By Edwin Chan
Social media is one of the biggest advances to hit the internet since its inception in the early 1990’s and has become a marketers dream.
Social media marketing has become a buzz word in today’s marketing landscape, but the importance of using social media to build your brand can’t be stressed enough. It’s vital to any marketing plan and can be especially useful when trying to build a brand from scratch.
For a start-up or entrepreneur who wants to take advantage of free marketing methods and ride the wave of social media success, it’s important to understand the intricacies of brand building using social media.
Where Does Your Target Market “Hang Out” Online?
Part of any good marketing plan involves identifying your target market part of brand building on the internet and through social media is identifying where your target market is interacting online.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin are the larger social networks that everyone needs to take advantage of, but there are other small niche social networks that may be an online hangout for your target market.
You need to know the various social networks and how to use them to interact in a thoughtful manner. Choosing a platform for your social media marketing campaign is fairly easy for most brands.
Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ should all be used in one way or another, but not in the same way. For example, Twitter posting every 15 minutes is perfectly acceptable, but posting to Facebook every 15 minutes gets annoying for your readers really fast.
Learning to differentiate what platform to use for the various messages that you want to get out is important.
The best way to build a brand that sticks is to be everywhere that your customers and clients are. If they’re on Facebook, you better be there too. If they’re on Twitter, I hope you’re there with them.
Remember that using other social networks may be the winner for your brand. If you are a highly visual brand, then using sites like Pinterest may also help you. If you are a home design company, having pictures of gorgeous kitchens and bathrooms on Pinterest will keep your clients excited.
Consistency is Key
When it comes to using social media to build your brand, being consistent is important. What I mean by that is being consistent in two ways.
First I mean being consistent on participating on discussions and engaging your audience in online dialogue as often as you can.
One sure sign of a failed social media campaign is a Facebook or Twitter account with one or two posts from a year ago so be consistent investing your time in social media interaction.
The second way to be consistent involves being consistent with your brand as it has a certain look, feel, audience and appeal so your social media efforts should be in line with those. For example, if you are trying to be professional in your business, don’t forget to be professional on social media and if quirky is part of your brand, be quirky online too. You need to send a consistent message about what your brand is all about.
Connect with People
When using social media, make sure that you actually stay “social” online. One-way messaging fails to achieve anything in brand building on social networks.
You need to connect with your target market, engage them in conversation and connect with people that can help build your brand. Find the big influencers and get to know them online.
Who Doesn’t Like Free?
One of the biggest advances in modern marketing has been the advent of free marketing methods that can reach millions of people like social media and viral marketing.
For essentially no cost, you can begin to build your brand online, sharing valuable information and content to users all around the world. The more invest your time into interacting, communicating, engaging and sharing online, the more your brand will become recognized far and wide as a brand with influence and reach.
Brands Can Look Bigger Than They Are
One of the benefits of social media marketing and its vast reach is that it has created a more level playing field for marketers who don’t have deep pockets.
Many brands are built from scratch using social media and they’re birthed in a local coffee shop using free wireless internet.
Social media marketing has allowed these new brands to look bigger than they actually are, developing a brand that resonates with a wide variety of people around the globe and the investment is only in the time it takes to monitor and engage with the target market.
Indeed, social media has changed the way that we market forever. Your target market is waiting for you to join them online on their favorite social network and in fact, they expect to see you there.
Take the time to learn to use these tools or engage the services of a company that can help you with your social media marketing campaign to ensure a smooth and successful campaign.
About the Author
Edwin is an experienced online marketer currently working at 9th sphere – An award winning company specializing in online marketing and web design in Toronto. Edwin has a passion for great design and helping businesses succeed. For more information on 9th sphere, click here.