Top tips for branding via social media

There are all sorts of elements to successful branding but one of the hottest topics of the last few years is how to brand well through social media.  Social media presents marketing gurus with an entirely new avenue to get to the customer and this means old-school marketing techniques need to be updated or take into account how this new platform might affect how marketing is received.  The basic difference with social media is that your customer can now get much closer to you all of the time.

Acknowledge what social media is

If you’re engaging in social media marketing it’s easy to forget that Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the like weren’t originally created for brands or companies.  These social media paths have been harnessed by the marketing world and subtle adjustments have been made to increase their use as branding tools. Nevertheless, the original form of social media always has the user in control.  Like you’re trying to create your brand, each social media user is personalising their experience; they don’t expect to be inundated with advertisements or bothered by annoying tweets – get a few things wrong and the social media user can delete you in an instant.

When you’re using social media to create a brand, you have to follow the protocol of the various sites and echo the way an individual uses Facebook.  This also means adding a certain “personal” touch to the way you communicate

Build trust

According to Forbes one of the most important features of a successful social media brand is building trust.  Forbes cite six important things to remember when trying to gain the trust of your customers and these are:

  1. Communicating thought leadership
  2. Transparency
  3. Quick and responsive customer communication
  4. Ensures accountability
  5. Fun and simple engagement
  6. Social responsibility

Social media nightmares: Femfresh’s Facebook fail

Want to know how to get it right? Learn how other brands got it wrong. Take Femfresh for example. Femfresh failed when it came to tone of voice.  Of course, marketing feminine hygiene products is a delicate task, but what Femfresh ended up doing was patronising their target market by using an encyclopaedia of absurd euphemisms like “nooni”, “lala” and “kitty”.  In response, they received a backlash of sarcastic comments and parodies of their marketing strategies. The result? They had to quickly take down their page.

To sum up

The lesson to be learned from this social media nightmare is to understand who you’re targeting and make sure you consider all points of rebuttal to the kind of campaign you launch.  This means being aware of all possible cultural perspectives which could be taken on your tone of voice and content –  and adapting to them appropriately.

One marketing team which aced the social media platform was Maxipad (you might know them as Bodyform).  In response to a sarcastic comment by a user, they came up with a clever and witty response addressed to the commenter directly.  Success.

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