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Reputation Management

Facebook Overshare

facebook

For the last couple years there has been a talk of “Facebook Overshare.”  Friends get unfriended because, frankly, everybody is tired of reading their life story.

Facebook has become the place to complain, compete for likes and stalk old high school enemies to see what dark path life has taken them down. I know exactly which of my friends have run marathons or gone to Disneyland in the last year without even seeing them. Because, of course, Facebook is also the place to brag (thank you to those who post your engagement, post a photo and also change your relationship status to engaged for us singles to scroll through – we love it).

Two days ago I got a play by play of the birth of my friend’s child. I don’t need to need to know when your water breaks, I can wait to see pictures of your baby until you are back in the privacy of your own home. Or even better, wait two months until your baby gets cute and gains a personality.

The problem with the “Oversharers” is they 1. Don’t know that they are over sharing and continue to bombard you with three posts a day about things that absolutely don’t matter and were only funny to them or 2. Take the “If you don’t want to read about my life then just unfriend me” approach. So why don’t we unfriend them? Is the drama that good that we can’t look away? Maybe we actually care a little bit about their life and want to keep in touch with them, or, heaven forbid, they are a relative and we have no choice.

I think we can all agree that oversharers can get extremely annoying really fast. But is oversharing on your business’ Facebook Page a thing?

Absolutely. Oversharing is treating your page like anything except a PR platform. Customers don’t need to know your political views, or read the diary of your employees.  There’s a huge difference between oversharing and injecting some personality into your page. It’s 100% okay – and encouraged – to share fun facts about your business, promotions of employees or let your customers feel like they know you. Your customers should know your business, not your business.

Over-posting is a similar problem. When you over post on your business’ Facebook page, you clog follower’s newsfeeds. Followers soon become annoyed and scroll right past your post without looking at it, or, worst case scenario, unlike your page. Once you get unliked, it’s very unlikely they will ever return. It’s important to post relevant and important information so everything that is posted will be examined.

 

Meme: Thank you for updating Facebook again with what you ate for dinner. The suspense was killing me.
Meme: Thanks so much for that update about your super busy life... nobody has ever gone to work, the gym, and made dinner in one day. How DO you do it?
Meme: I used to think it would be cool to read other peoples minds. Then I joined Facebook and I got over that.
Meme: I don't know what problems you're having, but I'm here to read about them on Facebook.

What’s in a Logo?

bear

Your logo is the face of your company. It’s a key graphical representation that displays your company’s unique identity. Alone, a logo anchors your company’s branding.  A well-designed logo is a necessary part of any company’s overall marketing strategy. It’s a visual cue that tells a story of the brand’s culture, behavior and values.

Think about it. What do you think of when you see a blue bird? Golden arches? How about an apple?  These logos have become the brand. How many Nike items have you seen that just have the swoosh? The “Nike” is no longer needed, but everybody still knows what brand you are wearing.

Let’s talk more about Nike. In 1971, Carolyn Davidson was given $35 to create the logo for a company who made $27.8 billion dollars last year! Of course, Nike didn’t become a billion dollar company overnight, but when it did, The Swoosh was right by it’s side like it always had been. In fact, in 1971 The Swoosh came with “Nike” written right across it. In 1978, the “Nike” was moved above The Swoosh until 1995 when “Nike” was dropped all together. At that moment, The Swoosh became the logo.

Just like the Nike logo, some logos change slightly as the brand grows while others make a more significant change. The Mozilla Firefox logo changed drastically within a year. Between 1898 and today Pepsi has gone through 10 different logo changes. Each logo has a small change, but putting the 1898 logo beside today’s, you wouldn’t even guess they are from the same business. And Fiat’s 11 different logos look like they all belong to different companies.

It’s all about creating a logo that represents your company and works with your brand. ! So, it’s important that it represents your company perfectly. After all, your logo will be everywhere! Stationary, letterheads, business cards, your website…. the list goes on and on of places that will feature your logo.

So, what’s in a logo?

Your brand and everything that your company stands for is in this one, simple logo. Make it something to remember.

Quick Tips for a Complete LinkedIn Profile

linkedin

LinkedIn is the place to share your professional story. For a lot of people, it can be the place where you make your first impression. There’s certain information your profile must have in order to make a professional online presence. But that’s exactly what LinkedIn is and what it is here for. LinkedIn is meant to connect you to other business professionals in your industry. It has a lot to offer, but unless you’re taking full advantage of your profile, you may not be receiving the full benefits. Users who complete their profile are 40x more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. It’s important to have a complete profile. And it’s never been easier. In seven easy steps you can be on your way to getting more profile views and more connections.

Your industry and location
Help other professionals in your area find you by putting your location on your profile with your field of work. Adding an industry can get your profile 15x more views, and attracting business professionals is exactly what you want to do.

Your current position
Current is the key word. Give a description of your current job position and make it catchy. This is the place to sell yourself and show other users what you can do. By sharing high-quality information, you’ll receive connections from other professionals in the same in line of work.

Two past positions
Having your two most recent jobs can generate 12x more traffic, so add to your skill set by posting two past positions. Showing off skills you acquired in past jobs can further your chances of making a connection. This will also allow you to make connections with people from your past.

Your education
You worked hard for you education – show it off! Profiles that list their education get 10x more profile views, so don’t think it will go unnoticed.

Your skills
Have a minimum of three skills to showcase your talent. This is where you set yourself apart from the competition. You’ve attracted business professionals by stating your industry and your current position, but now you need to seal the deal. How are you different from other candidates? Why do they need you? What can you do for him or her that nobody else can?

Your profile picture
Adding a profile picture makes your profile 14x more likely to be viewed by other users. As important as it is to have a profile picture, it’s equally important to use a professional picture. You want to relay the message that you a hard working individual, not that you like to snowboard on the weekends.

Have 50 connections
The last step is to have at least 50 connections. It sounds like a lot, but it’s not hard to achieve. Connect with coworkers, friends and classmates as a starting point. Once you start finding professionals on LinkedIn your connections will grow within your field.

Handling Negative Feedback

jellyfish

 

Have you ever used social media in your personal life, and received a negative comment regarding something you posted? If you use social media as a marketing tool, you will also most likely receive negative comments at some point in time. On a personal page, the negative comments are usually about something you had posted or from a personal conflict with someone. With social media marketing, you will run into negative comments regarding different aspects of your business.

These are the areas that you will receive negative comments.

  • Product Quality – Issues regarding manufacturing defects or products not performing the way the advertising suggests they will perform. For example, a certain function may not have worked, or stopped working.
  • Customer Service – Issues regarding a complaint about service they received. For example, a customer service representative treated a customer poorly.
  • Branding/PR Issues – This is where PR issues have affected the overall view of the company. For example, your company gets associated with something negative or controversial.

 

A megaphone with 'Negative Feedback' written down the side

 

What do you do once you receive a negative comment on your social media site? The most important thing that you can do is to stay proactive. This is your opportunity to openly explain or defend your company/product. If your product was defective, extend an apology and explain what steps you took to make the customer happy. If the customer received poor service, this is your chance to defend what your policies are, and to assure them that you took actions to prevent it from happening in the future. If your company has received a negative image, from a particular event, this is your opportunity to defend the ideals of your company.

Remember that once you openly address a complaint on a social media site, everyone who visits that site, will be able to see how you handle these situations. This will assure your current and potential customers that you are proactive with issues that may arise. Also, remember that the idea behind social media is to interact. Interact and create connections with your customers, whether it is from negative or positive experiences, responding to all experiences will assure the growth of your social media followers and your customer base.

 

 

 

Relationship Marketing

rear view mirror

When you go on a first date there are two things that can happen. You can go on a second date or you can call it quits before anything started.  When somebody comes to your business for the first time two things can happen. They can come in again or they can go somewhere else.  The common goal here is to keep the relationship going.

Communication and interaction are vital for your relationship to succeed. Kim Kardashian taught us that after her failed 72 day marriage. As a business, it’s important to practice relationship marketing. Relationship Marketing is a strategy to build long-term relationships with your customers by providing satisfaction and promoting open communication. 

Valuing your customers, being on social media and listening to their feedback are three ways to communicate with your customers and showing them you care.

