Deliberate Communication: Tips to Build Your Brand Online

Just as important as the mechanics, grammar, and clarity of your message, is the role it plays in the whole of the development and cultivation of your brand online.
I recently posted a photo of a cow I call Grumpy Cow, a play on the Grumpy Cat that fills the Internet with more cat

hilarity than really necessary. Grumpy Cow has a frowning face but her attitude is demure. Around here, the mantra tends to revolve around there being too many great cows in the world to own mean ones. I’m slow so I wholeheartedly agree.

The photo of Grumpy Cow was quite popular and garnered many shared posts of other peoples’ own versions. One member of an ag group in which the photo was shared messaged me and suggested that we sell Grumpy Cow before someone gets hurt.

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Even though Grumpy Cow caused a small stir, she’s a valuable piece of my big picture. She’s clearly thrilled.

While my communication was deliberate, the response was one I wouldn’t have predicted.

Here is a checklist for communication used to shape and cultivate your operation’s online presence:

Is it beneficial? Before hitting post, be sure you’re sharing something of value. This may be a photo of cattle grazing in front of the sunset that concretes the family operation’s image or it may be a news article from a credible source that your readers will find beneficial or interesting.

Is it positive? My news feed is frequently filled with often raunchy photos of cattle with various symptoms and maladies with the innocent “what is this? Have any of you ever seen…”. These posts are always popular as folks weigh in with their various diagnoses and stories of similar symptoms.

Even with the best of intentions, it casts your operation in a poor light. Always make your first call to your veterinarian rather than to a well meaning Facebook group.

Is it a logical piece to the big picture? The post must fit into the big picture and add to it. Develop a clear vision of your ideal image and don’t post anything that detracts from the ideal or doesn’t add value.

Is it professional? Being taken seriously starts here. Posts or statements that begin with, “I’m sorry but…” Or “I don’t mean to offend anyone but…” aren’t beneficial to your brand. Most people appreciate genuine honesty but not unkind or passive aggressive comments in the name of “telling it like it is.”

These tips also hold true for personal pages, especially for young people who are going to be seeking scholarships or jobs.

Building an online image and reputation using clear and deliberate communication can translate into more customers and growth for your business. Need guidance, support, or communication services? Contact me today and we’ll make a plan to help you grow.

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