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Building Social Media Platforms for Growing Brands

By: Heather Smith
Posted: July 6, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 6

Although Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters, it is a very powerful tool to connect your brand with millions of people (as of early spring 2009, there were 14 million people on Twitter), and it is also a phenomenal research tool. Traditionally, businesses have paid exorbitant amounts for case studies, reports, white papers, think tanks and focus groups in the hopes of obtaining insight into their industry and target market. Now, small and large businesses that cannot afford to use up their marketing budget in these studies may use Twitter. It is a free resource reaching a global community, unlimited in scope or focus, that can be used to accomplish many of the same traditional market research tasks in real time.

Twitter, too, is a fabulous place to create a buzz, post giveaways and contests, and create polls. It is also live/digital customer service, and consumers are expressing their appreciation of businesses strategically using Twitter in this way.

Facebook

Creating a Facebook fan page is an integral part of social media platform. With the new design of Facebook, it is easy to create this page exclusively to promote a brand and build an engaged and organic fan network.

Done properly, a Facebook page facilitates interaction with consumers, i.e., your brand fans. Facebook’s Fan Page is a dynamic tool encouraging participation and interaction of your brand’s fans with the brand. Fan Pages also yield more potential for virility, offer more ways to communicate and is a fabulous way to offer exclusive contests and coupons specifically for your brand fans.

Maximizing a Facebook presence is very timely and imperative. Provide strong content, market the page through your other social media sites as well as your Web site, and make it easy to share. These will be key to organically growing your fan base, and will build a more engaged consumer.