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Identity crisis in you and your brand: Social Media: Part 2

Further in the discussion on human and brand nature in terms of social media - how to use social networks in a safe and healthy way as a beneficial tool and not a vice. (Click here for 'Identity crisis in you and your brand: Social Media: Part 1'.
Keeping your Identity online
  • Be realistic
There are two reasons to be realistic about how many avatars you are creating online and for your brand.
  1. Select the few social networks that you can actually invest time and focus in. As a person, splitting yourself up across the internet and living online is not how you want to mould and develop who you are. Social networks are a tool not the be all and end all to how you are perceived. In fact, spending too much time interacting with virtual friends as something you've pretty much created yourself is veering away from what's important; you. Select which one is the most useful to you as a person, not a product and then regulate how you use it and when. Spending your life online being a profile or constantly updating statuses on your mobile in actual company is detrimental to social behaviour. Maintain your depth as an individual and avoid loitering in the shallow waters of social media all the time.
  2. As a brand you want to project an efficient, up to date persona that people can become familiar with in order to revisit interaction. Brands should use social media as a tool to develop relationships with their consumers and in order to do so a marketing strategy of consistency and responsive client/brand behaviour is what you need to get the most out of social media. Choose social networks that appeal to your brand. You want to interact with the most specific target market possible as this will generate the highest response and increase your revenue.
  • Intellectual Property
It's like throwing all your best bait into the ocean and losing it with every bite. That's how you should look at your brand when it goes into the realm of social media. Be sure to register your brand to prevent fraud, mix ups between you and other companies and most of all stop others from using your content. Intellectual property is a serious concept online and those that abuse it are eligible to get penalised for plagiarism. As a brand you don't even want to entertain the chance of going down this road as it plays havoc with your image and will certainly confuse potential clients and illegitimise your business integrity. Create an identity and monitor it. In your social media strategy, your content is the anchor that pulls the whole operation to a point. Don't let anyone be able to take credit for your work. Watch out for others using your social networks to lever their own business. This is SPAM and makes you look bad so erase and ban anything that looks like promotional advertising from your platform.
  • Prejudiced Preconceptions
The strange thing is that while your identity is faceted and diluted when you create these avatars, the impression that people get from you on social media does reflect back on your real identity. Times ten. Due to the nature of people, they believe very little truth when it occasionally presents itself at face value and tend to extort anything controversial. This means that your online social etiquette has to be extremely cautious, especially as a brand looking to improve their reputation. The combined nature of people and sharing online through social media tends to mean news spreads like wild fire. Excellent if you want to spread the word, disastrous if you make a mistake and want to keep it quiet. Do not offend, discriminate, use course or vulgar language and always keep your persona friendly, helpful and more than anything; politely responsive. The worst thing you can do is receive a comment and not respond to it, be it negative or positive. Apathy does not go down well in social media.

Tips for using Social Media responsibly:
  1. Be fresh and update your content. Pay attention to trends. You want to evoke interest so a keen eye for popular topics will keep you current.
  2. Use a dashboard to help you keep all your social networks updated according to a consistent and uniform method. It will help you keep track of all your comments, responses and won't let one area become too focused while the other peters to a stand-still.
  3. Interact only with those you want to. This goes for personal use and as a brand. Personally, you should try and protect some of your information and not form a strange distorted identity that is exposed and vulnerable. As a brand you want to interact with those who are beneficial to your company either as a client or for networking purposes. Don't waste time or even be associated with those that mean little or nothing to your development.

20 Jul 2011 11:35



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