Advice From the Front Lines on Branding Via Social Media
Stanton stressed that controlling your brand online is difficult, even with a brand map. She shared the example of an NPCA supporter who fundraises for the organization via a Facebook Causes page using the logo of the National Park Service (see the page here). NPCA staffers have tried to get her to change the logo, but to no avail.
NPCA's Web and communications teams continue working to empower staff and supporters to become brand ambassadors on social networks by:
conducting trainings at staff retreats and new employee orientations;
- distributing a brand book with online guidelines;
- teaching staff one on one;
- sharing brand success stories;
- publishing a brand newsletter; and
- empowering staff to reach out to supporters and encourage them to become NPCA brand ambassadors, making logos and widgets available to them to use to avoid misbranding.
NPCA's branding initiative culminated in a campaign that put all of its channels to work in an integrated campaign that included:
- integration of an advocacy and fundraising message;
- a Google Adwords campaign;
- a Facebook fan page and outreach; and
- Twitter outreach
Harman said the American Red Cross has been trying to use more empowering language to communicate its mission; to show it's about more than saving "victims" and actually empowers people to "perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergency situations." Her organization has explored social media on two fronts:
- Reactive: listening and maintaining brand reputation by correcting misinformation.
- Proactive: offering preparedness tips, disaster information, and other ways of offering the value of its mission within tools.
She stressed the importance of listening because when others do talk about you and you lose control of your messaging in that way, you can pick up on it quickly, identify any misinformation and leave comments to correct it in a way that's supportive of the person who wrote it. This shows the author and others paying attention that you're there, listening and can be reached if they have questions. In this way it can be a great way to build your supporter base.