#EIR - 21 tips for using social media to build your brand
Question: Now that you can get reviews on just about anything via the internet why should you believe anything any company has to say about their own services?
Answer: Welcome to the new world of marketing where brand = behavior.
Gone are the days when you could just bellow your message using every medium available, and name familiarity alone would bring you new business. The fact is, one word from a trusted friend or even any non-interested party and I don't care how loudly you are yelling it, your message is silenced.
So the objective has changed for marketers. Suddenly it's important to build a cadre of brand ambassadors: actual customers who will sell your product for you by sharing their positive review of it with their friends.
How in the world do you get people, who aren't being paid, to do this for you? A quality product or service will only take you so far. You have to build relationships with potential clients, as individuals. And this is where your behavior comes into it. You see, after years of traditional marketing, people can smell bull**** very easily. They don't trust anything you have to say about your service. They know it's in your interest to make yourself look good.
In fact, even if you try to build relationships but continue to promote your service at every turn on social media, you will probably be doing so much damage that the good you do will be negated. Not only do they not trust you when it comes to your own service, they resent you even implying that they can by continuing to promote yourself.
All is not lost however. Businesses have more opportunities to connect with the public than ever before and believe me potential clients are watching, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Foursquare - the list is endless. And though they are cool to your self-promotion, they are watching every detail of your behavior on these sites.
So don't miss the opportunity. Here are some tips to cultivate behavior that will do more to build your brand than any pricey magazine ad could.
1 - Ask questions and respond to questions.
2 - RESPOND to all posts on your site.
3 - Comment on related blogs.
4 - Join chats and discussions. Offer suggestions, if you have some but don't be a know it all.
5 - Provide a human presence - a profile picture, hobbies likes and dislikes all help to humanize your company. People would much rather engage with a human than a logo.
6 - Take advantage of opportunities to meet people off line at meet-ups.
7 - Be friendly and be a friend.
1 - Follow the trades & blogs of your industry and SHARE links to these posts.
2 - Follow industry thought leaders and share their posts.
3 - Interview thought leaders via email and post these interviews on your blog
4 - Write blog posts with information that is useful and/or interesting to your clients especially if it doesn't directly promote your company.
5 - Do video interviews of thought leaders at conferences and post them on your blog
6 - Promote your blog posts using such sites as Facebook and Twitter but make sure not to over promote them.
7 - Share info or quotes from conferences you are attending through Twitter and/or Facebook.
RETWEET (Promote others who have something useful to share.)
1 - Follow your customers/clients posts and retweet or post links to them whenever you think the rest of your customers/clients would find them useful or interesting.
2 - If two of your followers would benefit by knowing each other, introduce them.
3 - Did one of your followers win an award or get some publicity for a good deed? Share it on your social media sites!
4 - Recommend the services or products of others that you feel deserve it.
5 - Promote charities that you support - you can even incorporate this into your marketing the way Grosh Backdrops did.
6 - Where appropriate, (ei Twitter) create lists of people you recommend to follow and explain why you recommend them.
7 - After connecting with someone offline, share your enthusiasm or appreciation for them in a tweet or short Facebook post.
If all this seems familiar, it is. It's The Golden Rule applied to marketing. It takes time, effort and persistence but it opens doors you didn't know existed and creates a reputation and loyalty that can't be purchased or manufactured. It's crazy but true. Giving to others is giving to yourself. Welcome to the new world of marketing.
For more info about using behavior to build your brand, join the Jan. 21 Engage365 chat on Twitter, or check out the session I will be doing with Lindsay Fultz at The Special Event Show in Phoenix Jan. 27: Creating a Branding Strategy for your Events Business Using Social Media.
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