In our social media workshops, we discuss branding and how a company’s brand influences the social media content and brand messages that are posted on social media. Branding can be very confusing, with many believing that a company’s logo is it’s brand.
What is a company’s brand?
As brands can be both personal and business related, using an example of a personal brand often brings understanding to what a company’s brand is or should be. Using Nelson Mandela as an example of a personal brand, immediately one will be able to:
- Visualise him
- Recognise his voice
- Recognise the way he behaved, spoke, walked and of course there is the Madiba shuffle that you may have tried on the dance floor too
- We understood his values which influenced his work and the sacrifices that he made
- We can also compare him to other political figures and we can identify what was unique about him
The principles of a personal and company brand are the same. It is everything that you say you are – It’s how you demonstrate yourself to be different from your competitor; it’s your values, behaviour, personality, voice, image and more. It is also everything that your customers say you are.
Back to the example of Nelson Mandela’s brand – our perception of his brand is influenced by our experiences and interactions with him; by the information, news and stories that we have been exposed to through the media or perhaps by our family and friends who have opinions of him. In the same way, your customer’s perception of your brand is influenced through their experiences with your company; through what they are exposed to through peer opinions and recommendations or through the information, messages and stories that are conveyed via the media.
Your company’s brand and social media
Social media offers your company the ability to integrate offline and online experiences that will help to influence an existing or prospective customer’s perception of your brand. It is therefore essential that you demonstrate brand consistency throughout your offline and online activities especially if you have customers engaging in both arenas. Further your social media content should be a reflection of your brand and should include specific messages that help to cement and position your brand in the minds of your customer.