RESONATE: How social builds brand equity

Let’s get back to basics, folks: brands need stories to resonate with their audience, and social media is a storytelling platform.

It’s not rocket science that brands that use strategic social media to develop their brand equity see obvious benefit: where traditional marketing meant that the journey from brand salience to resonance was often a long-lead, social media presents the opportunity to build brand equity more quickly, by adding consistent and evolving storytelling value to the consumer and the brand.

Though Kevin Keller’s framework for brand equity was first published in 2001, long before the Social Media heyday we are in now, the brand-equity pyramid remains noteworthy, as it asks the key question: what does your brand mean to the audience you’re trying to reach?

Never before has there been such a valuable opportunity for marketeers to develop relationships with their audiences, because never before has a marketing tool like social allowed for the movement from identity to relationship to take place within one platform. What a time to be alive!

The savvy marketeer learns to think about what the brand means to customers and recognizes that customers are the ones who actually define the brand. Our recent Case Study on the Tech C-Suite found that 45% of Tech C-suite follow brands they like, and 33% follow brands they plan to buy from – this is incredible data because it shows the potential for powerful, strategic social within an already-warm audience… cutting the time spent in the middle sections of Keller’s brand equity pyramid in half.

What’s important to consider in all of this, is that brand and audience conversations are happening more and more in the public area – and all aspects of a business are considered by customers when making choices, which is why Social is often the first stop to see a company and audience snapshot in real time. Whether B2B like our tech c-suite or the traditionally discussed B2C audience, the positive or negative stories that spread online about a business help inform the end customer’s choice.

It’s been a long time since Social Media was brushed off as “for the millennials” by big brands – we see the exhilarating and evolving use of social by the biggest brands in the world daily. Yet, there are still more business Facebook pages and Twitter feeds devoid of content than you could shake a stick at – and it’s a big risk to those brands. Companies need to be active on social not just to develop their brand equity, but to sustain it – and ensure that should a negative story develop, they’re armed with enough positive storytelling to weather the storm.

Tl;dr? Tell your company’s story on social strategically and proactively and watch brand resonance, and thus brand equity, skyrocket

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