Branding – a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.
What causes you to immediately know a company just by a symbol or logo? Branding.
Branding is an important part of any marketing strategy. You need a way to differentiate yourself from your competition and others in the marketplace. This is usually the first step in any business set-up. Come up with a company name – check. Design a logo – check. There, you’ve started your branding. I’m not going to recite all the reasons branding is important to a business. I know you know that already.
However, social media presents itself not that differently than traditional avenues but does pose some challenges. For example, take the number of social media platforms available. Every platform a business is on needs to have the same look – same branding for consistency. Add in internet searches and now your branding shows up on more than just the platforms themselves.
So why is your business’ branding crucial for social media marketing in particular?
Your customers are actively seeking you.
Yes, they may find your website easily, but there may be other businesses online that have the same or similar name. Using the same branding you already use offline will help your customers find you online and vice versa.
It creates fluidity between your online and offline presence.
If people are already familiar with your branding from your brick-and-mortar business or from an event, then seeing it online will give them instant recognition of your business. It all goes back to identity. Bring your offline identity online.
By using your branding everywhere, whether it be Facebook or Google Plus, sets a persona online that gives you the appearance of credibility. Most newer businesses that do not have this established do not receive the credibility/respect as a business that has their identity established online (even if they are less than a year old). It’s all in the impression you make online. Having a professional logo and/or website created helps with this. You definitely do not want your website to look like it was built in 1999.
It builds your identity online.
You know what your business is about. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are. You know what brings in the customers. Bring all of that online. Branding on social media helps give you that identity. Everything I’ve mentioned above (the seeking, the fluidity, the credibility) flows into this – this is the face of your business. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you build this online identity…
- Choose your company name or your brand name consistent throughout social networking sites. It should be the same everywhere or as close as it can be.
- Prevent branding conflicts by keeping your personal and professional profiles separate.
- Make sure your overall message makes a long-lasting impression.
- Try to make your channels organized and easy to read.
- Try to avoid confusion in your “about” sections.
- Always keep in mind to add latest updates about your products and/or services.
Branding is created from a variety of sources – graphic artists, social media marketing companies, advertising agencies, maybe you, the owner yourself. Whoever designs it, it’s up to you, the business owner, to establish it and use it.
Do you feel branding is crucial? Share with us why or why not!