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How to Use Hootsuite as a Branding Tool

When reading about branding techniques and methods, there appears to be a misrepresentation of branding as a form of marketing. Branding should be the underlying goal and overall effect of any marketing strategy.  But what is branding exactly? Branding should be the manner in which you express the values and principles of your company. You want to encourage people to trust your business or product and ultimately, to work with you instead of your competition. So now that you know that, what is the best method to go about branding? The best manner to brand is by making yourself an expert, a reliable expert, one that customers are familiar with and consider the best of the best.

Hootsuite is social media management software that allows users a multitude of options and formats to better manage their social media accounts. Instead of having different windows of your computer open all day, constantly checking news feeds and logging onto 1-10 sites, Hootsuite allows for all of those portals to be in one window, with continuously refreshing streams.  Hootsuite allows you to go even further than just managing your social media profiles, it allows you the features to expand your marketing strategy and branding goals to the world of social media in a faster, more lucrative way.

Monitoring

Using Hootsuite as a monitoring device is recommended but it is also the most rudimentary aspect of the software.  You can use two different functions of Hootsuite: to monitor your company on social media or monitor the product or service your company offers. For example, if you are an ice cream shop in Boston and you want to monitor any tweets, Facebook posts or mentions of your shop on social media, you can easily go to the “Add Stream” button which will give you the option to either search with terms or keywords. You can search your company’s Twitter handle, your signature flavor, and your location and see what people are saying. Or you can just search by keyword for terms like “#ice cream” “#Boston” and “#milkshake.”

This will allow Hootsuite to filter through all your feeds and followers and see who is searching these terms. You can use other filters like language, location even Klout score for more localized searches. But by knowing how to monitor for users searching for your products or company, you can see what the consensus is about your company. Furthermore, you can set up streams and keyword searches for your competition and find out what the buzz is surrounding them. The best defense is a good offense, right? What does this feature mean in terms of branding though? It means that these tools will help you understand the general opinion of your product so that you can go about changing or enhancing that image to become exactly what you want.

Engagement

How else can Hootsuite help the company that wants to focus their branding techniques? Well, Hootsuite allows you to engage with fellow users quickly. If someone tweets at your company or shares your status, you’ll be aware immediately, and thus, be able to respond or start a conversation quickly with that customer, thereby cementing the acquaintance. If someone retweets you or favorites your tweet, you can see where that customer came from and be able to measure the success rates of your various social media profiles. The better and faster your engagement is the more familiar users will become with you and they will see more about your business as well. More familiarity equals more sales and proof that your company is becoming a brand.

Becoming an Expert

Regardless of what your company or service is, being considered the most knowledgeable in your field will make users and customers trust you more than your competition.  By trying out various search term combinations and stream formations, you can format your Hootsuite profile to show you people with questions or problems in your field.  Let’s say you are in the clothing retail business and you see a tweet that says “I love this designer bag, but I can’t afford it L” You can respond that you have a bag of similar color or style for a much lower price. Or a user asks “What goes best with white pants?” and you offer some of your store’s fashions as the answer. Before you know it, you’ll be recognized by that user as an expert in your field. Just because someone doesn’t engage at you personally, doesn’t mean you can’t engage with them. Remember, it is called “social” media for a reason.

Scheduling

As stated previously, an important aspect of branding is having your customers trust you. That means being consistent and reliable with all of your posting and content sharing. If you post something new every day then your followers are going to want to see that standard upheld. With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts and tweets weeks in advance. So if you need to take a vacation or become very busy with all of the sales that are flooding in, you can use this option to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. By creating a .csv document, you upload it into the “Schedule by Bulk” option and then pick the time and date that the information will be posted. This way, your users still receive information from you and you can finally take that vacation.

Hootsuite offers business owners the chance to be on several social media profiles at once and to cast their business net further into the stream. Want to become Hootsuite proficient? Take their certification test and save yourself time looking through the Help menu.  Branding is a gradual process but with Hootsuite, you can speed up that process and have your brand fit perfectly to your company’s values.

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