brand identity

59% of shoppers like to buy products from brands they trust. But earning that trust is not something that many brands know how to do.

 

A brand is much more than just a logo and a name, it’s the overall visual, written, and value-based image that must be curated over an extended period and across all modes of communication with the target audience.

 

The good news is that for smaller companies, developing a brand image might actually be easier than for large corporations. This is because SMBs can take a more focused approach when developing the brand, using little specific details that drive home what the company stands for and what makes it different.

 

Let’s explore a few of the most effective ways to build a strong and unique brand identity below.

 

Create Seasonal Product and Gift Collections


The first item on this list might seem a bit surprising, but it’s actually a powerful strategy that can help create separation from all of the competitors in your niche.

 

Having a consistent selection of products is essential, but you should also consider developing seasonal product collections such as holiday gift boxes. These can be curated collections of products that are perfect as a gift or as a seasonal treat for yourself, and the only limit to what you include or how you package it is the way you want to highlight what your brand is about.

 

You can create beautiful packaging that reflects your unique style, messages highlighting your voice, and products that deliver clear value to your customers.

 

At the same time, these gift boxes are an excellent product to showcase on your marketing campaigns. By running social media ads with beautifully packaged gift boxes, you can grab the attention of people who might otherwise not click on your regular products.

 

Put Your Customers First


A brand’s strength is only as great as its customer base. Therefore, when creating a unique brand identity, it makes sense to start the process by taking a customer centric approach and figuring out precisely who you want to cater to, and how.

 

Customer centricity implies putting your customers above all else, focusing on providing them with the best possible experience, and trusting that success will follow. This means not just delivering good-quality products but also ensuring that the values your business puts forward are aligned with what your ideal customers care about. 

 

What’s more, it means addressing any issues they might have quickly and doing everything you can to ensure that every customer walks away happy.

 

Find a Core Differentiating Idea


The term unique brand contains a pivotal clue about how to develop it. Uniqueness is a trait that’s only possible in relation to something else, so the right way you make your brand stand out will largely depend on the type of competition you will be working against.

 

To develop a memorable and engaging brand that will be more appealing than others, you must first perform a thorough analysis of the landscape in your market, figuring out what your competitors are doing, how they’re positioning themselves, and how you can fill a currently unmet demand.

 

Sometimes, that will mean addressing a common issue that all other brands fail to solve. Perhaps no one is catering to the segment of an audience? Or maybe there’s an ethical issue that more and more customers find important?

 

Whatever it might be, finding what could make your brand different can become the driving force behind everything you do, including the branding, the voice, and the type of marketing campaigns you run.

 

Provide Amazing Customer Support


If there’s one area where it’s absolutely crucial to stand out from the competition, it’s customer support. Even a few bad experiences can derail your brand’s reputation, so it’s vital to promptly address every issue and offer helpful solutions that turn frustrated customers into loyal fans.

 

And the good news is that even small brands now have numerous tools for creating an omnichannel customer support system that quickly addresses all issues.

 

For one thing, you should implement a live chat function on your website, where people can quickly get answers to questions without having to fill out forms. When a live support rep isn’t available, you can use a chatbot instead, directing customers to helpful resources that enable them to solve the issue independently.

 

You should also have someone monitor your social media messages, where many customers will go to learn more about your brand and figure out whether they want to work with you.

 

Finally, consider creating a knowledge base that can act as an all-encompassing resource. This will prevent your support agents from having to explain each issue individually, as they will be able to provide a helpful link that explains the problem’s solution clearly and with visuals.

 

Bottom Line


Developing a strong brand identity is one of the best ways to carve out a space in the market, no matter how competitive it might be. Using the strategies listed above, you can create more exciting products, cater to the right audience, and find ways to stand out from the rest.

