The Strategy and Tactics of Social Brand Building

I was recently asked to lead a Round Table at Humber College PR’s Personal Brand Camp here in Toronto. Participants included University post-graduate students taking a one year Certificate Program in PR, with an emphasis on Social Media. My assigned discussion topic was, “What are simple Social Media Routines I can use to Build my Personal Brand.”

Deb Weinstein at Personal Brand Camp

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am not a techie. While I adore the instant access to info and the joys of power sharing on the Internet, I’m hardly a guru when it comes to SEO and SMO optimization. Plus, my personal use of Social Media is so heavily focussed on Twitter, that my LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook (I’ve already folded MySpace) languish, sporadically tended to and virtually ignored.

What did I, a relative luddite compared to smart millennials born with laptops in their future, have to tell them about building their brands online?

How could I translate my more than 25 years experience building brands with Marketing PR into a Social Media lesson that would resonate with a sceptical ‘been there done that’ student audience and spark meaningful dialogue?

Smart Ideas Better Solutions to the Rescue

Our motto at Strategic Objectives is Smart Ideas, Better Solutions and to come up with my answer I dug deep into my hard-won experience as a journalist-turned-brand-builder; and tapped my earned expertise harnessing the power of PR and Social Media to fulfill brand-building activities.

The result of my soul-searching, I humbly hope, will be as relevant to the CEOs, CMOs, academics and PR pros who may be reading this, as it is/was for the students who inspired it.
My primary answer to the question, “What are simple Social Media Routines I can use to Build my Personal Brand,” is to first define your Goal:

  • What does your Personal Brand stand for?
  • How do you want to be perceived?
  • What action/reaction do you want/expect?

Strategy comes next. It is the key, the start and end-point, to effective branding — personal, professional, corporate or commodity — both online and everywhere. It is your personal branding roadmap and Social Media is but one of the many tactics you may use to build your personal brand.

Strategy defines your:

  • Objectives – key messages and measures that will accomplish your goal
  • Tactics – the activities, tools and timeline for implementing your plan
  • Evaluation – the constant monitoring of results to meet challenges; maximize opportunities; and the impetus to revise/rethink your tactics.

My next post will detail The 5 Ws of Social Strategy: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How To Define your Personal Brand.

Deborah Weinstein, @debweinstein is president of Strategic Objectives, a leading Toronto-based PR firm focused on brand building Marketing Public Relations.

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5 thoughts on “The Strategy and Tactics of Social Brand Building

  1. Great post, Deb! Like you, I am not a “techie,” but I am a professional communicator and fellow IABC member. On the social networking channels, it doesn’t take long to discern a person’s or a company’s brand. Appreciated your strategy emphasis as well. Some PR pros and brand messengers that I follow and learn from are @ScottMonty, @ThePowerofSmall, @ComcastCares, @Nordstrom, and @Wegmans. I look forward to your 5 W’s post next. Thanks for sharing!

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