Value Your Customers

When you’re in a relationship you like to be appreciated, and as a business, I can only imagine how you love to be told how great your products and services are. But it’s not a one-way form of flattery.  You can’t expect your significant other to say, “Honey, I really appreciate you doing the dishes,” while you sit there and act like she wasn’t the one who made dinner. Do the same for your customers and let them know how much you value them.

 Be Where They Are

It’s important that you understand the power of social media and have active profiles set up on all the popular social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. When you’re in a relationship you can’t be together all the time, that’s why texting is a big deal. We can annoy our loved ones during movies and wake them up from naps with a simple text. Social media is the texting to your relationship with your customers. These sites allow your customers to interact with you by giving feedback and asking questions when they aren’t with you.

Social Media Outreach

 Listen to Your Customers

You know that thing your significant other does that really annoys you – the gum smacking, the pen tapping or the annoying way you never get to hold the remote?  How many times have you had the “just stop and ask for directions” talk with them? As a business you should strive to use customer feedback in order to improve your products and services.  Let them know you are listening the first time feedback is given by integrating it as much as possible.

The Types of People to Avoid BEING on Social Media

avoidbeingonsm

A woman with a piece of paper over her face, with a crude drawing of a dead smiley face on it

 

Doesn’t it always seem like you’re in competition for the most followers, friends, likes, comments, with your social media? Whether we would like to admit it or not, we’re in a time where we thrive off of that little red notification on Facebook, or that “new follower” notification on Twitter. We like the attention and we can’t get enough of it. But are the people you’re getting the attention from the people you really want to be interacting with? Probably not.

I am all for social media, I love it. It’s an amazing way to connect and network with people I may not have had the opportunity to connect with otherwise. However, that being said, it also connects you with about twice as many of the wrong people. With social media it is vital to filter through it and make sure you’re in contact with the people you want to be in contact with. Don’t waste your time and clutter your feeds with posts, and people, that do absolutely nothing for you. Wasting time talking to these people only hurts you, and you may miss that perfect connection. I am sure most of you have come across at least one of these people, but don’t let yourself become one of them.

The Complainer

Nothing brings you down quite like the person you follow that always seems to have bad day and can’t wait to share it with the world. I don’t know who decided it was acceptable to use social media as your personal diary, but enough is enough already. Negativity only attracts more negativity, so people want to surround themselves with a network that empowers them instead.

Self-Important Sally

Now Sally is THE industry. No one is better or does anything better than she does, and she will make sure you know it, too. I highly suggest unfollowing these people. Run far, far away in fact. The self-important Sally’s are only here for themselves and not interested in you. They will put down the people just starting out in the industry and even the industry itself to make themselves look better. You gain absolutely nothing from them except the frustration you will get when you read their posts hourly.

The Know-It-All

Much like the Self-Important Sally, the Know-It-All just brings negativity to your feed. Having a productive debate, or conversation is a great way to connect and get ideas flowing but can be abruptly ended when the know-it-all chimes in with his “opinions” and slowly but surely your other contacts will no longer want to be involved. Social media is about engaging everyone in conversation and connectedness- this guys gives you the complete opposite of that. Don’t be that guy.

The Brain Picker

Social media is meant to connect people, and learn more about them, but sometimes people take it too far. If done right it can be such a beneficial tool for sparking great conversation. But in a blink of an eye, it’s all down hill from there and suddenly becomes a public dumping session that is the biggest waste of time. They start off with a simple question, and once you answer the questions keep coming. Then you find your self in a never ending revolving door full of detailed questions about every single thing you do and how you do it. You certainly can answer these questions but be cautious when you do so. This is their time and expertise they are spending giving free advice and getting nothing done. Don’t be a brain picker and waste the little time they have.

The Tweeter who Tweets About Work, But Doesn’t Actually Work

This has to be one of the most common “wrong” people you find on social media. If you really were working you would not have time to tweet about every single second of your day. You can tweet that you’re working hard until the cows come home, but just because you tweeted that does not magically make you a hard worker. Maybe you just have too much time on your hands, but your networks don’t so tread lightly when interacting with them because their time is valuable, and don’t be their counterproductive annoyance.

