We help clients build beloved brands: brands to which customers feel an emotional connection and that serve a unique purpose in their lives. Social media can play an important role assisting in the process. However, it’s important to remember that social media is a tactic that should be used in support of the core brand message, promise and experience. Millions of people now frequent social media sites to assist in brand buying decisions. Given the sheer volume of people who view social media sites, the power of this phenomenon cannot be ignored – but only when used properly!
Social media offers a company the opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue between the brand, its prospects and customers, and influence their buying decision in real time. As you start down the road of social media, here are some tips to consider:
Create a Plan. Take a disciplined approach to social media and put a plan in place as you would for any other part of your integrated strategy. Think of traditional media or public relations. Start with research, define your audience and which segments are entrenched in social media. Probe if they’re on Facebook or following Twitter, discover their interests and how can you influence them. Integrate traditional offline tactics like TV commercials into social media sites to further expand reach and frequency – and influence.
Remain True to the Core Brand Message. Even though social media networks can feel very casual, do not abandon your brand identity. The use of key messages delivered by brand champions is integral to success. They can be conversational and “real,” but still need to stick to your company’s message platform.
Handle Negative Feedback. Putting the brand out there on social media networks introduces a new level of vulnerability. It opens the brand up to rants as well as raves. In garnering honest feedback from your customers, you have to be willing to accept constructive – as well as destructive – criticism, and most important, publicly demonstrate your organization’s desire to take accountability and willingness to correct mistakes.
Identify Social Media Brand Champions. One of the top benefits of social media is the ability to personalize your company’s brand message; it connects a real name, face and person to your organization. Choose the right brand champions who embody the core values and meaning of the brand, and live it every day in every way. They are the best employees to handle both the good and potentially volatile conversations that can occur in social forums.
The bottom line? Social media can’t replace your current brand marketing strategy; it is just another tool in the toolbox that helps a company create a beloved brand.
Would you like to turn your employees into brand champions? We’d love to send you our free White Paper about internal marketing which explains how to do it. Just click here.