As a business owner you are told over an over again, for success in social media marketing write good content and direct it at your target audience. Yes good content is indeed important but how do you know that what you’re writing about is indeed what your target audience needs? You can go around and ask them what they want and you’ll no doubt get some really clear answers but, is what they want really what they need? If you think that this is an odd question then consider this:
How safe is your brand reputation? You’ve worked on establishing your brand online for a couple of years now. Your blog posts have a great following, you’re at the top of page one on Google and you’re the go to guy for info in your niche. Now that sounds pretty solid. Or is it? If you haven’t trade marked your brand and have your reputation management under control then all your business building efforts could be shipwrecked overnight!
Does that sound scary? Of course it does but it can really happen and it could happen to you if you don’t take the right precautions. The best example here is what happened recently to a guy who has a great website that he has been working on for over two years. His blog posts from around the world give a good picture of what you can expect if you want to get ideas about working in different places. He gets regular comments on his blog posts, is in 157 Goole+ circles, has over 2,700 Likes on his Facebook page and has a legion of Twitter followers. I would call that a pretty solid brand, but like many other online brands, he didn’t trade mark it. I have no idea if this was an oversight or bad advice but the fact is that he is now having a big problem because a large staff hiring corporation has trade marked the text of his domain name and has been using it online for a contest. Just imagine what a situation like this would do for your business if your brand was hijacked like that.
What do you need to do to prevent you business form finishing up in the same situation as Turner? The answer is – implement good Reputation Management. It’s a term that is often associated with no more than watching over who says what about your business online but there is a lot more to it than that. It doesn’t matter if your business is an offline business, offline with an online presence or a totally online business. Once you have established a persona in the form of a company name, brand name, domain name or logo there is only one guaranteed way that you can keep it uniquely yours and that is by securing it with a trade mark. If your business is purely local than a country based trade mark would most likely be sufficient but an online business would need international trade marking. And it doesn’t stop with that. Once you’ve registered your trade mark you need a watching brief to monitor applications for names that could be similar to yours and hence could cause confusion or even have the potential to be misleading.
I don’t have any legal qualifications and don’t claim to be knowledgeable in the field of trade marking or any associated legal topics. I do however speak from experience. My first business, after I left the corporate world, was a vineyard and a graphics designer came up with a truly unique logo. Fortunately I had a good lawyer overseeing the legal side of establishing the business and they recommended that I trade mark the logo. I followed their advice and I also asked them to keep a watching brief over trade mark applications for similar designs. That has proved well worth it as there were two applications within a short period of time that we needed to object to.
Do you have any potential trade mark issues with your business? If so, I would suggest that you seek legal advice about your situation. It may involve some costs but it could be well worth your while in the long run. Get your brand reputation under control by safe guarding with a trade mark as the basic starting point.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions about reputation management that you’d like to run by me, all you need to do is use the online booking form on this page to get a 20 minutes obligation free consultation call with me.
Depending on where you live, you may or may not celebrate Easter. This message is for those of you who do and for anyone else who enjoys a cheerful greeting. Easter is that time of the year when, in the northern hemisphere spring is starting to show its colours and in the southern hemisphere where I am we’re starting to see that beautiful autumn glow. Time to relax and shake of any business stress that may have been creeping up on you over the last few months.
On the subject of stress; the stress that affects business owners most is often of a personal nature such as problems within the family. This means that personal problems are most likely to have a detrimental effect on the successful running of your business. Most people find that they are sufficiently technically skilled to operate their business from a product or service production point of view. Monitoring their online presence and taking care of their Social Media Reputation Management can however easily feel like a bewildering maze of tasks. This feeling of overwhelm can lead to business stress and taking that home will most likely aggravate the problem and result in tension on a personal level.
I have often been asked if I know of any simple tips and techniques that can help alleviate this problem. The best advice that I can offer here is to get qualified help. By getting help from the right source you can change your focus from business stress to building your business and stay on an even keel in your personal life. While getting that organized, try to take a breather and do something totally different over the Easter break. Another good quick stress relief tip is to do some simple stretch exercises several times during the day. Sitting or standing up straight and taking a few deep breath is the quickest and easiest pick-me-up that you’ll find for shaking off business stress at any time of the day or night.
