Megan Berry is the head of community and social product at RebelMouse.
Before you start branding, you’re going to need a few steer…no, wait. Wrong kind of branding.
Brands and brand recognition are now more important than ever. With social media and Google Image searches, your logo could be every where. So, what can you do to boost your brand and make it more recognizable? Here are our thoughts:
1. Stay true
There’s an idea out there that services like Groupon and LivingSocial are going to help your business and it’s true. There are plenty of cases where this has happened. However, it’s not necessarily going to help your brand. Likewise, if you run contests, it’s not really a brand booster, it’s just a contest.
If you want your brand to flourish, you have to stay true to your brand stands for. Don’t know what your brand stands for? Figure it out. Like Apple standing for sleek design and being user-friendly, something that they follow through with in the whole setup of the Apple Store.
Write out a mission statement. Make it your tag line.
From top to bottom, make your brand recognizable for its authenticity.
2. Be reachable
Some people don’t want to get on social media. They think it’s a waste of time, something that takes them away from what they should be doing. If one of the things you should be doing is interacting with customers, you need to be on social media.
It’s not really a question of whether or not you have time. And, even if you aren’t going to use social media as a marketing tool, you should still make yourself available to people who have questions, thoughts, or concerns with your company and your product.
3. Work on your writing
Has your company ever sent out a press release? Shouldn’t you? Sometimes, sending out a press release can be costly. That’s an excuse. But, it’s not a good one. You can still put a press release on your website or out on the Internet. You could even target a few people with similar interests and ask them to share or retweet your info. News travels fast these days.
Now, the hard part. Get better at writing.
Nothing falls quite so flat as an uninteresting press release. What can you do to convey your info as quickly, efficiently, and interestingly as possible? Work on it.
This isn’t another social media push (still, guys…get on social media). No, instead, what I mean by participation is interacting with your local community. Sponsor high school events or marathons. Go to conferences and conventions. If you don’t have the money to be a sponsor, find some way to get involved. It’s a way to get your name and your brand out there.
What do you think is a good branding technique? What has worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments.
John Stokka, CEO of DomiKnow, talks about online resources available to small businesses and the services DomiKnow can help with.
When managers, marketers, and small business owners outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next campaign that will produce profits. Even companies committed to “jabbing”—creating content for consumers and engaging with customers to build relationships—still desperately want to land the powerful, bruising swing that will knock out their opponents or their customers’ resistance in one tooth-shattering, killer blow. Right hooks, after all, convert traffic to sales. They easily show results and return on investment. Except when they don’t.
In the same passionate, streetwise style his readers have come to expect, Vaynerchuk is on a mission to strengthen marketers’ right hooks by changing the way they fight to make their consumers happy, and ultimately to compete. Thanks to the massive change in and proliferation of social media platforms in the last four years, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Communication is still key, but context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content; it’s also about developing high-quality content that’s perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices. It’s about truly engaging with customers, not by shouting at them over social media but by using new narrative forms particular to each different media platform—especially, though not exclusively, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really work.
Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing evangelist and CEO of SocialTract. He founded the Content Marketing Institute. He is the author of Epic Content Marketing.
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Do you use Yelp? Not necessarily as a business tool, but as an individual? If not, you should take a look at the app to see how it works. Because, even if you yourself don’t use it, your brick-and-mortar business is.
Yelp is a social app and online resource where users can set up reviews of businesses. It has a “what’s nearby” feature that allows you to explore a local area. It marks your business on a map and has your out-of-5-star rating listed right when people see you.
So, what are some ways to boost that rating and get better reviews? Here are our tips:
1. Check the filter
Isn’t everything automated these days? Well, this is another one of those things. Part of the Yelp app uses a filter to hide reviews that it doesn’t think are authentic or valuable. However, like all computer programs, it’s not always best at making a judgement call.
There’s no sure-fire trick to getting these reviews unfiltered (you can’t just click a “Remove From Filter”), so here’s a little legwork you can do to try to get your positive, hidden reviews back.
On your Yelp page, look at the filtered reviews. If you see some positive ones that aren’t fake, find that user and follow them (like a Twitter follow) to add authenticity to the user. Ask them to do things like check-in and add more reviews on other pages to tell the program over at Yelp that they are, in fact, human.
If you find than any of these would-be robots are your regular customers, maybe drop it into conversation the next time they come in. Which brings me to my next point.
You have regular customers, you have friends, you have family, you might even have a few employees. Ask them to rate and write Yelp reviews for your business. Now, you might be thinking that’s cheating, but it’s not. They know you. They know your business. It’s not inappropriate to ask them for their opinions.
3. Ask your associates
You work with people. Ask them if they’ll write a review. Ask them to write that review from the perspective of someone who has worked with you. It’s not cheating to ask someone to share their opinion online. Sometimes just asking is all it takes.
Bonus: The little things
Did you know you can update your Yelp listing with hours, menus or links to menus, phone numbers, a link to the website, and pictures.
Look, even if Yelp is run by computers to some degree, there’s still a human element and humans are disappointed when they show up somewhere to find that it’s closed. Or they can’t find a good contact number. Or they can’t find the correct website. While some of this is probably not your fault, they’re still going to blame you and your company. And, while it might not help you get better reviews, it might help you get fewer bad ones from people who don’t check your business hours before leaving the house.
How’s your Yelp rating? Have you ever asked anyone to review for you? What was your experience, good or bad? Share in the comments below!