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Despite all the hoopla surrounding online marketing and social media, one thing that keeps hitting home to me time and time again is the huge value associated with face-to-face activity, specifically events. We can look at events in three ways: attending an event, running an event or speaking at one. For this post I’m going to focus only on the attendance of events. Let’s be clear: events have always been an effective way to connect with new people (potential clients/influencers/business associates) and reconnect with existing contacts. However, strategically using social media in tandem with your event-based activity will ensure you get the most out of your efforts because, let’s face it, attending events can be a time-consuming business.
The ten blue links displayed when you type your company name into a search engine, not your company’s homepage, is where most people first interact with your business. What they see on that search engine page, be it positive or negative, will have a lasting impact. However, for many small businesses it is the business owner the customer is buying into, not the business brand. If nothing comes up when you put your own name into Google, what does that say about you? Or even worse, if the only things that come up are personal photos you would rather keep private, then your search engine footprint needs some serious attention. Below are seven quick tips to help improve your personal brand online. 1. Blog. Having a good blog habit is one of the simplest ways to ensure you control your personal online brand. However, the act of creating a blog is not enough. You need to generate content, ideally lots of content. The more posts you write, the more content a search engine will have to index, and the more content others will be able to link to; both of which positively impact what appears when your name is searched. If you’re a business owner, place your blog on your business URL, but ensure you use your own name as the author.
"I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success” Jack Welch, legendary former CEO of General Electric Because social media represents a new way of doing business, it is inevitable that some companies will make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes will generate some negative publicity for the company concerned. If the mistakes are serious enough and generate enough online “heat”, there can be damage to the brand's reputation. Various case studies show that even the biggest, best resourced companies can get social media wrong, so it should not come as a surprise that small businesses can too. Five of the most common mistakes are: Expecting instant results Broadcasting, not listening and engaging Not going where the customers and prospects are Not committing resources Not being strategic With careful planning and sensible management, these mistakes can be avoided.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked by small business owners if they should block social media access to their staff. My answer is always no. Social media represents an enormous opportunity for small businesses to increase sales, better connect with customers and partners, and market themselves in a cost-efficient manner. Besides, if you block social media platforms at your work, your staff will simply use their phones to access Facebook.
The answer to the question of whether you can be too connected in the online, social networking environment is twofold: if they are good connections, no, you can't be too connected; if they are bad or poor quality connections, yes, you can be too connected. Be strategic If you're putting time and other resources into building our networks, you need a clear social media strategy. Without a strategy, one of the following can result: a) you fall for the pitch of the next person who comes along with an offer to get thousands of fans for our Facebook page or thousands of followers on Twitter, without anything being said about the quality of connections; or b) you fall into the trap of being over cautious connecting only with people you already know well.
What’s your social profile worth? Have you even thought about it? Is it growing in value? When you talk, do people listen? With social reputation becoming more and more of a relevant form of currency, there are powers at play that are looking to exploit this new medium. In the past, it has all been about celebrity endorsement – getting the star of the day to put their name to a product. As the celebrity space becomes more and more distributed, thought the wonders of the increasingly social internet, a new generation of celebrities with social credibility are sprouting up.