Tag Archives: branding

8 Benefits For Social Media

8 Benefits For Social Media

The benefits for social media are endless and are quickly gaining popularity within the business community.  Done properly, social media can engage the business, its customers and employees, creating a connectedness to the brand for all involved.

1.    Customer Engagement.  Traditional advertising (television, radio, print) is a one-way conversation with your customer. It allows the company to advertise the product or service being offered, however no feedback is ever solicited from the customer to say “yes, that ad was effective” or “no, I just don’t get it”. With social media, it’s a two-way conversation. Great ways of engagement are to ask questions (hence, market research), and ask for ways to improve the overall customer experience.

 2.    It’s Viral. Social Media is viral. Your message and brand awareness will spread through word of mouth when you post the right content. – people love to share content they find appealing.  Be careful what you post though –once content is on the internet, it stays there.

 3.    Increases Traffic. Social Media increases traffic to your website which then potentially produces more business. It also builds valuable backlinks and improves your search engine rankings.

 4.    Cost Reduction. Let’s face it, brands are going digital and paper is expensive. With a few clicks of a mouse and some strokes of the keyboard, your brand can have a business page on Facebook and a Twitter account in less than an hour. The only main cost is time while developing content and relationships.

 5.    Environmentally Friendly. Is paper dead? No, not really. We’ll all have a need for it at some point or another in our lifetime, however social media does not deplete the rainforest like print advertising does. Your computer may utilize electricity to run these websites, however it’s way more environmentally friendly than print advertising ever was.

 6.    Build Customer Base. A company can have “fans” or “followers” on their company’s brand page, which may turn into customers for their business. By going where the customers already are, companies are able to capitalize quickly and efficiently.

 7.    Improve Responsiveness. Are you looking for an immediate response from your customer? Sure, most businesses are.  With a direct response strategy through social media, the goal is to maximize quantifiable responses to a campaign. A few examples include coupons, sweepstakes, or a special offer. Very quickly, these direct response campaigns can have an immediate impact on the bottom line – and trackable too, to calculate the Return on Investment (or ROI).

 8.    Track Feedback. Analytics are key to evaluate the effectiveness of a company’s social media accounts. Just about anything can be tracked including a person’s age, town they live in, links clicked on, and what information they share. What does this mean for the company? They can target their future communications to these customers more directly, thereby increasing the brand recognition and long-term sustainability with their customers.

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The 411 on Brand Identity

Why is it so critical?

Whether you’re a newly found company or looking to re-brand an existing business, a strong brand identity can position a company above its competition all by itself. But having a brand that’s strong takes time, money, and effort to develop. It’s not as easy as redesigning a logo or rewriting a tagline. Brand identity may be developed and monitored within the marketing department, however when in full effect, it crosses all departments, job descriptions, product launches, customer service reps, and beyond. In fact, it should involve everyone within the company, getting them to understand the evolution, and to be your most enthusiastic ambassadors.

An existing brand identity (and how to re-work it)

Successful re-branding involves “evolution”, not “revolution”. A perfect example would be Aesop’s Fable “The Tortoise and the Hare”. The story concerns a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise and is challenged by him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, decides to take a nap midway through the course. When he awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him. It’s important to not get too crazy with a re-branding effort because you could end up destroying fragile emotional ties / customer loyalty / and ultimately, sales. One step at a time is almost always much more effective for both the company internally, and externally, for your customers.

Brand identity – it’s WAY more than marketing!

Oftentimes, during a re-branding, other people and departments outside of marketing are not involved in the evolution. In fact, your internal stakeholders should understand the re-branding, believe in it, have a vested stake in its success, so they can then communicate better with each other and with customers.

A company that nails this is Zappos.com. Zappos places great emphasis on company culture and core values. The Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh believes “if we get the culture right, then everything else, including the customer service, will fall into place”. Zappos has a list of core values, listed here on their website, that every employee sees and hears on a routine basis, not to mention being transparent to their customers via their website. The company also publishes an annual 480-page “Culture Book,” which is composed of two to three paragraph entries from employees describing Zappos’ company culture. The entries are unedited, and a copy of the Culture Book is given to all employees (although anyone can receive a copy of the book upon request).

Your employees will ultimately determine your success or failure. That’s why it’s so important to have them buy into your company’s brand identity. However, that’s not something that can be forced. It must be earned…but, once it is, watch out! You’ll have a company that is full of happy, motivated successful brand ambassadors and the company’s direction will move upwards.

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