Branding is important in any business. Having a good brand means having a good reputation in the eyes of the people especially their prospective customers, something that probably all companies would like to have. Of course, if you have a reputable brand, it is easier for you to earn people’s trust and be on the top of the game.
Do not get confused, though. It is not just about the overall quality of your products or services you offer. It is also about people’s response when you market to them or when they encounter your brand. It also involves their perception and the associations they make when they see your products or hears about your services.
This is the reason why business branding involves conditioning. To be able to succeed at it, you have to condition your target audience or market to associate your brand with something that is good or something that matters to them. This is to help them realize the significance of your brand, most especially in their lives.
Most of all, you also have to ensure that they recall your brand. It is not easy, though. Business branding is not something you can do overnight. It requires a series of actions, which will eventually pay off in the long run. But the good news is that you can actually use social media as you strive for a better and more powerful brand.
And, most of all, you need to be patient about it. You cannot expect to have a good brand in an instant. It really takes for most people to absorb things and be conditioned to associate you with certain things.
But of course, this does not mean that good branding is impossible to have. Many companies have already succeeded at it, in fact. As long as you know how to do it, you can also do well at it. To make these things happen, here are some ideas on how you can make use of social media for online business branding.
1. Always, always use your logo and be consistent.
Do not miss any exposure. Make sure that you always include the logo of your business in whatever contents you post online. This is to make sure that even if your contents get reposted elsewhere on the net, they will still carry your brand and people will always realize that those materials are yours.
In short, you have to always include your logo in every content materials you create such as infographics, whitepaper, video guide, etc. You can also watermark your own materials such as original photographs so you can ensure that you promote your brand with them.
Consistency also counts. Be consistent when using your brand’s logo and make sure that you use only one for all your social networking accounts. This means that the logo version you are using for your Facebook should be the same with the one you are using for your Twitter account. Same goes for all other social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even Tumblr.
Using different versions of your logo may cause confusion among your followers. So, in case you need to change your logo, make sure that you update all your accounts at once.
2. Stick to certain colors and designs.
Color and design are also crucial factors in online business branding. When you are trying to establish your brand, you have to stick to just one or one set of colors which you will use in different promotional materials and page. In short, use a similar look for every page you have so people can remember you more easily.
This just means that you have to customize your pages on different social networking sites. Choose a background that incorporates your logo and carries elements that are similar to the ones on your official site.
Same thing applies with your collaterals like posters. Even more, use similar fonts. All these similarities will make your materials unified. So, it will be easier for your target audience to establish a certain image of your brand.
3. Come up with an online personality.
Branding has a lot to do with familiarity. But how are you going to establish yourself as a familiar entity online if you keep on changing your personality?
To avoid this mistake, you need to come up with an online personality. This personality of yours will define the human voice you will use when you communicate online so people can relate to your more easily.
Put it this way: If your brand were a person, who would it be? Think of the identity you would want it to have, including its general attitude and manner of dealing with people. Feel free to choose.
Then, if you want to take it to a whole new level, why not establish your personality as a specific character? Then, let your followers follow the journey of this particular character. This is what certain brands actually use online.
4. Produce unique content for each site.
Reusing is good for the environment, but not for your brand. This means that you have to produce unique content for a specific social media platform. You may share the same information but always make sure that presentation varies for every platform. In short, diversify your methods for each site.
Another way of doing it would be dividing your content and making sure that it will properly presented to a specific social media platform. You can share your blog posts to Facebook, Twiiter, Google+ and Linked-in. Then your infographics or useful graphics to Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.
5. Watch out for “unofficial sites” and other copycats.
If you are really serious about online business branding, then you should also be very vigilant about unofficial pages. Pages of this kind may mislead and even confuse your followers. These copycats may not just divide the number of likes or followers which could have been all yours; they may also affect how people see your brand by posting content that may be against your goal. Worse, these unofficial sites may even be used to circulate negative things about your brand.
Avoid such disasters. Before anything bad happens to the brand you have been working so hard for, start checking for unofficial pages online and doing something about them.
The best way to start this is by looking for pages which pretend to be another page of your brand. Study their content, too, by taking a look at their posts. Then, learn about the policies implemented by different social networking sites regarding unofficial pages or profiles of posers who are using someone else’s identity to their advantage and take appropriate action.
6. Engage to increase awareness.
Staying online and posting content regularly are good ideas. But of course, to complement these efforts of yours, you also have to value engagement. Dealing with your followers online and having interaction with them can make them realize that you really care about them. It is also one way of making them more aware of your existence. Also, keeping in touch with your followers is also a good way to be remembered. Instead of being just a brand that is usually seen on billboards and other collaterals, you will be more reachable. That matters to them a lot.
Also, you should not forget about encouraging them to comment and like your posts. Sure, having many likes and comments is a good indication that people do understand your posts. Therefore, it is an indication of a healthy engagement.
7. Listen to your audience.
If you believe your brand is already perfect and you no longer have to consider others’ opinion about it, think again.
The truth is that you need to listen to other people’s thoughts every now and then. This way, you can improve your brand further. When you listen to other people’s opinions, you get ideas on your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. You will also know more of their impressions, which can truly help you are you rejuvenate or strengthen your own brand.
Apart from conducting social listening, you can also directly invite them to give their input. Conducting polls and surveys will truly be of help. They will not just give you ideas on what people think. They will also make your followers feel that their opinions matter to you.
8. Be up to date.
There are always lots of changes when it comes to social media. That is why if you are really serious about using social media to boost your brand, you should always be up to date. You have to ensure that you are not being left behind when it comes to the latest trends.
Keep in mind that no matter how good you are today, it can be useless if you just remain too complacent. Of course, your competitors are investing, too. They are also doing lots of things to boost their brands so you better keep moving.
Indeed, social media is a powerful tool every business owner can take advantage of. Use it for your own good today.