 

humanize brand

 

You, just like your customers and employees, are human. Despite the significant rise of automation in businesses, every aspect of a business comes into contact with a human at some point. Without humans, there would be no business. These things may seem obvious, but it is surprising how little humanity most companies have in their dealings with customers. How common is it to see companies run out-of-touch ads that a group of executives decided humans would like? These ads are just one example of how many companies assume what humans like as if they aren’t humans themselves. Customers are not looking for an overly focus grouped brand, they want genuine human interaction. It is not difficult to humanize your brand, here are 5 easy ways.

 

Think Like a Human


Times have changed. The days of email blasts and untargeted, traditional advertising are gone. If you think like a corporate machine, then you will have a hard time connecting to everyday people. Think about the conversations you have in your day to day life, the connections you have with other people. Those personal relationships should be the model for business relationships. Treat your customers like friends and talk to them like you would a new acquaintance.

 

Show Off Your Staff


Showing the real people that make your company run helps build trust with customers. Physically seeing that there is a team of fellow humans behind the business will help bring out the humanity in your company. Post pictures of actual employees, not just stock photos. You do not need to show off anyone who doesn’t want the spotlight, it will work better if you show off employees who want to be ambassadors. Show off the personalities of your employees, show customers that regular people like them work for your company. By reminding customers that normal humans work for you it brings a human element to the whole company.

 

Don’t be afraid to show off the personalities of your employees either. If you are going to show off employees, let them show their true colors. Rather than heavily editing what your employees say, let them use their own words. Customers will be able to tell when your employees are being genuine, so let them be.

 

Personalized Marketing


Marketing often comes off as cold and impersonal. We have all received the template marketing emails from companies, and they leave a negative impression, if they were noticed at all. It does not take much effort to make customers feel more appreciated on an individual level, even if it means adding just a few lines of code and small changes in wording. By adding a customer’s name on a marketing email or using “you” rather than “I”, you are making the customer experience more personal and human. Acknowledging your customer as an individual person makes your company feel more human, sounding more like the two of you are talking as friends instead of as a business asking for money.

 

Admit Failures


Something that unites all humans is failure.  Due to this shared human error, companies make mistakes and fail just like average people do in their personal lives. Admitting when you fail is an act of bravery, maturity, and humanity. Maybe something went wrong and it will impact customers, rather than hiding the mistake, take ownership of it. Tell your customers what went wrong, what will happen now, and why it won’t happen again. Don’t air every bit of dirty laundry, but share the lessons learned from failure. A post on Medium shows that people engage when the content is honest, so be truthful with your customers even when things go wrong.

 

Share User Generated Content


Sharing user generated content helps to humanize your brand in two ways:

 

  1. It is flattering to the user to have their content featured by a business, and it reinforces the relationship between business and customer. User generated content is free advertising. Showing happy customers with your products to other potential customers is great marketing; it also shows customers you care about their positive experiences with your product.
  2. It is important to humanize your brand. No one wants to deal with a cold impersonal corporate entity. People want to work with other people. If you bring some humanity to your business, customers are more likely to engage. Show off your employees, and let them speak for the company in a genuine way. Do not be afraid to admit failure when it is pertinent to your customers. Proudly post user generated content and talk to your customers like you would any other humans – you are bound to see positive results.

Increase Brand Visibility

 

Whether you’re a new start-up or an established business, brand awareness is always key. How can you make sales if people don’t know about you or the new things you’re doing? The Content Marketing Marketing Institution in fact found that 89 percent of B2B marketers labelled brand awareness and visibility as the most important goal, over sales and lead generation. But in this day and age, with so many communication platforms, advanced technologies and modern ways of thinking, what are the most effective methods of getting your brand out there? Let’s take a look at some of the main strategies that could be effective for your company.

 

1. Social Media


It’s no secret that Social Media is a widely used tool that has a powerful effect on people’s opinions. No matter the platform of choice  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube to name just a few  there is a potential to reach millions, even billions, of people around the world. Through a profile and regular activity that attracts your target market, a company not only has the ability to get their brand seen by the many people on Social Media, but you actually can communicate a strong and relatable brand personality. The great part about Social Media is that it is easily customizable. You can target audiences by age, gender, geographical location and even interests, to ensure that your brand is being seen by those most likely to identify with your values and require your services.

