How Can Social Media Help Business Strategy?

Social media is one of the most important, fastest growing parts of the internet. This term loosely refers to platforms and apps that allow users to create and share content, whilst at the same time participate in social networking. At first glance, social media might seem to be geared toward private individuals, but more and more businesses are finding these platforms to be a vital marketing asset.

Professional social media pages are key in any reputation management strategy. At Reputation Defender we help company brands to boost their online profile by improving search rankings and presenting a positive cohesive brand message. Official social media profiles are a target page one result, as well as a place to promote other content.

Social Media for Business

Business focused social media is all about using social channels to connect and engage with customers and build long term relationships. Of the many social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most important for focusing an initial business strategy.

The social media audience is vast. Globally, 1.55 billion people use Facebook per month; about 72 percent of all people active on the internet. Of these, 70 percent say they interact on a daily basis. By contrast, only 38 percent of Twitter users and 22 percent of LinkedIn account holders are active daily. None the less, Twitter is one of the most popular microblogging platforms with 341 million active monthly users, whilst LinkedIn is largely seen as the most official social media business directory.

Facebook

A business Facebook profile offers a chance to interact with customers on a personal level via a trusted platform. Followers will begin to see the business in the same way they view their friends. They’ll look forward to regular posts that are genuine and thoughtful.

At the same time, Facebook offers a way for new clients to find out important details about your business such as location, history and contact info. It’s important to claim your brand name as a keyword and link back to the company website through your business profile. You can also add a “Like us on Facebook” button to the company website. Facebook will offer different templates depending on the type of business to let you target the audience you want to reach.

Many Facebook features are designed to make the platform accessible and useful for business purposes. Call to action buttons introduced in 2014 offer suggestions for customer activity such as “contact us”, “book now” or “sign up.” One click will take the client straight to the desired page, so this is a very effective way of driving traffic to your website. Typical business posts can share brand-based videos, images and blog articles. A Facebook page can also be used to advertise a special offer or promote client feedback. Sponsored advertising campaigns disseminate material even more efficiently and ensures that all followers see all your posts, while Facebook Analytics will help to pinpoint your current activity level and target improvement.

Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter can be used to interact with customers, promote material and increase awareness for your product. A business profile should promote the business name, target an important keyword and link back to the official company website. A logo and other professional images can give the account a more personal touch.

Tweets can be leveraged for business purposes by promoting a specific marketing message. Tools such as TweetDeck and Periscope allow for multimedia tweets, while the hashtag system targets a specific topic zone. Like Facebook, Twitter offers paid advertising for businesses that want to maximize the marketing aspect of their account and Twitter Analytics offers tools for analyzing strategies and measuring success.

LinkedIn

As a professional networking site, LinkedIn carries more authority than Facebook or Twitter. This platform offers the opportunity to connect with colleagues and industry leaders, recruit potential employees and gain referrals. Managers will need a personal page to set up a business profile on LinkedIn, so this is the perfect opportunity to build your own career along with the company’s reputation. A Premium Account offers enhanced opportunities for profile viewing and targeted searches.

Like Facebook and Twitter, a business profile on LinkedIn should include all the company’s details and link back to the website. LinkedIn allows several different administrators, so it’s easy to delegate account management tasks to other employees. Showcase Pages on LinkedIn lets you target additional keywords and highlight specific company products and services. You can also post job applications and send targeted email marketing.

Fine-tune Your Profiles

In contrast to traditional advertising, social media is about connecting personally with customers whilst sharing the brand message. Especially on Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to strike a balance between promotion and providing genuinely interesting content that will make people want to follow your page.

  • Keep advertising in check – Out of 7 posts, only 1 should be obviously promotional.
  • Ask questions – Find out which industry related topics interest your followers the most.
  • Post fun facts – You’ll gain authority and help clients learn more about what you do.
  • Provide valuable tips – People will keep following to learn more.
  • Offer rewards – Organize a contest or offer points for virtual check-ins at your business.

A dedicated group of social media followers is a valuable reputational asset for any business. It increases customer retention and provides a long term client base which will help to counteract negative publicity in the future.

How Can I Get People To View My Website?

Getting people to view your website is a vital part of any internet marketing campaign and also an important ORM tactic. A high organic click through rate (CTR) translates into conversions that will boost the company’s client base. While CTR isn’t formally listed as one of Google’s direct algorithmic ranking factors, it does indirectly affect the SERP and helps to determine whether a website will hold its place at the top of the search page.

Reputation Defender’s online brand promotion services include a wide range of strategies that will drive up traffic to your company’s official site. There are multiple reasons why people may be directed to your site, from finding it on a search page, to hearing it mentioned on social media, or seeing your name on a conference flyer.

