by Noah Yaughn

This post is part of the Top Ten Tips series put on by SCORE.  SCORE is a great organization dedicated to setting small business owners up for success.  I’m so honored to be part of their board and kicking off the Top Ten Tips series.  This is the second post of ten so please start from the beginning otherwise you may get lost.

A quick recap: For something that has only been in existence in the last ten years; social media has gotten a lot of press.  It has also grown in complexity as it has gone from a place for friends to get together to something companies develop entire strategies around.  This can be quite daunting.  When I put these three facts together: young, complex, daunting; it reminds me of a particular time in my life.  It’s called high school.  So we’re going to have some fun with this by connecting social media with high school.

Today we’ll be looking at how social media can help with brand loyalty and recognition.  Brand recognition is huge.  As people are inundated with more and more data, it becomes that much more important to not only to stand out, but to associate their brand with positive experiences.

Yearbooks are great at this.  Seen anywhere else the mountain of cliche’s would have made us sick, but in a yearbook; we got all sentimental.  Depending on your generation; while reading the senior quotes you also became much more familiar with the lyrics of Led Zeppelin/Nirvana/Dave Matthews Band.  Yearbooks are created for the sole purpose of making us remember the school fondly.  There aren’t any pictures of kids crying after exams or freshman getting shoved in lockers.

Our customers may not always have perfect interactions with our companies and our brands.  That’s a part of life, but social media can be a great tool to remind them of all the positives of your brand.   Regularly posting positive and helpful information can increase the positive feelings, customers and potential customers have for your brand. The Loyalty Marketer’s Association recently asked its community which of their efforts had the most positive impact.  Social Media was number one.1

Learn from the Yearbook:

Our superlatives are our vision and values.  What quality does your brand epitomize?  Is it affordability, luxury, durability?  This should show up in your social media.  This helps because in conversation, we don’t speak about brands we speak about our needs.  If I tell my friend that I’m building a deck and am clueless, he may suggest Home Improvement Company A because they’re always posting in creative ways how knowledgeable their staff is.  Notice I didn’t say that I was looking for somewhere to shop.  My friend equated my admission “I don’t know what I’m doing” with the knowledge of Home Improvement Company A.

Good Times
Yearbooks remind us of what happened that year.  Post about things that people might not know about just by shopping like your involvement in the community.  Sponsoring the local T-ball team, make a post congratulating them on their performance at the tournament.  Have a beach clean-up day, post some before and after shots.  Customers like when their local company cares about the community.

One specific note on Facebook.  Facebook’s Timeline feature works just like a yearbook only instead of covering just a year, it can go much further back.  Take the time to post “milestones” that happened in the past.  If your company has been around 50 years, that means something.  It means that you know what you’re doing and give you instant credibility.  If you’ve won a bunch of awards, create retro events for them.  It will give you deserved respect and is valid because it is a part of your company’s story.

Tip 5:
Think Like a Yearbook

The next post in our series will show you how social media can improve customer service.

1Loyalty Marketer’s Association