Social Media: Branding v. Marketing (And Dating)
goBRANDgo! is a strategic branding firm. I think a lot of people have trouble seeing the distinct difference between branding and marketing, which is a totally fair misunderstanding. I’d like to clear up the confusion and then discuss branding on social media.
Let’s look at branding and marketing in terms my 24-year-old female brain will understand: dating.
Your brand is who you are: your favorite color, the fact that chewing noises are your biggest pet peeve, your penchant for cat memes, etc.
Marketing is how you get that information out to your future husband; your OKCupid profile, dedicating your favorite Justin Bieber song to a cute guy at the bar, your commitment to keeping your Facebook relationship status “widowed” in honor of your myriad of failed relationship attempts, your decision to casually mention in a blog post you’re writing that you’re single, etc.
BRANDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In professional terms, your brand is the outward representation of your culture and your competitive advantage. It is a culmination of visual, verbal, and interactive elements of your business.
When a person calls your company and they get your voicemail, what is their experience with leaving a message? Do you even have your phone number available to your customers? Do you tell callers a punny joke before they leave their name at the beep? Do you sound bored and annoyed that someone has chosen to verbally contact you rather than email you?
If something this small influences the perception of your brand to your target audience, how do you even begin to handle something as big, as viral, and as important as social media?
IT’LL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF…?
One popular notion is that if your culture and internal brand understanding are strong enough, you don’t have to worry about expressing your brand on social media. If you and your staff fully grasp what your business is all about, you will naturally be drawn to the same social media platforms that your target customer is using and you will say and do things on this platform that accurately represent the values and goals of your business. Unfortunately, that approach is a little too optimistic to be realistic.
Social media branding takes a lot of reflection. All of the pieces need to match. Your language needs to be impossibly consistent, your imagery needs to evoke the feelings that you hope interaction with your company will evoke, your style of posting needs to reflect the personality of your business. Every decision you make should be very intentional and very brand conscious. So, in a sense, the above interpretation is correct, a greater understanding of your brand will certainly lead to greater success, but it will not come without effort on your end.
goBRANDgo! specializes in social media branding. If you are ever interested in hearing more of my opinions on social media brand management (or dating for that matter), please give us a call. I tend to answer the phone and I tend to love sharing my opinions.