Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are increasingly being used by organisations to help build and develop their brand online. Branding is essential for organisations to stand out and develop a superior status.
The brand’s personality must be clearly conveyed so that consumers can relate to the brand as it is the consumer who ultimately creates the brand’s meaning. One key way which social media helps develop the brand personality is by creating a community which allows consumers to affiliate and become part of the brand. By building the brand online, loyal communities are likely to develop with consumers who trust your brand. However, organisations have to ensure they are genuine about communicating the brand’s personality to avoid confusion and so consumers can relate to the brand and feel that it matches their personality.
There are several key things to do to ensure you successfully use social media to build your brand:
- Define your objectives – Define how you want to use social media to develop your brand. Social media will not have long term benefits to your brand if you do not have a clearly defined objective of how you want to position your brand
- Identify your target audience – Once you have determined your target audience, you can choose the appropriate social media sites to reach that audience. You can then create targeted and relevant content for your audience so they will be interested in joining your brand community. For example, if you want to develop a fashion brand online you may want to target a community interested in fashion, such as Fashion Network.
- Networking – By actively networking with other social media users, relationships are more likely to develop with your target audience, who will visit your site and help build your brand.
- Link Building – By including links to relevant sites with a similar or higher status to your own will potentially increase your own status and traffic due to developing a positive association. By including frequent referrals in your own blog posts, other social media users are likely to reciprocate and refer to you as well. This will ultimately help develop your brand community.
- Monitor your reputation – To make sure you reach your branding objectives in using social media you have to monitor what other social media users are saying about you. This way you ensure you are conveying your intended message and you are creating the right brand image.
By following these key tips, you can use social media to successfully develop your brand online.