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Posts Tagged ‘JG Social Media Tips on Branding Online’

If you are not aware, Google provides a free service to businesses, and their locations, to create a business listing that is similar to the phone book.

A few of the features include,

  • List your company name, address, contact information, and website.
  • List your hours of operation (easy to change if you are a seasonal company).
  • Create coupons and special deals.
  • Display company logo, pictures, and links.
  • And more….

It takes about 5-10 minutes to set up (if you have all information necessary) and requires minimal (if any) maintenance unless something changes. Check out JG Social Media Listing!

Click here to go to Google Local Business Center.

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With the term “social media” so new – which, please note, the strategy behind it is not – it’s difficult for a brand to decide on their approach: billboard (please, hopefully not), interactive, social.

 

My good friend Maura Hernandez (amazing photographer, by the way) forwarded me an email newsletter written by Scott Hepburn from Media Emerging, that simply stated the following:

How to Become a “Social Media Consultant”
By Scott Hepburn

1. Have a job.
2. Lose your job

Unfortunately, this statement by Hepburn is all too true and dangerous. As somebody who has been working in the social media (online media, new media – whichever you prefer) space for years, I am sometimes shocked at the number of professionals who fit into the category above.

Granted they are familiar and are users of social media tools (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and can probably teach the usage of them, but how have they used the web to create brand awareness and what is the ROI they can provide? At minimal, have they created and grown their own online brand or are they casual and social users?

With the term “social media” so new – which, please note, the strategy behind it is not – it’s difficult for a brand to decide on their approach: billboard (please, hopefully not), interactive, social. So why would you encourage or hire a consultant who has not already assisted in online brand building?

There was an article once written (of course, I cannot seem to locate and cannot remember the author) that outlined about 10 questions you should ask before hiring a social media consultant. Here are 5 of my own, that I think are most important (and if anybody knows the article I speak of – please let me know):

  1. How many clients have they worked with. Paid clients.
  2. What has been their ROI for their clients?
  3. What is their approach to online branding and social [new] media?
  4. Google their name. If you cannot find them easily, red flag it.
  5. Is their fee in line with others? If it seems like “such a great deal, and much lower and in line with our budget” it probably is. Question why this consultant does not fully understand the value of their service.

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If I read your tweet on Twitter, I sure do not want to read it when I open my Facebook. And I sure as heck do not want to read it a third time on LinkedIn.

A few weeks ago it was announced that your tweets can automatically post to your LinkedIn account. Unfortunately the same option is available for Facebook. Why do I say unfortunately, you ask? As a user of all three spaces, I am consistently on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

If I read your tweet on Twitter, I sure do not want to read it when I open my Facebook. And I sure as heck do not want to read it a third time on LinkedIn.

Though some can argue branding purposes and the ‘ol “see my logo or message 36 times and you will recognize me” and rightfully so, but I challenge this mentality and strategy.

I am more likely to see your updates on Facebook and LinkedIn, and more likely to learn more because of the increase in character space allowance. Twitter is more of a 50/50. However, once I recognize that you really want me to read the tweets, there is an increased chance of me changing the settings on what I see from you or changing our connection status on other social media platforms.

As a social media consultant, I hear hundreds (or even thousands) of social media strategies and approaches. Some work and some don’t. Social media strategy should revolve, reflect, and assist your brand strategy, marketing strategy, and sales strategy -BUT, it should also revolve around your audience, potential customers. Think about what they want to see, hear, read, and be engaged in.

Below, just to share, are some brief thoughts and how I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn:

I follow people on Facebook because it’s personal; I can learn and get to know more about their life, professionally and personal.

I use Facebook to let people know more about me; more about the person behind that business card. I also think status updates are longer lasting, can explain more, and call action.

I connect with people on LinkedIn because it’s professional; I learn more about their professional history, can see connections, how I am connected to other folks. Additionally my connections are open to my network, and I encourage introduction requests (if it makes sense)

I follow people on Twitter because I am interested in what they have to say, learn what they are reading and discussing, and for the instant conversations that can be had. It’s an open networking event where people interrupting to give their opinion is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

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Admittedly so, this has little to do with social media, new online media, or building your brand online…..or does it?

Newsweek published the Top 500 US Green Companies the other month (and yes, I am just getting around to talking about it).  They rated these companies based on their: Environmental Impact Score, Green Policies and Performance, and Reputation Survey. 

I bring this information to your attention for two reasons. 

First off, I think it is extremely important to know where our US Companies rank in their endeavor to becoming more environmentally conscious. 

Secondly, I have been monitoring the press on this list for some time now and have not come across much (the use of Google Alerts has been extremely instrumental); highly disappointed.  There were countless avenues they could have taken advantage of to discuss their ranking (especially those on top): from Twitter to blogging about it. 

What can we learn?  When building your online reputation, discuss the positives about your brand/company/service.  Do not be afraid to boast at times.  You’ll need much more positive news flying around the internet for every one negative comment. 

Click here to access the list and their reviews.

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