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  • Larry Alton 5:01 pm on September 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Guides and Reviews To Help With Social Media Marketing 

    Social media marketing is a constantly evolving practice, and that means that in order to stay competitive in that field, you have to constantly adapt to circumstances and new technology. And sometimes that can be overwhelming. It can be hard for a single person to absorb all that data, and then figure out how to use it according to a complex set of plans to add value to your brand.

    But, sometimes it’s better to synthesize work that’s already been done with respect to that learning curve. For instance, by regularly going over tech-related guides, product reviews, affiliate suggestions, social etiquette advice, and brand management analytics, you can essentially take the best of each part and incorporate them into your own framework.

    Tech Related Guides

    For instance, tech support is a massive industry. If you don’t want to get lost in that world, and lose sight of your personal social branding goals, the smart money’s on hiring a tech support team as soon as you can afford it. Especially if you don’t want to either pay for the infrastructure behind your media marketing machine, utilizing 3rd party information and resources will save you money and increase your visibility.

    New Product Reviews

    What your industry is, you can create more marketing value from within your brand by setting up products review pages on your website. Simple listings of top 10s, within either your industry or a related one, can drive traffic to your site and increase your trust value with the people searching for information about your products and services. Be cautious about reviewing products outside of your realm of specialization though, because that will water down your value instead of improving it.

    Working the Affiliate Angle

    And if you want to mix the idea of making money into the equation, along with your typical social media marketing conventions, add some affiliate marketing value as well. It’s extremely common to link to Amazon products that support your brand, industry, or company, and once you set up an account, you’ll get money for you knowledge regarding advice on these products.

    Keeping Your Conversations Social

    The keyword when it comes to social media marketing is ‘social’. Start conversations that eventually end up mentioning your product. Give out good advice as your brand representative. Have consistent and transparent interactions, and people will naturally begin to follow your presence.

    Using Strict Brand Management

    If you don’t keep the tone of your social output consistent, red flags are going to go up in the social world. So if you want to have a successful social media marketing project, decide early on what that tone is going to be, and stick without throughout the course of the entire management period for that product.

     
  • Larry Alton 7:48 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    4 Ways to Boost Your Online Marketing in 2016 

    16755600997_e205757ab8_kWhile paying for online advertising in strategically placed ads, pay per click or otherwise, is a great way to get noticed and get your business found, there are things that you can do to market your business, be seen, and convert web visitors into sales that may not cost you a thing. In fact, they could even make you money.

    The idea is to utilize everything the internet has to offer when it comes to getting your name out there. That includes being on social media, creating apps, and even using crowdfunding. If you are ready to use all of the tools the internet has to offer in order to market your business in a virtual word, keep reading. (More …)

     
  • Larry Alton 10:57 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audience, ,   

    5 Ways Retailers Can Increase Audience Engagement on Social Media 

    Shouting Bluebird

    When your retail business was a startup or boutique (or if it still is!), the idea of managing your firm’s social media page probably sounded easy and fun. However, anyone who’s actually attempted to do it can tell you otherwise, and may sing the praises of a professional social media manager.

    When it comes to optimizing social media for a business, retailers have unique needs and challenges. More and more often, you have to “pay to play” on Facebook, or the vast majority of your posts will never be seen by anyone who isn’t actively following you.

    However, paying for social media exposure may not be in the budget for smaller retailers … and it shouldn’t have to be. Before throwing in the towel, make sure you’re on the “right” social media platforms for your needs and markets (and no more than that).

    Just because everyone’s on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s a meaningful platform for you. Your business may do better on Pinterest or Instagram alone (although you need a Facebook account), or a Web Trends-approved niche site.

    Once you’ve identified the right platform, here are a few ways to actually engage audiences and foster relationships: (More …)

     
  • Larry Alton 9:00 am on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: content marketing, , , , ,   

    A Company Blog as Content Marketing 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A Company Blog as Content MarketingOne often overlooked content marketing component is a company blog. Although many people think of a blog as a way for individuals to share their thoughts and ideas, they are also a simple way for businesses to present themselves as experts in their industry, a critical component of successful content marketing. In addition, new search engine algorithms are requiring websites to include quality, well-written and original content. The easiest way to keep your content updated and original is by including a blog as part of your content strategy.

    Owned Media

    One benefit to a company blog is that it belongs to the company, unlike other forms of social media whose requirements can change at any time. It is a way to get a company message to current and potential clients 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Blogs should be viewed as a form of social media as they need to be designed to target a specific community and should be integrated with your other social media efforts as well.

    Engage and Interact

    (More …)

     
  • Jose Manuel Perez Marzabal 9:00 am on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Buzz marketing campaigns and brand ambassadors: What to do legally? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Recommending a product or service to friends on Facebook, advertising on Twitter through prominent figures (marketing buzz), or sending company information to its LinkedIn contacts are all marketing models that become more and more popular in social networks. However, these types of practices carry legal implications.

