Social media is second only to search marketing in its impact on brand building, according to marketers surveyed by Forrester Research recently. Social strategy and brand building strategy are inextricably intertwined, said researchers; marketers now must use social to serve their brand building objectives.
Blogger, author, speaker and founder of popular industry blog ProBlogger Darren Rowse is an expert in social brand building. Darren employs a number of good social practices with brand building takeaways on his Facebook page:
1. Ask Questions and Respond to Feedback
Darren often asks questions of fans on his Facebook page. He actually asks for suggestions about his writing and even uses this as a cross-promotion opportunity by bringing Google+ conversations up on Facebook and directing people to answer there. He is an active participant in the conversations around his brand and makes fan feel they have a vested interest in his business by asking for their feedback and then engaging those who respond.
As you can see in the image below, he could probably answer these questions himself, but uses Facebook as a discovery tool as much as he’s building his brand. The response is impressive.
2. Build a Community Around Your Page
Darren’s Facebook Page is left open so user comments show in his Timeline, making his Page a community hub of information and conversation. There are pros and cons to displaying the comments and posts of others on your wall; too great a volume or a lack of moderation can result in spam showing in your newsfeed. However, it’s also a great way to get your fans talking and sharing with one another.
3. Use Facebook Apps to Provide Access to Information from Around the Web
Facebook apps add functionality to your Page and allow you to offer access to YouTube videos, ticket sales, e-commerce stores and more, right from Facebook. Darren uses a YouTube app to showcase his online videos, as well as an Events app to provide all of the information a fan needs to attend one of his speaking or blogging events.
4. Tell Your Brand Story
Facebook fans want to know more than the latest deals on your products or services. Share your story to humanize the brand. In this post, Darren highlights a video from a recent appearance where he told the story of his chaotic life and how it led him to a career in marketing. In telling his story, he is building his authority and authenticity, very important qualities in a brand.
5. Create Content Tailored for Social Fans
Sometimes, a story doesn’t warrant an entire blog post. Do you find that all of your social posts are links to your website content? Mix it up by creating content specifically for social. In this example, Darren created a Google+ post offering advice to fans, then linked to it from his other social accounts, like Facebook. This gives your social fans that "something extra" that makes it worth it for them to follow your brand in social.
We often hear that it’s good to repurpose content for different social networks, yet creating content for each of those networks is an opportunity to build your brand presence across social and feature shorter content, off the blog.
What steps have you taken to build your brand across your social networks of choice? Share your tips and experience in the comments!
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