How to Use Twitter and Facebook to Build and Boost Your Brand

Illustration by Taryn Oshiro-Wachi via Dribbble

Getting started on Twitter and Facebook is easy, but making them to be effective tools to build your brand takes strategy. Avoid just posting idle chatter by planning how you will make tweets and posts a part of your brand message. If you attract people through Twitter and Facebook, you can drive them to your newspaper, magazine, station or website where the extra work will really pay off.

Use Twitter to Build Your Brand

 icon-chevron-right Focus on Breaking Information

You don’t have to work in news media to post breaking news that relates to your brand.

What brings people to Twitter is the need to know the latest information on what’s happening.

A local newspaper might tweet about a traffic pileup, which would be expected. But a monthly fashion magazine might tweet about a Paris design show that’s about to begin. The benefit to the magazine’s readers is that they don’t have to wait a month to get tidbits about what they’re eager to know more about.

Dedicating yourself or your team to post breaking news requires a change in focus. In the heat of the moment, someone has to have a mental light bulb that turns on to say, “I’ve got to tweet this!” Otherwise, your competitors will beat you to it and get the credit.

Even a television news department that’s used to breaking news and tight deadlines must pause while preparing the next newscast to tweet. That 60-second effort can bring more eyeballs to the TV set if it’s done properly.

 icon-chevron-right Make Sure to Tweet Frequently

To get results for the development of your brand identity, you need to tweet more than once every other day. Your followers need to see your logo and a tweet anytime they check their timeline.

That’s easy if there’s a plane crash, with constant nuggets of news coming in throughout the crisis. On quieter days, think about how you will keep generating interesting tweets.

One method is to create a Twitter feed to post the stories that are going up on your traditional website. That can prevent duplicated efforts of having to post a story, then post a tweet about it.

Another way is to search for information designed to appeal to your target audience — even if it won’t appear in your newspaper, magazine or on the air. A radio station might tweet that Katy Perry has just announced a concert tour that will be coming close to your area. The benefit to the station is appearing plugged in to the music scene.

Remember, tweets are not only short, they have a short shelf life. After about an hour, your followers are looking for something else new.

How To Use Twitter to Boost Brand
Illustration by youvo via Dribbble

 icon-chevron-right Give Your Tweets Personality

Part of what makes Twitter so popular is that tweets are coming from real people — celebrities, political leaders and friends down the street. Without the human touch, tweets can appear to be as institutional as a stock market ticker.

“Crowds are huge at this year’s Arts Fair. Great to see all the people!” is a more friendly way of saying, “Attendance at the Arts Fair appears to be exceeding projections.”

While adding personality, keep your tweets professional. This is not a place for someone on staff to post that he’s already worked 60 hours this week and it’s time to go home, which will appear next to your company logo. Remind him that this isn’t a personal account.

The best corporate brand personality to project is one of caring about your community and your users. Add a dose of excitement about the topics that you cover and followers will see that you’re not just another faceless conglomerate but a trusted friend.

 icon-chevron-right Send Followers to Your Traditional Outlets

Your personable, frequent breaking news tweets will just be a wasted effort if they don’t pay off for your business. Despite their 140-character limit, your tweets should include a call to action to send followers to your print, broadcast or website. Internet analytics tools will let you track the traffic that’s moving from Twitter to your site.

“The governor has resigned. Complete coverage on Action News at 5!” is a textbook example for a TV station. The trick is to make your tweets more meaningful than just a constant sales pitch. Followers can easily be turned off if they think they’re being hit with non-stop advertisements.

Singer and actress Jessica Simpson is an expert at blending tweets about entertainment news, her personal life (which in this case, works for her brand) with information about her clothing line. That mix may bring her an estimated $1 billion for her business.

She’s helped by having millions of followers. Even if you only have a few thousand, consider what it is you want from these people. You have the ability to push them toward your brand in general, or maybe to a particular part of your business that’s struggling, like a newspaper’s sports page. Just don’t beat your users with a sledgehammer doing it.

 icon-chevron-right Use Twitter Tools to Supercharge Your Results

You’ve seen hashtags and retweets if you’ve checked out Twitter. Hashtags, such as “Congress is debating the #deficit.” will put your tweet in a feed about deficit stories, which gets your company in front of more people worldwide than just your followers. They may not automatically turn into followers for you, but at least you’ve given them a brand impression.

Retweets accomplish the same goal in a different way. If a couple of your followers retweet a post, you’ll be seen by all of their followers, which also spreads your tweet. You will want to occasionally retweet something you see that relates to your brand, because the original poster will see that you took the time to highlight the tweet to your audience and will hopefully return the favor.

