Having an Authentic Brand – Using Social Networking to Create Brand Advocates

Branding

Remember marketing has changed. Consumers are no longer absorbing the volume of messages that are being pushed at them. It is now about having a dialogue with customers and being transparent about your brand. People are seeking out a brand’s believability before ‘making friends with it’ and becoming loyal consumers. Social networking has enabled customers to open a dialogue with brands and talk amongst themselves about brands. They also tell other people what they heard. In the past this was a conversation down the pub with a few friends but now it is using the internet megaphone and word quickly gets out if people don’t believe a brand is doing what it promises.

Here are my tips for creating brand advocates:

1. Always be prepared to hear both good and bad feedback from your customers/potential customers – don’t shy away from negative comments. If your brand is to be believed it has to be credible and it has to acknowledge feedback.

2. Ask those that come online to comment about your brand to tell you how it could be improved.

3. Imagine your brand is a human being. Brands have to ‘make friends’ with consumers now and not be arrogant and self promoting. Do you want to go for a drink with a pushy idiot.

4. If you make a mistake admit it. Many brands have hidden from bad news.

5. Have a dialogue with your consumers. Get out there and agree/disagree with them, but listen!

6. Ensure you are confident in your own product/brand. You can’t promote something you don’t believe in yourself. If you aren’t confident how can you expect other people to interact with your brand in a confident manner.

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