Delivering Your Brand’s Culture Through Social Media

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, contends that the key to success is to remember that “your culture is your brand.” In the age of social media, traditional marketing is lost. A brand can no longer squeeze advertising copy into 140 characters and expect a positive response from its community. Social media has created a two-way stream in which fans and followers strive for a more authentic relationship with brands. Drawing on our own company experience and those experiences of some of the most famous brands in social media, we hope this post offers 3 simple steps to communicating your brand’s culture to your community.

Humanize Your Brand

Believe it or not, social media has offered brands the opportunity of a lifetime. A few decades ago, companies such as American Airlines or Pepsi were largely viewed as corporate monoliths because consumers didn’t relate to the brand beyond the experience of flying cross-country or drinking a soda. However, social media now offers brands the opportunity to actively create and engage a community beyond the consumer experience.

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Debunking Social Media Myths: Facebook and Twitter Strategies

Social media has created a new era of transparency and engagement in marketing. In this world of “Like” and “Follow” buttons, companies now need to create a personality that extends beyond the notion of a faceless corporation and more so towards the status of a friend or acquaintance. This new era provides companies the opportunity to be leaders in their fields through directed conversations and thoughtful interactions with customers.

David and I celebrating Social Media Day 2011 in Palo Alto, CA. We proudly put our company culture on display.

David Harstein suggests a company can actually capitalize on the intimate setting of Facebook to display a more personal side to its organization. Don’t be afraid to show off employees both at the office and out at company functions. While an individual on Twitter might follow a company due to its authority in a certain niche or to receive important news updates, someone on Facebook “Likes” a company because he or she feels connected in some way with that brand (even if at times this connection is for superficial circumstances such as a promotion.) 

Do you feel more connected to a brand over Facebook, Twitter or neither?


Staying sane as a social media professional – Lessons from SMOchat

This post is based on our second and third #SMOchat (stands for Social Media Optimization chat). We host #SMOchat on Twitter every Tuesday at noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern Time. We hope you can join us to learn about SMO together.

“Social media” is a young industry and it’s changing really fast. That’s why we do a weekly #SMOchat in order to stay abreast of what is happening. These past 2 weeks we discussed how to develop great content for the social web, how to work with community advocates, and how to do all this while staying sane.

Staying sane and working with others as a social media professional 

Many social media professionals feel overwhelmed because of the always-on nature of our work. Even for those of us with teammates, working together with others can present an additional layer of complexity. To fight the deluge of conversations on social media, our community thinks that the only way is to set a schedule for when to be present, and rely on tools (like the ones suggested by Oneforty, or their new product Socialbase) and notifications to not miss anything. If you can have teammates, rotating can help each other unplug and focus on the other tasks at-hand.

Having a team, however, could mean that you lose the unifying voice that helps your community relate to you as a human. Introducing a voice guideline to the team may help. Others don’t think this is as much of a risk because companies like Zappos have developed a sign-in / sign-out system, letting individual personalities shine through. Another way to accomplish this is through signing your name or initials at the end of your tweets and posts.

Developing great content for your fans and followers