Yes, social media is only one tool in your branding toolbox, but it’s a good one. Social networking … and social media marketing … are good ways to create a presence and raise your visibility in the marketplace so that you can Be Visible and Get Found.
Good branding strategy begins WELL before logo development or even naming, but once you have established a name (and taken the proper legal steps to make it yours) it’s time to go out and claim that identity online. Hopefully, you already own the .com domain name. Checking on its availability — and then buying it — should have been part of your naming process. (Other extensions are mostly a waste of time.) Now it’s time to stake your claim on the social networks. Open new accounts in your brand’s name on Twitter … Facebook (as a Page) … MySpace (yes, still) … Namyz … Ning … Plaxo … Google (profiles) … and any other social network that 1) reaches your target audience; 2) is a network where you have a personal profile and could link your network to the brand; or 3) serves the industry or marketplace that your brand calls home.
The strategy? To claim — and pre-empt — your brand name and the potential profiles and portals that could be lnked to it, before a competitor (or even a completely unrelated party) does.