 

2. Content Marketing


Another modern day technique for brand visibility is content marketing. With the onslaught of technology and the world wide web, audiences are faced with an overload of content, which is updated and shared every hour. People visit various websites, scroll through social feeds and Google search on a daily basis, so if your brand has content out there for them to stumble across, it’s all the more likely that audiences will become more aware. Try using bloggers and creating native articles to post on various publications that you know your target market are reading; or you could shoot interesting videos to upload and share on Social Media. You could even try writing an e-book on a topic of interest; just try and be creative and be proactive about spreading the content online.

 

3. Traditional Methods


Let’s not forget about those tried and tested traditional methods that have been working for marketers for a long time. Guerrilla marketing, for example, can be highly effective for companies trying to get their name out there. Uber, which is a billion dollar company has been known to take advantage of guerrilla tactics. You could also try getting a toll free number for your business because by adding a clear contact detail to the brand, you will be visible on 411 directories and online directories, which are seen by many people everyday. Plus, toll free numbers make it easier for customers to get in contact with you and therefore allows you to provide better customer service — an added bonus that can make a huge difference.

 

Increasing the visibility of your brand can be a process that is often time consuming and requires effort. Whether it’s using modern techniques or traditional approaches, marketers should be aware of effective strategies and be sure to make brand awareness a priority; if done properly, it can broaden your customer base, solidify your market position and increase returns.

Brand Architecture

 

Should your subsidiary businesses, products, and services carry the respective name of your mother brand, or live out their own lives in the global market in order to appeal to a certain range of demographics, otherwise unattainable with your primary brand personality? The answer will depend on your long-term goals and aspirations.

 

Brand architecture represents an invaluable piece in the puzzle of global market positioning and brand recognition, allowing you to develop new companies, products, and services and tailor them in terms of values, visual identity, personality, and voice in order to reach your audience. Rather than running the risk of inadequate and subpar customer feedback due to the overwhelming and familiar emotional response evoked by your mother brand, you can neatly organize your brand architecture to help clients, customers, and in-house teams better gauge and respond to your subsidiary brands.

 

In layman’s terms, brand architecture allows you to appeal to a wider audience by creating seemingly unrelated brands that are a part of a unified whole, or corporate brands that portray a unified story to larger demographic.

 

Given the aforementioned benefits, let us take a look at the crucial steps you should take to create your optimal brand architecture.

 

Define your industries


A brand, much like a growing person, starts off in a specific niche, and broadens its horizons to encompass numerous areas in life, taking interest, learning and mastering different traits. The place your brand starts in its genesis should not be the place it ends up, but rather it should pave the road to bigger and better things.

 

Thus, it becomes of essence to clearly define the new niches and future industries you wish to introduce your brand to, and create a demographic model that will yield the creation and fine-tuning of a new entity – your house of brands. Your house of brands is a group where every one of your new brands resides under the wings of your head corporation. In there lies the data, numerous marketing plans and strategies and dedicated teams that manage and grow your new businesses.

 

Choose your architecture type


Brand architecture entails the use and optimization of three major architecture types, each with its own purpose and built in accordance with your aspirations.

 

The first type is corporate architecture. Corporate architecture entails the creation of unique companies, services or products that are supposed to live independently, yet are fully controlled and always come with a corporate identity prefix. This is a good solution for companies who want their new audiences to automatically associate their values with the corporate brand, avoiding the need for additional marketing efforts and complicated management delegation.

 

Secondly, there are sub-brands and endorsements. Succinctly, endorsed brands stand on their own in the local or global market, yet the corporate brand played a substantial, if not a key role, in their creation.

