An Introduction to Brand Building with Social Media Like Twitter, and Facebook
Just how does a business go about brand building with social media?
It has been estimated that Facebook alone has over 900 million users and that Pinterest users spend more than 400 minutes a month pinning. When that many people are spending that much time on something, you might think it’s important that every business needs to consider it seriously. You’d be wrong: it’s not important, it’s vital.
What is Social Media?
For the uninitiated, it can seem like an impenetrable jungle of websites with poorly-spelt names: Flickr, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn. But they do have something in common. They’re part of a new way of doing business; one that puts the buyer in the driver’s seat.
Brand-building in the Virtual World
If you’re thinking of entering the social media world to extend awareness of your brand, think hard. You need to understand the environment and the culture before you jump in. There has been one than one household name brand that has almost destroyed their reputation by wading into Twitter without sufficient preparation.
To get off on the right foot, you need to learn the three P’s of Social Media:
It’s not about broadcasting what you want to say, it’s about participating. Join in other people’s conversations only when you have something worthy to contribute. The audiences here are not passive recipients, talk to them with respect, be polite and be worth knowing. Build relationships – not customer relationships, people relationships.
Define yourself to differentiate. Nobody wants to talk to a corporate entity (they never pay for the drinks). What makes you special is your passion for what you do. My Twitter ID is @inspirationguy and that’s my personality too – I love to inspire other people. What is your identity? Use your enthusiasm to express your brand values. Always remain professional; what you say is visible to everyone, so remain an honest ambassador for your brand and your organisation.
This is not like marketing offline. There is no quick fix. You can’t just place an ad and wait. Those days are gone, get used to it. Working within the social media world is an ongoing activity. Allow some time each day to devote to it and treat it with the same dedication as you would attending networking events or looking after your customers. Stay the course, it works.
The Next Step
There is a lot more to say about brand building with social media, but the key thing is to remember why you’re doing it. If it’s just to make a quick buck, forget it. That won’t work. If you want to participate in what I believe is going to be one of the most significant areas of business activity in the next few years, then you’ll be welcome. Whether you want to promote a business brand or your own personal brand, the rules are the same: an honest, generous approach can open doors that you never even knew were there. Of course, that’s always been true, hasn’t it?