Monday, December 15, 2014

Branding and Social Media

Social media is another way to reach out to brand fans. It helps your brand remain top-of-mind, creates a dialog with customers, provides useful feedback, and can be the source of brand information and special promotions. At a minimum, you need to be familiar with the following social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.

According to Millward Brown, a brand’s social media fans outspend non fans four to one. Furthermore, Millward Brown indicates that the following are the top four most valued fan page benefits: 1) latest news about the brand, 2) new product information, 3) contests and giveaways, and 4) sales, discounts, coupons, and special offers.

Social media is a useful source of brand feedback. Listen to people where they are most likely to be talking about your brand and its competitors. Among the popular product/service/brand review sites to monitor:

And the following are just a sampling of current social media monitoring tools:

Social media marketing tools include:

Social media is also a useful customer input and feedback mechanism for major product and service decisions. In fact, many brands are now using social media to co-create the brand's products, services and programs with its customers. Whether it is a simple question, a short survey, or a longer focus group, marketers are using social media for marketing research. And the questions and answers can be interactive synchronously or asynchronously. 

And social media takes customer relationship management (CRM) to the next level. It allows the brand to have conversations with specific customers over time, not only providing for better understanding and documentation of individual customer needs but also as a way to build an emotional connection with the customer.

The best websites integrate social media into the site and blogs have social media widgets so that their information can be easily spread through social media.

If you are responsible for building your brand's equity and sales, don't neglect social media as a tool for achieving that end.

(c) 2014 by Brad VanAuken, excerpted from Brand Aid, second edition, now available at and

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