… K.I.S.S.I.N.G… Now seriously, I often get asked what branding has to do with social media. Surely branding pretty much ends when your logo is designed and your colour scheme decided on?
Your brand is so much more than that and I’m going to explain a little more about why that is the case and give you a few top tips to ensure that your branding is coming across in your social media promotions and so getting your message across in the best way possible.
What Is Branding?
There is a great quote that says “You brand is what other people say about you when your not in the room.” and this is totally true. So often businesses think that they are creating their brand on their own, yet in reality it is the customers and the people that are coming into contact with your business that are in the driving seat.
Yes, you have the ability to sway people’s opinions and feelings about your business but hold at the forefront of your mind that it is the people with all the power.
Consider Apple as an example, the new iPhone 6 just came out and, if you’ve been watching the media or your social network stream you’ll have noticed, there has been, as always, a polarised reaction from the public. Die hard Apple fans queuing for hours to be the first to get their hands on one and anti-apple folk saying how much they prefer another handset and how much of a rip-off Apple is.
Now the Apple brand is doing it right because it causes a chasm of different feelings; they have people who really, really love their products and they have people who really, really dislike them. By not being scared of stepping up and being very dedicated to their brand values and strategy they always cause waves and are a hot topic of conversation (that an an awesome brand and marketing team!).
Apple are a specialist; they specialise in creating fabulous technology in beautiful packaging. They do not try to appeal to everyone. They know who they want to attract and they focus on making those people happy.
Compare that to a business that generalises. I had to wrack my brain to think of a generalist business because, which is exactly my point here, they are easily forgettable!
How about Comet, that recently went bust. Was it perhaps because they were not specialists in anything? After all, what could you say they offered that none of the other electrical stores also offer? What was the thing that made them stand out from the crowd? The answer is of course, not a lot. They didn’t have that magical ingredient that created a fan base of passionate, loyal customers that would stand by them through thick and thin and be proud to wear their logo on everything they own.
Seriously, there are people who have tattoos of the Apple logo… I have never heard of anyone with a Comet logo tattoo! That’s the difference. That is the magic of branding. And you can create magic too if you inject your brand in to everything you do, including and especially your social media.
I’d love to point you in the direction of a couple of my favourite social media triumphs for big brand customer service, that went viral:
- Sainsbury`s Twitter fish puns are hilarious!
- This is the best Twitter conversation you will read today
Everywhere you look you can see massive companies, who have deep pockets, putting a lot of effort into making sure that their brand image stays positive in people’s minds.
There was a stinkingly bad PR moment that also went viral on social media the other day for Malaysian Airlines when they posted about a competition they were running in which you, the public, send in your top holiday destinations on your ‘bucket list’. In other words, places you want to go before you die. This of course came just months after their planes were involved in two of the biggest plane crashes that killed 537 people.
Needless to say they were inundated with complaints of the inappropriateness of the campaign and it has not done their brand any favours. They were obviously not considering the wider picture when they put that one together.
I’m guessing you’re wondering where I’m going with this… don’t worry the point is coming up now 😉
Food For Thought…
What I would love to get you to consider right now is how you feel when I mention some big brand names.
- What are the first thoughts or words that come into your mind?
- What feelings does the name create in you?
- Are there any images that spring into your minds eye?
- Are there any sounds that you think of?
- Do you get any sensations of taste or smell?
Really think about it for a moment and jot down your answers on a piece of paper now:
- Cadburys Dairy Milk
- Ann Summers
Hopefully you’ve taken a moment to really consider your answers to these questions for each of these brands. And in doing so, come to realise how much there is about each that you might not have fully considered before.
And now comes the time for you to take action.
How do you want people to feel about your brand when they think about it?
What do you want people to say, see and experience when they come in to contact with your products or services?
Who specifically do you really want to work with and how can you make them happy?
What is it that your business really stands for?
Why should I buy from you and not your competitors (and your answer cannot be because of you)?
Once you know the answer to these questions then you can truly rock your social media because:
- You will be talking directly to your target audience
- You will be able to build a positive relationship
- You will create a loyal following of passionate brand ambassadors
- Everyone will know what your brand is all about and why it’s great
- And lots more
You’ll also be able to create an awesome social media plan because you will know the information you need to make it great and know exactly where you need to focus your time and energy.
Your social media is exactly that; a social way to get your message across to your target clients. Make sure that yours is being used to its full potential.