Building your brand using Social Media

June 24, 2008

I’m sure most of you know what Social Media is, for others –

Social Media is a dynamic and growing area that includes a collection of blogs, wikis, forums, photos and videos sharing sites. According to Wikipedia

Social media describes the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.

The fact that social media is changing the way people collaborate and interact with each other is now a given. Below is research data from a Forrester’s report on usage of various social media avenues.

Social media participation

Social media can become a powerful voice for your brand and add credibility by allowing users to share opinions and experiences about your brand. Below are some of my thoughts on how you can leverage social media to build your brand image – especially useful for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Blogging – This should be the starting point of your social media marketing strategy. It needs to work both ways – Read blogs using Google Reader, Bloglines and comment on blogs to get link love and imporve your credibility. You could use WordPress, TypePad, Blogger for easily setting up your blog.

RSS – Use RSS feeds to enable your consumers to take data away from your portal / blog and enable them to take it to places where conversations are happening. This will enable interesting conversations to evolve around your content. Some tools – Feedburner, Google News and mysyndicaat

Social Search – By social search, I am primarily referring to local content search providers. Being active in user engaged communities like Yelp, Yahoo Local, can give you a platform to advertise your brand and engage with potential users.

Social networking – Consumers these days are spending quite a lot of time on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Orkut etc. Being on these networks enable you to understand what your customers are talking about and provide services targeted at them.

Consider building widgets/ applications which can integrate into these networks. This makes it easier for your consumers to share information about your product / service with their friends and peers. As a result,brand endorsements are visible and shared amongst members. Chains of endorsements might evolve from this sharing, making social networking incredibly powerful and influential. Facebook has an entire category of business applications with over 1000 different applications.

Social bookmarking – This is a great way to tag content and enable traffic to your site. Allowing users to share information from your site using social bookmarking tools like, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Mixx will enable your brand to get more coverage.

Social conversation tools I like to bunch tools like Twitter, Thwirl, Plurk and FriendFeed into what I like to call “social conversation” tools. These are very powerful tools to start conversations with other people and virally spread information. Several corporations have already starting using Twitter as a part of their main stream marketing model – Jetblue for instance has a twitter feed enabling their customers to get real time updates on flight timings and weather conditions.

So what’s your social media strategy ? How are leveraging and influencing the crowd to use your brand ?


3 Responses to “Building your brand using Social Media”

  1. daksh Says:

    Hi Vinodh,

    Great Stuff !

    I guess i’ve seen this one up in the book I’m reading ‘Groundswell’. Just a thought! I am wondering if ‘RSS’ directly comes under social-media.

    a.) RSS – Sharing of feeds is there but the platform isn’t common unlike social-networks, social-search etc.
    Primarily I mean that through other channels u’re interacting and sharing stuff at a common place.

    We can also include ‘Social Marketing’ to the above list. Users/organizations pushing viral videos via sharing sites like youtube..

  2. Daksh – i think Social marketing is the umbrella term which can be used to cover all of this. This would apply to using social networks, social communication tools, blogs etc.

    For instance, having a facing app for your product is social marketing. So I am not too sure if that will be a separate category or a grouping of all of these methods.

  3. By RSS, I am primarily referring to content aggregation, could be through RSS, APIs etc.

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