The Broadcaster

Have you read my latest blog? I have a new e-book available, you should check it out. Don’t miss my new pod cast next Tuesday! You first followed him last month and you already know what is schedule is, and have seen his entire life’s work because that’s all he talks about. He will take any and every opportunity to plug his work in so you know what he’s doing and has done. Social media is a great marketing tool, but there is a fine line between great marketing and being a shameless self-promoter that everyone is shaking his or her head at. It’s just not fun when the person only talks about themselves and bombards you with what they’ve accomplished.

Now you may think jumping to the gun after one post is a little hasty, and maybe it is. But 9/10 times you can count on being just another roadblock to productively networking. You’ll get a chance, or two, but that will only last so long before they click unfollow faster than you have time to share another Negative Nancy post or tweet. If you’re not bringing any value to their inspirational daily dose of social media, you’ll get kicked to the social media curb- where you should be.

Sometimes it just isn’t about getting the most followers or likes. It’s about really engaging the people who will be beneficial to you and your business. Quality over quantity people.

Effort Results in Action

hot air balloon

Think of every new prospect as a first date: you don’t want to scare them off; you want them to stick around and keep coming back. Unfortunately, like going on your first date, that is a lot of pressure and sometimes you come on too strong and they go running. Word of advice, don’t continue to run after them. No one likes a clingy date. Instead, take a step back and reevaluate your tactics. Fortunately in regards to content marketing it’s an easy fix, as for dating… you’re on your own.

You want your customer to feel comfortable— give them straightforward answers that leave no room for confusion. You have to know what you want before you can ask someone else for something in return. The experience your prospects have with your content is their first impression of you. The goal is to connect with them, give them something that they want to come back for. Below are four reasons your prospects aren’t becoming customers, and how you can change that.

You’re Not Fooling Anyone
When you first meet someone, you want to learn about their interests, hobbies, what kind of person they are. We are in search of someone genuine and looking for a lasting relationship (well, most of the time anyway.) The same goes for content marketing. When you put something out for prospects you want it to be real. Why is what you’re offering the best for them, is it worth coming back for? 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. When you create something custom its shows that you are in it for the long haul. Who wants to be a part of something where the other half only gives their minimum effort? Tailor your content to your business specifically. Ensure when they are visiting your site, they know exactly who you are, that you are dedicated to them as a customer, and it is clear what exactly you want them to do. It’s easy to create something generic that will get the job done. But no one just wants to get the job done. If you put in effort and show that you are dedicated, it will go a long way. After all, nothing worth having comes easy.

Too Much Too Soon
One of the biggest mistakes is asking too much too soon from your prospects. The idea of asking for a hand in marriage on the first date would seem laughable and ridiculous for most. When it comes to business, it is no different. Your prospects are immediately turned off when the first interaction is you in their faces demanding their business NOW. It doesn’t work that way, and it shouldn’t. You need to do some work, and a little nurturing first, to be able to earn their loyalty.

No Direction
Quit sending out mixed signals. Be proud of your call-to-actions, and making it as clear as you can. This is not a game, contrary to popular belief. We fall for the coy, and mysterious and sometimes it can be fun. But, let’s be real, it gets old. And it gets old fast. From web pages, to websites, many fail to provide clear directions to its prospects. They have a lot of other things they are concerned with, and trying to navigate through your maze of a webpage is not at the top of their to do list. In all honesty, it never even made it on to the list. First impressions are everything. When your content offers nothing but confusion, and time to be wasted, that prospect has already left your page and is on to the next one. Check please!

Quit the Babble and Be Personable
We’ve all had this date— the one who NEVER stops talking, throwing in the same five-dollar word every few minutes in attempt to impress you. This jargon is a facade, and they see right through it. Mentally, they’ve checked out about 10 minutes ago, and what you’re giving them is doing nothing for them, or for you. There is a time and place for buzzwords like “infrastructure,” such as on pages describing the product, or in the data sheets. The wrong place is when you are talking to a prospect. Focus on being personable, and real, and stop relying on what you think is impressionable babble that really isn’t helping anyone. People don’t want to be talked at. So put a cap on it and listen to your prospects.

