Back in 2008, Apryl D. Roberts was ready for a change.
After eight years specializing in wedding event planning at Norfolk, Va.-based Memorable Events by Apryl, she decided to rebrand her company to include business meetings and public relations offerings.
She first engaged social media.
“I created a fan page on Facebook, then signed up for Twitter and started a blog,” she said. “Then I started posting photos from events I’d done outside the weddings industry. I was considering three new logos for my business, so I had a contest on Twitter and Facebook asking the public to vote on which logo they liked best and, in return, offered discounts on services.
“Everyone had an opportunity to win something, which encouraged people to keep coming back to my social media sites.”
The contest ended, Roberts choose a winner, and two years later, she is still active on social media.
“Using social media to help me rebrand has helped my revenue triple,” she said. “It just makes it so much easier to reach your potential audience and these days, everyone is online.”
Here are six ways to rebrand your business using social media:
Send out teasers
“Start off by telling your followers that you will have an announcement coming soon and to stay tuned,” Roberts said. “Tell them that you have major news and just can’t wait to share it with them. These teasers will keep followers coming back and increase interest in your company. Then, when you re-launch or rebrand your business, make a big deal out of it.”
Provide useful information
“If you are a nail salon and want to start offering massages, start posting articles on the therapeutic benefits of massage,” said Brian Basilico, president of B2B Interactive Marketing, an online marketing company based in Aurora, Ill. “Find interesting things that promote your new brand without being annoying.”
“Giving free information will position you as an expert and, in the case of the nail salon, will make your customers correlate your business with getting a massage. For every 10 posts of free information, add in a testimonial about your business from a client, or a discount offered only to Facebook fans or Twitter followers.”
“Pose questions to your fans and followers,” advised Lauren Young, owner of Freshly Baked Communications, a marketing communications firm based in Chicago. “If you are a printing company and are thinking about including graphic design or copywriting as part of a rebranding message, poll people. They will give you feedback on using your service. Not only does this act as free market research, but it will also help attract new customers.”
Post a video
“Re-script a press release about your rebranding campaign and make it into a one or two minute video,” said Dave Scelba, president and CEO of SGW - Integrated Marketing Communications, an advertising, public relations and marketing firm based in Montville, N. J. “This is where you can show your new logo and tell customers about your new service offerings.
“Then, put the video up on YouTube, Facebook and on your blog. You will start building a community.”
Blog about other businesses
“When building relationships on social media sites, you will inevitably make friends with other small business owners,” said Roberts. “Start blogging about their businesses. That will encourage them to then blog about you, which will bring more visibility to your new brand.”
“Block out a five minutes, twice per day to interact on social media sites,” advised Basilico. “If someone responds to a post on your blog, comment back and thank them. Retweet and comment on Facebook posts. Social media is all about impressions and awareness.”
Time for a brand makeover? Learn more about how your brand can represent – and shape – your business in the Project RE:Brand webisode series by American Express OPEN. Project RE:Brand follows five small businesses as five creative agencies help them re-envision their brands.
Katie Morell is a Chicago-based freelance writer, specializing in small business concerns.