 

Endorsed brands can enjoy the benefits of the corporate brand’s support and protection, while being able to execute their own marketing strategies and create their brand in accordance with the corporate entity. This is an excellent solution for companies that want to create individual values, stories, messages, and visual identities for their new ventures.

 

Be wary though, endorsed brands need to deliver results in terms of brand recognition and value, and your corporate brand must actively participate in its establishment and ensure its strong footing before it can enjoy the fruits of its success.

 

Lastly, there is the option of creating individual product brands. This solution entails complete freedom of your individual brands, allowing them to live out their lives independently without any visible relationship with the corporate entity. This solution boasts numerous benefits but it can also present the corporate brand with hardship if not set up and managed properly. These unique brands need to be created with prudency and strategy, employing a strong marketing team for each, creating a professional management structure, developing a unique visual identity with graphic design and establishing an emotional relationship with the customers with a dedicate PR department.

 

Build on emotion


Your brand architecture should be built gradually and it should be rationally positioned to evoke an emotional response. You need to utilize the customer’s inherent trait of emotionality to your advantage and build brands, products and services that will create a bond with your target audience. Remember, people consume content, buy products, and promote brands to their friends because they feel the brand to be an inseparable part of their reality, not necessarily because they need it.

 

Emotions trump functionality, and that is why your subsidiary brands need to be built on their strengths, advantages and benefits. Carefully start developing your new brands and list their functional traits from which you will derive their unique benefits that will spike an emotional reaction. These benefits need to be tailored perfectly to resonate with the specific target demographic and you will succeed in accomplishing this creative task by employing dedicated management teams to create and take the new brand out to sea.

 

Employ hierarchy


Finally, hierarchy plays a pivotal role in the maintenance, productivity, and future success of your carefully built brand architecture. In a vast corporate conglomerate, it becomes staggeringly easy to lose a sense of direction and let your architecture fall to pieces under poor guidance and a lack of hierarchical communication and delegation.

 

For this reason, you must build and maintain a strong hierarchical foundation with clearly defined guidelines and regulations that will ensure productivity, financial prosperity, and long-term success with the best possible ROI.

 

The importance of establishing thriving brand architecture with careful planning and strategizing is unparalleled. Strong brand architecture will see your corporation to new heights, allowing your business to pursue new goals, create numerous revenue streams and effectively branch out into various global markets. Follow these crucial steps and you will easily pave the road to long-term success and prosperity!

eCommerce Brand Strategies

 

According to a report by Forrester, online sales are predicted to grow at an annual rate of 9.32 percent over the next five years. Those numbers are good news for e-commerce retailers looking to step-up their sales. But a thriving, healthy marketplace also means more competition for e-commerce store owners trying to attract their share of eager customers.

 

Stand-out from the crowd with unique e-commerce strategies to help differentiate your brand. From a killer unique selling proposition to inventing your own holiday to show your customer appreciation, these e-commerce strategies are sure to boost sales.

 

Develop a Niche Unique Selling Proposition (USP)


E-commerce store owners probably already know about Unique Selling Propositions (USP) to differentiate their brand. For example, Mast Brothers Chocolate creates quality, handmade chocolate bars with tools like a stone grinder. But it takes more than a clever USP in today’s marketplace. You also need a genius niche.

 

 

An e-commerce gadget retailer can focus on selling products directly to the tiny house movement to maximize space while delivering on quality with multi-faceted tools. The combination of a hyper-focused niche and USP makes your brand more compelling and easier to be seen and heard in a competitive marketplace.

 

Create Multi-channel Offerings


Today’s customers want consistent brand experiences whether they’re shopping directly through a retailer’s website, in a brick and mortar store, through social media or with marketplaces like Amazon. The research also shows the trend has no signs of slowing down. Nielsen reports that consumers are using digital touch points throughout the buying process from research to reading through reviews and price comparison.

