Expert Insight: Social Media’s Role in Brand Development in Today’s Digital Age

Recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to Brandon Diaz‘s thoughtful article about brand building in the digital age. Check it out below!

Social media is one of the most essential tools in any marketer’s toolbox in terms of brand development in today’s digital age. I believe social media is THE platform for any company to grow their brand. On a daily basis, most individuals spend hours upon hours checking their different social media channels. Social media enables companies to place their brand and content in front of potential customers on the platforms they spend vast amounts of time on already, in order to communicate their message to their audience so as to convert social media users into customers. I contacted and asked for the contributions of five experts in the marketing and communications industry to get their opinions on this subject.

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Anthony Cruz – President at Miami Dade College, Hialeah Campus

“In the ever-changing and competitive higher education market, it is critical for colleges and universities to use social media platforms to connect with their audiences. Social media is an effective means of communicating the higher education value proposition and developing brand awareness. The organizational brand is developed and augmented by reaching different demographic groups with the appropriate social media platform. Employees also play an important role in building the organization’s brand and reputation through their own personal posts on social media.”

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Carlos Sarmiento – Relations, Communications, Marketing, Campaigns, & Strategic Partnerships Manager at FDOT

“Having worked within State Government for the last 13 years, I’ve seen how the advent of social media has enhanced how we communicate not only Transportation projects but has effectively boosted the dissemination of digital messages through high-profile safety campaigns. Not only has social media proven to be quite a cost-effective tool, but it has also allowed for both en-masse and direct targeted marketing. The fact that all social media messages (in whatever platforms available) can be tracked and quantified, truly makes any campaign effort worth it because one can immediately see the return on investment as well as assess what platform works best and where one can improve.”

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Georgianne Cox – Marketing Leader, Communications Director

“Social media provides an enormous opportunity for brands to establish themselves and connect with customers in meaningful ways. It’s estimated that 72% of the public uses some type of social media. Social networks and online communities are threads used to fulfill a basic human need – a sense of belonging — and serve as platforms where consumers who share similar interests can connect and share their opinions, give valuable feedback, and recommend your brand to others. Additionally, social media’s algorithms collect a wealth of information about consumers which brands can use to design targeted campaigns and create useful content, all while increasing brand awareness. So, it can be safely said that social media’s integration into the brand building in today’s digital world is no longer optional, but essential.”

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Tomas Gonzalez – Customer Development Specialist at Gordon Food Service

“Social Media in today’s society is “the everything” of communication, and for many, it is their main source of information. When planning Brand Development, it should be looked at as an opportunity to become influential to your target audience while building your brand. Is there a better way to do it than through Social Media?”

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Debra Cabrera – Marketing Educator & Social Media Marketing Consultant

“The internet is an amazing tool. But even as it’s shrunk the world and brought us closer together, it’s threatened to push us further apart.  The use of social networks is rapidly growing as a marketing tool. Consumers are now faced with more choices in decision making due to the greater availability of products via the Internet.

As marketers, we need to find out what consumers talk about, understand them, and get into that conversation. The goal should be to build relationships. Customers are not on social media to make purchases and are likely to shut out brands that push too much; however, consumers are looking for solutions, and this provides marketers with a good opportunity.

Social media can strengthen or kill a brand; the key to success lies in how quickly companies can change their mindset and adopt new strategies in response to consumer preferences

The secret to brand development is to have your brand educate, communicate & engage with customers through social media.  Every brand should be represented consistently across all social media networks via the posting of relevant, high-quality content. With social media, your aim for consumers is first to gain trust. Then become loyal. And then, advocate for your brand’s products and services.”

Conclusion

Branding is important regardless of the field whether a business-to-business and business-to-consumer company. Social media isn’t as simple as just throwing pictures up on Instagram or posting a tweet on Twitter. As much as you need a well-developed branding strategy, it is equally as important to develop your brand on social media platforms. If handled correctly branding via social media allows all companies to break down the wall created by all the clutter in order to reach your target audience, resulting in more business, leads, and sales.

How do you “brand on social media”? Here are my four simple steps on how to develop your brand in today’s digital world. Step one: brand your company consistently across all social media channels (consistency is key on social media). Step two: Create the “wow” content that will want to make your followers engage with your company and share your content. Step 3: Know your voice and style of your brand be human and tell your “brand story” across social media. Step four: be social, engage with your follower’s comments by replying, and even resharing their content to add value to your brand. Social media is THE tool to expand any company’s online presence. One must remember to make sure to not only use it to develop your brand but use it to your advantage in order to stay ahead of your competition and interest, or most importantly engage, your customers with your brand.

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