How to Promote Your Brand on Social Media

John Hope-Johnstone

Bon Jour my friend, once you have set up your micro blogs, your macro blog and your Web site and everything is linked together and the links are on all of your collateral materials and brochures.  Now the question is; what to say? What to do?

I have written before that the various social media platforms link nicely together if you understand their overriding purpose as the following chart attests:

The micro blogs and social platforms such as Twitter, facebook, Linkedin tell people “who you are” and they often point towards more information with a URL. The macro blogs tell people “what you know” and that you have thought leadership on your subject. Your Web site (the mother ship) tells people “what you do”.

Once these interlinking platforms have been created and populated with great content, the question becomes what activities can you plan that are going to create buzz and drive people to the brand’s Web site.

It is interesting to look at how major executives are using social media in their companies. This does not mean that they are necessarily using it correctly, but it is indicative of how the marketing community are perceiving the role of social media at this moment in time. The following chart shows how executives are spending their time and money on social media:

Brand building seems to be the major activity at 82%. I take this to mean building brand reputation, which (in my view point) falls under the auspicies of the Public Relations department. In my book, How to Market Tourism in the 21st Century I define Public Relations as:  “The development of social, political and market capital through third party endorsement. The value of PR lies in capturing and reproducing it so it lives forever!”

One of the Public Relations divisions is community relations. Community relations demonstrates that your organization is a giving contributor to your city.

“Community” can also mean your virtual communities as well as your real communities. Any civic good deed or charity you have  supported, along with the  fund raising activities and actions that follow, are all good content to shout-out about. The path can go from a Twitter shout-out with a tiny URL aimed at a facebook “event” invitation where people show their support which then points to a short blog or V-log that explains the activity and purpose in greater detail. A V-log can also contain volunteers making comments or after the fact post event video clips of the event.

Comments, re-tweets, blogs and press articles can be captured and reproduced (with permission) so that the social capital can live on in your Web site. Snap shots of good tweets and comments on blogs and social media platforms can be placed on the Brand’s Web site promoting the growth of social capital which is the main purpose of social media.

The second most valued activity listed on the above chart is “networking” at 60%. Networking was once described by sales guru Zig Ziglar as “Getting what YOU want by helping others get what THEY want.” If this is the case then how can social media help? Networking provides gains in the second part of my definition of Public Relations and that is “political capital”.

You gain political capital by helping others get what THEY want. This can be achieved by aiming them towards information they want, or by producing an introduction to another mentor or individual that can help them further. Linkedin is a great site for doing this but so is facebook and Twitter is a great way to let them know about the new mentor or information they need. This provides great political capital for an individual or organization by helping others get what they want or need. It is even more powerful if the person or groups that are assisted in this manner are key influencers in a community of common interest that is part of your strategy. Direct comments on Twitter are helpful with this as are discussion groups on facebook and Linkedin. Crowd sourcing is the new term of having communities help solve problems by getting together in discussion groups on social media.

Well I hope you found this to be of interest and helpful for promoting your brand using social media. Do leave a comment and make a suggestion as to some ideas you may have. Many thanks and keep reading the blog. I post nearly every Sunday. Visit my Web site for more information at www.johnhopejohnstone.com

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