Nowadays, it is no longer enough for businesses to have a cool, sleek website, a few social media profiles, and consistent branding. The fresh rules for online business branding are now focused on engagement and interaction, and less on presentation. Defining your brand is more like a journey of business discovery.

Yes, it can be time-consuming, hard, and uncomfortable. Whether you are managing a printer dealership business or a home maintenance firm, step up the branding game with the help of our insider tips and tricks. Here are a few of the newest rules in branding your business on the Internet today.

1. Don’t just begin the conversation

Your brand needs to be an evolving and integral part of the conversations happening online. Social media has a very important prospective to work with brand management—and that is the conversation. Just like brand management, social networking is about conversations and developing effective relationships.

The principles for brand messaging across new media and classic channels haven’t really changed, but they are held to a higher standard. Today, it isn’t enough to simply have a Twitter or Facebook page; you need to engage with your fans and followers by sharing posts and answering messages sent by customers.

Maintaining and tracking social media is a must for small and big businesses. Social media tends to have shortened time frame for responses to accusations or complaints. Companies need to identify and acknowledge issues and control messaging in a matter of minutes, instead of hours and days.

2. Keep your personal brand away

So now that you have more than ten thousand followers on Twitter, does it mean anything to your clients? Growing a personal brand is a big distraction for most founders. Steve Job has his own personal brand, however, it is still Apple’s design that makes it a valuable firm. He didn’t jump on FourSquare to develop his brand.

3. Dive in and hit the headlines

Establishing your expertise in the industry is very beneficial in brand management. To attract the press, determine media forms that are applicable to your expertise and send targeted pitches. For instance, if you have an interview for television or radio, make sure you offer a personality preview by sending them links to videos on your website.

As soon as you have developed an expertise, take it on the road. Attending conferences and being an active member of professional organizations provides priceless networking opportunities. Participating in a vendor event can also provide long-term branding benefits.

4. Find and target your brand niche

Even if you are venturing into an already crowded marketplace, you will have the opportunity to make your brand stand out. In the past, people used to think that there was only one name in printers. Today, electronic stores carry more than a dozen types of wireless printers or colour laser printers. A lot of marketers tend to give up way too soon with differentiation. Today’s rapidly shifting marketplace demands a more creative approach. So hang in there and be persistent with your branding efforts.

5. Fully engage with social media

You will not only look modern, savvy, and trendy, but it also improves connectivity and attracts more traffic to your site. You don’t need to use an expensive advertising agency nor create a viral marketing video to improve traffic. You need elbow grease, several tricks on your sleeves, and a commitment in making your website a top destination for users. Add social share buttons, run a weekly blog, use search engine optimization, and build your website with links.

6. Showcase premier work

With today’s highly competitive marketplace, a strong brand is really all about relationships and trust. And with this vision in mind, there is no better method to build a brand than by publishing any of your pages as a visual element. Mention recognitions and awards your company has achieved, as well as green initiatives, interesting facts, and community service work.