Don’t know how to build a stress free Social Media scenario? Book an obligation free consultation call with me using the booking form on this page and I’ll be happy to give you a helping hand.
Social Media plays a very important part in today’s marketing mix. Your conversion rates are important in the end result, but if you don’t drive enough traffic to your website to start with, the results of your Social Media Marketing efforts will be very disappointing. In the previous post we talked about building a solid brand reputation. Here is where that fits in when it comes to driving traffic to your website.
Social Media is all about brand building which, when done consistently and with the right approach, will drive traffic. The end result will be increased traffic to your website where you can concentrate on conversions and lead generation.
The big mistake that many business owners make is looking at Social Media as just another marketing tool. The principle of the traditional marketing 4 P’s: Product, Place, Price and Promotion, is well known to most business people but, with the expansion of Social Media into the business world, this model has become rather outdated. The reason why I’m saying this is that the 4P’s model concentrates heavily on the product features and quality. These are important factors but they don’t really differentiate sufficiently. What’s missing with the 4P’s is emphasis on building a case to explain the benefits of a product or services. In other words, you need to promote your business by explaining to your customers that they need your product and/or service because it solves a problem. Spread the word that you can solve a specific problem better than anyone else and you’ll end up with a product or service that your customers simply can’t live without. This is where Social Media comes into play.
It is today’s word of mouth!
Social Media as a Marketing Tool
In days gone by business owners would use a variety of traditional marketing tools such as subscriptions in local directories, special events, advertisements in newspapers, etc. They would also, as incentives to increase their sales, offer discounts, free items or perhaps run loyalty contests. These tactics have well and truly proven to be effective and are still an indispensable part of today’s marketing promotions mix. The difference is that most of this is now also very effectively and more efficiently done online using any number of Social Media Channels. Replacing outdated offline advertising with Social Media marketing can save you time and money. The most important thing to keep in mind though is that you need to track your audience’s activity to measure your Social Media marketing’s ROI. We’ll go into this in depth in the next post.
Social Media as a Brand Reputation Builder
Promoting your business with Social Media to build a solid brand reputation involves more than just talking about you and your products or services. To get your audience to sit up and take notice you have to follow the 70/10/20 rule which means that whatever you publish on channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. it has to be 70% your own informative and relevant content, 10% other relevant content and only 20% actual product/service promotion. Give your visitors a chance to get to know you and trust you. Visitors to your social media sites who enjoy what you have to offer will often share your posts with their friends via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest etc. It’s this increase in reach that builds trust and enhances your brand. It will increase traffic to your website and bring you more relevant visitors.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Social Media is today’s word of mouth and it’s the spreading of the word about what you have to offer that acts as a referral service for your business. Your conversion rate will improve drastically when targeted prospects start arriving through referrals.
In the next post I’ll show you some tips on how to convert your website traffic into leads. In the meantime, if you have any questions about driving traffic to your website or other topics relevant to brand reputation building, use the form on this page to book an obligation free consultation call with me.
Yes it’s that time of the year again. Valentine’s Day, celebrated on the 14th February around the globe, is the day when we express the feelings and passion between our loved ones. It’s celebrated with the exchange of gifts, Valentine cards, flowers, heart shaped balloons, etc. Red roses are specifically associated with love on this day.
There is however a general misconception about Valentine’s Day. It is often assumed that it is a special day for lovers only but the real meaning of Valentine’s Day is that it is the day where we show our care and feelings for any relationship that is important. It can be your parents, grandparents, siblings or any personal friend.
Hopefully you have a loved one who you can share this day with. But, there are many other ways that you can share the love. How about your customers? We use our Social Media channels to be Social but how about you make it something special today. We often take people for granted so today I would like to say to my customers:
“I appreciate our relationship. You are not just a customer, you are the person who I want to get to know better so that I can serve your needs and solve your problems to the best of my ability”