What Branding Really Means, and Why it's Usually Code for BS -
You probably think a brand is a visual identity because of âbig brandsâ like Nike, Apple, Google & Coke. We identify those companies by their logos,but…
Excellent article from KISSmetrics that tackles two vague marketing buzzwords: ‘branding’ and ‘positioning.’ Get a better understanding of what these terms mean, and how to internalize & apply them to your brand’s marketing strategy.
Forbes: 10 Reasons Why Your Social Media Efforts Aren't Working & What You Can Do About It -
Here’s a great piece from Forbes that outlines some of the most common shortcomings of a brand’s social media efforts. Feel like your company’s social media presence is lackluster? Take a look at this piece for ideas on how to approach things differently.
Not sure you have ‘what it takes’? Reach out for professional help. One thing I often tell my clients: you have an accountant to handle your taxes, you have a tech guy to help with your IT needs… if these activities are not your strength, you should not be spending your time on them. As a business owner, you most likely have an excess of tasks on your to-do list, and you have to manage your time wisely. Getting your brand’s social media right takes time & attention. If you can’t dedicate that time, reach out to a specialist for a consultation.
The New Year is here! Are you ready? Here’s a quick list to help you head into the new year with a fresh start.
1. Update your LinkedIn profile. Unless you’re a LinkedIn pro, you might find that your LinkedIn profile has gotten a bit dusty. Take 5 minutes and give it a once-over. Read through your job & project descriptions, add any updates, freshen up the language. Take another look at your photo: is it working? (Is it clear, professional, well-lit, inviting…?) Finally, join some new groups and ‘follow’ some industry pros. It’s all about expanding your network, after all.
2. Write yourself an editorial calendar for one month. An editorial calendar is an outline for your blogging or marketing goals, laid out in advance. It’s an invaluable tool if you’re serious about providing regular, exciting content. If you don’t use one regularly, try it for one month. It doesn’t have to be complex or lengthy, just give yourself enough detail to go on so that you’re inspired to keep at it. (Prediction: You’ll see an increase in post frequency.)
3. Change your Facebook Cover Photo. It’s a minor one, but this change gets attention! Think about your brand ‘s major initiatives are right now, and how you can convey that through a photo. Freshen things up! While you’re updating your photo, take a look at your page through a stranger’s eyes and see if there’s anything else you can add to or enhance to captivate new visitors and engage those who already ‘like’ your page. (…and if you’ve written your editorial calendar, you’ll be prepared to serve up engaging content all month long!)
4. Sign up for social media management tools so you can stay active on Twitter. In my opinion, it’s better not to have your brand on Twitter at all than to have a stale, neglected Twitter account! If being consistently active Twitter is a challenge for you, check out some tools to make Twitter more manageable. Programs like HootSuite are designed to make tweeting even easier, with features that let you write and schedule tweets ahead of time, data reporting to help you judge how effective your tweets are, and more. Finally, remember to check your Twitter account often so that you can reply to mentions and interact with your fans in a timely manner.
Here’s to a happy and productive New Year!
Wondering why it’s been so quiet at Jacquilope HQ? Well, at the end of October, NJ got hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Though my home town fared better than most, we were still without power for over a week. Through it all, though, we were learning just how extensive the damage to New Jersey’s coastal towns had been.
Imagine losing everything - EVERYTHING. That was the reality so many towns at the Jersey Shore had to face as Hurricane Sandy moved on. It’s not in my nature to sit quietly when big things happen, and luckily, my friend Melissa Klepacki, founder of PrincetonScoop, is of the same mindset. One phone call from Melissa, a few emails exchanged with other talented local ladies and an hour or two later and we’d created Restore Our Shore, a philanthropic movement dedicated to raising funds for nonprofits working at the Jersey Shore.
Our neighbors at the shore need us, and Restore Our Shore is focused on raising funds to be distributed to credible nonprofits working in the heart of the most devastated communities. There is so much work to be done, and we’re here to rally our neighbors to help those who need it direly. We are taking no salaries and have no operating costs, so as the donations come in, we’re able to send it right back out to groups that need the funding. Have $5 to donate? More? Every dollar counts. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.
…and stay tuned for more big things from Jacquilope!
As this weekend approaches, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on something I had been discussing with a friend earlier this week. We were talking about running our businesses, and we both agreed that it’s always easier to get down to work when the work is good. On days when the workload seems overwhelming, or at times when a project isn’t working out exactly as you had envisioned, it takes a little extra effort (and several extra mugs of coffee) to get work done.
