I hereby pronounce you Social Media Branded

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gone are the days when a huge billboard on the highway was the ‘revolutionary’ step towards marketing your brand to a wider audience.  Even mailing those promotion letters isn’t quite the trick anymore – by the time the letter reaches your ‘would-be’ customer with the offer it is probably too late and your customer has already moved on to someone ‘better looking’, so to speak.

Not to mention 87 out of 100 letters will never be opened. As soon as the ‘would-be’ customer realizes it is advertising, these letters will land directly into the recycle bin. Remaining 13 will be opened, 10 will last in the customer’s hand for 5 seconds or less and ultimately join their friends in the recycle bin. Now you are left with 3, out of which only one customer will actually somewhat read the information and put it aside to ‘avail the offer’ at another time. Oh no, you just lost the only 1 out of 100 opportunities you had to get some business! Sadly enough, the destiny of lovely handouts and posters isn’t much different. Handouts will make it faster to the rubbish bin than we know and posters will be vandalized before even being noticed at all by the audience they were meant for.

Welcome to 2012 – the era of Social Media domination. You guessed it, I am talking about the universally Hated and Loved Facebook and it’s somewhat less hated cousin Twitter. I will focus on just these two as Tumblr, Google+ and the likes are not quite the ‘Big Players’ in the Social Media family. Not quite YET! So let’s talk about YOUR company’s presence on Social Media.

  1. Do you have a Facebook and a Twitter profile for your company?
  2. Do you update BOTH Facebook and Twitter daily with information related to your company’s activities?
  3. Do you check how many ‘Likes’ or ‘Follows’ you gained each week?
  4. Have you ever discovered one of your real life customers on their connected with your company profiles?
  5. Have you ever noticed anyone complimented or complained about your brand on the Social Media?
  6. Do you check your Social Media accounts on the go on your Smart Phone, Tablet Computer or Laptop?
  7. Do you have a PERSONAL Facebook and/or Twitter account?

If you said YES to 5 or more questions, Congratulations – you are ALMOST there to be nominated as a brand of 2012. But you have to keep at it or you’ll be out of the game before you know it. No jokes, no exaggeration; I am one hundred percent serious.

If you said YES to 4 questions only, I promise I will try and understand your struggle and trust me if you keep at it, things will get better and I am always here to help and I promise you before it is too late – I’ll save your ass! Phew! But you need to hurry up before it is too late, the time is running out – the clock is ticking and your competition is getting ahead of you as we speak.

NOW, by any chance, for ANY unfortunate reason – IF, you said YES to 3 or less or none of the questions … wait .. let me take a deep breath, you should take one too….no seriously take a few deep breaths…  (takes long deep breaths) …..WHAT THE FU#@ IS WRONG WITH YOU?????Are you out of your mind? Have you lost your marbles? Or you are in Self-Destruct mode? This is not Star Wars or SG1 (the Sci-Fi fans will know what I am talking about, sad as it maybe) – this is 2012.

Social Media comes before the cup of coffee to start your day. It is like making sure you are wearing your pants/skirt before you leave your house. Believe me when I say some of your customers take their Smart phones with them to the toilet and check their Facebook and Twitter before they take a sh$# first thing in the morning. YOU JUST CANNOT start your day WITHOUT being logged on to Social Networking profiles. NO YOU CANNOT!

Don’t you even dare ask me why — OK wait, now I am being irrational. Let me calm down. (takes 3  more long and deep breaths, paces in the room, counts from 10 to 1 and clams down).  So here are three simple reasons  WHY you MUST have Social Media Presence for your brand –

1) It Is FREE: Now you thought I was going to give you a lecture on benefits and advantages isn’t it? Well no sir/m’am/miss/doctor (whatever really). It is BLOODY FREE!It costs NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to create an account and use it. Why on earth would you not sign up to something that is absolutely free and gives your branded added visibility at no cost? You have to be a FOOL to not use a free publicity resource as golden as this. (Now I can picture you fuming at me using such a language towards you, but imagine how would you feel once you realize that I had your best at my heart and I was absolutely correct in screaming at you to make you realize – the time is running out! )

2) Everyone is on it: When was the last time you received an invite for a BBQ hangout or House Warming party in your mail? 2 weeks ago? 2 months ago? 2 years ago? Neither? that sounds about right. And if you actually received one in last 2 years and it is not from your Grand Parents or for one of those scam ‘You’ve won a vacation’ scams; I’ll just have to ask you to stop reading and leave my website now because anything everything I say is going to offend you and you’ll most likely be throwing a brick at my glass window. And I really cannot afford to replace the glass every week! Long story short – today everyone is on Facebook, my 60+ year old mother is and my 65+ year old friend Ann. They have been on Social Media for last 5 years. Enough Said. It is the new way of sending Invitations, personal and professional life updates and even hiring and firing staff. (Yup, sadly enough it is true). Oh, and it is FREE MAN!!!!

3) The Engagement Hub: Yes Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr etc.,  etc., etc. are the new engagement hub of our personal , professional and business lives. If the customer wants information on your product they will first search you on one of these social media websites than your company’s official website. If they have a complaint they will post a status update or tweet complaining about how bad your brand is – and hundreds if not thousands of their friends will know in less than 30 seconds. Now that is A LOT of damage in less than a minute and because you are not on there, you don’t even know it. But looking at the bright side (and trust me there is lots of brightness there, if you act in time) – Customers today will contact you on Facebook or Twitter before they email you on your website or pick up the phone to call you. They can check these on the move, free of cost and even when they are half asleep in their jocks  – because even the phone companies realize these are now the essential part of their package and cannot be charged additionally. This is THE WAY To promote, manage, monitor business activity, image and receive feedback first hand.  In case that is not convincing enough for you –FOR FU#$ SAKE IT IS FREE MAN, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT?

So the gist of the story is – It is 2012 and you cannot expect to continue as a brand for long without accepting that Social Media and your Brand have to have a very healthy, on-going and steady relationship. Your brand will need to give all the love and attention the Social Media asks for and trust me it will return the love many folds. It is now no more a taboo and my blessings and support are with you.  So let’s do this and bless your brand and Social Media to be in love, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, forever.

And by the power vested in me by the State of Social Media Domination I hereby pronounce your company Social Media Branded!  Your company may now kick some ass! 

 

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