It is now a rising concept of necessity among the varying lot out there when questioned on the exact definition of a “Brand“. Some tenaciously hold it in view, “as that enterprise, product or service holding long-standing reputation in the global market.”
Some, as a reputable individual in lieu of top popularity and mass followers, probably stemming from his/her ideologies (business or other specialized fields of interests).
So in all these,
Summarily, a Brand is simply You. Surprised?
Well, look at it this way.
A brand is an entity (individual or corporate), which gradually becomes a force to reckon with owing to innate capabilities on exploration.
Having taken cognizance of this, it is worth-noting that you are a brand no matter the perspective you view yourself.
What’s more important? Giving in a shot in developing your intellectual ideas into metamorphosing into an empire, enterprise or people.
With the rising advent of trends and transformation in the global age, it becomes pertinent to identify the right SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS to carefully optimize in order to enhance and sustain your brand in the competitive market.
Of course, there are quite a whole lot out there (common and uncommon ones), but for the significance of this study, we will examine the most populous ones which have over the years gained solid high standing from its users.
Statistical records proves that there are well over 1 billion active users on Facebook. According to TechCrunch, these users comprise seniors and teens, with a significant proportion making use of mobile phones. Invariably, every enterprise, growing start-up, multinational, NGO, and all sorts of formidable entities crave to earnestly be sought via their online presence on this largest social media platform.
Without much ado, a brand need not deliberate on whether or not to own a profile on this platform as its (Facebook’s) relative importance cannot be overemphasized. It does not necessarily matter what kind of brand you occupy (that is, the nature of your interests— artist, consultant, health or legal practitioner, fashion, etc). What’s more important is that you create an online presence on Facebook. Facebook is quite different from the other platforms as its formation is generic in nature and has been tailored to suit any desired interest. Utilizing its varying tools is one great step in generating traffic to your brand.
Some may ask, “if I own an enterprise or personally offer professional/consultancy services, do i need to set up a Facebook Page and can all pages serve the same purpose?
Answer is Yes and No. Yes, if you desire to be a sustainable brand to be reckoned with, then owning a page is inevitable, even on individual basis.
No, because for every specialized brand, there is a different format outlined by Facebook to make you distinct from the others. You wouldn’t expect as a Musician/Band, to fall within the same category with an Online Shopping platform.
So every brand is molded on its format.
How do you utilize Facebook in enhancing your brand?
Simple, with the use of its special tools like Ads manager, Pages Manager, Live Broadcast among others, you can place great conversion (sales) and generate mass audience for your brand at minimal costs given well-targeted campaigns. ( This aspect will be treated much later).
A general mindset exists in the minds of online media users especially among those in certain African countries like Nigeria that Twitter is a controversial showing-off platform where every user tries to exhibit a carefree attitude or speech. Unknown to many of them, they fail to realize that this platform is more engaging, educative and analytical than Facebook if properly used.
With the use of harsh tags (#), it becomes easy to find keywords of interest and possibly interact with like-minded individuals. One peculiar thing here is the precision in the composure of tweets. Your tweet must be simple and significant within the confines of 140 characters. This enables a lot of posters link up their websites, pictures and another insightful articles for more study to these tweets. Twitter is also a platform where issues are discussed and dialogued and at times ridiculed, depending on the nature of the tweet.
As a brand, if you do not possess a profile on this platform, then you sure are a way-off from engaging with the real audience. The Bio section of the profile user of this platform makes it possible for a brand to input its specialized field in key terms, for instance
|Business Consultant| |Brand Coach| |Digital Market Analyst|
With this, every new follower or those the brand follows, are tailored with the same interests or similar professions. This enables mutual and broad knowledge sharing.
Of course, as earlier stated, if you own a website, some of your articles can be included on this platform with short links.
Mentioning people or orgs’ names with the @(name), is a trivial step in engaging them and getting re-tweets (repost or reshare) for your tweets (posts).
One thing is very glaring in the use of Twitter. There are more than 200 tweets posted every 10 minutes owing to the brief character formation and this is why making a tweet at the right time, preferably early in the mornings (between 1- 4 am) and late at nights (between 8pm – 11pm) is key in driving your message or promoting your brand to the Twitter community. (This is only exceptional in the case of sponsored Twitter Ads or strong-base brands).
LinkedIn more or less, depicts your professional information stored up in the cyber space. It can be regarded as the cloud copy of your resume. Most companies now place emphasis on LinkedIn profiles for job applicants to ascertain as one of the factors, if these are right candidates for the job.
For this platform, not every band is necessarily required to have a profile here. For instance, most artists (comedians, musicians, actors/actresses) really do not need this since most of their works center on videos and audios and may disinterest the readers here, who are sourcing valuable information.
