An infographic looking at engagement for brands.
An infographic looking at engagement for brands.
An infographic looking at engagement for brands.
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
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.
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
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.
Editor’s note: This post was written by Kevin, an account director at Online Rep Management. He has been working in internet marketing and public relations for over 8 years. Kevin got his start working online in SEO, link building, and some affiliate marketing. Kevin is most passionate about helping good brands become online entities. Read more on Google+ follow Kevin on Twitter!
The relationship between reputation and brand is so tightly knit, it is difficult to separate them, or know where one ends and the other begins. Like love and marriage, it is difficult to have one without the other. Unlike the chicken and the egg, we are pretty sure which comes first.
Before a company can develop a meaningful brand, it has to garner a positive reputation from a loyal base of consumers. There are a number of factors that go into building a brandable reputation. Here are just a few. [Read more…]
Editor’s note: This post was written by Pratik Dholakiya, co-founder & VP of Marketing of E2M and OnlyDesign. He’s passionate about fitness, start-ups, entrepreneurship & all things digital marketing. You can find him on twitter @DholakiyaPratik to discuss on any of these topics.
We are witnessing a new era in branding: the emergence of personal branding as a means of marketing one’s business. You’ve got CEOs of companies trying to establish personal credibility that rubs off on their company’s brand; there are digital marketing managers out there who are trying to come across as authority figures in their niche to market various products and services, and then there are business owners who sometimes have more visibility than their brands, courtesy of personal branding.
A big reason why people want to build a personal brand is that it is seen as yet another way of boosting visibility of a business, albeit in an indirect manner. It is also seen as a great way of adding to the ‘credibility juice’ that surrounds a particular brand. The saying ‘You are known by the company you keep’ explains the use of personal branding best.
By increasing personal credibility, you are essentially trying to enhance the trustworthiness of your brand by association. And it is working. Forbes has a nice article that serves as a guide to building your personal brand. It talks about the importance of building a personal brand and how you can go about creating an effective one.
One of the better ways of marketing yourself is publishing content on your own blog or on somebody else’s blog/website . It’s a tactic that is devoid of any complication. All you need to do is create useful content and find a home for it. [Read more…]
What’s in a name?
The old adage is as true today as it ever was. A name is just a word, unless it is leveraged correctly. When you look across the business landscape, there are dozens of examples of business people who have leveraged their name to add value to their brand and their offerings.
For example, Donald Trump has taken his name and placed it atop dozens of buildings across the world. In fact, his name has become so valuable that he now licenses it out to other business people in order for them to add value to their brand. It is a terribly kept secret that the Donald doesn’t even own minority stakes in many of the buildings that bear his moniker. [Read more…]
Years ago no one took blogging seriously. Blogging was for people who wanted to write about their hobbies or have their own little journal on the internet. Now it’s a requirement to have a blog for your brand or business. If you still don’t have a blog of your own, you are missing out big time!
In this post I’m going to tell you exactly why you need to have a blog and how you can grow your brand and reputation in the process. Before we get started, I’m going to tell you a bit about myself.
I first started making money online in the mid to late 90s, and I didn’t start blogging until 2007. This was a huge mistake to wait this long, but when I did finally start blogging, I saw immediate returns. The first blog I started was the main blog I still run today, which is at ZacJohnson.com. The blog is all about my journey in the world of online marketing and blogging. Since the launch of the blog I’ve been able to refer over $5 million in new business to my site partners, teach others how to make money online and also open up a whole new world of opportunity… such as being a keynote speaker in Australia, appearing on Fox News and ABC News, writing my own book and much more!
Enough about me… now I want to share my secrets on how you can do the same! [Read more…]
Called the Chuck Norris of branding, John Morgan has worked with Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and entrepreneurs. Also an author, John’s book Brand Against The Machine currently has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
A lot of people see a brand as a logo or design, but it’s actually more than that. What is, and what makes up a brand?
A brand is certainly not a logo or color scheme or marketing campaign. It is people’s perception of you. It represents the level of trust people have with your company. What makes up a brand is quite simply, everything. Everything you do is branding. Your attitude, clothes, service, systems, and so on, all make up your brand. That’s why so many businesses fail to build a lasting brand. They believe that their brand is based on the product, or the logo. They forget the little things. Every great brand is made of tiny little things they do well.
I’m sure there are some people reading this who never seriously considered what their brand exactly was. How do you come up with a brand? Where do you even begin?
Everyone already has a brand because everyone you’ve met has a perception of you. You might not have considered how you’re positioned in the marketplace, but it’s not too late. I recommend beginning by focusing on what you do that your competition doesn’t. It’s an instant way to stand out. In addition to that, give your brand room to breathe and grow over time. Apple was once defined as a computer company, yet today their brand is perceived differently than that. [Read more…]
Lately, there’s been a lot of emphasis on how high-quality blog content is not only more engaging for readers, but it also ranks better in search engines. However, making an impact in the blogging world is about more than just writing posts people want to read. That’s important, but there’s another very important element to consider: design.
Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have some design expertise under your belt and don’t mind using those skills on your blog. If that situation doesn’t apply, you’ll soon see why it’s such a good idea to hire a designer.
Think of a template as an expression of your blog’s brand. Although it’s possible to purchase premium templates, wouldn’t you rather have one that’s all your own? A designer can be a great resource and create one that immediately gives readers clues about what to expect when coming to the blog for the first time.
Templates are also useful if you participate in themed blogging, where the majority of your content relates to a niche topic. Take 12 Keys’ blog, shown above, for example. As a recovery center, their blog reflects the bright and cheerful colors of their logo and their relaxing beachside location. Think about recruiting a designer to help you make small alterations to a template to reflect seasonal changes, as well. [Read more…]
The use of the social media to promote products on the internet has gained a lot of popularity. There is need therefore to know how well the product is doing among others in the internet. There is normally a need to be able to know of the different sentiments that people are sharing about the product. In the past, people would only read about the content of your product and then they would navigate elsewhere. But now things have changed and now after readers can take some good measureable actions to be able to track of the audience of those reading about the brand. This is made possible by the use of the right tools for the task. The different social medias present normally have different methods of keeping track of the products. The keeping track of the product will guide in the other decisions which needs to be implemented about the product. The management is also assisted in knowing which social media is getting a bigger capture of the targeted clients.
On Digg, the only way of keeping track of their products by hearing a lot of news about them. The website would register tens of thousands who visited it but never again to have them return. But this has changed and now Diggs offers a widget that can keep track of all the most read stories about your product on the site.
On Facebook, there is the benefit of using the like options which can be installed on ones stories in order to keep track of products. This has been the most used feature of facebook which has been used to track the products. When we move the attention to twitter, there is normally no chance of indexing the old tweets. There is however a popular link that is used to offer a detailed statistics about the number of click through of the links.
Google analytics can easily help to keep track of the domain by enabling one to know which media sites are taking keen interest on their products. But sometimes there will be the possibilities of having to go through a lot of feed backs some of which could be irrelevant. In order to know the genuine followers of your products, one can make good use of the sentimental analysis. These are able to measure the emotion of each and every tweet, posting, comment or any feed back left behind about a product.
There are other ways of keeping track of how the product is doing on the social media by employing some company which have specialized on keeping track. An example is the scoutlabs which normally offers the service at a fee.