Why your social media presence needs to mirror your brand values


No matter what business you are in, you put yourself at a disadvantage if you don't have a social media presence that your company can be proud of.

During the 1800's psychologists came up with the 'Social Mirror Theory,' this suggested that all personal reflection considers how our peers would interpret events and actions that we encounter. You can think about consumer behaviour and your company in the same way.

People use social media to broadcast experiences to friends and random people through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. 'Doing something' is not enough - you need to be seen to be doing it too. This holds true for brands and small companies in Ireland - if you are doing a great job let people know about it.

As soon as someone hears about your company the first thing they will do is to Google it, or increasingly in the mobile universe they will go straight to Facebook to try and find your company's page to figure out what your brand is about.

First impressions
Whether you're a local handyman, fledgling craft beer company, or an established household name you need to put your best foot forward once you've got the attention of a potential customer.

When people look for you online they can either find a polished maintained web and social presence - an information vacuum - or something in between.

The latter two can be equally damaging. All companies set a tone for the product or service that they are selling - it is important to get this 'brand message' across online.

A well thought-out and maintained social media presence can be an effective way to grow your business. A recent survey carried out by Amárach Research for Virgin Media found that 60% of Irish SME's believe that social media has helped their businesses to grow - this suggests that 40% have failed to realise the potential that it offers small firms. The survey found that only 55% of Irish SME's even have Facebook pages for their businesses.

If you are a premium brand - keep things clean and crisp, or you might want to get a certain brand personality across - think of the 'banter' persona that has been so successful for Paddy Power and helped it to build up 1.5 million Facebook followers (and record profits).


You don't need to be an international multi-million euro betting firm to achieve similar results. Take an example like FlyeFit. It operates six mid-priced gyms in Dublin. It has used its social media presence to post a mix of workout tips, quick healthy recipes, and gym-related memes and other humorous posts to build a following of almost 44,000 Facebook fans while attracting new customers. It is currently in the process of opening two more gyms to meet consumer demand.

The old adage goes that half of the money spent on advertising is wasted - but the problem is working out which half. Marketing on social media can help to alleviate wastage.

Money and time invested in your social media presence should be targeted and reactive, while traditional advertising is comparatively passive - think of an advert in the back pages of a newspaper versus a sponsored Facebook post which is only shown to individuals whose online behaviour suggests that they will be interested in your business.

Every euro spent can be monitored - your company can track its input and output, and set key performance indicators while selectively targeting audiences who might become customers.

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