Context matters in social media marketing as much as content quality

Alternative Background - Social Media Series‘Birds of a feather flock together.’ How many times have you heard that saying? Here’s another one: When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Sound familiar? Well, if you are doing social media marketing and you are using social media to reach out to influence leaders in your niche, you need to keep these sayings in mind so you can conduct yourself properly. Otherwise, you might be doing your brand irreparable harm by producing the wrong context for your brand.

Your brand is judged by the company it keeps

In online branding, brands don’t exist in a vacuum. They are always put in context or interpreted in context. In fact, context is crucial for social media marketing because credible and authority are ‘contagious.’ In other words, the brands you surround your brand with lend some of their authority and credibility tot your brand. If your brand is clustered with high quality brands, people will look at your brand as high quality. If you hang out with low-quality brands, you get smeared by the unsavory or less than optimal reputation of the brands that surround you.

Pick the right people to reach out to

Always be mindful of the brand ‘company’ your site keeps. Reach out to solid brands that will help your online property look more credible and influential. How do you pick which ones to reach out to and associate with via social media? Simple-Let your brand values guide your outreach and engagement. Your brand’s highest values should be your guiding light. Pick out the people who can help your brand – not just with traffic but quality perception. Don’t get too fixated on the volume of the traffic a particular brand delivers. Focus on whether people trust that potential brand partner. Not all people with lots of followers are worth being associated or linked with. In many cases, if they are tainted, your brand can suffer a lot just by publicly engaging with them. Don’t focus on traffic volume when looking for brands to reach out to and be associated with. Instead, focus on a tight fit between your brand values and the brand values of the people you are reaching out to.

When picking between traffic and brand credibility, pick credibility

If you want to sell online, you have to get people to trust. You can’t get people to trust your online brand if your primary concern is getting traffic by any means possible. Always factor in credibility and trust when building bridges online. The goodwill, trust, and credibility of other brands you associate with can add to your brand’s overall perception of trustworthiness.