Using social media to brand your business can be very effective if you know what you’re doing.  Before you jump into social media it is important to understand how it fits into your overall marketing plan.  The crucial first step to social media branding success is setting up and managing your social profiles.
Here are 5 steps that will help you get started.
1.    Include a strong branding image.  Usually this means your logo or another company image that your clients associate with your company’s product or service.  Don’t underestimate the power of a professionally designed logo.  A memorable first impression is critical to your social media campaigns success.
2.    After you setup your Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and other accounts be sure to link them together.  Make it easy for your visitors to use their favorite platform to share your content.
3.    Make sure your social profiles are professional looking in the eyes of your target customers. The contents of your profiles tell your customers a lot about your company so make sure they portray the brand image you are trying to project.
4.    Use social sharing buttons on all your profiles and your articles, posts, images and other content.  You should always encourage your readers to share your content with their friends.  It is a good idea to integrate your website with social media sites like Facebook whenever possible.  Your company can even allow customers to log in using their Facebook login.  This allows them to share, comment and easily expose their friends to your website giving you a larger audience in the process.
5.    Handle criticism effectively.  The downside to more readers is a few more negative comments but you can turn this into a positive for your brand if you handle it correctly.  The best way is to thank the author of the criticism and tell them your company will use their input to improve whatever they found lacking.

These five steps will help your company create and manage its social media profiles.  The goal of a great social profile is to create a strong company visual image and great introductory content that the target demographic will enjoy and share with others.

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