At How to Build a Brand, we’ve been hearing a lot of dialogue about social media and how it can be sort of a quick fix for any brand building and positioning problem. We’ve also heard that brand building and positioning is now easy, effortless, and swift thanks to social media.
We don’t wholly disagree with these statements; however, the messages they’re sending are flawed, and have the potential to send promising brands in the wrong direction.
Nothing about brand building and positioning is quick or easy. It’s exciting, rewarding, inspirational…but not for the hobbyist. Brand building and positioning require education (from reputable sources), research, practice, perseverance, and dedication. Innovation is key and creative thinking is the stuff that ground-breaking brands are made of.
Now we’re getting closer to social media’s genuine role in brand building and positioning.
Brand Building and Positioning with Social Media
A social media presence for your brand is not something you build overnight, and a page thrown up with the intention of repairing an integral flaw in your branding strategy will not work the miracles some have promised. Creating a social media page – whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, or Google – does not guarantee any type of brand building; however, the development of an audience and the engagement of that audience through the appropriate social media channel will help you to reach new heights in brand building and positioning.
Consider these pieces of branding advice when integrating social media into your branding strategy:
- Build your audience. Whether you choose to do this organically or with the help of a social media channel’s promotion, people cannot possibly know about your social media presence unless you put your brand in front of the right eyes. As you build content, work simultaneously on enhancing the number of people in your social media audience. Be sure to utilise existing sources, like your email contact list and friends-of-friends, where appropriate.
- Know your audience. There are plenty of things you want to tell your audience, and you should. Remember that you also need to tell them (and show them) what they want to know and learn about. Keep them intrigued so they will like and share your posts.
- Respond to criticism with tact. Whenever your brand is criticised, take the opportunity to say “thank you” for the feedback and then work to better your brand.
- Make your brand’s values evident. For many brands, social media is the place where they can most fully express personality and mission. Get personal. Stir up emotion. Tell people what your brand is about by showing them what you believe in.
- Analyse what works. Most social media channels come with tools for monitoring activity. Take note of which types of posts elicit the highest number of comments or likes, what time(s) of day sees the most views, what type of marketing results in the most followers…and use the information you gather to enhance your social media branding strategy.
- And most important to today’s conversion, make social media a regular, scheduled part of your daily operations – just like payroll, accounts receivable, filing, and answering the phones. Respond quickly to comments. Post relevant information regularly. Resist the temptation to view social media as a branding bandage (or a quick fix), and instead learn to see it as a plan for avoiding injury and promoting good brand health…every day.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS
Social media has proven itself be an indispensable part of brand building and positioning. Do you know what social media channels are best for your brand? How about what types of status updates you should be posting, and at what time(s) of day? Should you be automating your social media duties?
In conclusion, social media is not a quick fix for brand building and positioning problems; however, it is an effective, lasting, and influential addition to any branding strategy.
At How to Build a Brand, we know that you have lots of questions surrounding brand building and positioning with social media, and we have the advice to answer all of them. Follow us on Twitter at BrandExpertTips to learn more.