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  • Personal Brands RULE on Social Networks

    On Facebook you can’t be a “friend” of a brand but you can be a “fan” of a brand. While it sounds like a subtle difference it is actually an important distinction. Brands are the sum total of the experience a customer has when they are interacting with your brand. But on Facebook that interaction is relatively low and un-engaging. The interactions people may have with your brand will be limited to the people they interact with from your company.

    Companies just don’t get it

    Many companies limit the use of Social Media at work which I think is very short sighted.

    “Of those not allowed to use social media at work, 65 percent said their managers block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Flickr because they’re afraid employee productivity will suffer.” Ragan Communications

    Blocking social media sites entirely may not be a good idea. There will always be people who abuse trust and spend time on social media sites with non-work related activities, but I believe the benefits outweigh the risks in the long run.

    Building and allowing personal brands to flourish is important to having a strong social brand. It’s the sum total of many personal brands that make up that experience people have with your brand on Social Networks like Facebook.

    istock-social-network

    So if you are going to allow access to social networks spend some time pulling together some guidelines for your employees. The IBM Social Computing Guidelines have been called “The Constitution” of Social Media / Blogging guidelines and a good place to start.

    3 Takeaways for companies who want a strong social brand

    1. Allow as many personal brands to grow in your company
    2. Empower them with tools (guidelines, group blogware etc)
    3. Train them on how to be a brand ambassador

    Brands cannot make an impact by shouting at you with advertising anymore – and in Social Networks it doesn’t even work! It’s the people of the brand that can make the difference. So empower them with the tools and training they need and watch as your social brand grows!

    Author:

    Paul Dunay is the Global Director of Integrated Marketing for BearingPoint a Management and Technology Consulting firm and author of the blog Buzz Marketing for Technology.

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    Paul Dunay is the Global Director of Integrated Marketing at BearingPoint, Inc and blogs at Buzz Marketing for Technology. He has spent more than 20 years in marketing, creating buzz for leading technology companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Avaya and Cisco. He also has delivered work for American Express, Motorola, Genzyme, Novartis, Citigroup, Cendant and Ernst & Young. Paul has been a featured speaker for AMA, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, BtoB Magazine, and the CMO Council.

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    Posted in Corporate Branding, Personal Branding, Reputation Management, Social Media
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    3 comments on “Personal Brands RULE on Social Networks
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      Great post, Paul. I agree 100% with your key takeaways, especially the point about training. I think many companies of all sizes will find that employees really want to represent the corporate brand right alongside their personal brands in their social media interactions and will embrace this training. Enthusiastic employees plus added customer touch points engaging in a forum that is meaningful to customers and prospects = a formula for success that cannot be achieved through traditional advertising alone.

    2. avatar
      EXPERT
      Norcross says:

      I think a lot of the issue isn’t productivity, but rather network strength and liability. Since my employer has no way of keeping tabs on who and what I do within social networks, there is a issue of defamation, etc. Also, considering the large amount of bandwidth that the activities take can be a large stress, esp. things with streaming video.

      And let’s not forget than many industries have disclosure and audit requirements regarding correspondence. I work in the financial services field, and per federal law (Sarbanes Oxley) ALL emails must be archived. And that’s not possible on Facebook.

      People who want to waste time, will waste time. Whether it’s social networks, the internet in general, or just water cooler chats, those people aren’t going to be changed.

    3. avatar
      EXPERT

      Paul: I highly agree when you say that it’s the people of the brand that make the difference and ultimately also create the company brand. By empowering the employees with the tools and providing the training to use those tools, a company would set themselves up as a leader among their industry because they would have created a strong brand via their employees.

      Great post & advice.

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