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“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media.
The Question is how well we do it.” – Eric Qualman

Social media is a powerful (if not the most powerful) tool for creating and maintaining brands online. Whether you own a local grocery, a blockbuster movie rental store (we hope you don’t… it kind of went bankrupt), a restaurant or a fledgeling corporate investment house, there are merits and benefits to the open access it allows into the minds of your customers. But like the well-known saying goes, power must be responsibly handled lest brands lose the very things that they worked dutifully to build; their reputations and with it, their customers. With so many networks and content choices, how does one decide what to do? Through a strategy of course. And that strategy must include the 3 ‘P’s of social media brand building. These not so secret themes enable companies, and in many cases individuals to wield the power of social media to their ultimate benefit. Whip out those notepads 🙂

1. Preparation

Like any successful execution, planning and the need for strategy are not optional. A business should never just jump in and begin posting. The first step is to get a lay of the land; find out which networks suit your business and the products you are selling. More importantly, ask: “do our target customers use this network much?” and “If so, at what time? Do they actually make purchases on said channel, or will we need to use it to drive traffic elsewhere, like our website?” All these factors need to be considered. And above all, you need to decide what your goals are, as not every network can help you achieve them. Being strategic is key.

2. Presentation = Participation

Okay, before you say we cheated by having 2 P’s in one… these two are forever linked in an eternal social dance. How you present your content impacts how it is received. In short, your intent should drive your content. Do you want to entertain, inspire, converse or convince? What do you want your audience to do? Click your image, play your video, read your blog? All these content types have different audiences and different rates of engagement based on the network you choose.

We are all content creators, to varying degrees of quality, but it takes years of study, reading, absorbing trends and data analysis skills to be able to craft amazing content consistently. One of the first mistakes that persons make is to be unaware of the philosophy driving the use of social media. Just like in healthy conversation, LISTENING must balance out with our desire to express ourselves. This aspect alone makes social media platforms one of the most sophisticated targeting tools ever given to the modern marketer. In short, present your best self, if you want to build a loyal community that participates in your channel dialogue and, if you do it right, buy your products.

3. Protection

Beyond the social media platforms themselves, strong systems help ensure retention of brand power online. We must build layers of accountability and a content approval infrastructure to ensure that things, such as grammatical errors or brand misrepresentation if posted, are caught swiftly. For example, some scheduling tools like HootSuite allow for an approval system limiting the direct access of unskilled employees or trainees to your channels. A content calendar is a minimum requirement for strategy execution as it details the content word-for-word for approval by other team members and authorities. In the case of covering live events, a social response team should be assembled beforehand and sensitized to the type of content and tone that is appropriate, in order to prevent wonton personalized posts. Protect your brand with your life, your future literally depends on it.

Go Be Great!!

As we’ve demonstrated, preparing, presenting and protecting a powerful brand on social media requires awareness and a strategic approach. There are so much thinking and contextualization that should take place behind each piece of content. Context is king, and businesses must be aware enough to know that posting a promo code when a national icon has just passed away is ‘bad business’. As with anything new, there are prone to be significant blunders but if there is one thing those tasked with representing brands on social media ought to consider, it is: this content lives forever. Ensure that your brand is leaving a legacy and not a stain. Now go out there, sign in and be great!

 

About The Author

Kemal is a serial entrepreneur and motivational speaker. He loves digital media, is a certified techie and re-incarnated lion (or so he tells himself). He trains executives, mentors entrepreneurs, and heads up a soon to be a well known company called Digita Global Marketing Ltd.


Not sure that you know how to manage and improve your brand’s presence on social media? Get in touch with Digita today! We know the ins and outs of digital marketing and stand ready to assist small and large firm alike on their digital journeys to brand prominence.

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