We’ve blogged about social media before and its overwhelming usage statistics, but how do those facts and figures really affect your business? When it comes to building a solid and consistent corporate brand, understanding the strategy and impact of your social media efforts is crucial.
It’s easy to see the most basic benefits of maintaining a social media presence for your brand:
- Keeping your brand at the forefront of attention
- Free exposure to potential customers
- Opportunity for name recognition and reputation
But to get the most out of social media, the rules of engagement are more complex, and the potential benefits run much deeper. The real power of corporate social media marketing lies in building and reinforcing your brand identity via the content you post, the conversations you have and the consumer participation you inspire.
Building an Engaged Audience
If you’re using social media (of course you’re using social media!) to build your corporate brand, you must post high quality, relevant content that engages your networks and attracts new members. Regardless of whether your brand identity is fun, innovative, intellectual, or anything else, your content needs to reflect that tone and reinforce that persona.
- Post videos, news, articles and pictures that your audience finds valuable
- Talk to your audience, ask them questions
- Listen to their answers and respond
Meaningful engagement nurtures a bond between your business and your audience. Familiarity is powerful: an engaged audience that identifies with and believes in your brand is more likely to support you, and even better, talk about you.
Once you’ve build an engaged an active audience, they will both knowingly and unknowingly work on your behalf to promote your brand. Engaged believers might:
- Post positively about your business on their personal social media accounts
- Leave comments on your pages
- “Like” your Facebook page or “Follow” your Twitter account
A fan who “likes” your Facebook page is endorsing your brand and signaling to his or her peers that they recommend your product or service. These peer-to-peer recommendations are more important now than ever.
So is Social Media Working?
You decide: this 2012 infographic compiled by go-gulf.com shows that in 2011, 62% of Fortune 500 companies had an active corporate Twitter account, and 58% had an active corporate Facebook page. *These numbers have risen significantly in the past four years
So if you’re still skeptical at this point, you’re missing out. The social media revolution isn’t limited to your aunt posting birthday party pictures or best friend tweeting about his dog. Get your business in on the action, and start building your corporate brand.