Via Scoop.it – Being Your Brand
Do you ever wonder what social networking sites you should be focusing your marketing efforts on? This handy infographic breaks down the top social networking sites by gender, age, income, and education demographics.
A social media strategy involves the collaboration of multiple platforms, using the best features of each platform is necessary to create a successful strategy.
While Twitter should often be used as an “announcements” platform, Facebook can be used to build conversations through sharing more detailed and insight based content.
You find an interesting article on an industry trend that your would like to share. How you share the content will vary by platform:
- A tweet would include the article title, a link, and a hashtag.
- A Facebook post would include the article title/link and 1-2 sentences on what the article is about/why you think the industry trend is important.
- A pin on Pinterest would include the image in the article and a blurb about the article/trend.
Mashable posted a great article on how one platform can be used to drive traffic to another; how to drive traffic from Pinterest to YouTube. Pinterest has become one of the top 5 sites for referring traffic, now tied with Twitter. As we begin to understand the power of Pinterest, and how to use it best (in relation to the other big social media powers) we will learn how to best feature content on each platform.
Check out the Mashable article here:
One of the basic rules of business is “Make the customer happy.” Companies know that a negative comment from one customer can quickly turn into ten.
The basic rules of business have not changed, but the power of the customers voice has grown exponentially. One negative comment can instantly turn into hundreds of shares and tweets, which can fuel blog posts and the need for large-scale damage control. While there is no way to guarantee that every single customer will be happy, there are many tools that can help you manage your brand’s reputation online. Whether it’s a comment about your company, or personal brand, there is a chance to turn a negative comment into a positive opportunity.
Monitoring Your Brand
How are you supposed to turn a negative into a positive if your never see or hear it. It is important to catch negative comments at the source before they spread out of control.
Several tools are available to track mentions of your brand. A free and very simple tool is Google Alerts. You can set up for alerts to be sent to you each time a new search result appears regarding your brand. Each day Google will email you mentions of your brand on news sites, blogs, video platforms, discussion books, and online books. If you really want to stay on ahead of the game, you can even set up alerts for mentions of your competitors.
Monitoring mentions on social media platforms requires more effort. Check comments and posts on your company Facebook page. Do a Facebook search every few weeks for your company name to check for any new groups with a negative connotation and groups’ whose membership has increased greatly. The same can be done with Twitter searches. Twitter search should be done on more frequently, a quick daily search for any brand mentions and a more intensive search once a week.
Responding to Negative Comments
You cannot respond to all comments, and users’ response expectations vary by platform. Facebook users are more likely to expect a response than Twitter users, because the comments and posts stay visible on a company page for a longer period. Twitter is a real-time feed, so users do not expect a response to every comment. A response from a company to a customers tweet is often seen as more “special” than Facebook responses, though both are very important.
If a negative comment is found during monitoring, it should be responded to in no more than 24 hours, less is always better. Responses should be honest, strong, empathic (but not too much and not emotional), friendly, and involve an actionable item, such as “Thank you for your feedback, please email us your phone number and our team will make sure to personally call you to resolve any concerns”. Above all, do not delete negative comments or mentions; this can turn a quick fix into a full-blown tornado of negativity.
Here is a snippit from the blog:
Last week was Social Media Week 2012, a weeklong global initiative that focuses on the impact of social media on culture, politics, economics, and social change. This was truly a global celebration, as unique events were held in nine countries: Germany, China, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Singapore, and Brazil.
Social Media Week 2012 leveraged the benefits of the popular social media platforms to create a truly global discussion. The majority of the events were broadcast live through Livestream, and promoted hashtags (such as #SMWNY) that viewers were able to use to tweet questions to the presenters, which were answered live. A particularly innovative feature was a real time infographic that displayed trending topics, hashtags, and handles by city.
Knowing that social media is now a crucial part of brand strategy, members of our media, analytics, and strategy team made it a priority to learn as much as possible from the talented social media week presenters. The following are a few of the great events that our team watched.
