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.

Your online reputation is your very own uniform

The essence of the human being is to always tend to grow as a person. Being part of closed and hierarchized organizations that are already positioned and with a role and a social image labeled by society as “bad cop” or “good cop” can do little to help differentiate its members.

In fact, before the emergence of social media, the fact that a cop performed in a positive way, but differentiated before a role as well-defined as a uniform, and shown himself to to others as his very own personal brand outside of the established institutions was unthinkable.

If you decide to go public with your professional condition linked to an institution, it’s quite difficult to unlink your personal image from the police uniform.

Your image sells

Many people abandon their accounts in social media because, according to those who do it, they are boring and they represent a lot of work for what’s obtained from them. Others have went on with their profiles from the very beginning, and they have learned how to adapt and to accommodate their message in order to connect with users, and they’ve created a broad and stable networking process. They have shown themselves and now they don’t lack offers from customers to be at the top. You must keep in mind that any post or comment in social media generates an impact that is usually much greater than in the offline world and that, in any case, it should not be shared necessarily to reach the general public. In other words, we never know who may be reading and the consequences that this can generate.

The reputational image is not just something that companies or institutions should worry about, it represents us as people and with it we transmit our reality.

What happens as time goes by?

Some people insist in creating virtual realities while others choose to stay with earthly ones.

But one day, you find that your only weapon is a computer mouse and the objectives are separated by hundreds of miles, apparently behind a screen. Day by day you receive the problems of thousands of users who tell you, literally, that they have been scammed, publicly humiliated with their image shared ad infinitum on a website or that the data of the company that they worked so hard to keep up have disappeared. They all have something in common: extreme suffering, powerlessness before the unknown and seeing how a virtual monster that is only a few years old is ending their lives or their company’s.

How to reach people with a mouse and a screen? Start from scratch

We all have tough beginnings, the “beta” version of our profiles. A landscape or a fictitious character as an avatar and a rather poor description about ourselves. Those who write the most, if anything, may have an abandoned blog. It’s soon to realize that users who read you or who look for information about your business, will read that poor description and they’ll move on. If you can’t grab their attention with 140 characters, few will have positive expectations about your profile.

Image courtesy of unsplash.com at Pexels.com
Image courtesy of unsplash.com at Pexels.com

You don’t have to be a neuromarketing expert to realize that messages reach other people. Optimizing content and connecting with the rest of users is just a matter of time. That’s the true interaction. The genius of a profile is in the capacity of bringing something really different to the scene.

Get me a personal branding, please

If you control your posts, little by little you will be able to obtain valuable information and feedback from others, thus managing to turn yourself into a real influencer.

Even if you publish the silliest thing you can think of or if you post an inappropriate comment, social networks have their own idiosyncrasy and utility. If something works or has to work, it will. If the comment is unfortunate, you will surely know it.

It doesn’t matter what topics you choose, nothing is difficult, it only takes one single screw up or a timely comment to be at the bottom or at the top.

Policemen and cyber crime: to infinity and beyond

The virtual battle happens with one subject: the online world, which moves at an abysmal speed as users get lost in the hundreds of thousands of applications and alternatives that exist out there.

In the meantime, in the physical world, many users, potential victims, struggle hard to learn, forcibly, the dangers to which they are exposed, and the most vulnerable, young and old, are the ones who are most subject to the web’s innovative and changing nature.

With this landscape, the strategy is easy to figure out and conjugate with your personal background and your passion for your job. You should learn how to stand out and differentiate yourself. The way you use language will evolve as you generate content, and your online persona will be much more defined.

What not to do

If you want to define yourself as a serious brand, dark humor, your personal touch or visceral comments are frequently useless.

If your timeline is full of information that you don’t need, that will be one of the reasons for abandonment. You should select profiles that generate contents of high quality to attract your target audience and don’t intoxicate the rest with the same discourse, posting irrelevant information that doesn’t really define you. Many users look through your posts before deciding if you deserve their daily attention. Show them that you have a lot to offer.

