To create a brand is to create an identity.
A business identity, like your own personal identity conveys a sense of who you are, what your values are and which groups of people you aim to attract. The more defined your identity, the stronger your brand will be and the more you get what you want.
Because ultimately, your brand is what people notice first. In order to capture their attention and to sustain their interest, your brand needs to be unique, memorable, powerful, engaging, appropriate for your target market and flexible across different ranges of media, especially social media. But how do you make your business’s brand “social”?
1. Let go of rigid control over your brand. Social media networks allow people from all over to engage with your brand in their own way without your knowledge. This doesn’t mean you can allow them to interpret your brand in any way they chose. Rather, set boundaries and not rules.
2. Engage and create value. Social brands provide incentives and rewards, information and entertainment. Give value to your followers. They will give the same in return.
3. Loosen up! Social networks allow businesses to let go that stiff corporate image and to become more consumer-friendly and casual while still providing professional advice.
4. Be on the ball. You need to show that you care. And the way to do that is to respond within minutes. It shows that as a social brand, you are responsive and always listening. Then try to keep the conversation going.
5. Choose the right medium for you. Utilise the right social network for your brand by identifying which one is appropriate for your target market.
6. Acknowledge and handle negative responses in a transparent way. Done appropriately, you will attract less bad attention onto your business. Decide whether to address the issue in public or private.
7. Look at your followers’ actions. Do they participate with your content by sharing and commenting? Social brands create communicative spaces in which followers can respond, allowing them to maintain an active relationship with your brand.
8. It’s not all about sales. The intention should also be focused on creating value, especially with the people who engage with your brand. A relationship that adds value to your follower’s life will help them see the value in you.
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