Branding
from a business point of view should be designed to differentiate your product
from all other products. Looking at it from the new media point of view, you
have to be unique and adventurous in order for your brand to gain favourable
influence online.

A
lot of people know what new media is but some people still confuse it with
social media. First of all, new media is a generic term for the many different
forms of electronic communication that are made possible through the use of
computer technology. As compared with ‘old’ media forms such as print
newspapers and magazines that are static.
Whereas new media includes websites, chat rooms, email, online
communities, web advertising, DVD and CD ROM media, virtual reality environment,
telephony, digital cameras, streaming audio and video, mobile computing, etc.

However,
social media includes internet or mobile phone based applications and tools to
share information among people. Social media includes popular networking websites
like Facebook, Google plus and Twitter; as well as bookmarking sites like Digg
or Reddit. It involves blogs like Linda Ikeji and forums like Nairaland, with
an interactive presence which allows individuals’ ability to engage in
conversations with one another, often as a discussion over a particular blog,
post, news article or event.

In
a recent study by a reputable research company, Nigerians use social media
mostly on their laptops, desktop computers, mobile phones and on tablets.

Also
from the research, many Nigerians access the internet with their Blackberry
phones mostly; thus they make use of the social networking apps embedded on the
phones.

Using
new media for branding entails more than just social media sites. Today, brands
are born; not made. A brand must be capable of generating favourable publicity.
It goes without saying that instant access to information has fundamentally
changed the way we use the media. And the rise of smartphones allied to the
incredible popularity of social media has taken the importance of the internet
to an even higher level.

Some
of the ways you can increase your brand value using new media are: raising your
profile online, one of the websites you can be on is Linkedin, this is
professional social networking site that can open you up to many people from
different parts of the world. This is the place to tell people about your
achievements, both as an individual and as a company; regular and well informed
blogging can help build audience and increase loyalty among the people who are
interested in what you are saying, take decent photos to upload and link your
blog to popular social networking sites in order to build traffic; manage your
reputation online, this leads to success in the business world, so you should
be conscious about what you send on the internet; be up to date with new media
like websites that offer better services, chat rooms, email services, online
communities, web advertising, DVD and CD ROM technology, interactive
television, video conferencing, business applications, etc.

New
media opens up alternative forms of publication and presents opportunities and
challenges for traditional communication. The traditional mass communication
was essentially one-way while the new forms of communication are essentially ‘interactive’.

Thus,
with the emergence of new media, the old media faces the fear of being rendered
obsolete form of mass communication because of its ability to render both mass
communication and personal communication. Although, some professionals say they
will complement each other.

Companies
have to include new media use in their day to day activities and be more
creative in their communications. They have to be in the areas of online news
content creation and activation; influence relations; online intelligence, that
is, listening and analytics through news and community; and online customer
relations management. Today, we have moved from the TV industry to the digital
online industry. This has injected massive growth into all creative industries.
Companies should equip their staff to be in tune with modern technologies. In
fact, what digital content managers say is that one does not have to be a tech
guru to use the internet.

The
persistent parade of new media is unfolding on many fronts. Almost every advancement
in media is billed as a breakthrough, and ends up in the list of “next big
things” for communications. Although not every emerging technology will alter
the business or social landscape—but some truly do have the potential to alter
the way people live and work, and rearrange value pools.