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December 11, 2011

Whether a company is new to social media or trying to figure out what they have been doing wrong in regards to building their online brand presence, turning to Facebook is probably a good idea.  Facebook is free. Facebook is popular.  Facebook probably has your target customers already actively using it.

There are, however, some unofficial rules to Facebook posting that should be religiously followed by companies hoping to increase their online brand presence, not destroy their credibility.  Facebook users range in age, cultural background, interests and just about every other distinguishing factor.  Finding one’s target audience is a challenge, but once it is found a company has the opportunity to subtly (if done well) inject their brand and a need for their brand into the daily lives of that deep potential customer pool.

First, companies need to realize that Facebook is not a mini-version of their website.  By trying to cram in every little bit of information about the company and products they inadvertently turn customers away.   Building online brand presence is about getting a brand’s name and concept out there, not necessarily closing the sale.  Facebook users value insightful, intelligent posts that add value – not elevator pitches. 

Second, companies should value consistency and authenticity above all else on Facebook.  It’s wonderful if a brand has a gimmick, like the gecko for Geiko or the Old Spice man for Old Spice.  If a company has successfully imbedded a gimmick or character into their brand identity they must keep up the charade on Facebook.

Finally, as tempting as it may be, companies must not put all their advertising eggs in the social media basket.  Online brand presence reaches far beyond Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +.  While it’s true that an entire full-time position could be created just to update social media it is probably not the best use of company time. 

Anyone using Facebook on a regular basis can probably give a list of products and companies that come on too strong, are blatant in their advertising, and are annoying.  They can’t specify whose online brand presence is subtle and inviting, though.  Instead, they are out buying products from that company when the need arises.  They never even realize they were targeted, wooed and conquered.


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