Not only does your business need to have a strong and active social presence, but you need a well-branded social presence, as well. So content that you promote on your Facebook and Twitter pages, for example, it should be an accurate representation of your brand. Brand consistency across all platforms creates customer trust and business credibility.

Enhance your brand and reputation online with these tips:

Branded Communication

On social-media sites, the rate at which information travels is speedy. No longer do customers have to wait days for a response after filling out an online contact as a form. Now, a disgruntled or satisfied customer can post on Facebook or Twitter and have a company representative reply within minutes.

Real-time communication on Facebook is equivalent to customer support software from LivePerson.com. It’s quick, effective, reliable and resourceful. Make sure to maintain the same identity and company values, such as a “customer comes first” mentality. For example, retailers should communicate with followers as if they’re sales associates helping customers shopping in the store. You don’t want to destroy your company’s image by upsetting a customer on the Internet. Craft proper, polite responses to complaints and remain genteel. Express gratitude with positive feedback. With proper brand management, your business can expand and secure successful brand awareness in the digital landscape.

Digital Branding

Remember anything you post on social-networking sites brands your business. Fans, followers, loyal customers and new prospects see what you’re posting and form opinions about your products and services based on those observations. Be consistent with the style and voice of your content, from the graphic you posted to the sweepstakes you’re promoting.

Also, as a small business or entrepreneur, you may not have the funds or resources to dedicate a skilled expert to your networking activity. If you’re managing your own social content, always make sure to separate your personal perspectives from a company persona. For example, tread carefully with provocative or edgy content. In most industries, customers trust firms that are branded with directness, stability and reliability. A little personality can attract attention but strike a balance.

Brand Investment and Customer Loyalty

As with offline branding, consistent online branding provides customers with a secure feeling of confidence and familiarity with the company. Once consumers make a connection with your brand, they also start to form an investment with your brand, including your products and services. Loyal customer investment will undoubtedly lead to increased sales and referrals. Good branding can even catapult a small company into the global arena, explains Entrepreneur. Social-networking sites in particular are full of opportunities for work-of-mouth marketing and brand awareness. A photo or update that resonates with a follower can be re-posted and shared. As a result, you’re reaching a whole new audience. So interact with your audience, and you’ll boost your business.