It turns out, this type of thinking has been studied extensively by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. I did some searching and uncovered a case study in which researchers tracked new hires at Met Life - measuring their success and failure rates, and analyzing the employees’ moods to determine their effect on overall performance.
The study compared sales people with a optimistic outlooks to those who were pessimistic. While the success and failure rates of each group were comparable, those workers with an optimistic mindset made far more progress - outperforming the pessimists by 20-40%. The reasoning behind this, the researchers suggested, was that people who were generally optimistic attributed their failure to something that the would be able to change. In other words, when they failed, they kept going, knowing that they could improve over time. Pessimists, meanwhile, took each failure far more seriously, to the point that it detracted from the work they were able to do.
How are you feeling today? Feeling a little overwhelmed? Why not put this theory to the test by letting yourself off the hook for those things that may not be working out as planned. Give yourself a pep talk and get back in the game.
If you’re feeling confident, well, go out there and make it happen!
Good Read: Event Marketing Ideas: Capturing & Curating Social Media Content - Business 2 Community -
Social media can act as some of the greatest word-of-mouth marketing available. With platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, social media allows for the sharing of content in real-time. How can businesses harness this power?
Business 2 Community offers this article examining the ways information is shared at big events, and how to harness the power of shared content to build momentum for your brand. Want to generate a buzz at your next function? Take these tips to inspire the crowd to share their experience on social media!
Good Read: Big Companies Aren't Using Social Media For Customer Service - Forbes -
A thoughtful piece examining the use of social media by Fortune 500 companies. Turns out, many of the big companies see social media solely as a marketing tool. What they haven’t recognized yet is that social media is so much more than that. Social media provides avenues for connecting directly with consumers, which allows for product feedback, brand monitoring and relationship building. (All of which are essential to business growth!)
Read on to find out what social media has to offer to all businesses, and why these Fortune 500 companies ought to be embracing social media.
Good Read: Fast Company's #TheRules of Social Media -
Fast Company has hit a home run again with its new series of posts, #TheRules of Social Media. Inviting followers to share their own rule using the hashtag, they’ve come up with a series of posts that take a critical look at fundamentals in social media marketing.
Worth the read today: this article, linked above. It explains the value of engagement on social media, putting forth a very simple principle of marketing: give the people what they want instead of overtly forcing your marketing agenda on them. By providing content of value to your followers, you can begin to organically grow a loyal, engaged community. Read on!
Headed to Chicago… for one day only, before hitting the road back east again. Looking forward to some road trip time, and I’ve loaded up with podcasts (addicted to WHYY Radio Times from Philly & ‘This American Life’, of course!) and will be catching up on my reading.
Some weekend reading I’d recommend to my fellow social media geeks:
‘Infographic: What’s Different About the 2012 Olympics? Social Media, Basically.’ via Fast Company
‘More Leads, Higher Customer Retention.’ via KissMetrics Blog
‘Tie Your Social Media to Your Business Goals.’ via Radian6 Blog
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Customer service and social media go hand in hand. If you’re making use of social media for your business, you really can’t have one without the other. It’s all in the name: social media. As a digital ambassador for your brand, you should be treating people the same way online as you would treat them if they were in your shop or your office. Make sure you’re doing right, and read on to find out how to provide excellent customer service through social media.
1. Be present, be available. You wouldn’t leave potential customers unattended in your shop, and you would never leave the phones unattended - social media requires the same sort of dedicated attention. Cultivate a similar presence on your social media channels. Once you’ve set up your accounts and become accessible, you build credibility by staying present. Be available to fans and followers, and keep tabs on what they’re doing and sharing.
2. Stay in the know. In addition to simply being present on social media, dig a little deeper! Perform searches on Twitter, set up a Google alert for your brand, and monitor conversations across the internet. What are people saying about your brand? This is a huge learning opportunity! Is someone paying you a compliment? Thank them! Is someone complaining about poor service? Contact them. Remember - bad news travels fast, and people love to voice their complaints on social media sites.
3. Truly listen. By acknowledging and addressing compliments & complaints in a public forum, you’re showing that you’re listening - and that goes a long way. If you can tackle a complaint head-on, you show your confidence in your brand AND your respect for your followers. (For an example of someone who handles complaints gracefully and publicly, check out the Twitter Stream of Newark, NJ city Mayor, Cory Booker.)