How Social Media Amplifies Branding

We've all heard about how social media helps in branding. But you have to ask...

HOW?

Before we answer that, let me tell you a story of three people.

Barney knows how to create the perfect Filipino-Korean fusion burger. So it's natural for him to start a food truck selling these delectable sisig and kimchi combo treats. But even if he makes what his die-hard customers call "a Filipino-Korean culinary revelation," it seems he can't strike it big in his city. 

Because when he looks at the competition a couple of steps away, he sees a lot more people coming in. Also, he's not the only food truck vying for the attention of customers. It seems that he's just one of the people serving "fusion cuisine." And it's hard for Barney's restaurant business to be remembered. 

So even if Barney wants to grow his business, he can't seem to get more customers. 

Here's another one... 

More...

Marshall works as a financial advisor for a large insurance company. He keeps to the grind because of his excellent work ethic. But with the competition, it seems that he can't get more clients to help. 

He just seems so ordinary and forgettable. And even if he has excellent experience and skills as a financial advisor, it appears that he doesn't have the authority to help people. 

And finally... 

Ted just started working as a freelance architect. But after working in a large firm, he has no idea what faces him in the real world. 

Sure, he has the training, skills, and experience. But with a large number of freelance competitors, he just doesn't know how to have an edge in attracting his customers. It's like he's one of the many architects fighting over a handful of prospects. 

And the sad thing is, Barney, Marshall, and Ted have the same problem as every entrepreneur, employee, and freelancer out there. It's a challenge for them to be seen, heard, or felt by the people who most need them. 

So what do they need? 

BRANDING AND SOCIAL MEDIA 

So in this article, we're going to learn...

  1. What Brand, Branding, and Brand Identity Really Mean
  2. Why Do You Need A Brand To Succeed
  3. How Does Social Media Help In Showcasing Your Brand 

So let's look at what these concepts can do for you as an entrepreneur, employee, or freelancer. 

Let's start with... 

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH BRAND, BRANDING, AND BRAND IDENTITY? 

No doubt you've heard the following statements mentioned before...

"I love the branding you did on the product..."

"This logo is such an amazing brand for product X!"

"Those things are not aligned with the branding identity! We need to change it!"

It would look confusing. And when you hear the marketing "experts" talk, it's as if they want people to feel their superiority. But for the most part, it only leaves an audience with a confused look. They wouldn't really listen to these gurus. And finally, it would feel all fake. 

So before we start creating the brand that defines us and reaches out to the people who need it, let's establish brand, branding, and branding identity. 

In her book, "Explode Your Influence: How to Turn Your Personal Brand Into Wealth," Melissa Profeta says that a brand is not just the company name or logo. 

She further defines brand, branding, and brand identity into the following things: 

A brand is what your customer feels about your product. In our example of Barney, if we want to help him with his brand, we want to know how his customers feel about every aspect of his business. We already know that his sisig-cum-kimchi burgers are a hit to some fans. We also have to look at how he does things and how it affects the feelings of his customers. In knowing this, we can craft a brand that will touch the hearts of the people Barney wants to serve. 

On the other hand, brand identity is all about perception. It's what your customers SEE, TOUCH, HEAR, HOLD, and WATCH from you. Now let's look at Marshall. Working for a large insurance company, he obviously has to use what the company provides for marketing. But that shouldn't stop him from creating a brand identity of his own. This means that he can also create something distinct in the way he handles his customers. It could mean looking, speaking, or connecting in a certain way that makes him a cut above the rest. This difference can be his branding identity. 

And finally, branding is a process that you have to go through. It is where you create your brand and brand identity so that it can be seen by those that need to view it. Ultimately, it is where you are allowed to express what your brand is all about. Now let's look at Ted. Ted has to find a way to show himself as the best choice for his potential clients. This means understanding what makes him unique and how he can provide the best value for his clients. He also needs to know how to show all of this to his audience. In a manner of speaking, Ted is doing branding. 

For Barney, Marshall, and Ted, understanding and knowing how to use their brands, branding identity, and branding can help them get the potential growth they need. But how about you? 

Surely you as an entrepreneur, employee, or freelancer need branding as well. But again, you have to ask... 

WHY DO YOU NEED A BRAND? 

There are three reasons why you need to have a brand. These are ...

  • DISTINCTION
  • REMEMBRANCE 
  • AUTHORITY 

Let's look at these in turn... 

DISTINCTION. You need to be different from the vast number of competition out there. This means creating an identity that is unique and uniquely yours. What does this mean? 

What does this mean? Your brand should show what sets you apart from the people providing the same service or product. It should also show your personality and how it has an impact on your target market. 

Imagine yourself working as a social media marketer. I'm not going to remind you that there are millions of freelancers and agencies out there. You're not even a drop in the bucket! And when you look at the competition, you'll be hidden among the other professionals and companies out there. 

But if you find a way to show your uniqueness and how your uniqueness will affect people with your service, then it will be easier to reach out and make a difference. You draw more attention being known as the pet-loving soccer mom Facebook marketer helping pet stores than a mere social media marketer. 

REMEMBRANCE. Also, you have to be at the top of your market's mind when they think of the service you provide. They need to be reminded of you the quickest time possible. 

But how does one do that? In our example, you've already established your distinction. Since you already know who you are, then you can find ways to be remembered. 

To do that, you have to have a clear...

  • distinct target market 
  • specific service or product
  • unique personality traits 

Aside from that, you also need to find a way to reach out to your target market. You need to connect with them and start a conversation. Because in the end, your unique identity will help them remember who you are. 

AUTHORITY. Finally, you need to show that you are an expert they need. You need to establish that you know what you are talking about. Ultimately, authority is you creating a trust based on your expertise. 

According to Donald Miller, in his book "Building A Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen," your authority should include empathy. This will not only show yourself as an expert, but it also builds trust. It will make your target audience come to you for advice and help. 

Now that you are the go-to person when it comes to Facebook marketing for pet stores, you need to show your empathy and authority to your audience. This could mean providing value in terms of the content you produce. You should show that you have empathy for pet store owners since you already know what they are going through. They should also hear from you about how you use Facebook marketing to help pet stores get more leads, sales, or return customers. 

Knowing these things, you have to ask yourself again...

HOW DOES SOCIAL MEDIA HELP IN BRANDING? 

Understand that social media involves doing the following things... 

  • LISTENING
  • INFLUENCING 
  • NETWORKING 
  • SELLING 

In planning, creating, and executing a brand, social media can help in the following things... 

LISTENING. You have to understand your target market. You need to know their pains, goals, dreams, and wants. You also need to know who they are. Aside from that, you need to know who your competitors are and how they reach out to the target market. And finally, you have to understand how things in the market work. In other words, social media helps in market research. 

In branding, this helps you in creating a distinct, memorable, and expert brand. It also enables you to create the goals that your brand has to accomplish. Social media, with its vast reach, can be a valuable tool for building your brand. 

INFLUENCING. Of course, you need to show yourself and your brand identity. You need to create content that entertains, educates, and enlightens your potential customers. 

When you publish content to social media platforms, you mainly show your brand, branding, and brand identity to a vast number of people and your target market. This will show your brand, and it will ultimately affect your audience's impression of you. 

NETWORKING. Realize that your brand should connect to your audience. You also need to create partnerships where you provide value and get value in turn. 

With social media, your brand doesn't just show your identity. It also becomes a focal point for partnership and value exchange. Brands don't just stand alone. They are better seen when it comes to partnerships with an audience or other brands. 

SELLING. When all is said and done, brands need to sell a product or service. If you strategically did your branding and work, then you can easily convert people to your cause. 

Social media helps with this by leading people to your product. They not only sell directly. They prep people to position you as the choice they have to make. In the end, your brand is amplified to sell to a large number of people. 

Now that we know what a brand, branding, and brand identity stand for, we can more effectively reach out to the people who need us. It helps us become the distinct, memorable, and expert solution that they need. And with the help of social media, we can listen, influence, network, and sell to the people who rightly deserve our value. 

Boaz Moldez

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