It’s no secret that the brand formerly known as “Music Television” hasn’t exactly stuck to its guns. As a network, MTV went from being the foremost purveyor of music videos on broadcast television to being one of the principal outlets of reality television programming. Not exactly a stone’s throw. More of a complete paradigm shift, really.

So, to say that MTV didn’t stick to its guns is a bit of an understatement. In truth, it flat-out abandoned them. That’s not to say it abandoned its only strong suit though.

Far from it, actually.

As it turns out, MTV has quite a talent for online branding. One could argue that it’s their greatest strength. People like to claim that the network has lost its luster in recent years, but the fact of the matter is that MTV has simply chosen to project a different kind of luster – one that exists, for the most part, on the web.

How does MTV keep its brand name going online? Through social media, of course!

Let’s put it this way:

When you’ve got 86 million Facebook fans and 3.2 million Twitter followers, you’re obviously doing something right.

If MTV is using social media as “a platform to make new content” and finding it to be a successful model for developing and promoting the brand name, then it stands to reason that other brands would do well take to take a similar approach.

So, what does MTV’s approach to social media mean for you and your business? Plenty, so long as you’re willing to learn from it.

Here are a few takeaways:

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1) Boost Your Level of Output

While MTV’s staggering average of 200-300 stories released via social media on a daily basis is perhaps an unrealistic standard for brands and businesses to aspire to, there’s nothing wrong with setting the bar high. Of course, there are exceptions. If, for example, your brand is still struggling to gain a following across social channels, then it may be wise to exercise a little restraint when it comes to posts and updates by publishing only the most valuable or pertinent information. That way, you won’t overwhelm your current followers or risk losing them.

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2) Offer Context

MTV may not showcase music videos any longer, but that’s not stopping the network from providing plenty of background and context for the many popular videos out there. Between the news and the gossip surrounding the music industry (i.e. their industry), they’ve got their hands full keeping tabs on everything. Take a page from MTV’s book and make it your goal to know the ins and outs of your industry or field. That way, you’ll be able to provide just the kind of inside information your fans and followers might be looking for.

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3) Keep at It

As mentioned during the interview, success online “doesn’t just happen overnight.” It requires competency and consistency. Every little update, tidbit, news release, and offhand remark that you publish will help to build your online identity, so be sure to keep the content coming. Whether it’s brief posts on your brand’s social channels, blogs on your website, or videos showcasing the many facets of your business, the main thing is to just keep at it. Recognition will come in due time, but the effort has to come first.

While MTV’s identity has changed over the years, the network has certainly managed to maintain its connection with the public. In many ways, the brand is stronger than ever, and social media has played a considerably large part in that.

These days, achieving success means maintaining a social presence, pure and simple. MTV knows it, and so should any other brand currently operating online.

Image credit to the Official MTV Facebook Page

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