(1) Don’t make the mistake of not thinking analytically about brand development. It’s not just about finding a logo or a slogan. Represent yourself accurately and show people the different facets of your business. Once you’ve figured it out, that’s only the beginning. Market yourself and stay current based on your audience.
(2) Don’t neglect brand consistency. People should be able to expect and predict quality whenever and wherever they identify your brand.
(3) Don’t use Blogger or wordpress.com for your primary blogging platform. Own and control your premium online content.
(4) Don’t use a generic gmail or yahoo email address as your business email. It’s easy to create a business email alias with gmail.
(5) Don’t try to market something that you aren’t actually providing. Focus on your company and its strengths. Making your brand reliable and trustworthy is a priority.
(6) Don’t try to do it all or please everyone. Sometimes small businesses start out and try to spread themselves too thin. Establish yourself as an online authority in a particular niche before branching out. Your customers will appreciate your pinpointed expertise as opposed to you attempting to wear too many hats.
(7) Don’t disrespect a current/potential job or client. If you make something public, you can’t expect it to remain private. It’s as simple as that. You can’t control what other people say about you, but you can control your own spewing of negative things both professionally and personally. Don’t take the risk of having to deal with the potential backlash. It’s not worth it.
(8) Don’t post anything unprofessional. Even if you are connected to people in your professional world on a social level, if it’s published, it’s fair game. With regards to branding, leave no room for doubt or negativity. Take control of the way you present yourself.
(9) Don’t engage in online ranting. Just because someone has something to say and you have an opinion, doesn’t mean it should be shared. Anything can be taken out of context so better not to go down that road.
(10) Don’t assume privacy settings are foolproof. Regardless of privacy settings, if someone tries hard enough, they can come across more than you think. Remove suggestive photos, posts, and comments. Better safe than sorry.
(11) Don’t be passive. Your online brand is an ongoing process requiring engagement and attention. If someone says something negative or inaccurate, handle it in a professional way. One of the best ways of getting the respect you deserve is by respectfully speaking out about your brand. If you don’t do it, who will?
(12) Do recognize and realize how important branding is. Understand that branding is what gets you noticed and helps you stay memorable. It’s not an easy task, but well worth the effort. Take branding seriously.
(13) Do find your identity as a company. It’s hard to create a brand without first identifying your core goals and values as a company. Without this, how can you wholly present yourself and present yourself well? Make a great first impression and make it a lasting one.
(14) Do the research. Understand your market and their needs. Once you do that, you can tailor the strengths and weaknesses of your brand to meet their expectations of you.
(15) Do create original content more than syndicating other companies’ content. Part of branding is establishing yourself as an authority; therefore, your readers will be expecting you to provide insightful and original content.
(16) Do manage your social sites on a regular basis. Regardless of whether of you keep your professional life and personal life separate, approach social networking with caution. If your information is out in public, don’t expect anything, good or bad, to stay private.
(17) Do learn about SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the accessibility of a website or webpage when included in a search engine’s results. Google yourself and see what comes up. There are ways to maximize the amount of exposure you get through search engines.
(18) Do use your resources like LinkedIn. Creating and maintaining a professional networking profile can be one of your greatest assets and LinkedIn is one of the best ones out there. Find opportunities, make connections, and show the professional world there’s something to be noticed.
(19) Do stay consistent and current. Keep your education, work information as well as your biographical info consistent and up to date across all forums. This also means making sure you’re in the know on current topics in your industry. You’d be surprised how many so called online authorities rehash dead philosophies.
(20) Do maintain a professional and personal balance. Join relevant online social groups, follow industry news, showcase unique passions-showcase your personality so as to be relatable to your audience. Creating a personal website or blog that is centered on your interests is the perfect place to paint a positive image aside from your business while also working towards building your brand.
(21) Don’t Be a Showoff. Give people offers and exclusives relevant to them. Before posting something, consider being the consumer and contemplating whether or not you would want to constantly hear about a company’s accolades. Let your product or services speak for themselves.
(22) Don’t Use Poor Grammar or Spelling. If you’re trying to establish expertise and credibility, as a bare minimum, don’t make this mistake. Period.
(23) Don’t Get Too Personal. You might be in charge of providing Facebook posts or Tweets for your company, and it’s one thing to be relatable, but know when to draw the line. Please?
(24) Don’t overuse automated posts. Be real and authentic. People know when inconsistencies present themselves so better to be in control of all the content you put out there. When you lack authenticity, your credibility can also be compromised.
(25) Don’t leave unfinished business. If you’re going to be in charge of handling social media, there’s no excuse for not responding or staying current with a conversation. End the conversation if need be, but don’t leave anyone hanging.
(26) Don’t over tweet. Choose quality over quantity. When maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty, they’ll appreciate you for this.
(27) Don’t be shy. It’s one thing to do research, but you can’t make strides if you aren’t proactive. Put yourself out there and see how people respond.
(28) Do shout out to users who mention you. Especially if someone mentions something favorable, acknowledge them. People respect a brand that appreciates its consumers and admirers while also dealing respectfully with its competition.
(29) Do monitor keywords and competitors. Staying current and being in the know can help you understand competitors and consumers alike. You never know when an opportunity may present itself so be aware by using your resources.
(30) Do create an informative profile. You have the chance to make an impression; do it. Whether it’s with a logo or a mission statement, let people know what you’re about. You have a small window of opportunity; be clear and concise.
(31) Do monitor your environment. Knowing your key demographic is important. Whether they utilize social media or not, there’s no harm in keeping an eye on the consumer outlets at your disposal. You never know when an opportunity may present itself.
(32) Do interact with your fans on many levels. Social media has it in the name: social. Be social and engage with your client and fan base. Create a professional relationship, of course, but if there is something that your fans like that you share in common, be personable and raise a conversation about its relevance to your common industry.
(33) Do offer info & incentives. Don’t just use a social media page as a place for an advertisement. Keep things fresh and current so your audience has something to look forward to. Everything doesn’t have to be for sale. If you’re feeling anti-generous…ok. Give your readers value in the form of digital collateral in exchange for a socially valuable gesture. A Facebook like, re-tweet, etc. You’d be surprised how much social bartering can spread your purpose.