Click here to read the rest of my Mudbug Media blog Via mudbugmedia.com
So, you have created and implemented a great social media strategy for your company.
It is creating conversations and growing your brand.
But…what do you do next?
I came across this article while reading the newest Inc. magazine, it’s all about the qualities that great employees often share:
- The ignore job descriptions
- They’re eccentric
- They know when to dial it back
- They publicly praise
- They privately complain
- They speak when other won’t
- They like to prove others wrong
- They’re always fiddling
The interesting thing that I noticed about the list of qualities was that there seemed to be a balance.
- Publicly praise but privately complain
- Quirky and fun but know when to be serious and a strong team member
The one question I had after reading this article is… Are all the qualities equally relevant or does one quality dominate?
Social media is probably the best tool that you can use these days when job hunting. Actually, when I was applying for my first job in the marketing and advertising industry, after college graduation, some companies requested that I include social media in my application. It was requested that I did not send them a traditional resume; rather they preferred my cover letter in the body of my email and a link to my public LinkedIn profile. This makes sense since I was applying for a position in an ever-changing industry. This type of application would showcase the applicants who were using the newest and best tools.
Usually, when you think of an online professional network the first platform that comes to mind is LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is undeniably an excellent resource, blogs and Twitter can be great tools as well.
There are quick changes that you can make to all your social media profiles that help portray your professional image.
- Remove (not just un-tag) any unflattering or inappropriate pictures.
- Delete any posts, tweets, shares, etc., which contain inappropriate or offensive language.
- Remove any affiliation with a person or group in which you may be questioned about by future employers.
In addition to making the above changes to your personal profiles, I recommend doing a few searches on Google to see what comes up (what a future employer would see if they “Googled” you).
The most valuable thing to remember when building your personal online brand, specifically across multiple platforms, is to maintain consistency. You cannot be interested in every industry, instead try to highlight your strengths when creating a professional social media presence.
If you going to join a LinkedIn group, blog, or tweet make sure that all posts are connected and relevant to your industry. If you join 50 groups on LinkedIn, each with a different topic, you may come off as indecisive or unfocused to a potential employer. Joining groups based around a similar topic will portray drive and focus.
Keeping the information in both the experience and specialties sections up-to-date is particularly important, because potential employers can view your public profile at any point. In addition, I recommend rewriting your summary section to include keywords that correspond with your industry and expertise.
Blogging is a powerful tool to increase your professional online image. It can increase the likelihood of quality content (specifically related to you) appearing first in search results. However, this is only positive if you pick the correct topic. If you are applying for a job in the print media industry, blogging about your love for homemade juice is not going to help your professional image. Rather, blog about the industry you are in, or are interested in entering. However, do not pick too specific of a topic, because it will be difficult to come up with new posts. Blogging about your industry will highlight your expertise to the world, and even prepare you for future interview questions.
When blogging about your industry, always include your own insights about the topic and trends, as well as offer suggestions to your readers. In your profile, display your creative and deductive skills, along with your knowledge of the industry.
Twitter is becoming one of the big job “search engines” for both job seekers and companies looking for skilled employees. Companies are tweeting job listings more regularly, and professionals are searching for ways to stand out in the sea of tweets. The best way to make your tweets stand out on Twitter is by using Hashtags.
Hashtags specific to your industry
Hashtags specific to your social media profiles
Hashtags about your qualifications
General Job Search Hashtags
Above all, make sure that your Tweets are relevant, appropriate, and informative. The goal of your tweets is to highlight your skills and create a conversation with future employers.
Magazine companies have seen the advantages of the new image based social media, including Real Simple and Better Homes & Gardens. Both of these magazines benefit from Pinterest because decorating tips are best translated through images. Kate Spade New York is leading the way for fashion brands on Pinterest, with almost 17,000 followers. Instead of waiting to see the newest ad in a magazine, customers can go on Pinterest and peruse all the newest looks.