Too many of the first dates become apparent right away that they will indeed be the last one as well. You put what you have to offer out on the line and see if it’s something worth pursuing. After so many first date fails it becomes monotonous. It’s the same thing over and over, and by the end you’re just trying to keep your head afloat to make it to the end of the date. The content you are putting out to your prospects follows the same rules. An overwhelming amount of content out in the world is confusing, pushy, needy, demanding, and not enough about creating a solid foundation to make a lasting partnership, and converting these “prospects” into actual returning customers. If you present your content in a concise clear manner, that is personable, the retention rate of prospects, and customers is sure to improve greatly. 95% of content marketers agree that offering a good user experience just makes sense, and we can’t disagree with that.

That being said, you have to put in the effort to get some action.

Guidelines for Finding your Brand’s Social Voice

Boise At Night
Although it may be hard for a business to find their voice on social networks it is also extremely important. Many people wonder how to respond, or what they should say but there is a number of different answers for every brand. Below are a few guidelines to help you decide what your voice should sound like:

1. Make a Decision on What You Are Wanting to Talk About

Planning what subjects you are going to talk about will allow you to plan for those subjects you are not going to talk about. For many property managers this could be about new rentals, or  topics that relate to your management company. A good place to start is to look at competing brands. You don’t need to copy their strategy, but just take note of what they discuss and what they don’t and go from there.

2. Make Sure to Engage your Target Demographic.

Your brand should have a voice that talks to consumers in a language they understand. If you are a property management companies, then you will typically deal with a variety of people who are interested in finding a new home for themselves or are looking to use your management services. The type of communication you use should cater to your tenants or owners. If you are a car wash owner then you are targeting those customers in your area who are looking for a quick, efficient clean. If there is some type of disconnect (even if you have high engagement), you may not be communicating with your most valuable audience.

3. Be Genuine

Being authentic can set you apart from you’re competition by a large margin. You know your brand’s message better than anyone; therefore, you need to design your messaging to communicate that message. For what does your brand stand for? With what kinds of lifestyles + people can it be aligned? Consider what your target demographic likes besides your product or service and explore how you can integrate these things into messaging.

4. Consumer Response

Always respond to customer inquiries with respect. Respond as though you would expect an employee to respond face-to-face. It is about having a conversation with your fans and followers and interacting with them as much as possible. This will generally keep you on their good side and may create new leads for your business in the future.

Here at Social Eyes Marketing, we are experienced in social media management and have a number of happy clients to prove it. Rely on someone that you can trust when it comes to your social networks.

Source: Social Media Examiner

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Social Channels

Lakeside Idaho

It’s that time of year again. Time to clean out the closets, get rid of the household clutter, and do a deep cleaning to get rid of the winter cobwebs.

Spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to your home. Dig into those social channels, and use this season to put some polish on your social outreach.

1. De-clutter your fan base.  De-clutter your fan base

Use a social tools to identify and weed out inactive users on your social channels. Start spring fresh with a clean, organized, and socially engaged fan base.

2. Give your channels a social makeover.

Time to toss out the old wardrobe for updated styles. Modernize your cover images on Facebook and Google Plus, profile pictures, and social channel backgrounds to show your brand in a fresh light.

3. Refresh dusty social channels.

Re-evaluate your social channels. Unused, abandoned, or lackluster pages are signs that no one is engaging with the brand. Have you not posted in months? Time to rethink your overarching social strategy and decide which social channels still make sense in order to maximize fan engagement.

4. Organize lists. 

Create lists on Twitter that match your demographic and social influencers. Whether you’re creating a private list of competitors or publicly classifying best customers, it’s important to identify and organize key people who make your marketing mix successful. This also helps you listen to relevant conversations based on the audience you’re targeting. 

5. Spring into action. 

Partner with a local community group or nonprofit and host an event outdoors. Take advantage of the sunshine and extra time you’ll have now that your social channels are refreshed.

How do you clean up your social channels? (ragan)

The 10 Commandments of Social Media for Brands

Converse Ann Morrison Park Boise

While the anonymous, public and often informal nature of Internet dialogue often leads corporations to relax their guard, it’s important to note: Managing a brand’s social media presence is a tricky balancing act. The key to being successful? Keeping things polite and professional, and constantly acknowledging your audience’s voice, while adding value or insight to customer exchWhile the anonymous, public and often informal nature of Internet dialogue often leads corporations to relax their guard, it’s important to note: Managing a brand’s social media presence is a tricky balancing act. The key to being successful? Keeping things polite and professional, and constantly acknowledging your audience’s voice, while adding value or insight to customer exchanges.

