7 ways to hedge your bets beyond LinkedIn and Mixi when building your brand

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2008/08/09 1 views

in b why benchmark successes

    Why might social networks such as Facebook or MySpace fail in your country? Why could it be the LinkedIn is of little help when trying to find a new job or trying to make that sale?
    Could it be that you are just wasting time instead of focusing on what really matters? Are Obama and McCain’s image wars helping us understand real issues – such as healthcare reform – better or are these just great headline grabbers?

Recently we brought you a story with quotes from Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson about building brands and why your reputation may not be the same as having a brand:

brand versus reputation – Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Josef Ackermann and Pat Russo to the rescue

Some people have suggested that you build your brand or social network using online tools. Examples are the world’s two largest social networks, MySpace and Facebook. But why do these barely register in Japan.

Facebook’s unique selling points is the usage of real names and photos in profiles. This may be true but it’s exactly what Japanese web users usually try to avoid. And they already have a high-trust, invitation-based social network anyway: Mixi.

Serkan Toto – why cultural differences make it difficult for western social networks to succeed in Japan

What triggered this whole post was a website called Seedcamp that wants to help the next generation of internet entrepeneurs. Whilst studing their site and the application form for entrepreneurs I cam across an interesting question:

The name and email address you use for you Facebook profile

Maybe the venture and start-up folks behind Speedcamp have not heard about the extreme proliferation in this space and how cultural factors could be a detrimental to the use of certain types of social networks in certain countries (what about micro-blogging and Twitter)?

So this got us to think about our experiences in the blogosphere since we began in 2000 with our blog EU-IST for security and risk experts

Here are some of the facts we learned the easy but mostly hard way having been part of the blogosphere for quite some time:

    1) forget overnight success when it comes to blogging or any other social media;
    2) superb viral campaigns we here about but those are the exception to the the rule, meaning if you succeed with one, congratulations but don’t hold your breath;
    3) do not believe anybody who says they can systematically achieve success with social media via viral campaigns or other attention grabbers;
    4) you are now involved in an ongoing dialogue with your market that you are no longer controlling;
    5) preparing good content will require effort and time – you may not even know the opportunity costs until some time down the road;
    6) running out of content or ideas is unlikely to happen, unfortunately, tracking it all will be difficult unless you have some tools that help you benchmark better; and
    7) ever more social networks are becoming available and might vanish within a few months – – hence neither put your eggs exclusively in the Facebook nor LinkedIn basket, instead, create content on your own blog, micro-blog and so on in order to have it picked up by other bloggers and various virtual communities across various social network platforms.

Bottom Line

Achieving success in the blogosphere or the social media space is not a destination but an exciting journey. For sure is that maintaining success and keeping your readers involved requires continuous effort regardless of how you define the term success. As well, because it takes time you should start today. Waiting means you are loosing valuable time.

TIDBIT – Image as part of the brand

How could we describe this concept?

Image defines how the company is seen by one constituency.

Accordingly, different constituencies or stakeholders ranging from investors to customers or suppliers to employees can have different images of the firm – see also brand versus reputation.

Hence, a well managed brand requires a unified image that results in a reputation that is the mirror of the brand and not something vastly different (e.g., Dell’s attempt to portray an image of great quality and customer service…. while reputation tells us something vastly different – see my crashed Dell and trying to get it fixed – what a nightmare).

In the current US presidential campaign, McCain and Obama have organized their campaigns around the bread-dead, instant-rebuttal paradigm of modern democratic politics. This results in important issues being ignored in this image war. Image is one thing, however, leading by example or behaviors speak louder than words requires that the U.S. electorate demand a careful debate about healthcare reform, social security and the govenrment debt that the media and candidates have delivered so far.

Fact is that while a Facebook community might love your company, the LinkedIn users might not

. Similar to the TV market proliferation the same is happening when it comes to social networks. Managing your reputation and protecting the brand is becoming ever more difficult while your image may suffer or win with certain constituencies in the virtual marketplace. So monitor the social media space to protect your image.

Please check out:
follow Commetrics on Twitter be the first to know – subscribe Dell – 1st investor relations blog of a major corporation – case study #2
first steps on the way to build brand while blogging like a pro social media metrics – ropes to skip – what you must do before benchmarking away trend spotting – Twitter – checklist for building trust with your global social media audience

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