Branding Your Business: The Glue That Holds Your Marketing Together

The website building phase is over and you’ve started blogging. You’ve studied up on Twitter.  And now you’re regularly tweeting. Your Facebook Fan Page is up and running.  And you’ve actually got real “fans.” Bravo!  You’re a real social media maven.

Since you’ve invested this much time, effort, and expense, there are a few important steps you need to take to ensure your social media marketing success. It’s all about branding–creating a recognizable “brand” for your business.

Five Ways to Build Your Online Brand

1)    Let Your Personality Shine.

What is your customers’ first impression when they come across your business, whether it’s through a Google search, your twitter profile, or a blog post? How do they perceive your brand on an emotional level?

Let your personality shine throughout all your online and offline marketing. This is especially important in social marketing, where your fans are looking to connect with your brand on a more personable and conversational level, rather than just consume advertising. Remember, we all like to do business with people we know. Allowing your potential customers to get a real feel for what you’re all about goes a long way in building that all-important relationship with them. People will come back to you once they feel like you’re a friend, an associate–like they can trust you.

2)    Create a memorable name and use it consistently.

What’s in a name? Actually, everything, as they say. Have you created a business name that’s catchy, memorable even, yet easy to pronounce and spell? It’s a significant decision. After all, it’s who you are to your customers. Make it count. Show your true colors. Demonstrate your uniqueness.

Identify with your target market. Is it geographically targeted, aimed at homemakers or mothers with children? Maybe you’re marketing to tourists or gift buyers.

These are all factors to consider when naming your business as part of your branding efforts. Be sure to carry this name consistently through all your online marketing: blog, social media profiles, eCommerce site, article marketing, commenting on other sites–everywhere you go online. Keep that name front and center at all times.

3)    Use favicons to compliment your logo.

Favicons, short for favorite icons, are those small little graphical logos that appear next to your browser bar when you visit some websites. They are a gem of a branding method because they are completely unique and easily identify your business. They help your site stand out as distinctive.

4)    Create a signature that both tells your story and leads your readers back to your site.

Your signature contains easy to find information about your business. Don’t just display your favorite quotation – your signature can be a powerful branding tool. The key is to keep it simple and consistent. Use it in emails and for forum profiles and commenting on other blogs.

5)    Watch the company you keep.

Birds of a feather flock together. That old axiom still holds true today. At least it does in the minds of your customers. Before connecting yourself and your business to any other, be it on LinkedIn, Facebook, or a blogroll, check out who they are and what impression they leave on you. They’ll likely leave the same impression on your customers/followers.

It’s fairly easy to “check up” on an individual or a business online nowadays. Comments and tweets follow you indefinitely. Remember, your association can have positive or negative effects on your business image. So make sure the company you keep online will enhance and not degrade yours in the eyes of others.

Putting it all together

There’s an online marketing idea called “building your tribe.” That is, in a nutshell, what creating your business brand is all about. It’s about finding and connecting with the people out there who identify with you, with what you’re offering. And then nurturing your relationship with those people.

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