 

Give your customers a consistent experience no matter where they’re shopping for, and look to big retailers mastering the technique for inspiration. For example, Cabela’s adeptly integrates across various channels to offer a consistent brand and selling experience to its customers. This means use can check the availability of a specific item, like a fishing lure, in a nearby location, purchase that item offline and walk into the store to pick it up the same day.

 

Collaborate with Influencers


Big brands are already partnering with influencers from YouTube stars to Twitter users with millions of followers. Some, like Gary Vaynerchuk, are influencers in an industry like marketing. Others are everyday people turned social media celebrities. And the ROI is impressive. According to to a poll by Tomoson, businesses earn $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
 

 
Research who has influence in your niche whether you sell kids clothing or business focused apps. Reach out to form a collaboration to promote your business in exchange for free products, a part of your marketing spend or other perks like VIP access to your business events.
 

Develop Highly Personal Campaigns


Consumers are accustomed to being marketed to on a highly personal level, and businesses can leverage this trend to increase sales. Consider how Amazon automatically shows you products you might be interested in based on past purchases and searches. Follow-up with your own customers with personalized emails offering tips for products they’ve purchased, or announce discounts on items they’re likely to buy based on their purchasing history.

 

Invent a Viral Appreciation Day


Showing your customers you care with a generic discount can get lost in the white noise of email. But creating a viral appreciation day in the form of a holiday could result in a big payday. The “Amazon of China” invented a holiday they called “Singles’ Day” and raked in $14 billion in 24-hours.

 

Brainstorm appreciate days and your own holidays that align with your product. China’s “Singles’ Day” could have also worked well for an e-commerce retailer selling clothes for fashionable and ambitious women. Send out an email campaign or work with an influencer to build up a buzz around your big day before unleashing it on the world.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is one of the hottest trends right now and is especially popular to use as an overall website marketing strategy. Those who are interested in how to plan a social media marketing strategy have already realized the many advantages it has to offer if executed properly. Planning how to run the marketing strategy is essential for it to be as successful as possible.

Identify your Goals

For people who are researching how to plan a social media marketing strategy, having a clearly defined set of goals right out of the gates is essential. A successful social media marketing strategy has a specific goal, although others may be attained as side benefits. There are a variety of different goals that can be achieved by utilizing social media properly including:

  • Increasing the company’s bottom line by increasing sales
  • Gaining valuable information about customers
  • Gaining inbound links to improve the company’s online ranking, which will in turn help to increase sales
  • Getting customer testimonials and sharing these reviews with potential customers
  • Monitoring the reputation of the brand
  • Building authority
  • Educating customers about the product and brand
  • Finding new audiences
  • Forming a direct relationship between the customer and the company

Design the Strategy

Once the goals have been clearly laid out, it’s time for those learning how to plan social media marketing strategy to design the strategy itself. This strategy should be based heavily on research into strategies that have been used in the past. The best social media agencies learn from other people’s failures and avoid them in their own campaigns by researching what has worked and what hasn’t worked.

Here are a few ways you can measure what you are doing:

Measure Success

Social media companies need to clearly determine a way to measure their own campaign’s success or failure. Without this measurement, there will be no way of determining how effective the marketing strategy was. This measurement should be a direct reflection of the chosen goal of those deciding how to plan social media marketing strategy. For example, if the goal is awareness, things such as shares, likes and new subscribers are good ways to measure growth and engagement. There are a variety of tools and tracking programs that can help determine social media searchers for a specific company or marketing plan.

Overall Trends

As an additional measure of success and of social media trends involving the company, overall trends should also be examined as an answer for how to plan social media marketing strategy ideas. Look for mentions of keywords in the industry, the company name, key employees’ names (such as the CEO), brand names and product services and compare them to mentions of competitors. Depending on which social media outlet is being used, there are also many different tools that social media companies use to help track these overall trends quickly and accurately.

