October 20, 2014

What Does Your Social Brand Say About You Online?

You know that social media marketing is here to stay BIG time, right?  Are you still kind of fighting how essential it has become?  Do you believe it will do nothing but grow in importance for business success?

social chat

Consider These Trends

  • While Generation C represents 23% of the US population (US Census data), it represented an out-sized portion of online video consumption (27%), social networking and blog sites visits (27%), tablet ownership (33%) and smartphone use (39%), as of February 2012.

We engage, convene, share, connect, market, help, research, buy, sell, rant, rave and riff online. It’s the other world, the parallel universe we live in when we are not in person and face to face with people.

What Does Your Social Brand Say About You?

How do you present who you are, what you do, whom you serve and why anyone should care on the web?

This is your calling card and visual home that people will use to determine why connecting with you is viable and has value. Is your web presence active and relevant? Do you engage regularly on the social platforms where your customers, community and colleagues are congregating?

The Illusion of Success

It’s very easy to create an illusion of success and credibility online. People usually believe what they see if they don’t know you. The slick images, buzz words, promises of lot’s of followers, leads, sales and quick success are usually phony carrots people dangle online.

Be careful, get referrals and get to know good people who are trusted in their circles and platforms. Most importantly, be exactly who you say you are.

Online Image

Your online image will usually get you one chance to make a great first impression. Are your sites and media platforms current, clean, easy to navigate and do all the links work? When someone pulls you up on LinkedIn or goes directly to your sites, are they seeing what you want them to know and see about you now?

Online Messaging

Check all your online copy and marketing messaging and make sure it is timely. Frequently update your pictures, services, testimonials, awards and activities, which show and tell people who you are in real time.

Show people what are you doing NOW!

Serving is the New Selling

Trendwatching started talking about becoming a “Brand Butler” in 2010:

“With pragmatic, convenience-loving consumers enjoying instant access to an ever-growing number of supporting services and tools (both offline and online), brands urgently need to hone their ‘butlering skills’, focusing on assisting consumers to make the most of their daily lives, versus the old model of selling them a lifestyle if not identity.”

Visual + Visceral = Your Social Brand

How you visually present yourself plus how you viscerally describe your who, what and why creates your social brand. Your social brand should inspire people to want to make an emotional connection to and with you. People need to like what they see and believe what you and others say. Your social brand helps them do that.

Check out the 5 drivers, when reviewing or creating your social brand from Trendwatching, which talks about the  “Expectation Economy:

“. . .where consumers want the best, they want it now and first, and they want real, human connection, too. In fact, they demand all that.”

Are you using these drivers? And what does your social marketing brand say about you now and what do you need to do to make it stand out?

26 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a past staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

26 Reactions

  1. Successful social media efforts deliver real value to their followers. You can sell on occasion, you can promote things on occasion, but if you’re not giving more value than you’re receiving you won’t succeed.

    • I couldn’t agree more Robert. In the words of the late, great Zig Zigler, “You can get everything you want if you help others get what they want.” No where is this more true that in marketing online, and specifically using social media. If you don’t add value in social, you will struggle to build and maintain audience. Why else would anyone fan/follow/circle/subscribe?

  2. Robert, I agree. I will say there is a way to give but also suggest products and services when it is appropriate, that can help people that one offers. Forging the relationship certainly comes first, and should be earned, but asking for support too shouldn’t be tabu.

  3. Great post, Deborah. It’s important that you are sure about the image you want to create for your brand. Your brand is a reflection of you and your business so be sure that it’s something you’re happy with and you can live up to. Thanks for sharing this with our community.

    Ti

  4. Excellent post Deborah.

    We’re finding it so much more important to develop the overall online brand and image for our clients, especially as things change regarding the online user experience. There is a major push by Google and others to enhance the user’s experience by providing relevant information and doing away with the spammy slick info users have had to muddle thru. That being said, if people follow your rules and be exactly who they say they are, they will find success in the presentation of their Social Brand.

    It’s good to come across someone “gets it”! Thanks for the great post.

    Skip

    • Skip, thanks for stopping by and your smart insight about user experience. If people don’t have a good one with your online brand they won’t be back. So important to keep it fresh too. Come back!

  5. This really hits at the most important aspect of getting your small business onto social, communicating who you are rather than what you’re selling. Broadcasting sales is the quickest way to cheapen your brand and have people tune out. Focus on offering them advice and insights into your area of expertise, then let the interest and, eventually, the sale develop naturally.

    • Steve, fascinating how the process has shifted to “who you are” first, the sale comes later. We now truly earn sales via like and trust. Thanks for your participation here!

  6. Big thank you to all of you who shared the post, awesome thoughts, comments and offerings here. I really appreciate you!

  7. I think its extremely important to go for a personal approach in posting anything on your social media business pages. People these days are becoming really smart, and blunt advertising is just annoying and boring. If you want your brand to be spread and known, focus on connecting with people and emotions rather than selling or shouting your brand/product/services.

    I also agree on the “Online Image” part of the article. It’s important to stay current, and be consistent with your look and message across platforms.

  8. Jose, getting personal with people we admire, respect and engage with is the way to accelerate and deepen relationships snd yes, how we look matters and makes a brand statement! Thanks for your comment.

  9. Scoop.it, Thanks for posting this on your site!

  10. Thanks for the ping on your site! Appreciate it.

  11. Stan, thanks for the Scoop. Great site!

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