Many corporations have played a major role in online social media. Whether it means blogging about a product, creating a brand page on a social networking site or increasing transparency; understanding how social networking can foster a brand sheds light on building and promoting brand engagement and loyalty.
So how is this done? Well, one way is using the art of storytelling through podcasts, wikis, social networking sites and blogs. This will help foster discussions to increase the audiencesâ€™ interest with brands. Social networking can be used to create a voice for a brand that resonates beyond a corporate website. Traditional marketing is less effective in how we can reach people. The use of social networking is necessary and on the rise.
Conversations are happening around your brand regardless of your participation. According to WebEx, â€œthe key is to go where the conversations are already happening.â€ Some examples would be Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, etc. Social networking is about fostering and participating in conversations about your brand. The need is to position your brand within the conversations (WebEx, 2009). Â
It is important to know how a target audience perceives your brand by shaping their perceptions. Brand engagement is about understanding how to reach your audience, knowing how to use social media and being active in communities. Letâ€™s explore how customer loyalty, conversation, brand engagement and storytelling can be valuable for branding. You need a strategy to integrate the social networking tools within your message. Following are examples of social networking tools.
Podcasts can help you to reach IPod and Internet users through syndication. The user can download an audio file and listen to it at anytime. This can help move the brandâ€™s voice to your audience while bringing the audience back to your brand. In addition, the user can be aware of content provided on your website. Â
The individual can hear about your brand at their convenience, you continue to provide free content and create customer loyalty while keeping your brand on their mind. The goal is to give customers free and helpful information without injecting a commercial sales pitch. If you are going to use a commercial keep it simple and under 15 seconds. ITunes Music Store is a site that allows users to download video and audio content.
Wikis is online social software and as long as you have a connection to the Internet you can use wiki software to add, remove and edit content on a web page. The site can be managed by one administrator or anyone who has access. It can help foster a brand because anyone can have a say which allows for conversation.
All of the content is archived and you can keep the audience in sync while publishing your work. You can use it for e-mail inquires especially to a large group and you can set up a structured biographical section. You can publish notes on a performance and use it to organize company events. Wikipedia.com is an encyclopedia site to search for information on topics.
Social networking sites are popular, fun, creative and interactive. Â It is a form of brand engagement that allows you to reach your audience.Â Once you gain the audienceâ€™s attention you can create a transparent brand by providing updates on company and industry news, upcoming projects, product launches, events and marketing campaigns. Facebook is a social networking site that can be used for brand development.
Blogging allows for storytelling on reviews, input, data and stats about a topic, product, concern, etc. Blogging may start a conversation between the end-user and company. This is where companies can intervene and participate to help shape their brand while creating brand awareness. Technorati.com is a large blog search engine that indexes blog posts for surfers on top stories, photos, videos and opinions.
Overall, social networking can help to create brand awareness, instill trust in a brand, communicate the companyâ€™s message and foster brand footprints.Â Â By using concept, media and social interface to start or grow a business gives way to brand promotion and unlimited success.Â