Establish Your Brand’s Message Before Jumping into Social Media
Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher
Our MSM meeting last week about the importance of creating a clear marketing message as a marketing agency got me thinking about how this same concept can be applied to several companies/brands. I’ve come to notice this common pattern:
- Company/Brand A gets swept into the online world
- Company/Brand A immediately invests loads of money in time into a new “web 2.0/viral/social media” initiative
- Company/Brand A fails to determine its objective and goals, develop a strategy for implementation, or create a clear and unified message
- Company/Brand A does not see the results they had expected
- Company/Brand A panics
All too often I’ve found myself reading about or looking at a failed Facebook campaign, Twitter strategy going haywire, or a social microsite falling short. The reason behind several of these misses was the fact that the company or brand failed to define their core values, identify goals, or establish a consistent message.
As I read Paul’s recap of our MSM meeting and the struggles agencies face, I saw clear parallels between the solutions offered up at MSM for agencies like us and solutions for the company/brand side, which I’ve outlined below.
Agency: Be a specialist. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
Company/Brand: Differentiate. Find your main specialty or differentiator and stick with it. Are you known for your customer service? Your sleek design? Your safety features? Focus on what you’re good at and don’t try to be something you are not. (For a more in-depth read on how you to effectively differentiate, check out Josh’s post).
Agency: Focus on your core clients and serve them well.
Company/Brand: Focus on your core messaging. Establish what you want your message to be, and clearly convey it. Start internally, so that every employee understands and can communicate the message. Once you’ve established your message internally you can then effectively and efficiently communicate it externally, to the rest of the world. Large brands have messages across several channels – promotions, investor relations, press releases, advertisements. Having a consistent message across all these channels will strengthen your brand and increase awareness and recall.
Agency: Get your foot in the door. If you do great work you can land a related job with a bigger company.
Company/Brand: Start small and then grow. Don’t get caught up in the social media wave and push out a huge social media strategy as fast as possible, simply because everyone else is doing it. Take time to plan out define your goals and plan out a strong strategy. Test out the waters on a smaller scale, and then expand. Social media requires constant attention and engagement; it is important you have the time and resources necessary to succeed before jumping in.
If you want to read about more ineffective (and effective) brand strategies check out this article. If you have any more tips, leave them in a comment here!