Looking to enhance your corporate social media efforts? Here are 10 simple rules every corporate social networking team should follow to better connect with fans and maximize the value of their online presences.

1. Thou shalt be patient and considerate.

While many campaigns seem to go viral overnight, it’s important to remember that businesses rarely experience instant breakthroughs or meteoric audience growth on social media. More important than chasing huge follower or subscriber counts is to consistently and meaningfully engage an audience by creating helpful and insightful content that addresses key concerns or speaks to consumer needs.

Over time, through constant two-way dialogue with users, this commitment will help your business build a loyal and involved following, the influence of which may far outstrip that of larger, less engaged audiences.

Be relevant, generous and sincere. While doing so may not seem as sexy or instantly gratifying as posting a viral video or infographic, it will help you build trust, empathy and, most importantly, relationships, the currency of the modern social realm.

2. Thou shalt not be indifferent to the voice of thy customer. Social Media Bubble

When you engage in social media, you commit to playing a role in very public customer conversations. This entails consistently having to acknowledge other parties’ opinions, and embracing both the good and the bad, including harsh or critical feedback.

Instead of looking the other way when someone posts something unflattering, take a moment to objectively assess the feedback. Constructive criticism not only presents opportunities to improve our efforts to serve end-users; it also presents a chance to engage in human exchanges, and apologize and appease the situation.

In other words, the goal is to create conversations, not critiques, and optimize the level of customer support and service provided to your audience. Sometimes, simply taking a moment to acknowledge others’ voices, or answer questions directly can bridge gaps that threaten to build a gulf between you and end-users.

3. Thou shalt be true to thyself.

You’ve spent ample time crafting your brand’s mission and values across your website, marketing materials and advertising efforts. Now is not the time to abandon the positive image you’ve worked so hard to cultivate, or forsake professionalism or propriety in the name of popularity.

Given the medium’s more personable nature, social media exchanges should certainly be more human than formal. But all should be respectful of customers, audience needs and the positive image you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. It’s important not only to respect followers’ time and intelligence, but also to be consistent with your branding and messaging across all platforms. That way, fans and followers know both who you are and the values that your business stands for.

4. Thou shalt think before you post.

Trade secret: Every post or status update you share should add value for your audience, regardless whether that value comes in the form of enlightenment, entertainment or an uplifting exchange.

Therefore, make every share unique, and think about how to ensure it counts – i.e., what can you add to the conversation that others can’t? As a simple example, retweeting posts of note is an excellent way to share information, but adding your own opinion or links to further resources is an even better use of time. Likewise, if you post every single little detail or update about your brand, industry and products, fans may become fatigued. Respect your audience and think about how to make posts superlative, singular and of notable worth before sharing.

The key question to ask yourself: What’s in it for them?

5. Thou shalt be brief.

Remember to keep it short and sweet on social media. You have only a few seconds to catch someone’s attention, and even less time to keep it. Therefore, make sure your posts have an immediate impact and utilize concise language, links, references or (better yet) visual assets, such as photos, videos and inforgraphics. These quickly convey key information at a glance.

Look for ways to distill an idea down to a single statement or elevator pitch that clearly and quickly communicates subject matter, tone and target audience, and provides further points of reference should audiences wish to dive deeper into the topic.

6. Thou shalt not hog the conversation.

In many ways, social networks serve as the world’s largest cocktail party. But no one wants to be stuck with a self-centered conversation hog.

The same rule applies to your social media presence, where it’s important to listen before speaking – doubly so, as the dynamics of conversation and rules of online behavior differ depending on context and parties in attendance. Dedicate the majority of your time proactively engaging your audience, then split the remaining time between content your audience will care about and promoting your brand.

7. Thou shalt do good.

Think of social media as the world’s largest megaphone or amplifier – it can project your online voice louder, farther and faster than ever before.