However, academic, professional, theological, financial and any corporate institution of such sort ought to have a profile here. Same applies to every individual within the professional circles of consultancy practice(business, financial, political, health, legal, technological, scientific). Most posts imputed on this platform should be centered on your expertise knowledge and ideology in your field of interest as a brand, of which within a reasonable amount of time, you become a driving force to reckon with.
Google+, just like LinkedIn (but in a different perspective), shares a similarity. However, this is not basically about your profile alone but also about the quality of your posts. Very importantly, you get recognized by Google and have your website pages easily indexed on the Search Engine if you possess a profile here. What’s more important is the quality and impact of your post’s contents, and this can be shared via your website or blog (if linked to your Google+ profile) or through direct posts on the platform.
It also possesses varying fields of interest depending on your choice and profile data available. Little wonder why various brands ensure this is one of their social profiles, clearly indicating its utmost importance. So, if you’re an emerging brand, seeking recognition in the Google Search Space, you probably should consider having this profile and consistently share valuable contents emanating from your ideas/brand.
Instagram can fondly be termed as “online camera”.
It is primarily used to capture pictures of special moments, outings, short video-clips of events or occasions and richly to showcase products and services.
The usage of this is quite inevitable for certain brands if they must gain recognition by the online community. Such brands are artists, fashion stores, creative designers (painters, architects, graphic geeks), travel agencies, health/fitness gurus, Apps, academic, financial, social, cultural or religious institutions, etc.
For personalized brands like consultants, using this platform for promotion is not compulsory unless in the case of trying to compose quotes based on ideologies and experiences or sharing special get-together with family and friends.
The above mentioned is worth noting as it is glaring how some personalized brands push too hard to get recognition on this platform all to no avail, after investing quantifiable sums of funds in it.
The good part of Instagram is that brands can be promoted single-handedly on it or via Facebook (if both accounts are linked) and pictures/videos can easily be shared on other platforms making it more unique in its own sphere.
Every post counts and should be properly organized with good graphic content quality from the brand.
What readily comes to mind when describing Pinterest? A portal of shared ideas, right? Well, summarily that’s what it is. Ideas/interests are grouped into categories and shared to other new and existing users with similar interests.
A simple illustration is this; a particular automobile product is just on release and your brand happens to be a distributor brand of top manufacturing automobiles; all you need do is upload various pix of the auto, giving each one a certain description and its benefit. With that, you keep your audience in amazement wanting to read more of that product and wittingly, you attract them to your website.
Whao! A gigantic step you’ve taken in generating traffic which will later turn profitable as your product will be in high demand.
Specifically, this platform is recommended for fashion geeks, creative artists, automobile guys, health experts, sci-techs and such related. The use of this platform is mainly prompted by inputing pictures known as Pins for description. So if you’ve got no good pins, then sorry, you may have to look elsewhere.
A consultant may not necessarily optimize this in his/her brand unless there are specialized books or tools to be used as topics of discussion and of course, extra efforts are required.
YouTube is the largest online video-sharing website in the world with over 400 million users. Its videos are watched every minute by its channels subscribers.
This platform is generic in nature just like Facebook as it it can be used for personal or corporate activities. Therefore, it is recommendable for every brand to optimize this in its promotion. This can simply be done by uploading videos of new products, new business concepts, expertise knowledge, ideologies, services or activities (for a corporate entity). These videos enlighten your audience on new information and provide more insights into it. However, do not be deterred if your video has also been showcased by other people with similar interests. What matters most is the consistency, persistence and innovation used in delivering yours. You’d always get viewers, no matter how few. Just always ensure that these videos are shared to other of your social media platforms in the right format and to the right audience.
This is also a short video-clip of an individual or product. This platform is highly recommendable for brands (all-round), as it can be used to incite excitement in the minds of the viewers and in the long run, generate leads for the brand, depending on the quality of the content.
Snapchat is another social platform for productive engagement and interaction with your audience. Pictures and videos can be captured and shared live while taking place just like Facebook Live and Twitter Periscope. Most brands should utilize this in a creative way, since it brings out the fun and lovable moments of an event or activity using its Geo-filters.
SUMMARY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Let’s quickly put up these popular platforms in one piece by categorizing their necessity according to the brand.
a. App:- Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Snapchat
b. Artiste:- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Vine
c. Consultant (individual or org.):- Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram (depending on nature of services)
d. Online Shopping/Product sale: Instagram (compulsory), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn (optional), Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat
e. Agency (Educational, travel/Tourism, Property): LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine (optional)
There are other platforms where ideas are shared and knowledge gained. These platforms could serve as mass traffic generation, content creation for your website and tailoring your business plans strategically.
With all these points carefully analyzed, your brand should be set for the right social media platforms to utilize and tailored effectively towards enhancing business growth.
DON’T FORGET, YOUR BRAND STARTS FROM YOU.
Let’s hear your own views, contrary opinions and suggestions on this by using the Comment Box provided.