Establishing, growing, and maintaining your brand on Facebook isn’t hard work, but it can be surprisingly difficult. Still, technological innovations aside, good branding on social media is, at the root, no different from good branding in other marketing channels. Below then, are the essential steps you need to take in order to be a success, on or off the web.

Know Your Audience

We must begin here, because everything about your brand will ultimately stem from your understanding of your audience. Your audience is not just your current customer base of course, but those in a similar demographic who would probably love your product if they would only give it a try. All of the details about your brand’s emerging persona will stem from your understanding of your audience. You’re building a persona that they can identify with, and ultimately, one that they want to associate with. In order to be successful at that, you’ve got to understand who your customers and potential customers actually are.

The Voice

Once you’ve nailed down who you’re planning to talk to, you’ve got to establish a voice to speak to them with. For some products, a serious-minded voice works best, while for others, a fun and playful voice would be the better choice, and of course, there’s a whole spectrum of options in between these two extremes. There’s no one right answer here, it’s going to vary from one product to the next, possibly even changing over time. The main goal here though, is that the voice be appealing to the audience you’ve identified.

Note too that voice doesn’t have to mean spoken or written word. It definitely can mean that, but given that the web is an increasingly visual medium, images can also be part of your voice. Thus, your logo and the other graphics on your brand’s Facebook page is every bit as important to the voice as the actual words you use when you make a post. All of it has to tie together seamlessly.

Consistency

Voice doesn’t do you any good unless it is applied consistently. That doesn’t just mean on FaceBook, though anytime you make a post there, you should certainly take care that you’re using the same voice that you’ve identified with your emerging brand. Also though, take care that this same voice is used on every marketing channel you’re making use of, social media or not. Consistency is one of the keys to growing your brand and your brand’s awareness in the public consciousness. People become accustomed to associating your brand with certain things, visual cues and a voice. Make sure you maintain that, always. It’s probably the single most important thing you can do for your brand.

Start A Conversation

There are a number of ways to do this, but the important thing is that the conversation begins. Branding can’t be just about the company telling the consumer the story of the brand, not any more. That used to be the way marketing worked, but increasingly, empowered consumers want to be a part of the story. They want to add their own voice to the story of the brand, and whenever possible, you should take steps to include them.

Satisfied customers are the most powerful form of advertising there is, and if you can make your customers a part of your brand’s story, then you’ll have a growing legion of powerful brand advocates to help you. One need only look as far as Apple Computers to see the power of involving their customers. Apple doesn’t have customers, they’ve got legions of diehard fans. There’s an important lesson to be learned there.

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