Twitter applications, often called mashups, will help you track all this information in clever, easy to follow ways. Some are just for fun, but others have real-world business benefits so you can see what your users are most interesting in discussing.

Use Facebook to Boost Your Brand

 icon-chevron-right Use Facebook to Tear Down Virtual Walls with Your Audience

Think of The New York Times building or 30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC.

They are imposing places. Facebook allows companies to tear down intimidating walls by allowing for more informal interaction. A big-city newspaper wouldn’t put a photo gallery of its messy newsroom anywhere in its print edition, but posting those pictures in a gallery on its Facebook page gives people a glimpse behind the scenes and brings your brand warmth instead of corporate chill.

Facebook provides a platform for relaxed, human interaction. Encourage comments, so that people get to see their faces and their words on your page. Make sure you answer any questions or complaints about your company, so that users feel as though you really do listen and care about them. You may want to publish a comments policy, which you likely have for your website.

Resist the urge to delete unflattering input from your Facebook page, except when it is obscene or offensive. Part of being in the Facebook community is allowing people to share their thoughts with you and with each other. If they feel as though they’re being edited or removed from the conversation, they will turn on you and could damage your brand.

How To Use Facebook to Boost Brand
Illustration by Belinda Kou via Dribbble

 icon-chevron-right Get Facebook Visitors to Like You

Skimming your Facebook page is like having your audience standing at your door. The next step is compelling them to hit the “like” button, which benefits your brand in several ways.

Check out your business related Facebook pages in your city to find out your Facebook page visibility — one company may have significantly more “likes” than the others. That’s probably no coincidence. Some company outlets have launched aggressive campaigns designed to increase their “likes”, which brings with it the perception of popularity versus their competitors.

Consider launching a contest by forcing people to like your Facebook page in order to enter. You will likely see a spike in your statistics. The same is true with offering coupons from your sales clients.

An easier option is to simply like anyone who likes you and everyone else you can think of. People want to see their own numbers increase, so like the mayor’s office, the chamber of commerce and people in the community.

 icon-chevron-right Ask your Facebook Fans for Help

The days of putting out a newspaper, magazine or broadcast and wondering if it hit your target audience are over. Now you can seek input from your Facebook fans as you develop your products by setting social networking goals.

An oldies radio station can ask whether people would rather hear more songs from The Beatles or The Temptations. Sure, the results won’t be scientific, but they’re free, unlike an expensive market research study. The station also gets the benefit of appearing to listen to its audience instead of blindly programming music.

A magazine doing an in-depth story on school bullying might ask its fans if anyone had a child who’d been the victim of bullying, and if so, to call the newsroom. It’s an appeal for help that wouldn’t likely be made in print. The result would be a personal story that brings home the message in a way that institutional statistics can’t. It’s easy to research stories using social media, even by simply checking out trending topics.

 icon-chevron-right Take Advantage of Facebook’s Media Tools

Facebook’s myriad features can level the field for all forms of traditional media. A newspaper’s sports department could create a video analyzing the weekend’s football games, just like a TV station’s sportscast. A radio station that had been trapped by only offering audio can suddenly post photos from Saturday night’s big concert.

This content doesn’t have to appear as professionally created as it might on your company’s website. It’s better if it doesn’t, so that the homemade appearance brings humanness to your brand. Think hand-formed hamburger patties instead of those pre-formed by machine.

 icon-chevron-right Bring Your Facebook Users Home to Your Brand

All this effort would be mostly wasted if you didn’t see results for your business. You’ve used Facebook to build goodwill, but you need to turn around to build your traditional brand.

Promote your content on Facebook. If you see a discussion on the mayor’s plan to boost taxes, post that you will have an exclusive interview with the mayor in tomorrow morning’s paper.

You can easily drive people to your website, because they’re already on the computer. Use analytics tools to track how users move through your site once they arrive.

Remember, these are people who’ve already indicated an interest in your brand just by being on your Facebook page. You can target your promotion to these people and possibly get better results than just simply advertising to the world, which includes people who don’t care about you or your products.

Moderation is the key. People may leave your Facebook page if they feel as though they’re getting bombarded by advertisements.

Wrapping Up

Like Facebook and other forms of social media, Twitter was designed to get everyday people connected by sharing interests. By adopting a social media strategy, you can research news stories, further connect with your audience by building a Facebook page and eventually turn all that work into money for your website.

Think of Facebook as a friendly, casual companion to the slick website you probably already offer. If you take the time to manage your Facebook message and participate with your audience, you will bring better results to your traditional media offerings.

About the Author!

Nicholas H. Parker is a business coach and marketing manager with a huge experience. He writes articles at service to share his knowledge with others. He is highly interested in the web design sphere.

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