The incredible importance of providing graphics to help others promote your brand
January 02, 2007
UPDATE: I recently came across this post that I wrote on this topic back in August 2005 that also provided a couple of examples (one of which I note is no longer available, but hey, 1.5 years is ages in terms of the web).
(Originally posted to http://dyork.livejournal.com/261661.html )
Continuing a theme I've harped on numerous times over the past year or two in FIR reports and posts here, I sent a message to the New England Podcasting mailing list today talking again about the incredible importance of making it easy for other people to promote your brand in social media in a graphical form. You can read the message but the point can be summarized in this:
If you want people in the social media world to help promote your brand, make it easy for them to get a logo or other image associated with your brand.
Ideally make it a nice little graphic people can right-click and grab (either as an image or link) directly from your home page, as both Mitel (my employer) and also Skype have done. Or make a seperate page as Shel and Neville did over at FIR with a link to that page from the sidebar of the home page. Whatever you do, just make it easy and people will help you promote your brand.
Now, of course, total control freaks will argue - correctly - that people can also abuse your brand if you make the logo available. Definitely! For instance, I've seen the Skype logo morphed into so many different forms... behind jail bars... with a big red circle/bar (to indicate "No Skype here")... Jan over in Malaysia is always inserting into various images, not always of the charitable type. But there's two arguments there: 1) in the end, the abusers are using your brand image (and they probably would anyway) and inadvertantly helping promote your brand logo; and 2) unless you are doing really hideous things as a company, there are probably far more who will use your image positively.
I'd also add that if you are such a control freak, you certainly aren't going to do well in "social media" and you may as well just prepare right now to be outdone by more social-media-savvy competitors. Run away now while you still can (and perhaps consider a different career move... any illusions of control in PR/marketing are swiftly being destroyed in the world of user-generated content... at best you can hope to control some aspects like the images used (maybe) and some of the message - but that involves engaging in the conversation).
Anyway, have you looked at your company/entity/podcast website lately? Is there a graphic readily available that people can use?
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