Always be engaging and upbeat (negativity never reflects well on the poster, especially online, where conversational subtlety and nuance are often lost in translation), and take advantage of the opportunities presented to promote positivity. Material you post online should be less promotional than beneficial in nature, designed to help viewers save time or money, enhance learning and awareness, or offer key opinions and insights. From securing support for charitable ventures to offering deeper looks at evolving trends to helping fans and followers make valuable connections, consistently look for ways to aid, assist and uplift your audience.

8. Thou shalt keep it strictly business.

While color and personality are always welcome online, business and pleasure seldom mix well in social media contexts – personal and corporate accounts are best kept separated. Remember: Users following business accounts do so because they identify with the brand, and expect content in keeping with its core image and focus. Posting anything outside of this realm may prompt confusion, surprise or indifference, and has the potential to reflect poorly on your brand.

Communications should universally be polite, professional and on-topic. Where the risk of misinterpretation or controversy exists, play it safe and skip posting. Keep your tone and voice upbeat and respectful – avoid complaints, negative comments and stabs at the competition at all costs.

9. Thou shalt respect the hashtag.

Twitter hashtags are great vehicles for highlighting topics of relevance, drawing audience’s attention and fostering fan engagement. However, they can also be dangerous when used incorrectly – i.e., too frequently or in inappropriate contexts. Hashtag

Oftentimes, brands overuse hashtags or place them in unrelated posts to drive added visibility. But doing so may leave viewers feeling cheated, especially if those hashtags add no relevant context to conversations or potentially alienate readers. This can cause a negative reaction to your online voice and ultimately your business, which will not only hinder fan acquisition but potentially detract from your brand.

10. Thou shalt not lie.

Skip the temptation to embellish, fib or inflate the truth online, especially since it can easily backfire or even lead to potential legal repercussions. Likewise, be honest with your audience. If fans and followers have questions about an evolving scenario – e.g., a potential PR crisis -– sometimes, the best answer is simply a prompt: “Apologies, but we don’t know. However, rest assured we’re working on it, and will let you know as soon as possible.”

Trust is the foundation of any relationship – real or online, and its loss can have a marked impact on both your brand and customer perception. As Benjamin Franklin once pointed out, it takes many exchanges to build a positive reputation, but only one mistake to undo it.

(Source: Mashable.com)anges.

Looking to enhance your corporate social media efforts? Here are 10 simple rules every corporate social networking team should follow to better connect with fans and maximize the value of their online presences.

1. Thou shalt be patient and considerate.

While many campaigns seem to go viral overnight, it’s important to remember that businesses rarely experience instant breakthroughs or meteoric audience growth on social media. More important than chasing huge follower or subscriber counts is to consistently and meaningfully engage an audience by creating helpful and insightful content that addresses key concerns or speaks to consumer needs.

Over time, through constant two-way dialogue with users, this commitment will help your business build a loyal and involved following, the influence of which may far outstrip that of larger, less engaged audiences.

Be relevant, generous and sincere. While doing so may not seem as sexy or instantly gratifying as posting a viral video or infographic, it will help you build trust, empathy and, most importantly, relationships, the currency of the modern social realm.

2. Thou shalt not be indifferent to the voice of thy customer. Social Media Bubble

When you engage in social media, you commit to playing a role in very public customer conversations. This entails consistently having to acknowledge other parties’ opinions, and embracing both the good and the bad, including harsh or critical feedback.

Instead of looking the other way when someone posts something unflattering, take a moment to objectively assess the feedback. Constructive criticism not only presents opportunities to improve our efforts to serve end-users; it also presents a chance to engage in human exchanges, and apologize and appease the situation.

In other words, the goal is to create conversations, not critiques, and optimize the level of customer support and service provided to your audience. Sometimes, simply taking a moment to acknowledge others’ voices, or answer questions directly can bridge gaps that threaten to build a gulf between you and end-users.

3. Thou shalt be true to thyself.

You’ve spent ample time crafting your brand’s mission and values across your website, marketing materials and advertising efforts. Now is not the time to abandon the positive image you’ve worked so hard to cultivate, or forsake professionalism or propriety in the name of popularity.