Here are some of the ways to create buzz around your company site:

Become a Social Media Expert

Official social media profiles are a must for any company interested in developing an online profile. Once these pages are created, use them to generate activity and direct people back to your website.

  • Start with the basics – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and of course Google+.
  • Share articles – It’s important to share blog articles and other brand content.
  • Share pictures – Profiles on Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest are good places to upload images that can be shared on other pages.
  • Include video content – Post videos to YouTube and share them on social media sites. Use Periscope and Facebook Live to incorporate a live feed to your page.
  • Create content that is innately shareable – Use SlideShare or design infographics that maximize the visual impact of the message.
  • Add links – Make sure there is a website link on all social media profiles.
  • Call to action – Adding these buttons on Facebook and other social platforms will let you direct traffic to a specific action page.
  • Add social sharing buttons on blog articles and website pages – This will encourage people to link to your content on their own pages.
  • Re-share articles – Don’t assume all followers have seen an article after one share. Buffer and Edgar are 2 apps that will automatically re-share content at scheduled times.
  • Do a “Share Exchange” – Reach out to a similar sized account and offer to share their content (including a website link) if they will return the favor. This can open up reach to a whole new audience.
  • Don’t forget about these sites:
  • Quora – Generate material by answering questions that relate to your industry.
  • Reddit – There are a lot of rules against spamming on Reddit but if you take the time to build a profile that’s known for posting genuine and informative content, there can be a big payoff in site traffic. Once you have a following, try showing off your expertise by hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session.
  • Product Hunt – Submit a physical or digital product to Product Hunt’s “list of cool new things”.
  • Lesser known social media – Tumblr, Snapchat, Buzznet, WhatsApp, About.me etc.
Target Your Email Audience

There’s a narrower exposure window but email can still be an important way of gaining regular customers who visit your site often.

  • Email outreach – Send targeted emails about new products on your site and include a link.
  • Embedded link – Put a website link in your email signature.
  • Autoresponder – Add a link and an invitation to find out more on the company website.
Get the Company in the News

If your brand is in the news regularly, people will start to recognize it as an authority.

  • Pitch an interesting new product – Blogs are always looking for good stories. They may be thrilled to learn about something that would interest their audience and you will subsequently gain exposure.
  • Google News – If the site puts out regular updates, you may be able to register it a news source with Google. There are specific content rules here, since Google is resistant to news releases that are basically marketing, but sites that comply will gain a big audience.
  • HARO (Help a Reporter Out) – Sign up to be interviewed as an expert in your industry and link to the article on your website and social profiles.
Convert Offline Contacts

In person, contacts can turn into website traffic when people go online to learn more about your business or product. Here are some ways to make this happen:

  • Business cards – Create a personal or brand business card that includes your company’s website address.
  • Posters – Display the website address prominently in all physical locations.
  • Pass out promotional gifts – Hand out pens, stickers or tote bags bearing the company logo and website.
  • Build a mailing list – Ask face-to-face customers for their email.
  • Network – Attend an industry related conference. Share information about the conference on social media pages and write an article about your experience. You could even offer to sponsor relatable events.
  • Help customers get to know you – Organize a workshop or conference where people can learn more about your product and how to use it.

Generating fresh website traffic will be an ongoing campaign. It begins with generating interest in the brand through genuine content and personal interaction. It is then important to give clear and easy directions to additional information via the company’s website. Use a variety of platforms, as suggested in the list above, to give the company the best chance of connecting with the most people. For more help with building an effective campaign, contact our online marketing experts at Reputation Defender.

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Online Reputation Management For Engineers: A Brief Guide

What is online reputation and why should an engineer know how to manage it?

We could use a visual analogy to try and represent it, and say that your personal brand is the cologne you wear, and your online reputation is the trace or the “trail” you leave behind you as you go.

Let us talk a little about why it’s interesting for engineers, architects, and consultants, to maintain their trail with a good aroma that can be remembered. In times like the one we live in, where professional competition is becoming more leonine, we must not forget that reputation creates opportunities whereas professionalism takes advantage of them. If you are an engineer, you are surely going to be interested in the following tips.

Tips for engineers to earn (and maintain) a good online reputation

Image courtesy of moz278 at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of moz278 at Flickr.com

Aristotle Onassis used to say that, in order to be successful, you should appear tanned, live in an elegant building -even if it’s in the basement- let others see you in trendy restaurants, even if you only have a drink, and if you borrow, ask for a lot. This idea is useful to illustrate the point that we’ll explain next.

