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Blog Or Website
 Owning your own website is critical to branding online. Whether the site is a strict HTML site, an e-commerce site, or a blog, it doesn't matter. The one thing you want to make sure of is that you own the rights to the content of the site and that it centralizes all of your activities for that niche on one site. If you have multiple niches online, then you'll have multiple websites. It's important to consider the type of website you want, how often you intend on updating the content, and what sort of domain name best conveys your brand.


DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION
As mentioned earlier, be sure to pick a good domain name. Don't include odd characters like hyphens, as they can throw people off. A three-word domain name is a good choice, since most two-word domains have already been taken. However, if you can get a smaller domain name, that’s all the better, even if you have to pay for it. You want a top-level domain name instead of a site that gives you a sub-domain on their server. This gives your brand a more professional image and helps people to remember you better.

WORDPRESS.ORG
After you've picked a hosting company, you have to decide what type of website to create that will be used to brand your presence on the Web. If you're a professional consultant or freelancer, a blog is a great way to personally introduce yourself to others online. Blogs have gotten so sophisticated over the years that many company sites are also using blogs within their content.

You can easily have your hosting company install a copy of Wordpress.org on your site. This can be customized with multiple templates to give you a professional appearance in a very short time. Just be sure that you aren't using the community called WordPress.com if you want a top-level domain. This site looks the same, but it doesn't allow you to put your own advertising and to really brand your site with a top-level domain.

OTHER TYPES OF SITES
In fact, blogs aren't the only type of site that has gotten much easier to install via prepackaged modules on hosting sites like DreamHost.com. You can get content management sites and even membership sites in some cases. Think about what kind of brand you have and what type of site would best help your visitors to better experience your brand. Make it a very professional site to give you personal and business credibility.

Branding With Social Networks
 Social networks are great for personal and business branding. Each social network has its own strengths and weaknesses. They all attract different demographics too. LinkedIn attracts professionals in established careers, MySpace attracts a teen crowd, and Facebook attracts young professionals just coming out of college and getting into the workforce. Business owners can get online and brand themselves for different audiences, depending on who is their core demographic of buyers.

HOW TO BRAND ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
Profiles are the first place that you can brand on social networks. They are personal snapshots of your likes and dislikes. They can include the groups you join on Facebook, books and movies you've enjoyed, what types of relationships you are looking to make on Facebook, and photos of yourself. Remember that photos are a particularly powerful means to brand yourself, and they can help or hurt you. Don't include photos where you are in an embarrassing position or that can change the image someone has of you or your company.

Do include images of your business logo. Do add your blog to the Networked Blogs application so that others can see it on your profile. The more friends you have in your niche brand, the more people will associate those qualities with you. If you want to be known as a savvy Internet marketer who can help others with social networking, then you might want to link to people who have that as their main topic of interest or who have joined groups on that niche.

START TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS
Next, it's important to portray the personality and qualities that you want to associate with your brand in personal interactions on the site. One of the newest trends is to make an introductory video thanking people for being your friend on Facebook and telling them more about yourself. You can add this link to their profile as a way of saying hello when they befriend you.

Use status updates wisely to promote your brand and offerings. Don't just use it as an easy way to spam people. In social networking, you have to seek to add value to be a brand with integrity. Heavy-duty commercialism is frowned upon, and you don't want to be known as someone who promotes himself/herself too much. Instead, you can offer value and still generate brand awareness by offering helpful hints and links to informational content, even if it's not your own. People will associate it with your brand, and it will contribute to the community at the same time.

Differences Between Facebook And Twitter Branding

There are distinct differences with each of these social networking platforms. If you know what those differences are, you can set up a strategy to brand on both while not doing twice the amount of work. They are compatible, but they require different strategies for different audiences.

TWITTER
Let's start with Twitter.com. This unique social networking site is also referred to as a “microblogging” site. The entire concept revolves around a status update that you can update all day long, but it's limited to 140 characters each time you update, which are known as “tweets.” Within those 140 characters, you can post links back to other places online using a URL shortener. In general, it is far easier to gain a massive audience with Twitter than it is with Facebook. You send out tweets, and people who follow you will see them. If they “retweet” your message, people on their list will see them, and you can gain more followers. You can add several hundred followers a day on Twitter, and many of those will automatically follow you back, increasing your audience. You can automate tweets to go out all day, even when you're not online, and you can even send them to Facebook with an application within Facebook.com called Selective Twitter.

FACEBOOK
Facebook tends to be more complex in terms of the amount and the quality of content you can add. While this means that you can brand far more effectively, it's to a smaller audience. You can also set up a sales page on Facebook for a company and advertise it to the entire Facebook audience based on the demographics that you. This allows you to brand outside your immediate circle of friends, although it does cost to utilize this advertising format.

By using Selective Twitter you can send some of your tweets to Facebook, but you need to take care not to update Facebook as much as you update Twitter. People will want to hear less from you if you spam their news feed with your Twitter updates, and that's one of the main differences between branding on Twitter and on Facebook. On Twitter, you can talk on and on and no one cares, but if you try that on Facebook, people will drop you and many won't tell you why. It's a more intimate setting, and no one likes a bore.

Email Campaigns
 Once you have a large following around the Internet, it's time to take your branding to a more personal level. You will want to try to harvest as many email addresses as you can in your activities and get permission to market to these people directly. Once you have that, you will want to establish an email marketing campaign that starts to show people on a one-to-one basis what your company or your products are all about.

YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
The first place to brand within email is by way of automatic signatures. If you don't have one set up to point people to your website, to your offer of the week, or to a personal biography, you are missing a great opportunity to brand. If someone contacts you for anything, it's the perfect opportunity to sneak in some information on your private brand via the automatic email signature.

YOUR INTRODUCTORY EMAIL
Twitter will allow you to automate direct messages to people who follow you via direct messaging. You’re on your own with Facebook. Either way, you can join SocialOomph and send out direct messages for each person who follows you, giving them an introductory message that shows more about you and your brand to them. Every introductory email should seek to contribute value and to not sell anything. There will be plenty of time to sell something later; first, try to establish a genuine connection with people, but make them aware of your brand.

A PLANNED EMAIL CAMPAIGN
Set up planned email campaigns using a service like AWeber.com. You can offer the same type of casual, informational style that is popular with social networks, but include links to your products and offers. Include branding information like videos and applications that can help people understand more about you and your company. Always mix in free branding offers with sales offers. This way, when they open an email, they don't expect that they'll be sold every time. People just don't like that. It's like answering the door to a pushy salesman. However, if they find that you give away free information about 50% of the time that might benefit them, they’ll be more likely to open that email.

Try different branding subject headlines in different emails and run split testing to see what gets a better reaction. AWeber.com will give you statistics on open rates and click-through rates. Once you start to watch the results of your branding efforts, you have to have direct feedback on what is working and what is not. It will tell you how to tweak your marketing so that your message becomes more appealing every time you send out a new email, increasing brand awareness and sales at the same time.

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