Social Media Branding For Multiple Brands – What Should You Do?

By on April 1, 2011
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What happens when you’re a company that owns several very distinct brands? How do you go about representing those brands on your social media pages that will benefit you the most?

In today’s discussion we’re going to get to the bottom of the social media branding problem. By the end of this post, you should know whether or not to create an umbrella brand, or segregate your individual brands by creating separate social identities for them.


Re-examining The Purpose of Social Media

When you’re going to explore a problem like multiple branding on social media, you need to bring it all back to the basics. What is social media about, and why as a business, is it going to benefit you? Here are some great reasons why businesses use social media.

  • To modernize themselves online
  • To extend their influence
  • To ensure that their business remains relevant
  • To secure brand profiles on the internet
  • To manage the flow of information about their business
  • The improve their business via valuable feedback and monitoring systems
  • To nurture relationships and encourage community growth

At the heart of it all, social media is about two way communication, engagement and interaction. Businesses want to get to know as many interested potential clients as possible, so that these people will eventually choose to buy from them. In other words, a relationship needs to be formed with a community or target demographic, in order for brand loyalty to occur. The old ‘give and take’ system.


Why Splitting Brand Identity is a Bad Idea

Social media between businesses and consumers is often honest and transparent. Real people, talking to real people. The problem comes in when one ‘person’ (a single business) has multiple brand identities online.

Yes, it’s important to reach the right target market, which is why many businesses consider setting up multiple accounts in the first place. But having the same person communicate between brands can confuse and irritate people.


The Exception To The Rule

The exception to the rule is when a large company produces very distinct, popular brands and has the budget to employ many people to run their social media strategies. For small and medium sized businesses, its best to keep all of your products or services under one social media brand identity.

If a particular product of yours takes off and becomes huge, the demand for a separate following will become apparent. And even then, there will be a fluid and easily identifiable brand connection between the ‘main brand accounts’ and the ‘sub brand accounts.’

It all begins with defining your online identity as a complete business first, and measuring the needs of your communities as they develop. That way, your various markets can still connect with your core brand across social media pages.

If you’re ever in doubt, ask your community! If you don’t have much of a following yet, the safe bet is to keep it simple with one account for each platform.

What do you think about multiple social media accounts for individual brands? We’d love to hear your views!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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