Branding For Small Businesses | What The Branding Giants Do And How You Can Copy Off Them

Posted on September 3, 2013 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, instagram, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Twitter, Video Marketing, Viral Marketing

If you run a small-scale business, you may not have the following or fan base like a company such as Coca-Cola but there is no much you can learn about branding from the way the big players do it. To help you get started, below is a list of companies that have built their brands through engagement efforts.

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Each of these companies have done something special with their social media marketing and as a small business, you have something to learn from each one of them. So buckle up people and pay attention because you are about to enthralled.

How the Branding Giants Do it

1. Ask Users for Content

Everyone’s heard of Expedia, the online travel company. What you might not know about is the ruse used by this company to get people to share content. Expedia encourages users to share their travel experiences via Expedia’s social media apps including videos, photos and content. For example, one video might be of a father and son at Disneyland Paris with the caption “The best trip ever” Another might be a narration of a trip to Phuket. “ Just got back from a trip to Phuket, Thailand and we’ve had the most wonderful experience ever. Everything was booked and paid for via Expedia including our car rental. Expedia is no doubt the best online travel company.”

The take-away: In addition to the content you create for your fans and followers on the social sites, you can also ask them for content including photos, videos and written content. You do not need a following like Expedia’s to be able to do that. Just ask for photos, videos or short stories relating a certain subject. This will promote your brand and simultaneously motivate people to pay attention to your company.

2. Hold Contests

When RadioShack, the undisputed authority in the wireless market, held a contest via social media to promote a new product, Verizon phones, the result was spectacular with Twitter users. Tweets were sent using the hashtag #itskindofabigdeal. The tweets were sent directly to one of several Verizon phones. These phones were placed on a table and set to vibrate. Whenever a tweet was received, the phone would vibrate and move. The person responsible for making the phone drop would then win the phone.

The take-away: To promote engagement with your brand on the social sites, you can try to make a game out of your product or service. This can be easily achieved by adding a competitive element to your request. This will promote engagement and perhaps benefit you two-fold if people start following you or liking you on the social sites because word-of-mouth is, you are offering an incentive. Whether your end goal is to attract new fans and followers or to promote engagement for your brand, contests always work great.

3. Be Playful

Last year, between June and October 2012, Oreo held a 100-day campaign to celebrate its 100th year. Basically, each day, an Oreo cookie would be cut, carved, and shaped to commemorate a historical event. One day, a cookie would have red filling with tracks. This was on August 5. Another day, it would be shaped like Elvis Presley’s head. This was on August 14.

The take-away: The best brands always seem to market their products in a way that will help them connect with people. In addition to how Oreo did it last year, take Sharpie’s example. On Instagram, the brand dazzles with colorful pictures. No wonder more than 1,00,000 people follow the account. Fun always draws in the big crowds.

4. Keep your Workers Contented

Everyone knows about Zappos’s great customer service but the brand does not stop there. It has a culture about it that further distinguishes it. According to Susan Waldman, a reporter with Washington Post, having a great culture is something Zappos worked for and one of the indicators of how the company is doing in employee happiness. With a great work environment, the company’s approach to work makes Zappos a brand that people love.

The take-away: No matter how small your business, always strive to make your office a place where employees want to be. You can do this by offering nice perks and incentives to your people. In essence, culture is informed by values, values drive behavior, behaviors inform actions and actions give results.

In Summary

The examples above are just a few things that you can do to drive your business reach and impact on the social sites. But in addition to Oreo, Zappos and RadioShack, there are many companies out there who are getting their business branding right. Be creative. Find ways to inspire amuse and connect with your audience and if you are running short of ideas, just study what the big social media kahunas are doing.


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