Communication Policies

Communication policies are an integral part of how to plan social media marketing strategy. Make a plan as to what the answer is to customer questions and complaints before they happen. Clarify the role that different team members will take and reiterate the goal behind the communication policies. Make a reasonable timeline for different success measurements and when the associated tasks will be completed. It is important for even the best social media companies to have a written plan identifying which different networks will be used and how the goals will be accomplished.

Growth and Promotion

Once those interested in how to plan social media marketing strategy have implemented their ideas, make sure that the momentum is kept going. There needs to be consistent promotion of social media platforms company-wide, including adding the networks to letterheads, signature lines, business cards and promotional literature. Make use of plugins and icons on the company’s website to thoroughly link to the company’s different media outlets. Promotions such as Facebook ads and contests are affordable and easy ways to draw more attention to the company. Try live webinars, question and answers, guest blogging and expert interviews to keep growing and promoting.

Deciding how to plan social media marketing strategy involves a variety of facets, as outlined above. Promotional policies, goals and communication policies must be clearly laid out before any campaign begins. Make sure to keep measuring to see how successful the strategies were. These evaluation processes can help to develop different strategies over time that may be more successful with the company’s target audience.

Google Plus Branding

Many entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in the practical (physical and financial) aspects of starting a business that they don’t stop to consider what branding can do for them, much less how to go about building a successful brand. But when you stop to consider that even widely recognizable brands like Coke, McDonald’s, Nike, Ford, and hundreds of others started out in exactly the same place you’re at today, you’ll see that it is possible to take a small local company or online operation to a higher level through branding efforts. It’s not enough to simply float along on the goodwill of a few patrons and hope that others find you; you’ve got to be proactive about expanding your own brand. And while plenty of social media sites can help to spread your message at light-speed, Google+ offers some fantastic benefits to help you build your brand.

#1 Identify Goals

Create a mission statement. Okay, so this is not actually an aspect of Google+; it’s something you must do on your own before you begin your foray into online branding. And if you have not already created a mission statement to specify the overarching goals and ideals of your enterprise, now is the time. By opting to create a brand rather than simply slogging along as a generic vendor, you’ve taken a step towards transforming your operation into a highly visible business entity, one that will be more likely to enjoy success and longevity. And you need a mission statement that you and your fans can refer back to in order to keep your original vision alive. This is really the first step to brand creation (after opening your business, of course).

#2 Build a Profile

Create and update your profile. You might not think that the profile feature is terribly important, but considering it can provide consumers new to your brand with a snapshot of what makes you…well…YOU, it is imperative that you put some thought into creating a well-rounded profile that offers pertinent information about your company and links out to your website, blog, or other social accounts.

#3 Engage your Audience

Start threads, use sparks. Engaging with your visitors is one of the best ways to encourage them to have a relationship with your company, which is essentially the essence of branding. You want to approach potential customers on a personal level so that they come to see you as a trusted friend rather than a soulless corporation. By starting interesting conversation and then carrying on communications, you can work to build bonds and create a community that centers on your business. And the sparks feature can help you to use current events and other news to stimulate discussions. This is a fantastic strategy for drawing people in and helping them to become invested in your company.

#4 Build your Brand

Create brand ambassadors. Although internet marketing is an excellent and often affordable tool for businesses seeking to expand a brand, having trusted sources recommending you to friends and family is even better. By providing excellent customer service and really making the effort to connect with people in your network, you can create an army of brand ambassadors that give you access to their inner circle. And this is one area in which Google+ has other social media outlets beat thanks to their easy-to-use “circles” feature.

#5 Cross Promote

Cross promote. It is said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you want to build your brand with Google+ you need every link to be solid. So be careful about who you let into your own circles if you want to remain attractive to prospective patrons.

About the author:

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for 522 Digital, a digital marketing agency that helps companies reach their target audience.

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More Facebook Likes

Everyone these days seems to be all about acquiring Facebook “likes” for their branded Facebook pages. Yes it is important but there are some important elements you need to understand before you become obsessed with growing this little number. Just setting up a basic FB page is nowhere near enough these days and you have to entice people to become a part of your community by offering something of value. Acquiring more fans for your page requires dedication and patience and you have to be willing to pour on the branding in order to get it done.

