(By Susan Gunelius)
“You must develop your brand reputation and persona, and you must consistently meet your audience’s expectations in order to create the right perceptions. Follow the Pareto Principle and make sure at least 80 percent of your social media content, conversations, and activities are useful and meaningful to your target audience while no more than 20 percent is self-promotional.“
Social media is a powerful brand building tool that can drive long-term, organic growth which is sustainable through any micro- or macro-environmental threat.
Developing the value of your brand should always be a top strategic priority. Brand value has saved more than one company or product from going under in recent years. Playboy and Twinkie are just two brands that survived another day thanks to the value of their brand names.
3-Step Brand Building
With that in mind, your social media marketing efforts should always follow the three primary steps of brand building:
Consistency: Consistently communicate your brand promise in every interaction with your audience so they develop the desired perceptions of it. Remember, brand confusion is the number one brand killer.
Persistence: Communicate your brand promise continually and always meet audience expectations based on their perceptions of your brand.
Restraint: Never pursue opportunities that don’t effectively support your brand promise or your audience’s perceptions of your brand and expectations for it.
Unfortunately, those three core brand building steps are often ignored or forgotten in social media marketing, which is a huge mistake. Instead, those three fundamental steps should be at the core of every social media marketing activity you participate in and campaign you launch.
7 P’s of Social Media Marketing for Brand Building
Once you have your foundation in place, it’s time to take your brand to the next level with the seven P’s of social media marketing success. As you review each step described below, notice how the three primary steps of brand building tie into each of the seven P’s of social media marketing.
Consumers build brands, not companies. You must develop your brand reputation and persona, and you must consistently meet your audience’s expectations in order to create the right perceptions. Follow the Pareto Principle and make sure at least 80 percent of your social media content, conversations, and activities are useful and meaningful to your target audience while no more than 20 percent is self-promotional.
Extend your brand reach and social media influence by focusing your efforts on your target audience while avoiding activities that could negatively affect the social perception of your brand.
Don’t give up. You must persistently publish useful and meaningful content and conversations so your target audience can obtain true social value from your brand.
Quality content and conversations trump quantity. Write amazing, shareworthy content to develop trust with your target audience, back up your marketing claims, and establish your authority.
It’s true that quality trumps quantity, but quantity still matters. Ensure your brand is visible by publishing content and conversations frequently.
Stand out from the clutter online by appearing in the right places to get in front of the right audiences. Identify where your target audience spends time online, and join the conversation on those sites.
Social media power comes from the collective strengh of all of the previous social media marketing P’s. Together, all of these elements drive your brand success over time, and it’s the type of momentum that drives ongoing results.
Keep these steps in mind as you develop your long-term, brand building strategy and support that strategy with short-term social media marketing tactics. If you like visualizations, you can see the 7 P’s of social media success in an infographic here.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”