I’ll start with Social media in itself can’t build a brand. Communication has always been more personal when it’s person to person but getting brand ideals out to a larger audience takes more efficient tools. Social media is the medium of the message. The face of the message is the brand.
The tools that social media provide mean that you can virtually sit down with each customer and demonstrate your brand attitude through articles, actions, responses and follow-up. This is a powerful tool in the belt of any business trying to show the world why they deserve to succeed. The outward facing attitude of any company will demonstrate how they will be perceived using social media.
From startups to large corporate institutions these tips are appropriate since brand is molded over years of communication and consistency.
Establish your values
Make sure that your brand ideals are in place. Understand what you want to say and more importantly how you want to say it. Tone of voice is key to building connections with the target audience. Provide context. When you have established who you are and what you aim to do this will create a base to start unfolding your brand and communicating more effectively.
More than ever channels such as twitter, Facebook, Google + and linkedin are reflections of your company’s attitude towards your own users. Brands are built by delivering touch points over time for your users to interpret and it is through them that your brand is defined and built.
Authenticity is key in addressing any audience and will color how people react to new ideas/features or even mistakes that your business makes. Engagement using social media can demonstrate the openness that social media is specifically designed for. Users who communicate and feel they need to take the time out to praise or abuse are worth their weight in gold. The will to help your audience and build upon their contribution can be demonstrated using social channels and how you talk to each reaction.
Build a playground
Companies channels can be a playground for customers to interact with each other to build connections, formulate ideas and potentially solve problems. This is a beautiful reflection of your brand. When the value proposition is clear to customers they will be your best proponents and will genuinely want to support you.
At 2012’s Paris leweb the Marketing Mind of a six store Domino’s Pizza Franchise in Chicago Ramon De Leon demonstrated the grass roots approach he took to using social media to bring the voice of their brand to their customers. He worked on problems people had on a ‘one on one’ fashion with apologies, humor and follow up. His big exuberant personality translated to the tweeting and the videos he took of himself with the customer. This ended up with the customers becoming ambassadors for the brand and selling the authenticity way more effectively than the company could ever do. Here is a video of Ramon’s presentation.
Show accountability and transparency
Social media demands that you are live and contactable 24 hours a day and directly accountable to your customers and users. The true face of your brand is revealed when problems occur or mistakes are made. Your public reaction and actions following this will prove your ideals. It is the level of clarity and accountability that will endear you to your customers and drive growth to help you get more a foothold in your chosen field.
You and your business are representative of your brand. Actions and sensibilities communicate how you want to be perceived by your target audience. Social Media can disseminate the word of your brand or can poison public image solely dependent on how you act and present yourself on this global platform. If you have clear brand ideals and an out facing authentically transparent attitude to your audience this will fuel your life as a potentially great company who’s customers really want to support and grow.