    The relative novelty of the applicability of legal requirements in the context of social network services can create confusion of concepts and terminology, of which is significant at all levels. The evangelist consumers or brand ambassadors (brand advocates) all require forethought and thorough analysis prior to any marketing campaign.

    Digital marketing in legal terms

    In practice, the initial thinking in legal terms refers to the brand ambassadors as emergent advertising figures. And the legal implications of them in the context of complex systems through crowdsourcing and dynamic influence generated by social networks and product value platforms or services  in a profoundly interconnected ecosystem. The designated brand ambassadors are those evangelist consumers who support or feel passionate for certain brands and share their opinion about company products and services  in conversations with other people. (More …)

     
  • Edna Campos 9:00 am on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , tracking   

    5 key questions for assessing your company’s presence in the social networks 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    5 key questions for assessing your company’s presence in the social networksEvery day businesses become more convinced about the value of integrating social network strategies in their business strategies.

    A brand isn’t successful in the social network if it doesn’t have anything interesting to say, it doesn’t know how to say it, nor how, nor when.

    Companies that understand this are capable of delivering a dialog directly to their customers. However, many companies start out without a firm base and lose interest when they don’t see results. If this sounds familiar, ask yourself:

    1. Is my online presence strong? Many companies start with great impetus, creating profiles in social networks, but don’t have a web page (or it’s out of date or unattractive), which is the most important property for your online presence and where traffic generated in the social networks should be directed to.

    2. I’ve set my goals and created a strategy for social networks? Developing a plan is crucial. If you don’t have a Social Media and Content Marketing strategy and you appear with what you have up with in that moment, you’ll have little or no opportunity to stand out.

    3. Are your social network profiles optimized? For example, does your profile image represent your brand clearly? Is the bio information complete?

    4. Am I using too many social networks and are my target audience there? Users congregate in different communities, consume different contents and browse different networks. Monitoring the conversations enables you to assess and determine where to put effort in the right networks.

    5. Do I have enough time? It is very common to see how social network profiles are created and then abandoned. If we don’t have enough time or resources, it is best to hire the support of experts who can look after it for you or can give you the right tools and consulting.

    Edna Campos (@RiolanVirtualBS) is Expert in Internet y Social Media Marketing based in Mexico and offers support to independent professionals and small businesses around the world.


     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on June 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , professional branding,   

    LinkedIn’s new competency model: networking + personal branding 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Some time ago psychologis spoke about the importance of positive reinforcement, but have you ever stopped to think that social networks are just about social reinforcement? They are a way of reaffirming ourselves (what we like, what we know, what we read…), but that was already done in blogs and in the web 1.0.

    Part of the success of microblogging platforms and social networks lies it it enables us to leave our egocentricness and project ourselves towards the world through others (retweets, +1 button); all these ways of sharing our “agreement” are nothing more than a system of reinforcement

    Linkedin started to take advantage of this phenomenon with endorsements of skills and expertise, seeking to encourage interaction among users.

    1. Follows the trend to present information visually.

    2. Aids the process to indicate what you value about a contact. What may represent an advantage in using the tool means a defect for its detractors, as they point out that it will lower the quality of the valuations we make. The risk of a user’s lack of criticism or objectivity will always be there and it is something that HR experts should know how to discriminate.

    3. Prognosis that the next change to be implemented will be a mechanism to quantify the value of the endorsement, establishing the level of real relationship of the professional making the endorsement.

    4. Endorsing an ex co-worker for that quality you appreciated enables you to get back in contact with that person “giving them” something positive without communicating directly, which essentially is practising networking in its nicest form.

    5. It can improve the positioning of a profile, as what is endorsed are tags that we have previously chosen. This means that, apart from helping someone to quickly identify your strong points (being a good personal branding tool), it is also great for SEO.

    Sara Jurado (@sarajuradoBCN) is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as counselor in the professional development team at Barcelona Activa.

     
  • María Teresa Farfán 9:00 am on May 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Improve your organizational culture in 8 steps 

    Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

    Organization culture is the values, habits, traditions, feelings, etc. that certain groups share within the organization and represents the unwritten rules that guide employees’ daily behavior.

    If the organizational culture is aligned with the objectives, it can help to achieve these objectives more efficiently and effectively. For this, it is important to take the culture into account when measuring or planning business objectives.

    The organizational culture is the face of the company, comprised of basic elements:

    – Shared values and beliefs. Affirmations of what is right and wrong in the organization and the consequences that the actions of each element making up the organization have. They define the expected behavior and are shared by most members.
    – Own identity. The way in which employees identify themselves, providing them a specificity, identity and coherence towards the outside.
    – Persistence. Although it evolves constantly, it is resistant to brusque changes.