Online bragging doesn’t last forever

Writing about how great you are or how well your company is doing, how well you get along with and how much you are congratulated by the people in your timeline, is a tedious manifestation of your ego branding, which few are interested in. Don’t retweet every compliment or all the mentions you receive. Remember that your quality followers see you and read you, and they are aware of how great your personal brand is. If you want no unfollows or to be muted, don’t abuse by including your followers in endless chains of “good morning”, favs or retweets, or by sharing the things you do every five minutes.

Related content: Read ReputationDefender’s “How to manage the online reputation of bakers and confectioners”

Personal Branding and Online Reputation Management For Psychologists

Due to globalization, the appearance of the internet, social media, and social networks, the world has changed a lot in the past few decades. Exploiting the possibility of promotion and marketing that the new reality provides us can be useful to any profession.

If what you are aiming for is to impulse your psychology clinic or your own personal image as a psychologist, you have the opportunity of taking advantage of the possibilities of communication and interaction that social media and social networks give you. So don’t waste them, because they can give you prestige, notoriety and reputation.

Due to the fact that there already is an important amount of competition in the current labor market, psychologists need to cultivate their own personal and professional brand. The way of introducing yourself to other people can help you get a job or attract customers, therefore, it is important for you to know exactly who you are, what you do and why you are important. This way you can exploit your personal branding to the maximum.

Branding, or building your brand

The term “branding” was originally used in the corporate world, but we all possess a personal brand, even if we haven’t made it grow.

Branding refers to developing and shaping a brand that allows a user to identify with certain symbols, ideas or experiences that go beyond the simple products or services with which you want to make a business. This is made out of brand being and brand behavior.

Branding shows the characteristic values of the company which provide singularity and credibility, and which allow it to differentiate itself from its competitors, since they cause a unique impact on the market.

The employment outlook has undergone significant changes in recent years

The world and the economy are changing, and the relations between companies and professionals have been going through a transformation that has provoked a very different professional landscape from the one that existed two decades ago.

The forms of professional development of that time are already obsolete, and you have to keep in mind that in many sectors, employment stability has disappeared. Few of those who graduate from college go straight to the workplace. It is now about getting to the top, which is why it’s necessary to talk about projects and strategies to achieve it, instead of talking about paths that have already been defined. Oneself is in control, and one must be capable of designing, developing and managing his own professional strategic plan.

Personal branding for psychologists: the importance of being visible

This is especially important for psychologists, since the competition that exists among professionals of the guild is too much for such a limited labor market.

The concept of branding, however, can also be applied to help psychologists occupy a preferential place in the minds of others. Personal branding makes sure to identify and communicate your competences, your utility and your reliability for you to be perceived as the psychologist who must be hired or with whom it’s worth working. The goal is for them to consider you as the best option there is, and that you are finally chosen. Having a well-positioned personal brand increases the possibility of success in situations in which there is a lot of competition and in which you must be chosen among several options.

Regardless of your age, your title or your business, you should understand the importance of personal branding. You are the director of your own company.

Therefore, personal branding is a powerful and clear idea that appears in the mind of others when they think about you, it’s the imprint that you’ve left in their mind. It’s the way you manage and communicate your authentic values, beliefs, feelings and talent, and it is the perception that others have of you.

Image courtesy of David at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of David at Flickr.com

Start thinking about yourself as a brand

How would you like other people to see you if they look you up in Google? What specialty of psychology would you like to be associated with? What customers do you want to address? Before thinking about designing a strategic plan about your personal brand, it’s important for you to know who you are, what you offer and why are you important and different from everyone else.

Your image and your personality are your basic tools when it comes to standing out and differentiate yourself from other competitors, but ultimately what’s going to create customer loyalty is the relationship between the image that you’re going to show and your values, which is what’s going to create trust. Hence, a well defined image, one that is coherent with your principles, will be positively valued by others. The image that you show should be reinforced in every aspect and it  should show itself coherently with the values that you promote.

Using social media

There is a great deal of confusion when people talk about social media. Many people think that social media are a synonym for social networks, but this is not so. Understanding the difference between both terms is crucial for a good marketing strategy.

Social media is the platform, application or online means of communication used by many people to create online interaction, with the purpose of  sharing ideas, news and particular interests. This means that through them you can share images, audios, articles, videos and you can sustain chat conversations or videoconferences. Some of the most well-known ones are Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.

