The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Branding is about getting the attention of your prospects to the uniqueness of the organization. The advantages of having a unique and established brand are clarity of vision & mission, credibility, motivation for the prospects and customer retention.
Social media is a communication platform that utilizes the extensive reach and power of the growing internet. Social media can be categorized as Social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+), micro blogs (like twitter, foursquare), Blogs (like WordPress, Drupal), Wikis (like Wikimedia, DokuWiki) and Social Bookmarking (like Google reader and Stumble Upon).
Brand management involves two sets of audience, internal employees and external prospects. The IT / ITES industry can harness the explosive power of social media to propagate its brand and connect with its audience. For internal audiences, Wikis can be used to share internal information to all the employees and can be a strong motivator and enhance the knowledge. Blogs can be used to share innovations and galvanize the workforce.
For external audiences, Social Networks can be used to create customized pages for the organization where promos, advertisement and documentaries can be shared effectively with the network and enhance the brand audience. Microblogs on the other hand can be used to share current events and give updates to the prospects like campus recruitment, open positions, acquisitions and status quo. A Blog is a powerful tool to share the company’s stance on major issues and for the stakeholders to appreciate the company’s direction. Social bookmarks have their uses everywhere to explosively spread the brand’s reach.
The current age is that of the internet and of explosive information growth. Any organization intending to retain and enhance its brand value needs to harness the powers of social media and use it to influence the audience from multiple fronts. Care should be taken to maintain the visibility and clarity of the organization while aggressively marketing itself in the new and untested waters of social media and internet communication.