Brand New Year
The year 2009 has ended on a positive note – the recessionary times are finally behind us. Now when social networking occupies a major part of our day i.e. Facebook and Twitter, the way we share news with others has drastically multiplied. As a result, many top bands of the world have taken cognizance of this trendy development by actively making use of it.
Now all major companies of the world have started building a Twitter profile, Facebook page besides a few maintaining even regular Blogs. Trends have shifted to inter-personal communication. Earlier, most individuals or brands would create a rudimentary website and leave it at that – as the penetration of internet was low, technology was still arriving and in general – the masses were not aware.
It takes me back to the heyday – when big companies controlled and influenced the population – at large – because a handful of publications monopolized what would and could become news. That meant, if you had a cockroach in your chocolate bar, the only way it could become news was its publication in a newspaper. Other than that, you were on your own.
The current scenario, however, is far more promising for businesses and individuals, especially the start-ups, small setups, freelancers, individuals who’ve started out on their own. Medium sized businesses – who can’t afford any marketing budgets have an important tool available to them. We will leave the large corporates out of this (because they hire big media agencies to maintain their online profiles). Thus, the focus will be on the common man – you and me.
For the sake of conversation, let’s say you’re a start-up – running an outdoor catering service. How would you go about building your brand in the confinements of a limited budget or better, no budget? The answer – if you’ve been reading closely – would be quiet simple. For this particular example, by building a blog, Facebook fan page and a Twitter profile (considering you have a basic website in place), you could reach the target audience or even beyond that.
Begin by adding a few articles – which you can write yourself – to keep your blog updated (ideally, in the beginning, 5-10 pieces would do just fine), include lots of pictures, talk about where the outdoor catering industry stands, your observations with an overall perspective, and you can talk about different concepts and recipes etc etc (I hope you get the picture).
Next, invite all your friends (and their friends also) to join your fan page on Facebook. Share articles from your blog onto the page (this will also engage discussion and invite people to voice their opinions, giving you an idea of what people expect and want) and upload pictures of your recent projects (so perspective customers can see how professional and different you are).
And lastly, your Twitter profile can be an amalgamation of tweets from articles that are on your blog, your Facebook activities, updates of your projects and activities and the overall industry news i.e. new recipes, catering concepts, worldly news etc etc (set the word of mouth rolling on everyone’s tongue), will create its own clientele or follow-up group.
I’m sure you love the idea, but at the same time, must be wondering – how much time is required to do all this? Well, honestly, if you put in an hour a day, you’d start noticing visible results in a short period of time. And, once you pick and set a comfortable pace, you can even hire a professional media agency for support and maintenance.
(Originally printed in Sector News, distributed on Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi)