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Boosting Business Valuation in M&A With Solid Social Media Branding

What is the essence of your business? What is the thing you want customers walking away thinking? Now, how are you ensuring they get the message?

Your brand defines your business and becomes a memorable touchstone for customers. Businesses with clear, well-known brands sell faster and for more money than brand-absent businesses. That’s because buyers know a business with a solid brand will be running for the long haul and requires little to no interference on their part. A well-made brand belonging to a solid business works in two ways: attracts new customers and earns customer loyalty for repeat transactions.

Attracting new customers is a task for every business, but with a well-known brand in place it makes the job a little easier. The statistics on how much it costs to attract new customers ranges, but all business owners agree it’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain one. Which is also a reason so many businesses fail— they don’t have the manpower or expertise to devote to in-depth marketing and brand development. However, maintaining a brand ensures word spreads about your business and sticks in potential customers’ minds, so it’s well worth the effort. Buyers know this, so given the choice between a well-branded business and a brand-absent business, they’ll go for the branded, well-built business and save themselves the trouble of taking on brand development.

Creating a brand is nothing unless your business delivers on your promises, that’s where brand loyalty emerges. A brand is a combination of all the main attributes of a business: service, vision, reputation, and personality. Customers that know your brand have certain expectations from your business, and if proven, will remain loyal. According to Customer Thermometer surveys people report feeling emotionally connected to their favorite companies, and these connections manifest in profits: according to Small Business Trends loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.

Buyers want to purchase thriving businesses. A well-branded business with plenty of repeat customers means big profits for little work on the buyer’s part. That is why branded businesses are more valuable than unbranded businesses, buyers are essentially purchasing the customer base along with the business.

We’re living in an incredible time for marketing and connecting with customers, the perfect combination for building a business brand. The key is social media. One in three people report visiting social media sites before visiting a business according to a survey conducted by Small Business Trends. By using social media you can present your business any way you like: knowledgeable, friendly, humorous, luxury lifestyle, problem-solvers, the list goes on.

If you’re looking to sell your business soon, with an organized social media marketing plan you can develop a clear-cut brand with loyal customers in a number of months (as long as your business delivers on customer satisfaction!). If you have the budget, hiring an expert is a high-return investment in your business’s value.

Here are three ways to get started building your brand using social media:

1) What is your bottom line? Use your mission and vision statements to determine two or three one to two-word attributes that describe your business. These will be the basis for you brand and dictate the kind of things you post on social media and your website.

2) Figure out what platforms your audience uses the most, then concentrate on the top one or two. Some businesses wear themselves out by covering all the platforms, but don’t have the manpower to fully put effort into maintaining the accounts. As a result the brand doesn’t materialize well.

3) Create a plan and stick to it. A social media account is only going to work for your business if you’re actively promoting your brand through the channels. This means posting regular content that reflects your business brand, and answering customer messages and comments in a timely manner.

When it comes down to it people just want to feel respected. Customers stick to brands who have proven themselves to meet expectations and fulfilled their end of a working relationship.

Not only will you see more profits now, but when it comes time to sell buyers will be willing to pay more for your branded business.

W. Teddy