How To Protect Your Brand On Social Media

protect brand on social media

Editor’s note: This post was written by Jeff Foster, co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Social media is now a critical component of any marketing campaign. Used correctly, it builds an army of enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand. But social media is a double-edged sword. Negative reviews, PR blunders and inconsistent brand messages are constant dangers – threats that you need to guard against. Brand protection has to be an integral part of your social media strategy, otherwise you are putting your brand at risk.

Implement A Social Media Policy

While it takes time to build an online brand, your employees can damage it very quickly – often without meaning to. There are well-publicized examples of this. For example, when a US Airways employee tweeted a very graphic image on the company’s Twitter account. Sometimes, however, the damage can be more subtle.

Let’s assume that someone in your marketing department sets up an unofficial branded hashtag, which they use to tweet company news – all with the best intentions. But if they do this without tying into your social media strategy, they can end up sending confusing messages that devalue your brand.

To avoid this and protect your brand on social media, put in place a clear social media policy. This should tell your staff things like who is authorized to post content, what approvals are needed, and what type of content can be posted. Also make sure that this addresses your employees’ private social media accounts – tell them exactly what they can and can’t do with their own accounts.

Finally, make your acceptable use policy clear to your followers on social media. For example, state on your Facebook page that you’ll delete readers’ comments if they contain or link to pornographic, racist or other types of unacceptable content. By saying this upfront, you’ll reduce any social media backlash when you censor what readers have to say.

Monitor Social Media For Damaging Comments

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You should also monitor social media for what people say about you. Look at overall sentiment, but also identify specific negative comments. There are several great tools you can use to do this, including Google Alerts, Trackur, SocialMention and BlitzMetrics. The advantage of these tools is that they don’t just monitor your own social media channels – they can monitor the entire social media universe.

When you do find negative comments, don’t make the mistake of arguing online. Craft a reasonable response to what the author has to say. This will reduce the impact of the comment for other readers. If they do respond positively, offer to talk to them offline to address any concerns they might have.

Also watch for sites that rank highly for your company name – or for other brand-related keywords that you use. It’s easy for someone to set up a site with the intent of damaging your business, or even impersonating it for fraudulent reasons. You need to intercept these sites quickly – and you may even need to take legal action to get them shut down.

Create Buzz

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No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to silence all your detractors on social media. Negative feedback is just a fact of life. But you can offset it by creating a constant positive buzz around your brand. This will drown out negative comments – or at least push them into the background.

However, you can’t create buzz by yourself – in fact, readers won’t believe you if you try to do this. Instead, you need to use sites like Tomoson to get influencers talking about your products or services. People trust bloggers and other online thought leaders – much more than they trust company advertising.

Creating positive relations with bloggers is a major topic in itself, but here are a few key things you need to know. First of all, bloggers value their independent voice – and so do their readers. So even if you pay bloggers to write posts, don’t try to bend them to your will. Second, bloggers want to know that you are interested in them – so take the time to read their blog posts and express genuine interest. Third, you need to give bloggers something to talk about, so avoid boring marketing pitches – roll up your sleeves and get creative.

Finally, remember that bloggers are not the only influencers. When your customers talk about your brand, they are selling it at the same time. People will naturally make some comments, but you need to encourage them to say more. For example, by simply responding quickly and positively to comments, you can spark more conversation. Retweeting comments is another good strategy, although you shouldn’t spam your followers by doing this too much. Another good approach is to run an online contest where you ask readers what they love about your brand – and then give prizes for the best comments.

Avoid Controversial Subjects

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Unless your business directly involves religion or politics, you shouldn’t discuss these subjects on social media. Even if what you say is innocuous, you’re going to offend some people in your audience. There’s usually no upside in talking about controversial subjects – and there’s always a downside. Religion and politics aren’t the only controversial topics, so always think about whether you could offend before you post or tweet something.

It’s also a big mistake to exploit natural disasters and other tragedies to promote your brand online. This may seem obvious, but even leading brands get it wrong. For example, when Hurricane Sandy struck the US East Coast in 2012, American Apparel sent out an email blast offering 20% off everything, “in case you’re bored during the storm.” There was a huge social media backlash, including tweets such as “I will forever boycott their stores.” Amazingly, American Apparel wasn’t the only retailer to get this wrong – GAP also incensed the Twitterverse, with a similar post encouraging Sandy victims to shop online at Gap.com.

Another useful article: How an Industry-Specific Writer Can Improve Your Company’s Blogging

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How to Maximize Your Freelance Profits Using the Power of Emotion

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Editor’s note: This post was written by Seb Atkinson, a search marketer at Selesti, a multi-award winning creative digital agency. Seb has helped a range of clients grow their online presence, from start-ups and small businesses to large international corporations. Follow him on Twitter.

Setting prices for your freelance and writing services is a very important part of the sales process, and if done correctly can earn you great profits, or on the other hand leave you little to show for your work. If you’re freelance writing job boards but struggling to close deals at the right price for you and your client, then read on to discover how to improve profitability using the power of emotion. [Read more…]

Clear Skies Ahead – The Shift to Cloud Computing

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Editor’s note: This article was written by Christian Abbas, one of the team at Columbus UK, a provider of business telephone systems, mobiles, networking and IT solutions. He enjoys writing about technology, IT and content marketing.

