MANIC MONDAY!

24 Jan

Its a short week- Wednesday is a public holiday in Uganda!!! Yeahhhh!! i get to party and bull sh#%^& and Party and – ok enough of that- seriously though either its me or something but i’ve just been making plans on fun things to do all morning; and getting almost no work done! So this is me – working! laughable… here’s my working outfit inspiration today

I co-own a digital advertising company called Blu flamingo and one of the things we do is advise our clients on how to make the most of their online digital marketing efforts – seeing as your in the mood to get down with some serious work today – I’d like to share some tips with you free of Charge – worry not though…. later on today i promise to post today’s ‘look of the day!’

THE NEW RULES OF BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE (COURTESY OF INC.COM)
Mastering branding online takes a lot more than a cool logo and catchy slogan. Experts play by a fresh new set of rules.
I’ve read through them and broken them down for you below;

It’s no longer enough to have a sleek website, social-media presence, and consistent brand aesthetic online. The new rules of branding your business on the Web have a lot less to do with presentation, and a lot more to do with interaction. . These are the new rules of branding online.

1. Don’t just start the conversation.
Be an integral and evolving part of it. “Social media has one very important perspective to share with brand management—the conversation. Like branding, social media is all about the conversation and building effective relationships. It’s not enough to have a Face-book page or a Twitter account, you must participate in the conversation by making regular posts and replying to direct messages from your customers. Social media has shortened the time frame for company responses to complaints or accusations. These days, companies need to acknowledge any issues and control the messaging in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days.

2. Either keep your personal brand out of it…
So you have 10,000 Twitter followers. Does it matter to your customers? “Unless you’re in one of a handful of businesses like public speaking, I think managing and growing a personal brand can be a huge distraction for company founders. Steve Jobs has a personal brand, but it is Apple’s product design that makes it such a valuable company. He isn’t jumping on Foursquare to develop his ‘personal brand.'”

3. …or dive in and make all the headlines you can.
Appearing in the media as a source of expertise can go a long way toward building your brand, Inc.’s April Joyner reports. To gain press, identify media outlets that are most applicable to your particular areas of expertise and send them targeted pitches. If you want to be a talking head on radio or television, it also helps to give producers a preview of your personality by referring them to video clips on your site. As with print, the Web has also democratized the world of radio. Through venues such as BlogTalkRadio, anyone can host her or his own broadcasts—or find a show on which to appear. After you have honed an area of expertise, you will find that there are plenty of opportunities to take your message on the road. Becoming active in professional organizations and attending conferences offer valuable opportunities for networking. As you become more familiar within a certain field, more and more people will call on you to share your expertise. Making an appearance as a vendor at an event can also offer long-term personal branding benefits..

4.Be persistent in finding and targeting your niche.
Even if you’re entering a flooded marketplace—and online is certainly a very crowded forum—you always have a chance to make your brand and company stand out. People used to think water was all the same; now stores carry half-a-dozen brands or more. “Marketers struggle with differentiation because they give up too soon,” says Derrick Daye, managing partner of The Blake Project. “They think that this can’t be differentiated, it can’t be unique.” Experts say the constantly shifting marketplace creates the need to be creative with your approach. The toothpaste market is one that professionals cite as a constantly changing product selection that requires vigilance on the part of brand managers. Additives like baking soda, breath freshener, or whitening strips are now taken for granted.

6. Excel at telling your customers “About Us.”
You may not be paying much attention to your About Us page, but visitors to your site are, writes Chana Garcia. And considering that your About Us page is where the world first clicks to learn about your company and the services you offer, it deserves a little more consideration and a lot more respect. Sure, you need to include all the basics. But a few simple tactics can make your About Us page a more exciting read and your company come across as more accessible. Avoid writing a soliloquy (too much text can be a turnoff) and focus on connecting with your site visitors. Ask employees to write their own bios!! with their hobbies and contact info.

7. Fully integrate social media into your site.
You’ll not only look savvy, but increase your connectivity, and gain traffic to your site from elsewhere. You don’t necessarily need to put out the next viral marketing video or hire an expensive marketing agency (although both would probably help) to achieve a high rate of traffic. All you need is a bit of elbow grease, a few tricks up your sleeve, and a commitment to making your site a quality destination for visitors. Add Facebook Like buttons, have a dynamic blog section, utilize SEO, and build your site heavy with links, for starters..

8. Monitor your brand’s reputation, and be ready to respond.
The most basic services, like Google Alerts, allow users to select keywords to track and to receive e-mail updates whenever they appear on the Web. Others, like Social Mention and HootSuite, specifically scour profiles on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace for relevant comments. At Blu flamingo we can help you do this (at a modest fee!!)
“It’s a good way to gather business intelligence,” .Some of these services, including Radian6 and Viralheat, detect whether a post is positive, negative, or neutral, so businesses can easily determine which mentions require the most attention. Those features have allowed companies to maintain greater control of their brands..

9. Showcase your best work.
A sturdy brand is all about trust and relationships. With that goal in mind, there’s no better way to build both than by posting testimonials or listing (putting logo’s) of big-name clients you’ve partnered with. That will lend your business a good amount of credibility. Mentioning awards and recognitions your company received, as well as community service work, green initiatives, and interesting facts, will also make your business more appealing. Additionally, time-lines, company history, and major milestones are attention-grabbing.

When I read an interesting article – I’m cognizant of the fact that sometimes the resulting comments in the comments section are even better than the article
here was a really good comment I found … he was responding to this statement
“In the old days engagement was handled through outbound calls, customer satisfaction surveys and talk around the table at a happy hour table. In today’s world, we do it on-line and now have infinite possibilities where only a few options used to exist. ”

by saying:
I disagree. You’re missing the most important, most basic, and most obvious way to “engage” the customer: Talk to them! The only thing “new” about online engagement is that it’s a new method of communication. However, a company that didn’t engage their customers before “social media” isn’t going to magically begin engaging their customers on Facebook or Twitter or whatever is hot at the time. Talking to customers is business 101, and either a company understands it or doesn’t. Sure, there are more tools available to do so now, but that doesn’t mean that companies are going to engage their customers any more now than they did 20 years ago.

Until later – ask yourself is my business leveraging digital and its opportunities enough? If the answer is no and you realize you need to – you should probably give me a call!
xoxo
Sean

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