Brand Building and Social Media

Social Media Wall

Social media has fundamentally changed how consumers interact with each other and with brands. As a result, marketers tell us that they now consider this new channel to be a critical component of brand building. And while many marketing leaders are asked, “What is your social strategy?” the real question is, “How does social media change the brand strategy?” There are three main ways Social Media can help a brand: 1) building a relationship to become more trusted; 2) differentiating through an emotional connection to become more remarkable and unmistakable; and 3) nurturing loyal fans to become more essential.

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IS NECESSARY BUT NOT SUFFICIENT FOR BRAND BUILDING. Social engagement is not defined by a Facebook page or a media buy — it is a way to communicate directly with consumers on their terms, whether that’s reading a blog, sharing a YouTube video, or posting to a social networking site. What does this mean for brands?

  •  Social Media has become a major channel on par with search. Marketing leaders believe that social marketing and media have become intrinsic to 21st century brand building. In our survey, one out of five chief marketing officers (CMOs) said that they are personally accountable for social efforts. They need to determine how digital media like social and mobile will fundamentally change how brands are built. In fact, among digital channels, they view social media as second only to the Web in affecting branding and second only to search in affecting brand building efforts.
  • Social Media redefines the relationship between consumers and brands.  69% of online consumers are active on social networking sites at least weekly, and one-third of online users have become a fan of a company or brand via social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The overwhelming majority of the executives we interviewed (92%) believes that social media has fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands.
  • Social Media forces marketing strategies to adapt. Three out of four marketing leaders surveyed are changing their marketing strategy as a result of social media. Two-thirds claim to have a clearly defined social marketing strategy, but only half view their social efforts as strategically integrated into their brand building plans.

Too often, marketers say that they are working on their social strategy, but it is disconnected from their overall branding efforts, apart from logos and collateral. Art of Digital believes that to be successful, 21st century brands must point their brand compass in the direction that helps them build a brand that is trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential.

1) Trusted: Long-lasting brand relationships require brands to be transparent regarding the values and principles they share with consumers.

2) Remarkable. A remarkable brand differentiates itself by disrupting the existing market with new and unique value.

3) Unmistakable. Brands must build their distinctiveness by setting themselves apart from their category, defining unique characteristics that are not comparable with others.

4) Essential. An essential brand defines itself by what is irreplaceable about the product or service, in terms of value, function, or attributes.

So where does social activity fit into branding and brand building efforts? The key is in social engagement. Brands like Jim Beam and General Motors (GM) are starting to see the positive impact of social engagement on brand building, in particular with consumers who are already predisposed to like the brand. Do you want to launch a social media campaign for your business, contact Art of Digital now to receive a free brand audit and social media evaluation.*

*this blog entry contains excerpts from Forrester research report on Social Media

The Seven Wonders of the Social Media World

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In case you didn’t know, social media is ruling the marketing world: 72% of all internet users are on social media. Even the 65+ age brackets holds a 43% social media use rate. Now you know. So, what are the best ways to harness this new knowledge and enhance your business advertising? Firstly, recognize which social platforms your business must, must, must be on.

Facebook: with nearly 1.5 bn users around the world and 60% of all Americans on the site, Facebook is the undisputed master of the Social Media universe. Facebook is a great way for individuals to remain connected, and for consumers to feel connected to the your business. Personalize your page so that it feels like real people are communicating with your consumers. Have a branded profile picture and cover photo, clever captions, like relevant content and respond to comments from your customers. Update the community with what your business is doing in professional and kind manner.

Google+  is very easy to set up and you can link it through your business’ email account.Thanks to Google secret search algorithm having a Google+ page will greatly improve your search ranking. Make sure that your update your “about” section here as well and make it consistent with the look and feel of your Facebook page.  You don’t need to continually update this page, just use it as part of your email flow and contact organization. These day, everyone has something to say. Most of it is nonsense, some of it is pertinent news. Luckily,

Twitter is there to mix all the announcement together for an engaging user experience. Your business should be on Twitter in order to announce new projects, office happenings, important events and to retweet your fellow brands content. Retweets will increase your followers as well. It is recommended to Tweet up to 12 or 15 times a day. Simply put, if you are a professional business you should have and all-star professional page on LinkedIn. The platform offers statistics of who view your profile and allows messaging between professionals. It is also increasingly being used as a content distribution platform: follow “influencers” and receive regular updates with trends and best practices in your field.

YouTube:  is the top search platform for videos. It also happens to be the largest search engine for music and the second search engine in the world by queries. On average, Youtube has over one billion users a day. If your business involves any video at all (i.e. “how to” videos, camera work, short demonstrations) then you must be on Youtube. Make your channel engaging and fun, label your videos wisely for optimum searchability and ask for subscribers!

Instagram: with over 300 million users, Instagram is the most popular photo sharing platform in the world. Instagram has unique filtering and cropping features, as well as the option to post a 15 second video. Although it was acquired by Facebook in 2012, it is still run as a separate company and your feed will not be crowded by ads — yet.

Snapchat is the communication tool of the Millenials. You have the ability to send photos or videos that disappear after 10 seconds. Snapchat user base is among the most engaged on the internet. With 100 million daily active users Snapchat is the preferred platform for those between the ages of 15-24. This might seem like a lot to manage, but it is not necessary to be an all start on all 7 channels.

Art of Digital can help you set up each platform, manage your digital assets and determine which few social media marketing tools are best for your specific business. While a graphic design agency might excel on Instagram, a finance company could be best suited for LinkedIn. With the help of Art of Digital, as well as due diligence, your company can become a social media all star.

Social Media Marketing

The rise of social networks has changed forever the way people allocate their free time. The average millennial spends 50% more time online than his peers did only a decade ago. Watching TV, once the undisputed American pastime, has been steadily losing ground to online viewing. Given the increasing amount of time that people spend online, companies realize they need to incorporate social media into their marketing plans right from the beginning. There are several points of action where social media integration can help: from strategy to customer service, from branding and promotion to market research and survey. Although social media by itself may not be enough for a successful marketing campaign, in combination with other tools, it can prove to be a substantial way to augment your marketing mix. You can integrate social media with search marketing efforts to promote and drive your brand’s presence across the web. Social media tools like TweetdeckLikeable Hub and Sendible are more effective when they are part of a digital strategy in line with your organizational goals. Developing such a strategy will require that you identify your target audience, optimize your presence for the best social media channel and ensure that you set achievable and measurable goals. Because there are so many social media tools out there, it can get be a little overwhelming for companies to decide which ones to use. Some of the most popular platforms are Hootsuite , Buffer, and Sprout Social. When using a social media tool for a particular marketing strategy, connect it with an achievable desirable customer-related objective. For example, its usage should increase chances of customers opting to purchase or some other kind of measurable objective. “Secret tip”: at Art of Digital we love twitter and our favorite twitter management tool is a lesser known platform from an Australian company called Manage Flitter .

 

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