    Apart from these basic elements, there are differences between the culture in each organization in which each individual has a certain level of responsibility, freedom or even independence to assume risks or that ensures innovation, taking into account the number and quantity of rules with which employees’ behavior is governed.

    Each organization also differs due to the level of identification of its members with other members and how they relate to each other. Is there any favoritism? In terms of the services, is there any discrimination? Are employees perceived to be honest and hard-working? Do employees communicate among themselves? What is the customer service like? And even, what is projected from the employees when you enter the company’s buildings?

    If you want to improve the organizational culture, there are a number of basic points for achieving it:

    1. Answer basic questions. What culture would you like there to be in your company? How do you want the company to be seen by others? How would you like employees to interact among themselves? These are the questions that you need to answer to know what direction to take.

    2. Ask your own employees What would they improve in the company? How would they like to be seen? What would make them feel at ease? Take into account the comments they share with you.

    3. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Many people are afraid of change and probably will oppose any reformist ideas you present. Don’t pay too much importance to them and let the change flow.

    4. Plan. All changes need a plan of action; find or create a plan that best suits your requirements and find a way to get the most out of it.

    5. Act. Don’t waste time and get the plans rolling; if they don’t turn out like you planned, change the direction and put it into motion. Don’t be afraid of errors and let you and your team leave the comfort zone.

    6. Communicate. Since you have taken the opinions of your team into account, communicate the actions to be taken to them and allow them to digest the changes.

    7. Be patient. Don’t expect them to get used to it in a day, don’t seek radical changes in a short time either. Gradually you will start to see the difference without having to pressurize.

    8. Be the example. You can’t ask your employees to be honest and encompassing if you and the other executives in your company aren’t. Lead by example and behave in the way you want “your company” to behave.

    Ma. Teresa Farfán (@MomBita) is a psychologist graduate from UNAM, with experience in practising psychology both publically and privately in which she seeks an ethical practice and in favor of improving the quality of life and ensuring an integral experience of those with whom she works, be it individuals or companies, looking for teamwork, professionalization, and standardization She has experience in the area of culture, organizational communication, consumer and sales psychology. She participates actively in social undertakings such as Átomo Educativo and is co-founder of khÜn Psicología, a company that seeks to bring psychology to companies and individuals with a multi-disciplinary approach.

     
  • Cristina Aced 9:00 am on April 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Public Relations 2.0, ,   

    Public Relations 2.0: 6 principles that remain current and 4 new ideas 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we welcome as author on our blog Cristina Aced (@blogocorp), who will discuss communication 2.0 and social media. We are delighted to have her join us. Thanks, Cristina!

    There are six principles that any communication manager must obey:

    1. Tell the truth.
    2. Prove it with action.
    3. Listen to the customer.
    4. Manage for tomorrow.
    5. Conduct PR activities as if the whole company depends on it.
    6. Remain calm, patient and good-humored.

    In fact, these tips are not mine, they are from Arthur W. Page, who was vice-president of public relations for the American Telegraph and Telephone (AT&T) and contributed to the development of modern public relations. Page was one of the first to join a company as an officer of communications, a usual practice nowadays.

    He established these basic principles at the start of the 20th century, although they could have been written today. It is a good example that shows the bases of corporate communication are still the same and illustrates the need to know the past in order to understand the present (and the future).

    In public relations, there are aspects that are still applicable from their origins, but there are also others that change (as I explain in my book Relaciones públicas 2.0. Cómo gestionar la comunicación corporativa en el entorno digital). Undoubtedly, the Internet and social media draw a new communication scenario, characterized by:

    • Conversation. Nowadays, the roles of emitter and recipient interchange constantly. Companies have to stop seeing themselves as simply emitters of contents and start to listen actively to their audiences on the Internet.
    • Open collaboration. As Pierre Lévy says, “no one knows it all, but everyone knows something”, and the new digital platforms facilitate this exchange of knowledge. Zyncro lets you create enterprise social networks that encourage collaborative work.
    • Economy in our attention. We live surrounded by an excess of information. For example, every minute 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. The difficulty lies not in having a presence on the Internet, but capturing users’ attention.
    • New intermediaries. Social media lets you reach the audience directly (fantastic for the communicator!) However, new gatekeepers have appeared: social tools. As Eli Pariser explains, we live in a filter bubble. Both Google and Facebook apply filters to the contents we receive and often we are unaware of them. For example, in Facebook we see the updates of the people we have “liked” the most before those with whom we have never interacted.

    As we can see, the social web offers new communication opportunities, and public relations professionals need to be ready to take advantage of them. Yet without forgetting the basic principles of a good communicator: honesty, truthfulness, empathy… As Arthur W. Page established at the beginning of the 20th century.

