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Many times when I’m working with businesses and explaining social media in detail, I hear the following — “We know that social media marketing can help us with building our brand online, but we just don’t know where and how to start”. Usually in response to this I start explaining that social media in its most basic form is a conversation between two or more people using various social media channels.
These channels should never be the core focus when you are adopting social media marketing initiatives for your business. You will find many people willing to learn more about LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook because it’s all the buzz online. There are many fun social media channels full of possibilities that can be used to strengthen your brand identity online, but do you really know what your brand identity actually consists of?
What is a brand identity?
In its most basic form, your brand identity is the characteristics associated with your brand that differentiate it from your competitors. Branding has quite a lot to do with the visual elements associated with your business such as the design, logos, and message conventions that can be created through dialogue, and even through your brand personality. There is a massive opportunity to share and create great brand expressions via social media.
How to establish your brand identity
In today’s tough economic times, having a well-defined brand identity is important if you want to start using social media to engage and interact with your target audience. Your brand identity provides a structure and guideline for the types of messages and content you should be using in your traditional marketing and social media channels so that everything regarding your marketing (offline and online) works together. Here’s a couple of questions you should ask yourself to help you establish your brand identity.
- What is the strength of your services or products?
- Who’s your target audience? Do you understand them completely?
- What solutions do you provide your customers?
- Why should people choose you over your competitors?
- What is the personality of your brand?
- Do you have any support procedures for your promises?
There are many benefits of having a clearly defined brand identity online and offline. It assures that a compelling and consistent story is communicated on all the mediums that you are using. Your brand identity gives your brand a personality where it can evoke emotions with your target audience while it facilitates brand awareness.
Social media is really not a buzz word any more, but a reality. Use it to your advantage to help you build brand identity for your business, both online and offline.