‘F’ Words to avoid…
Come on! You know we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Whether it be our first time at doing something like jumping off of a diving board, or skiing down a mountain, it’s that moment right before you take that step out into something that you have never done before. Then it hits you… the ‘Fear’. It’s those weird, uneasy ‘Feelings’ of uncertainly, or total loss of confidence, whether you are actually able to do something or not, and if you do… will you ‘Fail’? It’s at that point when you feel yourself stepping back, changing your mind and not wanting to go through with it… “Oh! oops! My bad! Oh! Let’s just ‘Forgetaboutit!’ Sorry! Never-mind! …I changed my mind.” <sigh!> “Oh, ‘F‘ words, how I hate you so!” :-\
It’s kind of a similar concept when it comes to exposing your brand out on social media… without a plan. It’s really not a matter of venturing out on social networking or not, it’ not about that decision at all, actually. Because, the answer is that just about every company no matter how large or small needs a Web presence and needs people to talk about them, that’s how you will be promoted on the 21st century marketplace. Remember shopping malls? That is so 20th century!
Going, going, gone!
Brick and mortar stores, renting retail space, weekly circular print advertising for what you sell has slowly been becoming extinct. Everything has been transitioning to digital for the past 10-15 years now and everything is now online that you could ever desire, and at your fingertips, too. Ok, so the bad news is that those enormous mega malls are now on the endangered species list, but the good news is that we’re saving more trees gravitating away from printing anything on paper anymore. I know, right? Sad. What’s really sad is that I haven’t read a newspaper in, well… I don’t know for how many years now.
All joking aside, when it comes down to brand recognition and putting it all out there for the world to see, it’s going to take some serious planning, and if you need help in doing so, that would be a wise decision on your part. Because, once anything is ‘out there’ on social media, on the Internet, it’s a done deal. People see your brand, they begin to talk about you and your brand, and if your brand is ‘hot’, it will take off like a wildfire. So the last thing you want to do is venture out onto Twitter, Facebook, begin a blog, or have a customized website designed and launched, without a ‘plan’. You will definitely need a plan, actually ‘many plans’. Your brand is nothing to play games with and social media is fun and games for many, but for business, it can be a ‘powerful tool’, and something with that much power, needs a plan before you jump into the vast enormous sea of social media.
Be Smart with Online Branding:
The 5 smartest ways to take charge of your brand online, are ‘key’ for complete social media success:
- Get your brand name (and user perception) right from the start. Like having an easy to remember name that will be easy to search for online, easy for customers to remember and easy for them to talk about. Something simple, yet catchy.
- Be Everywhere! Follow the old marketing ‘rule of 7’ which is the concept of having customers hear your marketing message (or being exposed to your brand) at least 7 times before doing business with you. Be a brand that no one forgets, where it sticks in their minds.
- Involve Your Users. Research has proven that 89% of users will feel more loyal to a brand if they are invited to take part in a group! Social media is a people business and that involves human emotional interaction, where trust and respect are the crucial elements for success.
- Focus on the User Experience. UXD (user experience design) is a very hot high growth area for business right now, because the focus is totally on the user’s personal experience with regard to interaction with a company because it breeds ‘loyalty’. Yes, I know, right? Who knew “loyalty” in business would become fashionable again!
- Customer Support. Nothing is more powerful than “quality customer support”. It literally can make or break a brand ‘fast’! It forms either a positive or negative opinion after only a single encounter. Unfortunately, it’s the negative talk about your brand that will travel the fastest and the quickest, so strive to maintain positivity! 😉