The first thing engineers have to ask themselves, is: what professional do you want to look like?  There is no doubt: to appear, you must be; but you must also appear. It’s no longer enough for you to be good at engineering, you must also tell it, show it, sell it. You won’t make the most out of your personal brand as an engineer if you do not get your customers to think of you for their engineering projects.

In previous posts, we talked about the importance of personal branding and the steps you could follow to develop it. In short, we gave you the keys to defining your brand and let it be known through social media, to “sell it,” if you will. However, your reputation as an engineer is what is being bought from you, it’s what you demonstrate your expertise, or skills, or professionalism. You can call it any way you want, but you get the idea.

Indeed, your brand helps you position yourself as an engineer in order to be found by the people and the companies that we want to reach. But what is the next step then?

Once you have positioned yourself as an engineer in the “2.0 world”, you’ll get to the next level, which is the one related to reputation.

Reputation comes from the opinions of others, and their value will, in turn, depend on their own reputation, influence, and notoriety, especially in the field of which we are talking about.

In order to succeed, you must show yourself as a successful person, but to look like a specialist in your professional field, not only do you have to be it within the world of engineering, but others must believe it as well.

To look like a professional, you must also be a professional in appearing so

Your formula to find your opportunities in engineering creates a reputation on how you deal with information and communication technologies.

Knowing how to manage your online presence, increasing your network to generate interactions, show up with determination to job offers or engineering projects, and so on, they all confirm your interest in proactive actions of seeking opportunities as an engineer. This gives companies who want a new engineer in their team a very important information about your character and skills, which can also positively influence the performance of your duties within that possible job opportunity.

Social networks may generate visibility, but if you’re looking for career opportunities, be professional

Social networks play a vital role in making your professional profile as an engineer more visible, but not more qualified if it’s not adequately published. Avoid compromising content and use an appropriate professional presentation card with an image that identifies you and makes you stand out in engineering.  Reputation is good only if it’s good!

Networking: Who says what?

What people say about you is your biggest guarantee. What they say about you is also a part of your professional profile. In social networks you don’t sell, you “get bought” based on the image or brand that you display and what other people say about you. Get LinkedIn endorsements for the positions you’ve held or the functions and skills you want to highlight.

Having a complete LinkedIn profile, as an engineer is an excellent opportunity to use this service as a platform for personal branding, to create relationships, to hire, to get hired, to seek business opportunities or to sell.

Are you ready to get your online reputation as an expert engineer?

5 steps you need to take to not be affected by social media screening

Social media plays an important role in today’s world.  Reputation Defender has covered many times how social media plays a role a company’s online reputation.  But what does it do for Joe Shmo?  It’s where we get the latest news from.  We turn to it to follow our favorite people.  We use it to share our interests with the world.  Social networks give others insight into our personality and our views of what happens all around us.  It has become so much more than a place to reconnect or stay in touch with loved ones and old pals.  Our social media profiles have become, whether we like it or not, our business cards. Social media screening has become almost standard practice for many companies in deciding whether to bring someone on or not.  There is an ongoing debate whether looking at a candidate’s online presence is ethical or not.  This is something for another day.  Those looking for employment need to understand that social media matters when applying for a job and they should take steps to make sure what companies find online is not too controversial.

Step 1:  Clean up your existing profiles.

Pictures.  Posts.  Likes.  People you follow.  These are just four things companies look at when they decide to check your profiles out.  Doing so is the best bet companies have to get some first-hand and authentic insight into who you really are.  Why should does your private life matter to a company? Good question to ask.  You need to keep in mind that businesses want to hire people who convey traits such as responsibility, respect for their surroundings, honesty, and seriousness.  A couple of pictures holding a bottle of tequila in one hand in an obvious drunken state could show companies that you like to go out more than they would like their employees to.  An extremely negative or radical comment on a controversial issue is a red flag for a lot of companies looking to hire.

Therefore, cleaning up your digital image is the first thing you need to do in order to show a more professional side of yourself.  A side companies want to bring on board.  Take down any images that could be seen as damaging or inappropriate.  Look back on your posts and eliminate any that can label you as someone no one would like to be associated with.  Finally, set your privacy settings so that only you and nobody else can see who your friends are.  That’s right, companies are not only going to look at your profile.  Your acquaintances also give them an idea of who you are.

Step 2:  Stop venting your issues at your current job.

Many people make the crucial mistake of complaining about their current work situation.  If you’re one of them, you need to stop it immediately.  Dirty laundry should be washed in house.  What you say online about your company affects its online reputation.  It’s that simple.  Posting about your current company shows that you don’t really care where you work and that you are only looking out for yourself.  Not a desirable trait my friend.

