10 Ways to Socialize Your Brand
When it comes to branding on social media platforms, many marketers underestimate what they need to do to extend their brand’s attributes onto these networks. This holds true for B2C, B2B, not-for-profits (NFP) or solopreneurs.
Take a page from Mad Men Al Ries and Jack Trout. In their classic book, Positioning: the Battle for your mind (Amazon Affiliate Link), they recommended that brands aim to own a word in the mind of their prospects. This is especially important on social media platforms where your brand and related words have search implications.
Here are ten ways to consistently build your brand on social media platforms.
- Put your brand into your name. Your choice of name is one of the most important you’ll make. Will you use your own name or will you create a unique name? If you think that you’ll sell the firm at some point, then you probably don’t want to use your own name. Make sure that you can get the URL for your organization’s name and check that it’s not someone else’s trademark. Stick with URLs ending in .com, .net or .org since these tend to be what most people understand. Stay away from numbers, dates and dashes because these are confusing to consumers. Consider your competitors’ names and URLs as well. Will consumers be confused? Will people be able to spell it when they hear your name? If your desired domain is currently owned but not in use, consider a domain expiration service. Stake out your name on every social media platform. If it’s in use by another company, consider whether it’s worth changing your name.
- Position your brand. Know where you stand in the community so people can stand with you. Bring a unique creative perspective. Bear in mind that every niche you want to tackle probably has someone in it. You must distinguish yourself from other competitors in a way that’s memorable and creates an emotional tie.
- Brainstorm words people associate with your brand. Think in terms of keywords. (Google Keyword Tool can be helpful for doing this.) Check your competitors’ search terms. What words to your prospects and customers use? This helps you to develop content around these terms.
- Build your brand’s story. While you can collect all the facts you want, they’re difficult for people to remember. Incorporate this information into a story with a beginning, middle and end to aid memorability. It also gives your brand personality that helps prospects remember your firm. As Dan and Chip Heath point out in their book, Made to Stick (Amazon Affiliate Link), people are hard wired to remember stories.
- Use your brand’s visual cues. This includes the full breadth of options. While many marketers think of brand colors first, don’t limit yourself to one element. Incorporate objects, shapes, icons, typography and photographs.
- Integrate a culture into your brand. In social media, developing a culture is important because it supports community building, whether it’s Burning Man or Triberr. Special language is part of this process and can help extend your brand.
- Determine appropriate social media platforms. Every social media platform has its own nuances. While it’s important to stake out your name on every network, you don’t have the resources to be actively present on all of them. Therefore, decide where you’ll focus your efforts
- Choose a brand ambassador. You need a person to represent your brand on social media platforms since no one wants to hang out with a logo. By putting your brand out there on various networks with a face and a name, you build trust since people know who you are. Remember, it’s important to create a good first impression.
- Develop related interests. Understand you can’t always use your core brand attributes. In this case, it’s useful to have related interests that your target audience associates with your brand or people especially on newer, visual platforms like Pinterest. For example, Billboard shows food that musicians like on Pinterest.
- Incorporate your brand into your social media engagement. Think broadly in terms of the language and sounds you use. Extend this to include how your brand presents itself in terms of representatives and what they wear. (Here’s a full set of tips to help you with branding on social media platforms.)
Consistently present your brand across social media networks to help build recognition and engagement. Remember on social media platforms, your brand may be dissociated from the cues by which your prospects and customers know you.
What other elements are important for socializing your brand and why?
This column was inspired by a number of speakers at BlogWorld Expo New York including Amy Porterfield, Ric Dragon and Dino Dogan.
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualpunch/4615332528/