Talk of the imminence of widespread cloud computing was ongoing for several years. As some services took their first steps in this direction, it became clear that the rise of cloud computing was inevitable. Accessing software in this manner provides a plethora of benefits over more dated methods, and the drawback are almost irrelevant.

Services have been making the transition to cloud computing across the board. In today’s fiercely competitive digital world, businesses must stay ahead of the game and a failure to move processes to the cloud will have inevitably negative consequences. [Read more…]

5 Ways To Transform Your Blogger Outreach

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Editor’s note: This post was written by Jeff Foster, co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Over the last couple of decades, the web has completely changed the way we do marketing. We’ve gone from traditional advertising campaigns to a world where influence drives marketing success. If you’re starting out on a digital marketing campaign, it’s vital that you hook up with bloggers who can connect with your audience. Those who get it right reap huge rewards, but it isn’t as easy as it seems – many marketers make a complete mess of blogger outreach. In some ways, marketing to bloggers is nothing new – it’s another twist on word-of-mouth advertising – but reaching out to bloggers requires a very different approach than contacting traditional media outlets. [Read more…]

Freedom of Speech Isn’t So Free

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While the First Amendment certainly protects your right to free speech, you know that it’s really not that simple. Just because you have the right to say what you want, doesn’t mean you can always say what you want, where you want.

The catch is that regardless of where you say something, there are always consequences. If you say something to your spouse that’s laced with sarcasm, you may end up sleeping on the couch. If a child says something inappropriate to their teacher, they may find themselves in the principal’s office. If an athlete talks back to his coach, he’ll likely end up running or sitting on the bench.

In fact, one of the best examples of not being able to say what you want, where you want involved a recent case of not talking at all. Last NFL football season, Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch was fined multiple times for his refusal to speak with the media.

What do all of these examples have in common, and why are they relevant to you as a blogger? They all point to one important fact: Free speech may be allowed, but you must be wary of the consequences. Each of these instances is legal, but they come with significant results. [Read more…]

10 Things You Should Do When Starting an Online Store

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Starting an online store is one of the easiest ways to do business these days. However, what is tricky is to drive rankings on the search engines, converting the visitors into actual sales and retaining them so that they keep coming back. It is between these points where the success of online business lies.

You can consider these points before starting your own online store. While these steps may not be easy, it will definitely help your e-commerce business to get the throttle it needs!

[Read more…]

The Importance of Cybersecurity in Real Life

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We hear about cybersecurity all the time, and we know “everything” we need to do in order to make sure that we are safe from unscrupulous individuals who branch out their illegal activities online.

Or do we?

On a personal level, you might have to admit that you do not change your passwords regularly or that you use the same password across several accounts. We know what happens when hackers get into the databases of credit card companies and even gaming entities.

On a larger scale, cybersecurity is even a bigger issue.
[Read more…]

The Best Productivity Trends and Hacks of 2015

productivity trends and hacks

Editor’s note: This post was written by Kanika Sharma, who works as a writer at ProofHub. For the past 2 years, she has been writing for various technology blogs. Being an engineering graduate, her background allows her to connect with cutting edge technologies and relate them with real world scenarios. Follow Kanika on Twitter to know more about her.

Every now and then, we see successful entrepreneurs around us or read stories about those who made it big, and we wonder how they did that! Well, they’ve got no super-brains or magic wands. They’re normal human beings, just like you and me. Then where’s the difference? Let me tell you the secret behind their success. Besides putting the best of their efforts, they resort to those ‘key points’ where others fail to make the stroke.

Productivity, i.e. getting the most out of your everyday, is one key area where most of the startup entrepreneurs, project managers and even employees lack. So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your own productivity along with that of your employees, this is how you should go about it. [Read more…]

3 Great New Ways Of Generating Money With Content Online

generate money with content online

Editor’s note: This post was written by Christopher Latter, co-founder of Trendii. He’s a digital marketer and entrepreneur. The majority of his experience is based in SEO and social media, and he also performs a range of other digital marketing techniques. He is a keen writer and enjoys bringing all his experiences together in an interesting way. He’s currently helping to launch a new social network as part of a new start-up incubator program called Start Tank, run by PayPal & Braintree. You can find him on LinkedIn.

Writers, artists, musicians, all us hopeless dreamers seem to have one thing in common. We like to sit back from our keyboards, easels and keyboards (the other kind of keyboards), and think, “if only I could make some money doing this”. Which we probably could if we spent less time fantasising and more time actually working on our art, because it turns out there are ways to make money from it. As always, whether you’re looking to promote your art, start a business or misinform the public about vaccines, the internet is here. [Read more…]

Local SEO 101 For Law Firms [Infographic]

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seo101

In the modern search environment local SEO is vital to ranking your business for your major keywords and search terms. If your business serves a particular location and its surrounding areas, making sure your website is optimised locally is crucial. If you are in a location and expect people to be able to find you on Google for that location, you should be optimising your web pages for your local area. The following infographic looks at how local SEO is important for lawyers. [Read more…]