Is Your Brand Reflected On Your Social Media Channels?
The creation and subsequent rise in social media has created a world in which everyone from teens to businesses have their own social media outlets, and for the business owner it is important to know is your brand reflected on your social media channels?
People (and businesses) use the social networks differently. Some people spend hours personalizing their platform and showcase their style with everything they do while others do the same in varying degrees and in some cases not at all.
What this shows us is that no matter how each platform is used, the owner is leaving their personal brand or fingerprint that is shared with the cyber world.
Are you making sure your brand is reflected on your social media channels? If not, should you? Why would this be important?
A brand is an identity
What is a brand? By definition it is a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name or an identifying mark burned on livestock or criminals or slaves with a branding iron. Obviously that definition is a bit outdated and someone needs to contact Webster pronto because these days a brand is so much more.
While some people still like to associate a brand as a product, service or concept that is easily distinguished from other products, the idea of a brand and branding has come along much further and changed very quickly in the past few years.
In today’s world a brand is a promise to consumers.
The idea has more to do with the perception in customers’ minds concerning the qualities and attributes of not only the product but the people behind them which include both facts and emotions because that is what people perceive. Now a brand is often viewed more like a persona complete with values and a personality.
Creating talking points
Does anyone remember the days before the internet? Back then if you wanted to do business with someone such as for a retail purchase typically you walked into a brick and mortar location. Sure, people used catalogs for purchase as well, but for the most part transactions and relationships occurred on a more personal level.
When you would walk into a store or an office, for everything from applying for a job, purchasing a product or foster a business connection, you were able to get a feel for the business based on décor, pictures on the walls and other bric-a-brac.
All of those personal touches allowed for talking points for whomever walked into the store or business. You had a better idea of the personality of the people behind the business. That is one of the reasons why your brand should be reflected in the way you use your social media channels.
In today’s world people are going to see your business on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like. That can either be a positive or negative depending on what they find which might cause them to want to work with you, or consider going elsewhere.
Communicate to your audience
A big reason to ensure your brand flows out through your social media channels is to make sure that you are consistently putting out the message you want to your audience. Usually your target audience is made up of customers, potential customers and business partners.
If you don’t have a real plan with your social media and aren’t focused on exactly what your brand personality should be using social media for you face the concern of not providing value to your audience which can be a huge negative if it drives people away rather than attracting them.
Here is a real example. A company we work with posted numerous pictures over the year on Instagram and Facebook business accounts about the regular office parties and gatherings they had. Very few of these parties included people that were not part of the company. How does that provide any value to people who have a business relationship or provide networking opportunities?
If that is the reflection of the brand of the company many people might assume all they care about is office parties.
Compare that to the business that might post a singular picture of a large mixer making sure to tag customers and partners along with a message thanking everyone for a great quarter before resuming with valuable posts that communicate relevant content to the intended audience that ensure you are looked at as a resource on that channel.
Social media channels are a great way to show things you are interested in, ventures, successes, share information, promote partners and more – but it needs to relate to your business and the way you want people to identify it.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that success in business involves a lot of hard work. Social media channels can be fun and it is perfectly acceptable to add in a little quirkiness and entertainment to your various channels if that is how you want your brand to be perceived. But, you need to remember that your brand is reflected on your social media channels at all times and if you aren’t being thoughtful with what is being posted then you can cause more harm than good to your reputation.