Given the medium’s more personable nature, social media exchanges should certainly be more human than formal. But all should be respectful of customers, audience needs and the positive image you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. It’s important not only to respect followers’ time and intelligence, but also to be consistent with your branding and messaging across all platforms. That way, fans and followers know both who you are and the values that your business stands for.

4. Thou shalt think before you post.

Trade secret: Every post or status update you share should add value for your audience, regardless whether that value comes in the form of enlightenment, entertainment or an uplifting exchange.

Therefore, make every share unique, and think about how to ensure it counts – i.e., what can you add to the conversation that others can’t? As a simple example, retweeting posts of note is an excellent way to share information, but adding your own opinion or links to further resources is an even better use of time. Likewise, if you post every single little detail or update about your brand, industry and products, fans may become fatigued. Respect your audience and think about how to make posts superlative, singular and of notable worth before sharing.

The key question to ask yourself: What’s in it for them?

5. Thou shalt be brief.

Remember to keep it short and sweet on social media. You have only a few seconds to catch someone’s attention, and even less time to keep it. Therefore, make sure your posts have an immediate impact and utilize concise language, links, references or (better yet) visual assets, such as photos, videos and inforgraphics. These quickly convey key information at a glance.

Look for ways to distill an idea down to a single statement or elevator pitch that clearly and quickly communicates subject matter, tone and target audience, and provides further points of reference should audiences wish to dive deeper into the topic.

6. Thou shalt not hog the conversation.

In many ways, social networks serve as the world’s largest cocktail party. But no one wants to be stuck with a self-centered conversation hog.

The same rule applies to your social media presence, where it’s important to listen before speaking – doubly so, as the dynamics of conversation and rules of online behavior differ depending on context and parties in attendance. Dedicate the majority of your time proactively engaging your audience, then split the remaining time between content your audience will care about and promoting your brand.

7. Thou shalt do good.

Think of social media as the world’s largest megaphone or amplifier – it can project your online voice louder, farther and faster than ever before.

Always be engaging and upbeat (negativity never reflects well on the poster, especially online, where conversational subtlety and nuance are often lost in translation), and take advantage of the opportunities presented to promote positivity. Material you post online should be less promotional than beneficial in nature, designed to help viewers save time or money, enhance learning and awareness, or offer key opinions and insights. From securing support for charitable ventures to offering deeper looks at evolving trends to helping fans and followers make valuable connections, consistently look for ways to aid, assist and uplift your audience.

8. Thou shalt keep it strictly business.

While color and personality are always welcome online, business and pleasure seldom mix well in social media contexts – personal and corporate accounts are best kept separated. Remember: Users following business accounts do so because they identify with the brand, and expect content in keeping with its core image and focus. Posting anything outside of this realm may prompt confusion, surprise or indifference, and has the potential to reflect poorly on your brand.

Communications should universally be polite, professional and on-topic. Where the risk of misinterpretation or controversy exists, play it safe and skip posting. Keep your tone and voice upbeat and respectful – avoid complaints, negative comments and stabs at the competition at all costs.

9. Thou shalt respect the hashtag.

Twitter hashtags are great vehicles for highlighting topics of relevance, drawing audience’s attention and fostering fan engagement. However, they can also be dangerous when used incorrectly – i.e., too frequently or in inappropriate contexts. Hashtag

Oftentimes, brands overuse hashtags or place them in unrelated posts to drive added visibility. But doing so may leave viewers feeling cheated, especially if those hashtags add no relevant context to conversations or potentially alienate readers. This can cause a negative reaction to your online voice and ultimately your business, which will not only hinder fan acquisition but potentially detract from your brand.

10. Thou shalt not lie.

Skip the temptation to embellish, fib or inflate the truth online, especially since it can easily backfire or even lead to potential legal repercussions. Likewise, be honest with your audience. If fans and followers have questions about an evolving scenario – e.g., a potential PR crisis -– sometimes, the best answer is simply a prompt: “Apologies, but we don’t know. However, rest assured we’re working on it, and will let you know as soon as possible.”

Trust is the foundation of any relationship – real or online, and its loss can have a marked impact on both your brand and customer perception. As Benjamin Franklin once pointed out, it takes many exchanges to build a positive reputation, but only one mistake to undo it.

(Source: Mashable.com)

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