Branding Key to Social Media Marketing Success

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  1. Make your name original. Growing up, I had a very long, rare last name. While it was a mouthful, it was original. If you searched Google for my full name, everything that came up was about me. Now if you search for Heather Margolis, you may get a couple of relevant links, but mostly it’s 30 strangers and the most downloaded woman of 2003, Cindy Margolis (no relation). To better differentiate myself online, I always, always use my middle initial: Heather K. Margolis is how you will find me all over the Web.
  2. Consistency is key. Use your name and company name the same way everywhere. This not only maintains the integrity of your company or personal branding, it also makes you easier to find. Solution providers don’t have the luxury of being as well-known as IBM, HP or EMC, so acronyms can be more confusing than beneficial. It is also very important that if you decide to use an acronym, it’s not highly relevant to something else. If you’re IBM nothing is getting in your way in a search, but good luck going with CA and competing with California in search rank.
  3. Control the buzz. Are people talking about you? Chances are, if you’re putting your brand or your name out there to be noticed, they are. It’s important that you know what they are saying and where, so you can either thank them and comment or engage in a discussion over a criticism or misunderstanding. Google alerts notify you as soon as something is posted. I have alerts set up for Channel Maven, Channel Maven Consulting, Heather K. Margolis, Heather Margolis and a bunch of my clients. This way I know what is being said and can respond immediately.
  4. Ambiguity doesn’t work on the Web. When people see your Web site, your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter account, they need to know in three seconds or less what value you are going to provide to them and a way to act on it. Using terms like “best-in-class” and “solution-driven” don’t tell people how you’re going to help solve their pain point. Tell them what you do, tell them why you’re better and tell them how it’s going to change their lives.

This is just the tip of the iceberg and, I hope, a good start to getting ready for your first social media marketing initiatives.

Looking for More?
Heather K. Margolis will be sharing more insights on social media marketing at the Spring 2010 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 1-3, in Las Vegas.

Heather K. Margolis is an entrepreneur and founder of Channel Maven Consulting. She can be reached at heather@channelmavenconsulting.com.

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