On the other hand, a social network is the act that is established when several users interact through a social medium. This interaction is motivated by a common interest or liking, and it causes the existence of a communicative network between internet users. Social media is a powerful tool for psychologists, since it allows them to share texts, videos, audios, and so on, to then create communities that are interesting on a professional level.

Having said this, it’s important for you to keep in mind the possibility of privatizing your profiles to have a more professional image and, that way, you’ll make the most out of your exposure. The social medium allows you to build the best possible image as a professional of psychology, but it can also have the contrary effect if you don’t take care of it.

You should also keep in mind that creating a website is indispensable today, and it’s a good way for search engines to know that you exist. It doesn’t have to be a wonderful one, but it will allow you to be visible in the digital realm, which is ultimately what you are interested in.

Related content: “Bad reputation in social networks? Learn how to deal with it!”

6 Strategies to Improve Your Online Reputation as an Athlete on Twitter

When it comes to personal goals and challenges, there’s a piece of advice that can be really useful: Keep in mind that your challenge may be extraordinary, but if nobody knows it, it’ll be just for you. Have you thought about it? What would your answer be? Do you know how to sell your personal brand through the social networks? Caring about your online reputation is vital for you to get your challenge to go beyond being one more challenge by yet another athlete, and getting it to be a special challenge by a different athlete. You will make a difference, and your message will inspire others just like you.

Let’s take a look at a number of points that you should consider in order to improve the image of your very own personal brand. The variables we’ll see are aimed at making your “digital self” dazzle, and be more effective in this microblogging social network. That way you’ll successfully achieve your goals.

  1. Define your identity.

On Twitter, your profile will say a lot about you, so you need to make your identity a reflection of your own self. The first is to fill your biography, which summarizes who you are and what you do. Choose a good photo, one that will help people recognize you, and, of course, that emits a positive attitude. Give importance to the design. And we’re talking about colors and quotes to be inserted. You should aim to be remembered, and giving an impression that lasts over time. Be original, be different.

  1. Don’t follow already defined strategies.

You may have read a thousand times that the best formula is to have a strategy. However, you should do the opposite of that. Our advice is for you to be natural and simply be yourself. As strange as this may sound, the best prospect to project your brand image through Twitter is that you see it as a channel to encourage conversation. At the end of the day, that’s what it is. Get in touch with people, interact with them.

  1. Keep your contents under control.

An online presence is vital, but it doesn’t mean that you have to publish content at all hours. Everything should be done in moderation and with a common sense. It is necessary for you to choose well the content that you’ll share, and for the contents to be consistent with the messages you want to project. Respond to queries, answer questions from other users, and if you have something to contribute in the different threads of a conversation, don’t think twice and just do it. Your roadmap to follow is none other than to generate empathy with what you share and the people who follow you.

Image courtesy of hank Mitchell at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of hank Mitchell at Flickr.com
  1. Refine your space.

Your scope should follow a specific community. Focus on sharing the things you know about, and in the specific sport in which you are an accomplished sportsperson. Choose a specific topic.

For instance, if you are a triathlete, focus your content to show your experiences in triathlon. Do not try to cover other disciplines.

You are wrong if you look for the perfect tweet with which to “seduce” hundreds or even thousands of followers. It’s better to have an impact on a small group, but on a greater number of occasions. Your messages will not only become viral, but they’ll manage to inspire your loyal followers.

  1. Don’t follow for the sake of it.

Some time ago, it became fashionable to start following Twitter profiles indiscriminately in order to get a follow back. You can even buy followers if you put your mind -and money- to it, since there are online services to do this. But that’s not the goal.

We’re talking about a desire to empathize with our community, to show our sponsors that we have potential customers for their products. Look for other interesting accounts and look at what they publish. Start by following some tops in your field that will define the sports area where you move, but then quickly move to mid-level users, those with 200 to 1,600 followers belonging to your segment. Be active. Those are statistically more likely to follow you.

  1. Be patient and write well.

Do not try to run before putting on your shoes and tying your shoelaces. Rushing is never a good thing, and you should keep in mind that your personal image on Twitter -or other social networks- will not build itself overnight. You must work on it, generate interesting contents and add value. This will lead you to build credibility and trust in the legion of followers who are waiting to hear you share stories, experiences and sporting challenges.