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Posts Tagged ‘branding your business’

Social Media Usernames Count!

One of the fantastic consequences of our socially connected world is that we can connect to people, clients and prospects around the world 24/7. But how does this relate to your brand, from a first impression perspective? Think about it: when you meet someone face-to-face, your first impression includes their clothes, neatness, appearance, handshake, etc. However, when meeting online, the dynamics of the first impression change. We meet people online by communicating across different platforms, and what’s one of the first, if not the first, things you become aware of when you meet a new person online? Their username, not their legal given name, but their profile username. Hence the reason why your username is critical as your define your brand!

When choosing usernames for your social media profiles, identify your personal interests in relation to your business objectives. For example,

  • LinkedIn is for building professional, business-to-business relationships, so you always use your full name. There are additional sites that share LinkedIn’s purpose of building a professional network. A good rule of thumb: when using a site generally suited for B2B, your name is pretty much a standard.
  • Facebook is a no-brainer: make a company fanpage for your professional posts, and keep your personal profile for your personal interests. Just be sure to use your company as your employer on your personal profile so your friends can see the connection.
  • Twitter, StumbleUpon, Flickr and similar sites can be a bit trickier because they can serve multiple purposes. Which brings me to the next suggestion.

My suggestion for the sites that are more multi-purpose: know your personality and purpose. For example, if you need to engage on a professional level, but you know you’ll be likely to tweet personal rants or talk about questionable/controversial subjects, make 2 separate Twitter accounts. One for personal use only, and use whatever name you like, it doesn’t have to be your actual name. Then set up a Twitter profile as your company. You can use your company logo for this one if you like. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth it if it fits your personality. Many of us get by with one Twitter account, but consider your personality, attitude and lifestyle and figure out what works best for you. Some people manage three twitter accounts for their personal interests and different business ventures. And they do this effectively – I happen to know and follow some of them.

Do you like using online photo buckets? The same principle applies; your personal photos don’t necessarily need to be mixed in with your business photos. What to do? One option is to have 2 separate accounts on sites like Flickr, Picasa, etc. Another option would be to simply use one site for business, and another for personal, and have the usernames match accordingly. This way you maintain control over the images associated with your brand.

Your username is the name associated with your social media voice. Whether your username is your company name, personal name or a nickname, choose it carefully. Your moniker will ultimately become a part of your brand.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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Can You Define Your Brand?

So you’ve been in business for a while. Can you give me a definition of your brand?

For example, I’m a small biz marketing powerhouse who comes in, peels the surface layers back to reveal the true core of your biz, evaluates and, if necessary, overhauls your entire marketing strategy, immerses your biz across the appropriate social media platforms, syncs your day-to-day operations with your firm’s long term objectives, and re-energizes your passion and perception of your own business.

I ask clients to describe my brand to me and this is pretty much a summary of what I’ve been told. Do I like the way I am perceived by my clients? Absolutely!

Did I strategically develop my brand into this? Nope. I just do my work, like most of you do. But my energy is infectious and my clients immediately refer to my energy every time they talk about me. Can’t you sense my energy in this brand description? Had you asked me several years ago to describe my brand I would have probably said something with the words ‘dedicated’, ‘small but mighty’, ‘resourceful’ and a bunch of other boring, average characteristics that clearly my clients don’t even give a thought to.

Why ask my clients, and not come up with some fancy-schmancy branding concept? I mean, I’m a writer and a marketer, so I can certainly come up with the most eloquently stated brand concept ever. However, this wouldn’t be a realistic description of my brand, and I would subsequently go about monitoring and building my brand all wrong. Why?

Because your brand is all about PERCEPTION:
It is the PERCEPTION of your buying audience that makes your brand. 

Since my clients perceive me to be energetic (which I am) and comprehensive in my analysis (I try), I work hard to stay true to my brand in all that I do, from my initial handshake to the way I prepare a final deliverable, and every manner of communication in between. The objective is to match your desired brand image with your actual brand image. If these are in alignment, great! If not, work to figure out how to match them. Want to know an easy way to get started? Ask your clients how they perceive your brand!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

Brand Communication Is More Than Your Website

Branding is all about the communication of your image to the world, yes I said world! You’re familiar with the whole six-degrees-of-separation concept right? So, in effect, your presence is global, whether or not you realize it.

How Is Branding Communicated?

In a nutshell, your brand is communicated in every single action you take with regards to your business, whether it’s with a prospect, client, employee, partner, vendor, etc. Most business owners know a company’s brand is communicated by a business card, a website, and customer service. But let’s dig a bit deeper shall we? Your company’s brand is also communicated by

  • the way you answer the phone
  • your voice mail message on the phone
  • how you greet a person (smile, handshake, hug, eye contact)
  • verbiage used in all communication – emails, tweets, blog posts, newsletters, invoices
  • how you pack a giveaway bag at an event
  • the speed in which you respond to inquiries
  • your store’s physical layout
  • venues chosen for your special events
  • memberships in organizations
  • sponsorship of business-related events

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Be conscious of the brand you are communicating to the world as you go about managing your business, and always put your best brand face forward!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

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