Best Practices for Online Branding and Community Building:
Community guru Connie Bensen just wrote a fantastic piece on online communication and branding. Here is a summary snippet for you of her instructive article:
My goal is that these ideas will help guide you through the wilderness of exploration and provide some practical steps to assist you in building your unique brand. It truly is a journey.
The nice thing is that a brand evolves. That takes the stress off. No one wakes up & says, ‘I am…’. That would be too contrived. It’s a periodic review of:
Who are you?
What makes you unique?
Your differentiating qualities & skills are what makes you valuable.
What’s your message?
What are your goals?
Who is your audience?
What experiences do you have to share with others?
How can you help others? What value do bring to them?
Tip: After you’ve been blogging for a bit ask others for feedback. What may not be apparent to you usually is to others.
I had my personal blog up for 3 months & expressed to Anna Farmery that I thought my topics of social media were too broad. She immediately told me that my focus was on Community Building. And so it was!
Connie is correct to emphasize that it online branding and community cultivation all gets back to identity: your identity, your organization’s identity, and your customer and communities’ identity. Next, she seems to suggest wrapping your web communications strategy around the identity–and to give it a unique, living, breathing existence on the web.
You can read the rest of Connie’s guest post here or her best resource posts.
Or if are interested in guidelines for implementing the above read this great piece about best practices and principles for social media optimization with web 2.0 tools.