Brand recognition and brand awareness

Having a social media presence in today’s digital and fast-paced era is critical. However, having a social media presence requires a long-term strategy that includes a plan to optimize the company’s brand awareness and brand recognition. These are some of the key factors in the profitability and longevity of a business:

  • Brand recognition: this is how the public “recognizes” your company’s brand. For example, a unique trade-mark that is both memorable and visually appealing to your target audience can help customers associate your brand with your products.
  • Brand awareness: this is about building a relationship with your customers. For example, exceeding a customer’s expectations by offering superior customer service can help distinguish your company’s brand from its competitors.       The goal is to make the public “aware” of your brand so that they instantly associate your brand with their needs.

Benefits and pitfalls of branding through social media

As the number of people joining social media continues to grow, the opportunities to engage a company’s target audience continue to grow as well. A recent study showed that 1 in 3 consumers would mention a brand when sharing a personal accomplishment on social media. For example, a consumer who received superior customer service from a company may decide to share their story to their followers on social media and “tag” the company in their story. Tagging the company helps increase both brand recognition and brand awareness.

For the same reasons that social media provides opportunity for brand growth, it also has the potential to cause great damage. For example, market research has shown that it takes 12 positive experiences to repair the damage caused by a single unresolved negative one. If a customer decides to share that experience online to a large group of followers and “tag” the company, the damage can be exacerbated. This is why it is important to have a social media strategy that minimizes the potential damage.

Possible legal implications for brand optimization strategies

When developing a long-term social media strategy, a number of legal issues may need to be considered, including:

  • Privacy issues: There are international, provincial, and federal laws that govern how personal information is to be handled online.
  • Defamation: Employees should be made aware of the potential legal implications of engaging with online users through social media, including defamation laws.
  • Trade-mark / advertising issues: Companies now have the opportunity to engage directly with their competitors online. Care must be taken to ensure compliance with trade-mark and advertising laws when targeting a competitor’s brand through social media.