What You Should Be Doing With Your Brand and Social Media
Being social is vital in any business. Whether you’re having a lunch meeting or drinks with your colleagues, keeping in touch and letting these people know that they can reach out to you, can make or break any business.
Being sociable isn’t enough though.
It’s also about letting go of stereotypes and being accepting of other people regardless of background can create the best relationships online (and offline) in the long run.
Why the need to be in social media? One word: Accessibility.
You need to be accessible to your clients, co-workers, stockholders and potential customers. This is what business is all about after all. Putting yourself out there so that others may recognize your brand is key to a ‘viral’ reputation.
Good or bad publicity, it’s still publicity
as the saying goes.
Being in the business for quite some time now, I have come across companies who are very particular with their online reputation. This is why social media enthusiasts, such as myself, are tied down to the constraints and rules the company enforce their advisers.
This comes from the concept of fear: fear for the bashing that your brand/company may get, fear of losing potential clients and fear of the unknown in cyberspace. If you are smart though, addressing the bad to make way for the good is a strategy businesses should embrace to further their online reputations.
Social media experts are, in a sense, more ethical. Meaning, they will NEVER risk “bad-mouthing” or risking their reputations for the company/brand they are working for.
Because essentially, social media boils down to two things: Freedom and Respect.
The practitioner will be extra careful in handling a brand name or company in online space as this will come to haunt him in the future if he/she doesn’t “behave”.
At first, engaging in social media can be nerve wracking but the risks are definitely worth it. Why? Think of all the potential and possibilities when it comes to reaching your audience. True that there will be risks involved, however the good side to it is that it lets people know that you are open to insight, change and, most of all, your brand will be perceived as dynamic.
As a practitioner and heavy user myself, I would like to share with you major tips on developing a social media strategy that can work to your brand/company’s favor:
1. Get a good writer that is passionate about social media. Preferably one who is also sociable not only online but has excellent interpersonal skills as well. Online, this person will be the ‘Face’ of your company.
2. Ask this person to create, maintain and publish a blog solely for the company.
3. Ask this person to spread that blog to popular social media websites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Facebook, etc.)
4. Also, constantly remind your ‘representative’ to ENGAGE users. Make him/her look at the world with a different set of eyes. Encourage creativity and self-expression.
5. Let him or her address complaints and answer inquiries immediately. Tell him or her to protect the brand/company all the time.
6. Visit forums, check out your brand in search engines, and find out what others are saying about your company. If in case you come by negative feedback, I suggest you tackle this immediately by dousing it in proactive engagement and drown the negative feedback with twice as much positive insight about your brand.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to social media. It takes time, effort and hard work but if you train yourself to naturally be interested in all sorts of people, this will come off as natural as breathing.
In a nutshell: be innately interested in knowing and helping other people, engage users, and ‘control’ things said about you on the web, such is the power and influence of social media.