Small Business Branding: Brand Perception & Acceptance

brand acceptance How does your target perceive and accept your brand within their social media community? As we talk about terms of engagement and measurement there is a big step before any of the engagement and measurement can even be implemented. First, you identify your target and establish what tools you are going to employ to reach out to them by considering their level of interaction and usage. Then how you will reach out. This process is similar to developing the buyer persona but takes it to a different level as this is solely about social media. In outlining who your buyer is, their needs, how you can fulfill their needs, their habits, purpensity to buy, why they would buy from you and where they are in the buying process is that one-way communication. Social media is a two-way communication that expands on the interaction with the product/service and the brand itself. The buying process is important but what about the prospect or customer social media interaction and usage level?  As a brand that is implementing a new social media strategy or expanding upon a current one, who you reach out to and build your community with comes into play. This is a two step process as first you have to identify their usage level before you can consider where they are as it relates to brand perception and acceptance.

User Level & Interaction

1. Newbies. They are committed to trying this whole social media “thing.”  They have heard a lot about it and are coming on board. They need some help in learning how to interact and where they exactly fit in.

2. Casual Users. They may have been around for a while and interact with those of common interest, friends and do not actively seek new followers but will consider those who wish to be a part of their community.

3. Enthusiasts. Short or long time users who live and breathe for their social media platforms.  They are sharing, interacting, always looking for new people to join their community.

4. Influencers. They have built their following/fans and have a strong voice within their community.  They are still active but also rely upon their community to help them with sharing, interacting as time reaching out and fulfilling the demands of everyone is difficult.

Each of these groups are a viable group to reach out to but not at the same time. The focus needs to be on 1 or 2 of these that are similar in their usage. Why? The strategy utilized is different for newbies than it would be for enthusiasts.

Once you have established the level of usage, it is time to determine where are they with respect to perception and acceptance of your brand. Will they see you and jump immediately over and fan you or follow you?  What is the benefit to them? What is the “star power” or the sexiness of being associated with you?  It is not all about the star power or the sexiness but this goes to the perception and acceptance of their community when the follow or friend a brand.  Some things we just do not want people to know.

Brand Perception & Acceptance

1. None. They have never heard of your company, product, or have had any exposure to the brand whatsoever.

2. Aided Recall. May have seen you once or twice but would never be able to remember unless they were exposed again.

3. Aware. Have see you, may need a nudge to remember who you are and/or what your offerings are.

4. Unaided Recall. They are aware, have identified an interest or need but are still unsure on purchasing from you.

5. Purchasers. They have purchased and may or may not come back again. Dependent on offerings and need.

6. Loyalists. These are your brand ambassadors. They love, cannot live without and there are no alternatives.

Why is this important?  When you have identified who you are targeting the way that you introduce them to your social media efforts varies. A maximum of 3 is recommended as you are approaching them differently which affects their perception and acceptance.

How you reached out and built your community? How were you perceived and accepted?  What have you learned from your experiences and how will you approach expanding your community?

photo credit: Boo!Berry