May the best brand win
A significant amount of how you manage your online reputation is determined by the brand values you want to get across to your audience.
Getting people to recommend your brand through word of mouth, social reviews and referrals is one of the key aspects of creating a relatable and successful image. Social promotion will help you engender trust, loyalty, and popularity from your customers.
In this guide, we'll examine how to ensure your brand values help portray your company ethics in a way that creates a bond with your intended audience on both a physical and a psychological level.
Are you Mr popular in brand world?
So, let's start with brand awareness. There are various strategies to assess the perception of your brand and find out whether they help to create a positive relationship with your demographic. If a bad workman blames his tools, a good one should credit them.
How successful your promotional efforts are will hinge upon where you devote your resources. Communicating with your fans can help to provoke interest and trust in your brand, which will lead to an increase in qualified leads.
Although there are many areas to look into, here we'll delve deeply into five main factors of focus when seeking to increase your brand awareness.
1. Take full advantage of the web
Social media is a cost-effective way of promoting your services to a potential audience. Some companies misuse common channels, such as Twitter, as it is easy to be swayed by the thought of gaining more followers/subscribers.
However, what many fail to understand is quality over quantity is key. Having a hundred relevant fans will be more beneficial than thousands of non-significant followers on your profile.
A lot of companies will jump on irrelevant bandwagons to get noticed and increase follower count. What never ceases to amaze me is how even the biggest brands sometimes don't seem to understand the importance of respect and honesty in the online world.
We could (and have) spend an entire post talking about brands that have fallen foul of this, but it's safe to say there's more than a few horror stories out there.
Targeting the web is always going to be a sound use of resources. However, making the most of your internet marketing efforts does not equate to relentlessly spamming your target audiences, either via email inbox or social platforms - something that many newcomers to the field struggle to comprehend.
Spamming leads to a lack of respect from your customers and fellow companies, as it can portray you in an annoying light. Using a forceful approach like continuous messaging is often seen as an inconvenience that could quickly get you unfollowed.
Too much automation can also be seen as a negative, preventing your ability to put across a genuine persona.
2. Be a social boss
Here it is again - social media. Within today's marketing world, social media can't be avoided. It's beneficial for any company to embrace it fully, rather than ignore it, or use it half-heartedly.
Social media channels are simple, cost-effective platforms that allow you to promote your products and services to a greater audience than you would if you were to hand out flyers or use other old school methods of advertising.
The difference between using online marketing and physical assets is that the results can be tracked more precisely.
Understanding how well your online posts are doing will keep you updated on what strategies work for you and what aspects of your campaign are the most successful.
Social media is the perfect platform to engage with your customers on a one-to-one level and get an insight to what they're looking for. This enables you to find where your brand fits in terms of their needs, wants and personal desires.
For B2B purposes, the main social platforms we'd recommend are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Also depending on your main market, Facebook, Pinterest and even Flickr can be great channels to use when promoting your brand.
For example, Facebook is more likely to be favoured by those in the retail sector as it offers a more informal networking platform in comparison to a more business-centric channel, like LinkedIn
3. Create killer content
Content is crucial for improving your brand recognition. The quality of your content will play a big part in helping you attract the right kind of people at the right time.
Having a concrete content strategy will fill a gap in your marketing campaign. This will help you find interesting things to talk about on social channels, whilst keeping your posts relevant and attracting the right kind of traffic to your site.
Posting interesting, regular content will make your audience more likely to check your profiles for regular updates.
If you do it right, this will foment more trust and has the potential to create an emotional relationship between you and your customers.
It's important that you're posting regularly to keep your followers interested and your profiles populated. Also, being consistent with posts will help enhance your online reach and have a positive effect on your position in search results.
4. Mingling in the mind
Think about when you're walking down the street. How many brands do you think you see? And how many do you actually take note of. Branding today is everywhere - from billboards to TV advertisements, shop windows, online and beyond.
Your logo is what makes you stand out from the crowd, having an eye-catching design can help grasp the interest of your customers. Depending on your demographic, your logo will differ. For example, if your product was aimed at three-year-old girls, it wouldn't be the same shape and colour as if it was designed for a professional business.
Being unique is essential for your success. This doesn’t mean going crazy and trying to be the best at everything - sometimes you just have to do the simple things well. Being an honest brand will show your customers you are genuine and trustworthy.
Specific brand connotations will increase your potential for market share. Taking this into consideration, you should attempt to cater your brand for different social groups and a variety of demographics – the specifics will obviously depend on your products or services.
5. Protect your rep!
Online reputation management is an absolute must. Showing your customers that you can handle negative reviews in an open and honest way will demonstrate that you can solve any problems that anyone may have with regards to your brand.
However, if you put yourself out there on social, you have to keep on top of what people are saying about you.
As the online world is developing so rapidly, it's easy to leave cynical comments to fester and create a negative impression of your company and brand.
You should stick to your ethics and your company values when dealing with both positive and negative reviews online. This will show that you are not willing to lose your brand's respect when dealing with persistently negative customers, no matter how frustrating they might be.
Whatever you do, don't give in to the dark side and vent your frustrations online - this can provoke an understandably negative reaction from your followers/subscribers and result in a loss of interest in your company.
Reassurance is the key to winning them over and increases the chance that they'll remain regular customers. It will also show other prospects that you can confidently deal with criticisms and/or negative reviews, and that if they ever have a problem, they can confide in you.
Over to you
Hopefully you feel a little bit more in the know about social media branding but if you have any other questions or queries please let us know!
How important do you think online branding is to social success? We always like to hear what you think so leave us a comment below.
And If you'd like to know more about online brand awareness, or even if you're looking to increase your social media knowledge, get in touch with RDPR today!
We've also put together a new guide for SMEs looking to get to grips with social media marketing, so if you're after more tips on getting the most out of social, be sure to download it today:
Images used courtesy of Nik, dj.schmolli, mkhmarketing and vishraval on Flickr and Wikicommons.