Leaping Across the Gap: 5 Helpful Tips For Rebranding Via Social Media
Beyond the costs of changing letterhead, logos, and more, there is the audience impact – how will your current fans dig the new look and feel? Will they rebel like some brands have experienced? Will they embrace the new? Or worst perhaps of all – will they simply ignore it and not even notice?
Maybe your rebrand involves dropping one entire business division yet keeping another. Moving the conversation to the right focus without getting pushed off message by the loyal fans of old can be a real challenge. A first world problem, I realize, but a challenge just the same.
In some ways, shifting a personal brand might seem easier but it’s not really. If you have been a brick salesperson and talk bricks all the time, shifting to talking about jewelry sales is tricky. It’s all sales to you, but it’s not necessarily easy to shift your audience. You have to make adjustments to stay relevant and reinforce the new you so you can get leads, have brand cohesion, and make friends in the right community for your future. It can get tricky.
So, to start your creative process, here are 5 helpful tips for rebranding via social media. Use them for the good!
Tip 1 – Start Slow
Start filtering in the new information as you can. Trickle it into your stream without any fanfare or discussion. If your new brand audience is closely related to the old one, it will be pretty simple. Just increase the amount you talk about the new thing more than the old thing and pretty soon the new thing IS your thing. No muss, no fuss, done.
If your new brand is wildly different, then this technique might not be the best one. You can build a bridge if you wish, explaining yourself in blogs and on social, but at some point you will have to pull the trigger to shift the conversation entirely to the new thing. You decide when.
Tip 2 – Follow Influencers in the New Area
Find influencers in the new area who have an engaged presence and welcome participation. People notice who you follow and will judge you (like it or not) by it. If they see you follow a bunch of architects, they will tend to conclude that you like, or are about, architecture. Be purposeful about who you follow because “birds of a feather” is still a valuable concept. Association does work.
Tip 3 – Pre-Broadcast the Change
Before I began my digital blackout, I started telling my fans I was going to go dark. Several people engaged me in conversation, asked me why, shared their experiences, and in general participated in the idea. Several of those same people, as well as people they talked about me to, are now starting to chime in for my return. A wonderful boost to my ego, sure, but it’s curiosity at work and it works beautifully. Invite people to be part of the process and engage their curiosity. It’s magical when you do.
Tip 4 – Visit Their ‘Hood
Instead of working to get new people to come to you via traffic and lead generation techniques, instead go to their neighborhood. Make friends with them, comment on their stuff, go to their blog and become part of their community. If you start showing up in the new brand community as a contributing, value-add visitor, you will start to gain both attention and standing.
Tip 5 – Go Away Then Come Back With a Bang!
Drama is an effective way to cut through the clutter. Not everyone can do this, but many can. Simple put, go black, either completely silent, or topically silent, about the old brand.
Discontinue all discussion of the previous brand and step into the new space like nothing ever happened, like you have always been that new thing. Come back with a new logo, new website, new copy, new products, new personality, new brand. BAM! works, so use it when you can.
Have a Plan
Whatever way you decide to shift to a new brand, have a plan in place to deal with blow back, confusion, and issues. Then, when your plan and its resources are in place, pull the trigger and go for it.
Til next time!
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by torbakhopper]