The Strategy and Tactics of Social Branding
Individuals, businesses and organizations large and small are heeding the siren call of social media and flocking onto social platforms with breakneck speed. Everyone from realtors, lawyers and not-for-profits, to local restaurants, big box retailers and mega brands are invading the social space, hoping to find fame and fortune for their goods and services with the netizens of the world.
It’s little wonder! Getting social has tremendous power to build low-cost, high-impact positive awareness in the socially connected world, where third party endorsements rule and earned media (ie. unpaid editorial coverage) reigns supreme, according to Neilsen’s latest Trust Survey.
However, the allure of social brand-building is deceiving, and those lulled into thinking its easy (ie. “My teenager spends all his/her time on Facebook and Youtube. How hard can it be?”), will be hugely surprised to see how much time and energy it takes to build, maintain and protect their brand in the wild and wonderful social world.
Our Toronto PR firm, Strategic Objectives, is often asked to help brands create a meaningful, actionable social presence, and the tips I have to share are as valid for you, the legal professional, as they are for the big, blue-chip brands we represent. My primary answer to the question, “What are simple Social Media Routines I can use to build my brand,” is:
First, define your Goal:
- What does your brand stand for?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- What action/reaction do you want/expect?
Strategy comes next. It is the key, the start and end-point, to effective branding — personal, professional, corporate or commodity — both online and everywhere. It is your branding roadmap and Social Media is but one of the many tactics you may use to build your brand, along with social and traditional PR, advertising, special events, seminars, sponsorship and so on…
Strategy defines your:
- Objectives – key messages and measures that will accomplish your goal
- Tactics – the activities, tools and timeline for implementing your plan
- Evaluation – the constant monitoring of results to meet challenges; maximize opportunities; and the impetus to revise/rethink your tactics.
My next post will detail The 5 Ws of Social Strategy: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How To Define your Social Brand.