Step 3: Follow the right people and share the right stuff.

Start following people and interests that are related with how you project yourself in the labor market.  Puppy videos and inspirational memes are fine every once in awhile, but they shouldn’t be what the majority of your posts are about.  Make your profiles more professional.  Show companies that you really care about growing professionally.  And don’t just share.  Comment on those posts and give a well thought out opinion with arguments.  And for Pete’s sake, watch your grammar.

Image courtesy of Esther Vargas at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of Esther Vargas at Flickr.com

Step 4:  Take advantage of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leading site for professionals to connect with companies and other professionals.  Wanting to get a job and not having a LinkedIn profile is like having a car without fuel.  There’s no way it’ll work.  Your social media profiles are great at showcasing you as a person.  However, professional and personal profiles should be separate. LinkedIn is all about who you are professionally.  Take to it to express your qualifications, experience, and expectations.  You can also stay up to date with the latest trends in making your resumé much more attractive.

Step 5:  Control your privacy

Every major social network lets users take complete control of what they choose to share and with whom.  If you find it impossible to stop sharing what you like but which could be seen by some as inappropriate, then tweak your settings so that only you and a group of trusted people can see it.  Remember, what’s ok and harmless (even funny) for you can be offensive for others who don’t know or understand the context in which you posted something.

Social media is a factor in determining which candidates are apt for a company and which ones aren’t.  Unfortunate as that may be, it is still the truth.  Professionals who are looking to get hired must have social media profiles that highlight their strengths and show companies they are the perfect person to hire and add to their reputation rather than take away from it.

How can ORM benefit Entrepreneurs?

If you are an entrepreneur you probably care a lot about how people see you, when you are looking for business partners or for opportunities what you both will probably do is Google each other. In this era you can easily find out a lot about a person just from making a small search on the internet so it is just natural that you are careful about what you post on it. These searches can have a lot of differences when causing an impression, it can make you their favorite candidate for the partnership or completely annihilate your possibilities. The thing is you can control what you post, but not what others do and this may have a bad impact in how people see you online, a bad review or a bad news story can totally change how people see you online.

So here is where ORM comes into the picture. If you do not know what Online Reputation Management is let me explain it briefly for you. ORM is an alternative to control what people see about you when they look you up on the internet. It works by trying to push down the bad results in the list instead of getting rid of them directly as a lot of difficulties may appear when trying to do so. Online Reputation Management works in a way that avoid having to interact with the people that posted the bad content, as they may not help you, and using other methods, like using legal means or suing, may be really expensive and might not even work. Another advantage of it is that it does not only hide the bad results but it also pushes good content up in the list, something that is really useful for entrepreneurs and this will give a positive and clean image to those searching you.

Both small and big companies seem to need using ORM, bigger companies will have a lot more criticism but small companies may also be affected by it. So this is something entrepreneurs have to seriously take into account, seventy five percent of small business entrepreneur have acknowledged the importance of ORM and fifteen percent have already had bad experiences related to negative reviews and critics and other kinds of negative unwanted publicity. So if you are an entrepreneur it is really important for you and your company to use Online Reputation Management, but do not wait until you already have a problem with a bad review, Online Reputation Management works much better when done preventively but even after the problem has been already caused it can help fixing it.

This process will have a direct impact in your business overall, a good online reputation means more people will be interested in both you and your company and this will open a lot of possibilities for you. If you ask people in the business, you will find that most will agree with the importance of how people see you online. Now we will give you some small tips so you can start you process yourself, take into account that a full process will take much more work, we at Reputation Defender offer you a full Online Reputation Management service that works in a larger scale, but you can take some preventive steps yourself.

First, you should purchase your domain, using webpages like GoDaddy.com you can find and buy your domains. This is necessary as you will have control over the content that is posted there and if you do not own it someone with malicious intentions might take it, by using ORM you also have a certain kind of protection that will make it easier to handle this kind of situations.

Image courtesy of AxisCommunications at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of AxisCommunications at Flickr.com

You should have both a personal web page and a blog if possible. A personal web page will help you control and have in one place all the information related to you. Here you can put all contact information related to you, you can host your resume, your portfolio, your contact information, your references. This will make it easier for people to reach out to you and to find the information that is important. A blog on the other hand, will make you a constant presence on the internet and people will get to you and your content more easily, people will start following you and this will impact how well you will rank in the search results.

Also, an important step is having online presence in different social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. So if you are interested in learning more about Online Reputation Management you should check other articles in our blog like Reputation Management Strategies: How to respond to negative comments, we post constant updates so remember to check later for even more content.