Social Networking and Branding
The key to good Social Media Marketing isn’t about a massive following, the first step is about finding a group that is likely to buy and then working on making your brand be “up front”! It’s evolution of all the things true about traditional media with none of the naff “trying so hard” feel of a radio campaign that demands you buy now or miss out!
Your brand doesn’t need to be on Beiber scale to have rockstar status in the new social world order. You only need to be famous amongst your own tribe to make your product enviable and must have. It’s about creating a subculture just for them – which is at the core of any clique, from the cheerleaders to the stoners, the mummies to the punk rockers and everyone in between.
The traditional media mistake
Don’t make the mistake of bringing old media ideas into new media forums – the same old trend right now is retargeting (stalkerish, pushy advertising) and social media ads – ho hum. But, it’s a tried and true formula, I hear you say! Unfortunately, there’s nothing worse than formulaic on Facebook! Heads up folks, formulaic is the opposite of engaging. It’s the opposite of authenticity and all the other buzz words being flung about in the board rooms.
Creating culture and society
I work in social media marketing so I spend more time than I should pondering these things… At our company, we build a network around the brand in which we can create a unique culture. We believe that there’s no one magic bullet when it comes to social media as a marketing tool, it’s all about spending time getting to know a unqiue audience and then giving them content that makes them feel one of the tribe. We use this network to create an environment in which the culture can grow. We share fans across the network and then all work together to OWN that one niche audience for each other.
From a citizen of your new society’s point of view – they enter the network via any one “follow decision” – for example liking Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus/Pinterest page A. Page A then engages them and exposes them to content that suits their emotional and ethical needs. Page A then gently introduces them to Pages B-F. B-F also engage on Page A and become a familiar name in the user’s newsfeed.
All pages then leverage apps, cross promotions, shout outs and other tactics to share their users around. The user then follows a selection from pages B-F. Soon, the content shared between all networked pages reach the user, giving the impression that each brand is “everywhere” much the same way that big budget advertising used to. The user becomes a part of the tribe or society, and the tribe’s notion of cool is liking all pages in the network.
So, to that end, you’re only as strong, original, cool, likely to convert as the other members of your network.
Tactics for branding via social networking
Again, there is no one formula. This is the most important take away point of the article… you can’t just do one thing and make it work. These however are some tools you can use to spread the culture across multiple tribes and create a cohesive social society:
- Occasional, natural sharing of each other’s products and content (it’s vital not to sell – more to show off a cool thing or idea)
- Commenting on each other’s pages as your business page name. It should be regularly.
- Introducing “influencer” opportunities. For example, if A sells breastfeeding covers and B owns a coffee shop, A might talk about breastfeeding in public on her wall and B can offer up an expert, interesting and agreeable perspective.
- Promotion apps to directly share fans
- Illustrate use of each other’s products – photo of seller A in seller B’s shop, or seller B’s kids in seller C’s clothing. Images of all networked pages at seller B’s coffee shop.
- Guest blogging, product reviewing and other partnership ideas
This is just the start of good things that can come. Social networking and branding can work hand in hand in the most powerful way – or it can be a brand-harming embarrassment. It all depends on how well you choose your friends and target your own personal society. Just don’t get bogged down in rules and traditional marketing concepts and you’ll be a goddess to your tribe!