Action + perception = identity: Branding in Social Media
Ian Lurie Oct 15 2009
I’m on a panel in about 2 hours at REBlogworld. The panel I’m on will discuss the relationship between branding and social media. So I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersection of brands and social media.
Here’s the thing: Your brand is not your logo.
Your brand has always been:
- Action. The actions you take: How you treat customers. What products you make or carry. What you did that one time something went wrong.
- Perception. How your audience perceives those actions.
Action is still the same
Social media hasn’t changed the influence your actions can have on your brand.
Piss someone off, they’ll still hate you just as much.
Make someone happy, and they’ll still love you just as much.
Want to build a great brand in social media (or anywhere else, for that matter)? Don’t be a jerk.
Perception spreads faster
The change to your brand: The speed of perception.
Perception of your actions can spread fast. Really fast. Like speed of lint fast.
So, when you piss someone off, they can tell 20,000,000 of their closest friends about it within minutes. Same thing if you make them happy.
What to do?
First, don’t change your behavior. Unless you’re a jerk.
Second, be sure you talk to people. Lots of people. Online and off. Every ‘touch’ with a particular person makes it more likely they’ll remember you when someone else writes “Hey, Florence just helped me out, big time”. If they recognize your name, they’ll probably pass the message along using a retweet (on Twitter), a comment (on Facebook) or whatever other vehicles exist.
Third, monitor the conversation. Learn to use Google Reader as a monitoring tool. Check in now and then. Hear a relevant question? Jump right in and help out.
Fourth, don’t try too hard. I don’t want your inspirational quote in my Twitter stream 10x a day. I don’t need to hear where you’re at right this moment. I definitely don’t want a hard sell. I just want the same helpful stuff you’ve always provided. And I totally appreciate your help when I have a question.
The speed of perception
Social media has accelerated the rate at which public perception of your actions (your brand) can spread. It hasn’t changed branding. Listen, learn, and do right by folks when they need your help. A great brand will follow.
I’ll try to talk more about this when I’m no longer taking double doses of Dayquil…
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More