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6 questions every brand should ask when establishing its social identity

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.

Author | Anton Koekemoer

Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More


  1. Jeff

    February 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Fantastic article!

  2. Byron Martin

    February 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Hi Anton,

    Great post – Thanks for sharing. I think these are some of the top questions every brand SHOULD ask themselves…

  3. Anelie Ivanova

    February 12, 2013 at 10:04 am


    Recently I came across some great articles on your site.

    The other day, I was discussing (http://memeburn.com/2013/02/6-questions-every-brand-should-ask-about-establishing-its-social-identity/)with my colleagues and they suggested I submit an article of my own. Your site is just perfect for what I have written!

    Would it be ok to submit the article? It is free of charge, of course!

    Let me know what you think

    Contact me at anelieivanova@gmail.com

  4. Ann Druce

    February 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Absolutely! Defining the parameters of who you are (and who your brand is) and how you want people to see you (and your brand) is key. So take a look at yourself and decide who you are:

    * What are my brand values? (eg Trust, innovation, fun)

    * How do I want to be seen? (eg Authorative, approachable, exciting)

    * What tone do I want? (eg, Humourous, sincere, direct, gentle)

    * How do I want my target market to see me?

    And the “obvious” answer may need to be interrogated. if you focus too heavily on trust and loyalty, you could come across as boring or stuffy.

    If you focus too much on innovative and speed, you might risk sounding all flash and no substance.

    Finding the balance and deciding on these details will help you shape your communication.

  5. robert cart

    February 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    This is great! There are a lot of great companies that are helping their clientele find the balance they need to maximize their brand’s potential.


  6. Anton Koekemoer

    February 14, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Thanks Ann. You are so right. It’s all about finding the balance.

  7. Anton Koekemoer

    February 14, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Thanks Jeff. You rock!

  8. Pingback: Why You’re Not Approaching Social Media the Right Way

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