Brand identification is changing right along with the other shifts social media has brought about. It is no longer as much about the company logo, the colors or whether we use our middle initial in visual materials or not; it is now about “Social I.D.” – our voice and the way we socially present ourselves online. What is your Social I.D.? What identifies your brand (personal or corporate) throughout your social media interactions and offerings? If your answer includes the colors of your website, you need to think very carefully about where you are focusing your brand identity efforts. I am not suggesting that colors and logos and graphical elements are not important, but I am suggesting that the way you interact with others online is the identification that will catch the most attention… and hold it the longest.
So what specific actions does a Social I.D. include? No matter what your brand purpose is or what products and/or services you provide, all of the following will influence your Social I.D.:
- Responsiveness: How responsive are you in your communications? Responding to inquiries, suggestions, and kudos should get as much attention as complaints do.
- Thought Leadership: How innovative are your ideas? Are you content to say what’s already been said, or do you share your unique insights to provide real value to your audience?
- Content Creation: Are you just re-using the other guy’s information, or are you creating new content, in new ways, that your audience can USE, then re-use on your behalf?
- Relevance: Do you pay enough attention to your audience to know and provide what is relevant to them?
- Demeanor: How do you come across to your audience -- are your interactions friendly, helpful, gracious and authentic, or do they suggest you are tired, annoyed, or not being genuine?
Every one of these areas is important because a positive Social I.D. fuels positive Word of Mouth and creates Brand Advocates. Your Social I.D. is about the interactive experience your audience experiences with you and your brand… and that experience is what your Advocates will talk about – so make it positive!
What value are you providing for those with whom you interact? Think about it… and make any changes you need so your Social I.D. works “for” you, not against you.
-Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist