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Talking Back: Branding is a conversation

During my formative years, the parents of my friend down the street considered me a Bad Influence. I wasn’t the kind of kid who did anything destructive; I was just curious…and mouthy. Talking back was considered bad form back in those days. Thus, I enjoyed more than my share of having my mouth washed out with soap.

The punishment never did correct the behavior, however, and today it works in my favor. Talking back—engaging in a lively discussion on social media about your business—can keep your brand vibrant and customers loyal because you are building a relationship. It also helps your brand evolve to better serve those who want to do business with you.

Unlike advertising, which is a one-way push, social media provides the opportunity for back and forth discussions, either in the public forum, or by private message. Depending on your type of organization, choose the most appropriate social media platforms for your target audience.

Some examples of how you can talk back and build a bond with your audience are:

  • Join or start an interest group on LinkedIn or Facebook that is relevant to your business. Post and respond with quality, informed comments that will help those who might need your services.

  • Post links to your blog and ask readers for their thoughts on the topic. Respond to the comments in a positive and insightful way.

  • Monitor, ask questions, respond to comments and post surveys on your company Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

  • Put up a branded YouTube channel and populate it with videos that are valuable and informative. Invite your customers to share and show their experiences with your products or services. Post video “How To” guides.

  • Post to Instagram so others can view your experiences or products in use and share them with comments.

  • Create a business page on Pinterest and create topic boards with information your clients can use.

It may seem obvious but when you start to talk to strangers, and they talk back, you are building a relationship. You are adding to the brand experience. It’s more comfortable to do business with people you can talk with and understand…and maybe even like. So, talk back!

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