Your website’s biggest asset is not the content of your site. It is not your site’s logo or design. It is not even the community of users that have sprung up around your website’s content and credibility. Your biggest asset transcends all these and other elements. These are just parts that add up to a sum that is greater than its components. What is your biggest online asset? Your online brand. Your brand creates expectations. It creates boundaries. More importantly, it communicates to your target audience even when you have stopped actively reaching out through ads and other outbound-based messaging. Your brand acts as some sort of marketing batter that continues to work even after you have stopped ‘charging’ it with marketing campaigns or active outreach. Your brand communicates your online property’s total value proposition quickly and silently. This is why you need to protect your brand.
Sadly, too many online entrepreneurs and publishers let the online community at large manage their brands. When this happens, disaster is almost predictable. Why? It only takes one false move or one bad impression for your brand to start eroding. By having the community in general dictate the direction of your brand, you are putting yourself in a position where you lose control of the ability to set limits and directions for your brand. Here are some ways you can use social media management to take a more active role in managing your brand.
Go to where your customers are online
The great thing about social networks and social media is that they let businesses know where their target audiences are online. Thanks to the messaging and community-building capabilities of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, businesses don’t have to guess where their customers are online. They only need to identify the right set of hash tags or figure out the right Facebook groups to get in touch with their online customers’ self-selected social network hangouts. This identification is a key part of effective social media management that leads to effective branding strategies.
Leverage your customers’ social network to spread brand awareness
Once you have figured out where your target audience is at social networks, you can study how they communicate with each other and what kind of media they prefer. You can then use the communications they send through facebook groups and hashtags to create model content that contain your brand. Since these look very similar to their preferred media, your brand message can be communicated much more easily.
Using social media to build an online community around your brand
Use social media content to recruit fans from many different sources on Facebook and Twitter, among other social media platforms, and concentrate them on your own branded pages or accounts on these platforms. The sooner you do this, the purer your messaging. Pure messaging maximizes your control over the direction and communication power of your brand.
Social media resources are powerful tools you can tap to enable your business to build one of the best assets you’ll ever have: a solid brand. Thanks to social media’s ability to gather customers, communicate with distinct customer communities, and foster collaborations, branding online has never been easier. Still, you need to have a solid plan and you need to be methodical to ensure that your online branding initiatives produce the results your business needs.