1. Don’t purchase bogus liking services

One of the biggest scams out there now revolves around “companies” trying to sell merchants more like button hits. Most of these services are bogus and typically result in nothing but fake Facebook accounts that have been set up in order to look like real people. Some of these companies even take your hard earned cash and simply disappear into thin air. Just because they have a nice website with a U.S address does not mean they will be doing a good job for you. Facebook likes have to happen naturally. If you need to force them or purchase them you are doing something wrong.

2. Start branding your business!

If all you have is a website with very little to no branding efforts implemented it will be somewhat difficult to build up a following on Facebook. When people follow a FB page they are not following a website, they are following a brand they have made a connection with. This connection comes in many different flavors you just have to figure out how to connect with your audience. Maybe it revolves around emotion or possibly discount but whatever it is there needs to be a connection some sort.

3. Get a Facebook box for your website

A Facebook Like box is a great way to build up those FB fans. By having it sit on your site template for every page of your website it will really give your audience a reason to hit the button. If this box sits in a strategic location on every page of your website you will increase the opportunity for someone to hit the like button and become a fan.

Facebook Like Box4. Custom Facebook fan page

The online space is growing exponentially every single day. With so much data and content being born you owe it to your business to try and stand out as much as possible. Using a custom Facebook landing page for your fan site will help you do just that. Custom pages can allow your brand to stand out just a little bit more than just dropping people off on your wall.

5. Give your audience a reason to become a fan

Unless you are a big household brand name you are going to have to entice your audience to become a fan of your Facebook fan page. If you are a dentist in Milwaukee don’t be discouraged because you only have a few fans on your account. Give your patients and audience a reason by offering discounts and coupons. If your business does not have the “sexy” factor some of the other larger brands do it will require a bit more work to get things rolling.

6. Offer a contest

Contests are a great way to build up your fan page because most people like free stuff, if you don’t you need help. Many brands will offer a contest but in order to be part of the contest you need to become a fan of the page.

Example:

Vitamin Water Facebook Fan Page7. Put it in your newsletter

If you don’t have a monthly company newsletter you should. I speak with people all the time which say that they have hundreds and sometimes even thousands of email addresses from current and past clients they don’t know what to do with. By placing a link to your company Facebook fan page in your newsletter you can and will significantly increase your exposure to your page.

8. Start writing content

A really nice way to build up your Facebook fan page is to connect your like box with some sort of content engine. Your blog is a great content engine that can help you achieve this. Include your like box on your blog and write as much as you can while engaging in social media. When you start to develop social media traffic over to your website that is when your like box will start to fill up.

Brand Website Difference

There is no doubt about it the search space has changed quite a bit over the years especially when it comes to website marketing. Those who might have had a difficult time rolling with the punches over the years might find themselves down for the count right about now. It is really quite fundamental when you think about the digital chaos in its raw form. For those businesses who have been making an effort for the last decade they will be the first to tell you that things are certainly different in the online space. Once thriving niches are now inundated with web pages and articles often times leading to nothing but crap. Crap that makes a great deal of noise, clutter and distraction that your business has to fight whether you like it or not.

For Example:

If you were standing in the middle of a Justin Bieber concert before the concert started and yelled in the arena “New Kids On The Block were better!” chances are someone working in the arena or walking through might bump into your voice and hear you. Now if you did it while the concert was actually happening there is a good possibility that no one would hear you yell at all. That is sort of like the online space right now.

The reason is because there is so much going on around you and a good portion of your audience might be having a hard time paying attention to you for one reason or another. What are you going to do differently in order to stand out in front of your audience? Over the years it has become much more important to grow an actual brand rather than just a “website” because a brand is going to stick out and just having a website simply might not have enough strength to handle the needs in today’s online space. Everything online is now all about building a following and an audience that will listen to what you have to say.

