How to build a solid brand using the mix of social media and marketing

How to build a solid brand using the mix of social media and marketing

22nd February 2010

Its the mistake a lot of brands make when starting to use social media-tools: they believe that immediately success will come and that just being on social media will bring their tons of money and even more goodwill. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Social media is not just about using social media tools. Its about how you integrate all the elements of the social media marketing mix. By mixing the elements you can build a solid brand using social media. Its about looking beyond boundries.

This was the topic I was discussing at my panel session at Search Engine Strategies in London. This write up takes a piece from that presentation. I will try to explain the four elements of the marketing mix which you can use to build your brand. At the end of the post I will publish my presentation.

In nature there are four elements: Earth, Fire, Water and Air. These four together make that we can live on this earth. Take one away and life will be a lot more difficult, if not impossible.

You could say that if you want use the social media marketing mix you also have these four elements which will make or brake your success. Take one of these elements away and your efforts will be more difficult to succeed. For my presentation I ‘compared’ the earths elements to the marketing mix elements.

Element Earth: The web

The first element, Earth, can be compared with the web. It’s everywhere and its the ground we walk on. Its the basic elements you need to fill in to get things going. This off course starts with creating content. And content can off course be made in many different ways. The most obvious way is off course to start writing your own blog posts. I do believe that everybody should have their ‘own spot’ on the web where they can leave their footprints, meaning your own blog.

But footprints can be left on many different places. Your content should be around the web. If possible join a group-blog, write for one of the bigger blogs in your industry for example. That way your footprints will be spread around the web more and more. But thats not all. Spread your content through the entire web: use YouTube videos for example, make pictures and spread them to other content providers who can use them. A picture of an event you made with credentials is also your content after all.

The idea is that you keep a permanent presence around the web, whether it being on your own blog or on someone elses. Even people talking about you is in some way your content.

Element Fire: Social Media (Tools)

The word “social media” in my opinion is not always the right word. As someone said on one of the panels: in a way all media is social. But the term is there and we are using the social media tools to get our and other messages across.

For Social Media I’ve chosen the element “Fire”, since its currently so ‘hot’ and if you use it wrongly you could also burn yourself.

When using social media tools to get your profile known there are a couple of things you should be thinking about. I’d like to focus here on two of them: be real and focus outside.

Be real

Too many times you see social media accounts from which its not clear who is behind it. And they are claiming to be an authority on something they are not. This is wrong. The social web is very good in very fast ‘exposing’ those who talk rubbish. You might gain some interest in the short term, but for the long term this won’t work. So if you do use social media make sure you are ‘real’.

Focus outside

Many people use social media to spread their own content. I would be the last one to object to that. But its not the only thing you should do. If you only communicate about your own stuff you are less likely to be more interesting to those following you. Be sure to also spread information from others. If you see a good post, tweet  it, even if its one of your competitors who wrote it. It will give you a lot more credibility and it will make you the person (or brand) people will turn to when they need information.

Element Water: Offline

The third element you can’t live without is water. Water stands for offline in the marketing mix. You need offline to get the online success. When I started out in the world of search I had people helping me, introducing me to the other right people. They helped me spread the word. And I made new friends, which I helped and they helped me. One of the best places to increase my network and get the ‘buzz’ going turned out to be the pub during events. There I really connected to those I already had connected with online.

But offline is more. Its also radio, television, print media and more. Use offline to get your online message across. And use offline to get people to see your online message.

Element Air: Search

The final element is search. If you do a radio commercial what will people do who hear the commercial in the car? They will come home or in the office and then “Google” on what they think they heard on the radio. If you then are not there, that’s a waste of money spent on the radio-ad.

Search is everywhere, tweets are being indexed, posts are being indexed and more. All content is spread through search engines. You need to get your content in the searchengines.

Bring the mix together

All four elements discussed might work if you only use one of them explicitly. But only for that much. If you really want the success you need to bring the mix together, cross connect them. Optimize your search when you are doing an offline campaign, interact on social media with that and use other online elements to get your message across.

The result will be that you are  everywhere, and that you will be recognized everywhere. Plus, as a bonus, you might just end up on more than one position in the search engines, thanks to universal search.

My presentation at SES London

At SES London  I talked about what you’ve just read. Below you can find my presentation I did there. Check it out! I do have to warn you though: in the beginning it might look like it’s a lot about me. Well it is to be honest, but I do that to make a point on how using the social media marketing mix can get you where you want to. I’ve built up a brand using the social media marketing mix. Replace my brand with yours and you can do the same.


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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