In today’s turbulent economy it is extremely important for every business (both large and small) to stand out from the crowd. Brand awareness is huge in the competitive world. It is no longer good enough to deliver a superior product or customer service experience…. you need to be known as well.

How do you use the tools on the Internet (mainly social media) to increase your brand awareness and drive the competition into oblivion? And by oblivion I mean… the junkyard of dead businesses.

1. Start a Blog

In my opinion, starting a blog is the center point to all marketing activity online. If you are going to be spending time in social media it is extremely important that you have a central location for all of your content. People want to connect with you on a completely different level once you have started the communication process. Use WordPress to start a blog. When writing content it is important to schedule blog posts ahead in order to be completely successful at managing your time.

2. Develop An Outstanding Identity

Branding is huge when standing out from your competition. If your logo and brand identity have a unique twist from a quality design firm… you will be able to reap the rewards.

3. Use a Flip Cam to Record Customer Testimonials

Flip cam is a unique video camera that allows you to record up to 60 minutes of high-quality HD footage. The Flip cams are small enough they can be taken anywhere… anytime. You never know when you might have the chance to record a customer or an employee talking about your company. Upload the videos to YouTube and play them on your website.

4. Start a Referral Program with your Current and Past Customers

5. Tell stories about your daily routine

Many customers (both potential and current) want to learn about your company from the actual individuals running and working behind the brand. Tell stories about the daily encounters inside the firm. Did you have a trip to a local amusement park? Did an employee win a race or a exhibition league championship? Business is personal again.. now is the time to shift the way you communicate with the world.

6. Create a Facebook FanPage to Showcase Your Ideas to Your Fans

Facebook FanPages are amazing tools withing Facebook that will add onto the human capital value of your company. Ben McConnell from the Church of the Customer gives an excellent idea surrounding Facebook FanPage marketing:

When fans interact with a fan page on Facebook, that interaction is sent through the fan’s news feed, which goes to all their friends, practically daring a chunk of them to see what the page is about.

7. Use Email Marketing to Stay in Front of Prospects

Email Marketing is not dead and it will give you an edge over the competition if done right. I will leave this up to the professionals over at Delivera: If You are Going to Win. You Have to Play the Game!

8. Sponsor a Tweetup or Social Media Meetup

I know.. I know.. Tweetup sounds like a complete GEEK fest! If can be a huge source of potential clients depending on your demographic. There are many small business and c-level employees who have started to attend Tweetups. I have yet to see a local Tweetup sponsored by a company. If you are wondering how many Twitter users are in your general area try Twellowhood.

9. Fully Utilize LinkedIN Recommendations

In my opinion there is nothing more powerful than a LinkedIN recommendation. Why is that? You can only get so real (other than video) in the world of the Internet. A LinkedIN recommendation gives your happy customers the ability to give you the KUDOS your company deserves.

10. Encourage Your Sales Team to Use Social Media for Lead Generation

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