Branding is often referred to as the “Goodwill Portion” of your business. It is an intangible that can be of greater value than your liquid assets. Being “brand aware” involves continuity in your physical and today more importantly your online presence. Social networking sites Twitter and Facebook allow organizations to determine what people are saying, thinking and doing about their brands. What does differentiate these two from each other as branding tools is a difference of depth of information and rapid distribution.
There are several great business and celebrity examples of being proactive via social networking with their online brand. Whole Foods Markets can be found on both Facebook and Twitter. They actively communicate with buyers providing both product information and consumer alerts. Facebook offers them a chance to provide forum based knowledge sharing, whereas Twitter has become a rapid alert venue for product update & recalls.
London Times Cartoons CEO Rick London takes a personal approach putting himself forward as the face of his company on both Twitter & Facebook. He provides links to his humorous cartoons, promotes his celebrity clients & freely interacts within the online community.
Author, wife & mother Kathy Ireland takes a selfless approach on Twitter not promoting herself or her brand. Her tweets are both personal and focused on promoting her charitable causes. She shares the wisdom from her most recent book “Real Solutions for Busy Mom’s: Your Guide to Success and Sanity” is an invaluable resource for moms who struggle with real life issues.
Mariel Hemingway was born pre-branded via her last name (maternal granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway). On Facebook you see her warm personal messages to keep her fan base informed while on her busy schedule. Twitter for Mariel it is a combination of educating people about healthier living and promoting her new book “Mariel’s Kitchen: Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life”.
Twitter and Facebook each offer different active social networking features. Facebook is journal format that allows customers to add and comment on your entries. It is perfect for building a long term relationship with your customer base. Unlike Facebook, Twitter offers businesses & individual branding via the design background feature and rapid 140 character tweets. Your background is billboard that can feature web and email addresses, product information and photos. Tweets allow rapid timely distribution of your product & service information. By integrating your branded advertising and marketing materials on Twitter and or Facebook you will become more memorable in your prospective customer’s minds.
Twitter and other Social media sites are changing the way businesses market themselves on the internet. They are seeking for innovated ways to gain new followers to convert into potential clientele. Often striking the right balance of friendly conversation and product pitch is the dilemma.
In February of 2009 @Alex Karis posted the following question ion Twitter: What is the NUMBER 1 reason you unfollow people? The winning response with 42% of the votes was “tired of watching them self promote with links and no interaction.”
My dilemma as a businesswoman on Twitter is the more I communicated and became part of the Twitter community I became cautious about making a full sales pitch to my followers. Early in my foray into Twitter I noticed the followers who only sent out a barrage of sales Tweets with zero interaction became annoying. My goal was to avoid becoming “that guy/gal” who only tweeted 140 character Twitfomercials.
There are several questions I asked myself. If I interact too much, too little, give an occasional sales pitch or lay low will I be unfollowed? How do I communicate about my website its content and customer service without alienating potential customers? How do I avoid sabotaging the positive reputation I was building on Twitter?
You cannot find a better example of the social vs. selling balance on Twitter than that of @ricklondon. Rick London Group, LLC CEO Rick London’s personal approach involves putting himself forward as the face of his company on Twitter. He Tweets freely with the online community, promotes his celebrity clients, and provides links to his humorous cartoons.
With these steps you can market yourself and your brand to the Twitter community. Increase your following first by communication with those in your current network. Tweet famous quote, favorite music and Jokes if you are not comfortable with online conversation. Lastly your tweets can be used to invite and entice your followers into visiting your website.