Branding and social media: living the brand

March 9, 2011

For brands one of the central goals of social media is to create communities who are passionate and interested in what you are saying – and as social media continues to play an increasingly important role in people’s lives it means that the opportunities for brands to do this are growing.

Brands need to take advantage of this. That means not just creating short-term campaigns, but long-term programmes that build the brand and foster a loyal audience. Brands can no longer simply push out a campaign message – they must deliver a brand experience. It is, in short, all about living the brand.

This is because social media offers unique ways of conveying a brand’s personality in a more tangible way than traditional media ever has.

Social media has allowed businesses to focus on understanding their audience further, how they can actualise the brand and provide a unique relationship that benefits advocates.

This is not a simple task. It’s a long-term process and brands need to create conversations and content that engage, entertain and keep the audience coming back. However, the rewards are vast. It means brands and businesses have the ability to impact on all areas of the buying cycle – from the initial consideration of the brand and the moment of purchase right through to creating loyal customers who come back again and again.

Here are 3 crucial ways businesses can achieve this:

Interact with your target audience

Brands must engage. It sounds simple but it’s crucial. Your consumers need to know that if they comment on your brand’s Facebook or Twitter Page, or any other community spaces your brand have a presence on, that they will get a reply within an hour.

They also need to know that your brand is authentic and transparent in what you are offering. This real time customer service means they are talking directly to the brand – and it is this personal touch that provides your brand with authenticity and trustworthiness.

Brands must also encourage user generated content and get people to share this content. The goal? Get as many relevant people as possible engaged with your brand. Word of Mouth marketing in this way is extremely powerful. The ripple effect of users receiving and viewing information about your brand from their friends and followers not only puts your brand name in front of millions of online users but makes users more receptive to your message.

Create valuable relationships

Social media offers the perfect tools to engage with customers, ‘live the brand’ and have meaningful interactions that add value. From conversations with their target audience to the promotion of special offers and events, there are a number of ways in which businesses can actualise their brand. By utilising the right platforms at the right time brands can create an emotional connection with their target audience and ensure they are front of mind.

Actualise the brand

Actualising the brand proposition online is all about ‘Why?’.  A customer’s attention is hard to maintain. With so many channels and businesses vying for attention, if brands are not relevant and interesting they will not be listened to. Social media incentivise people to become advocates – brands need to communicate their USPs, provide engaging content and offer a unique community experience. This is living the brand and means you can create brand ambassadors and ensure customer loyalty.


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