting, make sure your business looks the same on your different social networks.
- Choose a Brand Voice – How will your business interact? Will you use a lot of humor? Respond using we or I? There is no right or wrong way to approach brand voice, other than that It should be consistent. Your brand’s voice should also reflect your business as a whole. Social media is about showing off who your business is, so try to ensure that your media voice embodies it.
- Post Consistently on various social media outlets – Facts say it all – 82% of companies that post content daily get their leads much faster than those who post weekly or monthly. Creating a consistent brand identity requires consistent posting habits. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Nothing hurts a business more than creating social media accounts and then not posting to them. If a potential customer searches for your business on Facebook and sees that you have not posted in a month, they could easily assume you went out of business.
- Repurpose Content – Time is such a crucial asset for small businesses. Repurposing content WILL save you time! Repurposing content means taking existing content and putting a spin on it. Most of the time required for creating content is spent researching facts, finding relevant pictures, etc. Why put in all that work and then use it only once?
Being consistent at anything in life requires detailed preparation, active experimentation and your stakeholders’ commitment. Make sure anyone that will be a part of your social media efforts is trained to understand how to maintain your business’s identity. When a business is noticeably consistent, customers begin to trust them and want to buy from them!
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