Let’s brake down some of the important differences between an online brand and just having a website:

1.

An Online Brand: Has the ability to tell and build a story and allow others to follow that story creating a group of fans.

A Website: Only has an “about us” section. Not very story like.

2.

An Online Brand: Has a voice and a personality others can connect and relate to.

A Website: Just has “hits“.

3.

An Online Brand: Has personality and flavor that people online thrive for.

A Website: Has images. Sometimes not even good ones.

4.

An Online Brand: Has a following that continues to grow and listen.

A Website: Has unique visitors.

5.

An Online Brand: Does not rely on search engine rankings to grow and prosper.

A Website: Relies on search engine rankings to grow and prosper.

6.

An Online Brand: Offers substance and quality marketing material to its audience on a consistent basis.

A Website: Offers simply communication.

7.

An Online Brand: Creates an audience that wants to receive communication from a business.

A Website: Forces communication onto its audience.

8.

An Online Brand: Use every resource around them online to spread a positive business message.

A Website: Tries to identify loop holes and pounces on them.

Conclusion

Take a look around you at any business that is really thriving online right now. What do they all have in common? Online branding is what they have in common. In order to be successful online you need to have the perfect package. The perfect package has not just rankings but a brand following that is helping your company grow.

Facebook Fan Page Mistakes

Brands don’t mean to make mistakes they just do and some mistakes can cause serious damage to a brand if not corrected quickly. With social media being such a powerful driving force in today’s business world it comes with a learning curve especially if you have a large global brand. One wrong status update can cause irreparable damages that can linger for years to come.

Facebook is no exception to this rule and you need to have a certain amount of respect for its power.  There is a reason why some people have millions of followers on their fan pages and those reasons need to be acknowledged.

Here are 10 ways to hurt your brand on Facebook:

Underdeveloped Fan Page

Facebook fan pages have grown quite a bit from what they once were. They now have many options for information that a brand or company can fill out. Make sure you fill out all the fields available to your brand so that it is nice an optimized for your users.

No Status Updates

The fan page is there for a reason, for you to use it! Posting updates once per/month is not going to help you build your brand on Facebook. Actually it will most likely hurt you quite a bit if you have no updates and you are a larger brand. Studies have shown that people make many judgement calls when it comes how a business interacts on their Facebook fan page.

Not Sharing Other’s Content

It takes a special kind of mindset to help your competition in the social space but remember that social media and Facebook is all about sharing content. You might not like it but your Facebook fans will and pleasing your audience is what it’s all about.

Forgetting To Promote Your Fan Page

Don’t forget to share your company Facebook fan page with others. Put it on your website, in your newsletter and on your blog to get others connecting with your brand.

Zero Engagement for Conversation

If people leave comments on your updates make sure to get back in there and respond back to them. Facebook is all about communication so if someone wants to communicate with your brand take the time to respond back to them.

Don’t Even Think about Mass Friend Connections

Don’t hunt around for those bogus products that promise 1,000,000 new Facebook fans by the end of the month. These services will do nothing more than just get your account banned. You want fans that truly want to be there and hear what you have to say.

Default Wall Settings

Think about the default page your visitors are landing on, whether it is a custom Facebook design or just the content wall think about your goals. There is no right or wrong setting to have it on it just depends on what you want your audience to see first.

Poor Logo Design

Make sure you always use a logo that renders 100%. If it is too small and needs to be stretched out to fit it will hurt your company image. Have your designer put together a nice logo that renders and fits properly in the logo space.

No Album Images

Each fan page has the ability to build out some nice photo albums. Use the photo albums to your advantage as best as you can. If you don’t have images take photos of the office and employees.

No Link!

Always, always, always leave a link behind where people can easily connect directly with your website. The worst thing that can happen is to make users have to either search for your website or hunt for a link. Don’t make anyone hunt, leave it right there for them to use.

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