A brand is after all the summation of a name, so why so much fuss over branding? The simple reason to adopt branding is that it allows you to stand out in the crowd and helps your business or product to make its presence felt. There are numerous ways of branding yourself and social media is one of them. Your ability to use social media for branding will greatly depend on having a clear underlining fundamental understanding of social branding concepts.
Be it blogs, wikis or social networks, most social media channels offer a great window of opportunity for effective branding. Social media offers the following advantages as compared to cotemporary branding.
- Virtually Free
- Wide Audience Base
- Comprehensive Multimedia support
- Massive untapped potential
In this post, I walk you through the seven most effective ways of using social media for branding.
1) Facebook Fan Page
IMO, Facebook Fan Pages are amongst the best social media tools for branding simply because it has amazing potential to build a great fan-following for your business. There’s no other social network in the world with over 1.15 billion active users, 16 billion pieces of content, 11 million active pages and almost 60 million users becoming fans of Pages each day.
Yeah, you read that right – a whopping 60 million people getting associated with a brand (be it an individual or a business) every 24 hours. Need I say more?
What can 140 characters of text do to establish your brand? A lot! Twitter is a great brand for building a reputation. You can reach out to millions of prospect customers with a few twitter clicks. I’ve always maintained that twitter has a distinct advantage amongst all social networks – ubiquitous access. You can access twitter from your computer, your phone – from the twitter website or through any of the thousands apps available for twitter.
Twitter allows you to start conversations with like minded peers/ prospects, share valuable news and information, build your audience, stay connected with latest events and finally build and monitor your own brand/ reputation.
LinkedIn is known for its networking capabilities. It’s very important that you take advantage of that. Start by adding people you know to your network. Then, when you’ve built up a good-sized network, you can start to see people from your friends’ networks. It’s a great way to interact with and meet people who could be crucial to your industry or business.
LinkedIn allows you to participate in conversations, which gives you a great opportunity to be a voice for your industry and show how much of an expert you are. Join some groups that relate to your niche and get in on the conversation. This will also help you to network with people in your niche.
Most customers like to see brands in action rather than go by word of mouth. YouTube offers a great way where you can show videos of how your brand works and how you’re superior than your competitors.
Create your own branded channel on YouTube and see the world of difference that it makes to your online audience.
I love to read about a brand before I get associated with it. In today’s modern age, many consumers think alike and are keen to spend some time reading about brands before they commit to them.
A blog is a great place to showcase your brand. Coupled with SEO and smart tags, blogs are a great way to establish your brand online. Blogs help spread brand-awareness as well as serve as a great medium to educate users about the details of a brand/ business.
Pinterest can be a valuable branding tool for any business as long as they have a right strategy to go about it. After all, branding is all about creating an impact and I strongly believe visuals are a very powerful tool to do so. Pinterest provides marketers a great way to pin customer stories on your Pinterest boards.
Businesses and marketers should encourage customers to share interesting items, thereby improving the overall appeal of their Pinterest board and in turn improving the visual experience for customers. It’s important for a business to come up with a sound pinteresting strategy for its images and videos accounting for other factors such as events, gifts and search engine optimization.
StumbleUpon offers a great way for users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos. It’s an inherent part of human nature to look for recommendations/ advice from others before we take decisions.
StumbleUpon offers a personalized recommendation service which can do wonders to the fortune of a brand. It helps your site’s traffic quantitatively (more visitors) and qualitatively – positive reviews and recommendations help establish your brand.
There are several other social media tools which work well for online branding. However, I believe that the seven tools I mentioned above have the maximum impact and reach for most brands. What do you say?