Perhaps one of the top reasons for you needing to use social media is that you can do more for your brand or business.
Today with social media however, you can extend your service adding value to the client’s entire journey by providing them with not only your product relevant information when they are conducting their research, but can offer additional or complimentary services or products, encourage them to make suggestions and comments regarding your product or service and its delivery or providing the required solution as well as potentially assisting you in developing new offerings for them as part of your client base.
History has never provided such a rich time in offering the ability to interact with your clients directly. The Internet and social media provide the facility of innovative conversations to improve the client’s position in any which way they can by literally asking them what they want. The speed of results in marketing in this way provides not only customer satisfaction but in fact a high-speed better debts in refining the specific target market and discovering other niche markets that may not have originally been considered by traditional marketing practices.
Social media enables the smart business person to not only give a regular basis through content marketing, also discussed later, but also additional value through unexpected bonuses in return for the ability and permission to be able to contact those customers by e-mail future e-mail marketing campaigns for to keep them updated on product developments which may suit their personal Preferences.
What do you need to brand?
Branding is a way of clearly highlighting what makes your offer different to, and more desirable than, anyone else’s.
Effective branding elevates a product or organization from being just one commodity amongst many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products and services using both emotional and pragmatic judgements. Rachel’s Organic Butter, for example, chose black for its packaging design so it would stand out from the typical yellow, gold and green colors (representing sunshine and fields) used by competitor products.
The result is that the brand appears premium, better quality, distinctive and perhaps even more ‘daring’ than its competitors.
I’m a small business – why do I need a brand?
I hear that a lot, usually from people whose thoughts are also small or limited due to their conditioning. I do realize that if you are a small firm or a sole trader, you may well think that branding is not for you.
“Big names spend money on branding, small companies just get on with the job” is a typical response when small businesses are asked about their brand activities. But this perception is so damaging and income restrictive.
Even if you do “believe in branding”, it may come low on your to-do list after vital day-to-day tasks that keep your customers happy and keeps revenue coming in. That’s understandable.
So how can I convince you that branding matters, whether you are a window cleaner, a lawyer or run a restaurant?
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Well, quite honestly the first thing we need to tackle is the wording. If you were to replace the word “branding” with “reputation” I might get your attention. You care about your reputation, am I right? Well branding is all about the impression you make and the values that you stand for. If you want to succeed, that impression should do two jobs; it should convey what is special about your business and it should show you in a positive light.
Of course, many small businesses make a good impression most of the time without ever giving a thought to their brand. But think how much more successful you would be if you gave a good impression all of the time.
So You Need a Brand:
Welcome to the 21st century. If you don’t have or you are not a brand, you are nobody.
What you have to realize is that today whenever anybody hears about a product or a service and typically a brand, their first action is frequently to do an online search from their desktop, tablet or increasingly their smart phone. If they cannot find you quickly because your brand is innocuous or nonexistent, they move on and forget you.
I sometimes get inquiries from clients that I then check out on-line it takes an age to get any tangible information. Their website may take ages to load, as they don’t have sufficient visitors to make it high on the cached value of their hosting servers. Sometimes, their address cannot be found before the system “times out”. It’s all very well having a website, but if no-one knows it is there, it doesn’t do you any good. If you have a website, you want people visiting it. If you don’t yet have a website, you need to use some other professional image portal for your details to be made available.
To have a brand, you have to get some exposure across the marketplace to promote your brand and there are ways to do this. First you need to identify your potential brand or brands and the strategy you intend to use to promote them. For example, I originally kept the “Compliance Doctor” brand at arms length for a year before adopting it. It was only after receiving survey results from the magazine and other feedback that I started to incorporate it amongst the businesses I run. To be honest a brand can damage you if it has any unintended consequence associated with it, and these days of Social Media and Social Networking it can take just a few hours for a negative campaign to build.
What I am attempting to get across to you is that you have to seriously and continuously think about the impression you want to make, build and maintain your brand, and proactively make it grow in the right areas.
There are two parts to this process. Firstly, you have to decide what you stand for – what your Unique Selling Propositions are, who you are aiming at and how you want to position yourself. Then you need to make sure that all aspects of your business are aligned with this. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to appear all things to all men. You cannot hope to be good at all things involved in your industry.
To create and build a brand takes a great amount of thought and time. Images can be created easily and quickly, re-branding that companies conduct is actually associating new images, perhaps even a name to an existing one, but it takes a great deal of time to embed. It’s about applying your values to everything you do, clearly and consistently.