July 20. 2011 | Drew Dunn
How Social Is Your Brand?
Social media—how its benefits span beyond the social realm—came up as an unexpected topic in a Not-For-Profit group status meeting last week. We joked that Google + allows you to create circles (or groups) of friends and colleagues instantly by clicking and dragging “much like grouping a trial balance.” Accounting humor aside, it does pose an interesting question—can social media be a value-added tool for businesses and non-profits alike?
There is no denying that social media has evolved into an essential tool for businesses to connect with potential customers. For example, Twitter is used by entities of all types and sizes to post micro blogs and share value-added links with their current and potential consumer base, with the ultimate goal of generating brand awareness and directing valuable traffic to company websites and blogs.
The success of social media platforms relies on the number of people using them, which is why Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have become such valuable tools for businesses and Non-Profit entities to get people talking about their products and services. Sparking the conversation brings people together around your brand, your services, and your products. An example is the hashtag feature of Twitter. Companies with a new service or product, or a non-profit hosting a fundraiser, can get people talking by putting a unique hashtag about the product or event in tweets, and others who comment on it can use that same hashtag. This hashtag logs all tweets, using it in a searchable database within Twitter, and your hashtag can trend among twitter users, and, ergo, so will your brand, product, or event.
Social media can work for entities who take serious action to incorporate it into their business strategy. This requires both a knowledge of how to use the tools and a willingness to fund social media strategy. It is important to not only understand the tools you are using, but to also be authentic--show some personality in your posts because social media is about interacting with people to get them talking about your brand. So, how social is your brand?
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