One company that interests me greatly, it is not a media or fashion company, it is Whole Foods. While it may seem odd that a speciality grocery store has almost 15,000 followers on an image based social media platform, but it makes sense. They have figured out exactly how to portray their brand and company values through images with pictures of gardening, recipes, and food specials.
Some of the first things that come to mind when thinking about brand strategy are logo design, tagline, company goals and values, messaging voice, sales platforms (physical location and/or website), and company culture.
While the above-mentioned form the basis of brand strategy, many smaller items can significantly affect the success of your brand strategy. Consistency is the most crucial factor when implementing your company’s brand strategy. When it comes to all creative materials, whether a commercial, print ad, in-store sign, website(s), or business cards, all should be direct extensions of the brand. This includes font type, colors, and voice.
The styling of creative pieces may change per campaign to reflect a particular message, but brand colors and voice should remain consistent. This will create an automatic connection for the customer between the creative piece and the brand. In addition, this reflects a positive and professional feel upon the company. When none of the creative pieces match, or there is inconsistency in voice across campaigns, this often portrays a lack of structure and professionalism on the brand.
Consistent font types are especially important in website design. Using different font types across a website, such as one font type on the ‘About Us’ page and an entirely different font type on the Homepage, can be confusing and difficult to read when site visitors navigate through the site. This can often also give the site an amateur look.
The best way to maintain consistency is to develop a global style sheet that can be applied across your entire site. A global style sheet will control the font types, sizes, and positioning, as well as the styles for images and tables. Using a global style sheet will ensure a universal layout and professional design for your website.
Twitter is a unique platform, in which you are only able to have a conversation with the world using 140 characters. So how do you make your tweets stand out from the rest, and be found by engaged followers? One word…#HASHTAGS.
Hashtags are one of the most powerful tools you can use to increase the visibility of your tweets. Twitter is a real time feed that changes every second, so it is crucial to create tweets that stand out not only in the feed but in searches, as well. Hashtags can help to increase the number of followers, and in turn increase traffic to your website.
So here are some basic rules for using hashtags:
- Do not use more than three hashtags in one post, more than that and you start to fall into the category of a hashtag spammer.
- If you have two words you want to use for hashtags, you should combine them to create one hashtag (example: #Summer #vacation becomes #SummerVacation)
- Only use hashtags that are relevant to your post, do not add the top trending hash tag to your tweet just to gain followers. (Example: You are tweeting about puppies, but the top trending hashtag is #worldseries, do not add World Series to your tweet.)
Creating a Campaign Around a Hashtag
So, using hashtags seem pretty simply, right? Well…yes and no. While they can be a tremendously powerful tool to increase followers and website traffic, preparation for creating a campaign around a hashtag is a requirement, in order to advert disaster. The main reason a brand would use a hashtag is to try to start a conversation with the online community and build brand awareness. Powerful but generic hashtags tend to be more successful for brands because there is less chance that it could turn into negative publicity or a hashtag hijacking. It is not recommended that the company name is included in the hashtag.
Coming up with the best hashtag for your company can sometimes be a challenge. I know I just said that a hashtag should be powerful, yet generic, but it is also essential that it is not too generic. You do not want a hashtag to be so generic that it could be hijacked and used by another company, or for the meaning to be able to be change entirely. As with all social media campaigns, it is vital to have a crisis management plan in place. It should include details on how you plan to respond if your hashtag campaign is hijacked, or if it spins off in a negative way.
When beginning a campaign around a hashtag it is important to be ready for constant monitoring of how the hashtag travels and evolves in the “Twitter World”. Setting up a buzz feed to show all mentions of your hashtag could do the monitoring.
Hashtags can be very powerful tool and should definitely be used. But, please don’t just throw them into every tweet. Hashtags should be relevant to your brand, post topic, and your campaign.