Social networking tools such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and others offer SMBs new ways to build communities and your brand. Here are the best ways to build both at the same time.
5. Present a Unified Front
From the name of the company down to the corners of its logo, every element of marketing and promotion should tie directly into your core branding strategy. In essence, be articulate. Marketing slogans, sales pitches and the look and feel of your website should all dovetail with your brand strategy. A logos or catchy name is only a small part of that strategy. Giving your business a high-tech name with lots of X’s and Z’s may be a striking visual image, but does it tell the customer anything about how you will get the job done? By building a complete brand strategy, you cultivate an immersive client experience that fosters a professional relationship and most importantly, builds word-of-mouth – something Ochman says no amount of money can buy.
6. Go Bold, but Know the Risks
There is a time and a place for everything, and your business grows, so should the effort behind brand building. Today, risk-takers who post an outrageous YouTube video, or receive a glowing mention on a trendy tech Web site can catapult heretofore-unknown companies into the stratosphere. It might be tempting to embark on a risky but potentially rewarding marketing push. However, buying a booth in a trade show might be equally effective. Garnering laughs on YouTube doesn’t always translate into gathering business. As the saying goes, fortune favours the bold, but be sure you scale your efforts in accordance with growth.
“When you’re dealing with social networking, you have to realise that you are not in control,” Alter says. “You better deliver on what you say, because if you do, you’ll be fine. If you are trying to push yourself in a place you can’t support, that’s where you can get burned.” Ochman agrees, and stresses the strength of your community is critical as well. “Bolder is always better if you can back it,” Ochman says. “This is a long-term commitment. You can’t build your brand with one stunt. Before you get bold, you better build up your community so that somebody’s listening”.