    Cristina Aced (@blogocorp) is a journalist and communication and public relations consultant. She has specialized in the digital area and has published several books on the topic. Her most recent one is Relaciones públicas 2.0. Cómo gestionar la comunicación corporativa en el entorno digital (Editorial UOC). She collaborates as a lecturer at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, the Open University of Catalonia, and at the Universitat Abat Oliba, among others. Since 2006 she has been writing at Blog-o-corp.

     

     
  • Bill Cushard 9:00 am on April 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Improving Sales Enablement with Enterprise Social Networks 

    Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we have the pleasure of presenting a new Zyncro Blog author: Bill Cushard (@billcush). He is an authorblogger, and learning experience (LX) designer with extensive, in-the-trenches experience building learning programs that leverage blended and social learning methods. You can follow him on Twitter or on Google+.

    According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), U.S. businesses spend $15 billion per year on sales training and that many sales people find the training ineffective or less than useful. This statistic should drive business leaders crazy because it forces them to ask what they are getting from such a large investment. And this number is just in the United States. Imagine what that number would be if one includes businesses around the globe. Because of the large amount spent on sales training each year, there is great value in solving the problem of improving the effectiveness of sales enablement efforts in organizations.

    The question is, “How can organizations improve sales enablement efforts, in order to get the most out of the large investment they are making in preparing the sales force to grow their businesses?” According to research, I believe there is promise in the use of enterprise social networks (ESN).

    Research is Pointing Towards ESNs

    In a 2012 article in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, it is suggested that the future of sales training must be individualized, jointly determined, voluntary, tailored to fit mutual needs and offered in various modes. Accordingly, the authors advise that future research should explore different types of technology delivery methods, including social, which could help improve sales training effectiveness.

    Enterprise social networks seem to satisfy this need, which is why I am conducting a research project for my dissertation to test Etienne Wenger’s (1998) social theory of learning. I am seeking to find out whether there is a relationship between participation of newly hired sales people on an enterprise social network and sales results. In other words, if newly hired sales people participate in peer-to-peer, social learning activities on an enterprise social network, will their sales results improve? According to a social theory of learning, it should.

    A Social Theory of Learning: How People Learn

    One key element of a social theory of learning considers that people learn through a back-and-forth duality between participation and reification. Participation refers to taking part in communication, activities, or events and applies both to individuals and groups. Reification refers to the process of solidifying the experience of participation in the form of resources. In other words, learning occurs when there is participation in conversation and available resources about a specific topic.  

    Where Enterprise Social Networks Come In

    Enterprise social networks are designed perfectly with the need for participation and reification in mind. Think about it. On an enterprise social network, people can continually participate in conversations and those conversations can contain links to resources and those conversations themselves become resources (reified conversations) that others can access.

    So, if sales enablement is an on-going process of equiping a sales force and learning occurs through an ongoing process of participation and reification, then enterprise social networks should be a foundational platform to get the most out of an organization’s sales enablement efforts.

    But how, you ask?

    There are many ways enterprise social networks can be leveraged to support sales enablement. Here are three ways to start:

    1. Find Experts: It is not always easy to find the right person with the right expertise in medium to large sized companies. This is especially a problem in companies with offices around the world. With an enterprise social network, people can find expertise from people they have never met and from people around the world.

    2. Ask Questions: We all get stuck on a problem from time-to-time. It could be in a sales meeting, a technical support call, or on a big project with new stakeholders. Sometimes, we do not have the answers we need. On an enterprise social network, we can ask a question. Sure, it is easy to ask questions from people who sit near you, but how do you ask questions of people who work in different offices? And how do you ask questions from people you don’t even know?  An enterprise social network empowers people to ask questions of anyone in the organization.

    3. Sharing Resources and Stories of Success and Failure: If I read an article about a major change to an industry that my company sells to, I can post that link to everyone in my sales organization so that the team is aware. To make my post even more valuable, I can add some commentary to set the context for why I think it is important. This commentary can spark a conversation from others and a discussion can occur that may impact a broader group of sales people.  Furthermore, I can share a recent success I had trying a new sales technique that might benefit the team. Someone else may comment on my story about how that same technique did not work for them. Others can ask further questions and decide for themselves whether the technique would work for them and how they could apply it to their situation. This is a scenario that no training can keep up with.

    Sales Enablement Is Not Just About Sales Training

    Sales enablement is not just about sales training. In fact, Forrester defines sales enablement as an ongoing process that equips client-facing employees to have valuable conversations with clients and prospective clients. Yes, training is vital, and so is a systematic sales process. But in order to foster and sustain an ongoing process that equips your sales force, an enterprise social network must become a foundational infrastructure in sales enablement efforts. As much as organizations spend on sales enablement, efforts to equip the sales force in a sustainable way should be a top priority.

    How do you use enterprise social networks to sustain your sales enablement efforts? Share your stories in the comments below. The sales force of Telefónica Latin America use Zyncro. This is our best example :-)

     
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