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Promoting Your Brand: Best Practices

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As we know, promoting your brand is one of the single most important things you can do.  In this digital world, it is about who can remember you and what they remember from you.  You not only want to engage and provide value, you also want to ensure customers leave with a good taste in their mouth.  Here are some tips and tricks on what you can do to increase your brand awareness:

1.  Social Media

It may seem pointless to say this, but just because you have a Facebook and Twitter account doesn’t mean you are doing it right! Having one is only part of the battle.  Be genuine!  Don’t just copy what everyone else is doing, strive to be unique.  That’s what gets you noticed in social media.  Along with that, you must engage.  This is the key to not only social media success, but also to increasing your brand awareness!  Stay on top of what is trending in your industry.  If your business is in fashion or retail and you’re not on Pinterest, then you are behind the curve.  Know what the buzz is for your industry; that way, you can be the first to beat out all of your competitors.

2.  Monitor

Please monitor all good and bad things that are being said about your brand.  Get in front of anything bad regarding your brand.  Let others know that you take your brand seriously and you respond to requests in a timely manner.  Just like an on-call service technician, social media monitoring can sometimes be a 24-hour business.  I can’t tell you how many times I have an alert first thing in the morning with someone asking our business a question.  There are many free tools, like Addict-o-matic (addictomatic.com), which can help you keep track of what is being said about you and your brand.  There are also great paid tools, like Vocus (vocus.com), which will help you track, follow, and respond to what is being said about you on a variety of sites.

3.  Collaborations

The social space is all about being just that—SOCIAL.  So, talk with other people. Spark conversations.  Retweet others so they can return the favor.  We have had some great engagement to our site by retweeting or sharing other brands' tweets and posts.  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) said, “Remember, the weakest link in your social chain is the person you don’t talk to.”  Make sure to be engaging with your audience on a regular basis.  Co-promoting is one of the easiest ways to help push your brand awareness.  Work with someone who has a larger brand image than you and you will be able to use their credibility to help promote your own brand.  It will be more effective if you pick someone you already have a growing or established relationship with.  Don’t just pick someone who is larger than you; it is important that you can both benefit from the relationship.

4.  SEO

Search Engine Optimization.  If you haven’t been optimizing, you should!  Your website, your press releases, your links, landing pages—basically everything needs to be optimized.  Over 24% of traffic to our website comes from a Google, Bing, or Yahoo search, so SEO is very important not only for our search page ranking, but for our website traffic, too.

5.  Visual Content

Pictures are better than just plain text and video is even better than a picture. Give something compelling to your audience and not just something to read.  Put something in that people can react to.  It sparks more engagement.

6.  Personal Touch

Have a personality and be truthful.  We want to know there is a person behind your brand’s image not some machine.  Your social media should have a tone and a personality.  It doesn’t hurt to mix in a little fun every now and then, as long as you get your message across and you can engage with your customer.  Now, about being truthful...don’t take an article and claim it as your own.  If you saw the article, give credit for who spent the time writing it.  If you make a mistake, own up to it.  The difference between a PR nightmare and a PR mistake is just that—whoever owns up to it and takes responsibility for what they posted, tweeted, etc. is the one who is more likely to dodge a social PR Crisis.

Think of yourself on the receiving end. Would you read the message? How about the post? If the answer is no, then figure out how to tweak your messaging to make it more compelling to spark interest and engagement. For more information and to keep up with the latest info and blogs, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@chartec_haas and @gabeulloa).

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Guest Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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