Small Business Branding: 5 Steps to Brand Introduction in Social Media

introduce brand to social mediaSocial media marketing is the buzz of 2010 and for a small business it is an opportunity to introduce your brand to a larger target audience. We talk about a social media strategy and how to choose your platforms, learn how to use them, listen and then engage. However what we do not always hear is really how to introduce your brand to the social media community. Those engaging in social media continues to grow as do the levels of engagement as consumers and brands wrap their arms around the notion that their brands are accessible we need to think how will you introduce your brand to the social media communities.

As a small business branding plays an integral role in your overall marketing and advertising. Traditional advertising channels in local newspapers, radio and TV introduces your brand locally and people know you exist. What happens when you create your Twitter account or Facebook Fan Page; no-one knows you or knows you are there. Now what?

Steps to Introduce Your Brand to Social Media

1. Create Message. 10 words or less tell us who you are. Not a sales message as is done in traditional advertising but more a brief trustworthy introductory brand message.

2. Create Profiles. Incorporate your corporate identity into your profiles with custom backgrounds and as much customization as you can. It is your company page and utilizing as much of your corporate identity as possible is beneficial.

3. Identify Target & Connect. No message, just friend them to see who they are talking to, about and how they use the social space. People use the space differently and with varied frequency. Know this before you begin reaching out. They will be notified that you are following so they make the decision to follow/friend back. An informal introduction has been made here.

4. Initial Contact. This is NOT an auto DM on twitter thanking them or jumping in with a sales pitch. Everyone knows that behind the brand is a person so be that person and humanize your brand. Reach out to friends/fans to try and solve a problem or provide information that is useful but do not sell.

5. Engage. Once you have established your presence and have gained awareness within your target you are now able to engage and do let them know of specials, sales, events, contests, etc. While it is enticing to want to flood your platforms with information about your company in the initial contact stage, it is going to turn people away.

Knowing why you are there and what you want to accomplish in social media is just the beginning. It is a form of advertising and marketing but in a different manner that before. The days of build it and they will come are so far gone and as consumers demand more you have to be ready and aware of the conversation around you to be ready to react.

How did you introduce your brand – whether personal or company to social media? What platforms are you the most active?

photo credit: WebWizzard

  • Having communication standards based upon a brand strategy is key. Too many small business try advertising expecting instant results and end up with a hodge-podge message. Social media is the same, only the message doesn't go away after the ad run is over. The message endures, so you gotta get it right.

  • Walt

    The instant success is so much what followed traditional advertising and companies are expecting will happen in social media. The idea that reaching out to people on SM and treating it like an ad is what is really going to be where small businesses without enough understanding are going to flop. Social media is not an overnight success story where an ad in the local newspaper can be.

    thanks so much for reading and adding your thoughts.

  • hanks for the article Suzanne. Yes, social media is an opportunistic platform for small businesses as it provides a 'no-cost' gateway to raising their brand profile. My observation also is that a number of them use blogging to supplement their facebook, twitter etc presence – which i guess could be a follow on from your point 5.

    Ade

    Ade

    Blogging is a big part of the SM efforts as the SM efforts do bring people back to the website/blog. It is an excellent way to use SM and also with the blog to have fresh relevant content that raises your rankings. Such a win. The live search is going to start playing a bigger role in SM as well.
    Posted @ Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:52 PM by Suzanne Vara

  • We have a non-profit organization cubamomurals.com, and in addition to our website, we have a blogwww.cubamomurals.com a Facebook page for Cuba MO Murals, and we have started a twitter presence. This has allowed our town Cuba, MO to connect with locals, those who use to live in the community, and those who have visited the town or someday might visit. The blog and social media presence allow us to be interactive with the public.
    Posted @ Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:44 AM by Jane

    Jane

    What a great way to bring the offline community online. Thanks so much for sharing your success story. The folks who have moved is awesome as I know that being from NJ that I am always peeking over to see what is going on. Very well done.
    Posted @ Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:50 PM by Suzanne Vara

  • Great article, but I have one question. SM is the buzz for 2010, really?

    I thought it was the buzz of 2009. Thats when we first started using SM as an education and awareness tool with both a blog (http://bit.ly/6Bx4D1 in retrospect a nice fuzzy introduction blog post probably would have been better as a first post = lesson learned) and Twitter (http://bit.ly/4x9T2k)

    I think as well as a small business tool SM can work incredibly well for big businesses that may have struggled in the past to engage easily online.

    But even though we started last year, we are still learning and adapting our blog and tweets to best communicate and engage with people on-line.
    Posted @ Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:44 AM by Danusia

  • Danusia

    Believe it or not,yes. Those that are engaging in social media is still lower than those who are not. The talk and the education is changing as we know more about what the consumer expects, how to engage them.

    It is a learning process for us all and will continue to be. Reality is that the strategy is very similar or small or big biz – new to space is all the same, learning curve is all the same.

    Kudos for starting. Think of how far ahead you are of competitors who are starting today.

    thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy day to read and comment.
    Posted @ Thursday, January 14, 2010 4:31 AM by Suzanne Vara