I realize that the enormity of our day is spent staring into the abyss of columns and rows of Excel, whipping up data to confirm that our SEO and Social Media campaigns are working. Still I feel that the majority of all campaigns truly center on brand identity. Thus, being a fan of the long tail, the obscure, and the less traveled path I thought discussing the utilization of Social Media in relation to brand identity for the individual was in order.
Branding for One:
Ranking your Importance: Realizing what you want to accomplish and who is already interested in your endeavors will mold your online campaign. To accurately start a branding campaign for an individual you have to judge what level of demand you bring to the fray. On the low end you could have a person who is not well known online or off. Conversely you might be presented with a gold mine of success offline that just has to be implemented online. Obviously, if you’re just starting out, creating a brand identity is only limited by what you are trying to achieve. If you already have some clout in the real world your traffic may be easily established.
Finding your Niche:
The Internet is a fascinating place which encompasses a jungle of interests so obscure places on the Web still intrigue/terrify me. This opens up a wonderful opportunity to flourish in almost any environment you can think of as long as you can determine your niche demographic. Understanding what Social Media outlets and what content your niche demographic prefers will help in establishing a lucrative online presence.
Creating Social Media Outposts:
Setting up an online castle sounds way more awesome than it really is, but start to think of Social Media outlets as guard towers and your blog or website as the epicenter of your mighty online castle. By setting up these outlets where you know your demographic frequents you’ll be able to generate content that funnels that traffic back to your desired location.
Jordan, I found my demographic, set up Social Media outlets and I have a website but no one is coming, why? Well fellow Internet traveler, most people don’t like to go to parties of boring strangers. You have to start writing interesting relevant content and then promote that traffic through your Social Media outlets. By adopting a conversational tone and maintaining a certain level of transparency you’ll be able to elicit a response. It will not happen immediately. It will take time, persistence, and hours of Social Media labor to do it. Start small and find out who the influencers in your demographic are on twitter. Follow and open up a conversation with them, a Tweet you throw out that is Retweeted by an influencer will reach a larger portion of your target demographic. Over the course of several months you may find yourself an influencer in your field if you stay consistent with your efforts.
Balancing the Line:
Ever have conversations with a close talker? The warm moist breath blasting your face forcing you to focus on understating their favorite food, pastrami, rather than listening to the conversation. Now imagine that close talker is in his underwear, in your house, and you barely know him – dad? Scary, isn’t it? Well you can be a crazy, intruding, overly public close talker online as well. Utilizing Social Media should be done frequently but not obsessively. Transparency and humanization, to a degree, is great. It shows you to be a trustworthy individual increasing your credibility in your field and helps to open up dialogue to followers. Sadly, if done to an extreme you end up appearing more like a barely clothed man in a stranger’s house. In short, if you don’t find a balance you’ll either bore or push people away. Tread softly Web warrior.
Monitoring success online can be a relatively intense process. You don’t have to delve too deep into an analytics program to pull out some simple projections, though. Before you go all crazy and start making pie charts setting goals should be your next step. Are you only interested in traffic, or do you have a specific goal in mind when said traffic enters Online Cardiff? After setting up specific goals, you can then monitor which Social Media sites are funneling the most traffic to further those goals. This will allow you to focus your energy and be efficient with your time.
Unlike the love I proclaimed for my high school sweetheart, all of your online actions last forever. Never for one second think anything you post online is private in any context. The easiest way to destroy your credibility is by having embarrassing photos or scandalous news circulating online; unless your identity is Amy Winehouse.
There is a certain freedom of having your name as an identity rather than a business. You can be more candid, write on any topic you want, and generally remain less uptight. The downside is when you’ve finished that six pack of wine coolers and decide to jump on Twitter Tuesday morning the only repercussion you’ll face is from yourself. Setting up a brand, of any kind, takes hard work and dedication; doubly so if you’re the only person responsible for its success or failure.