My new book — Social Media Marketing: The Art and Science of Building a Brand is full of ideas for building a strong brand using social media. Today, I’d like to share my top 5 tactics for building a strong brand through social media. BTW, I’m giving everyone a free copy of the first chapter, all I ask is that you give me your comments so I can make the book better. Please share this link with your friends.
1. Know Your Target Market
This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times I work with clients who think they know their target marketing, but really don’t understand their market. These firms spend a lot of time, effort, and money creating content and sharing it only to discover little return on their investment. That’s because they’re not giving their target market anything valuable.
Building a brand requires a deep knowledge of your customers and prospects including:
- Where is their pain and how can you make that pain go away?
- What are their values, beliefs, lifestyles, and norms?
- What are their hot buttons — the things that really get them going?
- Who and what do they admire?
- Where are they in the buying process?
What are others saying about your brand? How do they position your brand?
Building a brand entails monitoring and gently guiding your brand image. In social media, it’s easier to do this in some ways. In other ways, social media makes it harder to figure out what consumers think about your brand because the conversations are so fragmented across different networks.
3. Provide Superior Customer Service
Brand reputation is heavily influenced by your level of customer service. 1 bad service encounter or product failure quickly spreads across the internet as more sites encourage consumers to post reviews.
So, part of your listening should involve finding consumer problems and routing them to someone responsible and empowered to fix the problem FAST.
You can do a great job of spreading your message through social media only to fail because of a few negative comments.
4. Track Influencers
Influencers used to be paid spokespeople who said what you want them to say. Most consumers didn’t have enough power to be heard above the loud voice of your paid messages. But, consumers prefer recommendations from peers and social networks give consumers a loud voice heard by thousands of consumers.
Keep track of these influencers by monitoring brand and product mentions. Get these influencers on board in building your brand. Give them free product to evaluate. Bring them in for special tours of your facility. Invite them to provide feedback on ideas and new products. Not only will these influencers become brand ambassadors who promote your brand, they’ll give you great ideas to make your brand even stronger.
5. Engage Your Target Market
The best tool you have for building your brand is the two-way conversations generated in social networks. If you’re using social media as just another channel for spreading your message, you’re missing the boat. Encouraging consumer engagement is tricky — and involves more than just recognizing the two-way nature of social media. And, building engagement is extremely time-consuming. We’ll save that topic for future posts or you can take a look at my presentation on creating engagement in social media.