Brandcasting. How social networking can increase your brand image. (Part 6 of 7).

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When social networking first came on the scene with sites like Myspace, many people viewed it as technology meant for younger, tech savvy users who want to have a common digital space where they can chat, exchange music, share information and do just like teens do in Europe in their local town squares. This was an ideal solution for towns across America that didn’t have a town square; a digital piazza was the perfect solution. As time went on, it was clear that something more powerful was forming on the horizon. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin have soon become “virtual piazzas” for much broader ranges of users that include adults, professionals and now, businesses. As I have written about in a previous micro blogging post, businesses now have the power to broadcast deals and offers to loyal customers via micro-blogging. Think of how Kmart used “blue light specials” in their stores to create a loyal following of shoppers. Now businesses can do the same without the corny spinning blue light and they can reach far beyond the confines of their brick and mortar store space. But don’t think that just because you are tweeting deals to your audience that the dollars will start rolling in. You have to have a strategy. To get started, Twitter does a nice job of explaining how the power of micro blogging can help businesses of all sizes. For the novice, I have written a post detailing how to get started with Twitter here. The subject of using social networking is a huge one, so we will just scratch the surface by offering up a few tips for the novice micro blogger.

Micro Blogging Tips

1. Keep “˜em coming back for more. Offering incentives and special deals on an ongoing basis will keep your audience engaged and willing to follow your micro blog. Also, give-aways and promotions work well in growing your audience and keeping your loyalists happy.

2.  Manage your online reputation. Because micro blogging is a social medium, anyone can have a voice. That means that you may receive negative feedback from your customers in a public format. Always address negative comments and if you can, look for ways to turn those negative comments around in your favor by offering a solution or a “make-good” for that customer. While many will agree that there is no such thing as bad PR, there is such a thing as a bad brand reputation and anything you can do to snub negativity can help in the long run and may even turn a sour situation into a sweet marketing win.

3. Bond with your fans. Social media allows you to have back and forth conversations with your most loyal customers in a public format. Always invite your fans to have a platform and create a healthy exchange with your brand. Who knows, you may discover your version of Subway Jared, Subway’s spokesperson who was one of its most loyal fans.

Again, we are just scratching the surface here. Micro blogging can be time consuming yet rewarding if you do it right. It’s up to you to do research for the best micro blogging techniques that fits your marketing strategy for your business. For a better handle on micro blogging, I recommend looking to other businesses that are similar to yours, how-to books and online resources like Twitter. Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s post, the final part of a seven part series. As they say in the local piazza, ciao.

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