For all businesses, positive reviews are something you desire. But for businesses who do the majority of their work online, positive customer reviews are something you can’t live without. However, it can be difficult for a business to obtain a large amount of positive reviews without having a solid strategy in place. So whether you’re looking for specific product reviews or reviews of your business as a whole, here are some ways that your business can use your social media presence to encourage more positive reviews online. (More …)
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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
One 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.
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
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
The Social Media Marketing arena has changed the way networking and business is done. Many companies with very dynamic executives/partners, however, quickly make accounts in various social networks at the same time, without even analyzing what strategies to follow, and without knowing the etiquette rules that must be followed in each network.
What happens next? They fail to respect the unwritten etiquette rules and regulations, leaving them with consequent bad impressions to their network of contacts, not only of themselves, but also of the company they represent.
“Social media is not about how many sites you can be at the same time. It is about being wonderful where you are.” Scott Stratten- The Book of Business Awesome
Here, we present five things that need to stop being done on LinkedIn if we want to do really good business networking and leave the best impression on the user with whom we connect.
1. Do not publish status updates more than twice a day.
For Linkedin, posting on a certain day four or more times is considered spam. Deliver high value content for your network and don’t saturate it with data and information. If you find yourself like me with a heap of incredibly valuable information that you know can be of great use to your network, dispense it through tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Tweet this tip!
2. Stop sending massive promotional messages to your contacts.
What you want to do is create relationships and nurture them, not the opposite. Demonstrate the reason you participate in this important professional network and do networking with the members in your network every other day. Tweet this tip!
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
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.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It is important to take a step back every so often and forget about technology to assess what companies really need for Social Business. We know that this isn’t just about tools. It’s about a change in organizational culture.
Olivier spoke about some of the lessons we can learn from organizations that are successful thanks to their social business efforts.
1. ‘Social’ is something you are, not something you do. It’s a question of corporate culture. If a company doesn’t focus on building relationships with its customers as part of its general strategy, the possibilities that it will do it with the new social media are remote. And what’s more, it won’t work. Tools won’t dictate whether a company is social or not; that is something defined by the company’s ‘being’. First, socialize the heart of your organization and base your general strategy on building relationships with your customers in the real world, and then use new social media to cultivate that relationship in the digital world.
2. Marketing on social media channels isn’t being ‘Social’. A blog is just a blog. Publishing content on it doesn’t make you automatically a social business nor will it convert you into an opinion leader magically. Just because you post ideas on a blog, it doesn’t mean you will ‘engage’ with your customers. Learn the difference between marketing and ‘social engagement’ and then combine them effectively.
3. ‘Transparency’ isn’t just a word. If you don’t intend to practise it, don’t preach it or mention it. Transparency isn’t a flag you get to wave around only when it is convenient.
4. Changing your management model is crucial for developing ‘social business’. We’ve already said that ‘social’ is something you are, not what you do; and for that reason most organizations cannot succeed in the social space by changing what they do and not who they are. If you don’t care about your customers, a director of social media or a social media manager won’t be able to transform you company and help you take advantage of the new tools. First you need to become a customer-centric organization. The rest will come later.
5. People are more important than technology. Hire people who care about people. If you hire idiots, your company will be full of idiots. It doesn’t matter what your social network strategy is or how many useful conversation monitoring dashboards you have. Start with your people, not your tools. They are the ones that will make social work or fail.
6. Talk less, listen more. On many occasions, organizations become obsessed with producing content, blog posts, press releases, tweets, events… That’s great, but it’s not the only thing. You should spend the same time listening to that audience you address as you spend producing content for them. Listen to your customers, listen to your employees, listen to your competitors. If you only focus on talking and publishing, you miss the conversation.
With that, you can start to work and practise social business. Success takes work, time, patience, passion, honesty, integrity and, also, a good measure of luck. If anyone else tries to tell you it’s easy, they’re lying to you. At Zyncro we talk about social business Know how?
Ana Asuero (@aasuero) works as Social Media Manager at Zyncro. She is an expert in corporate digital communication, social media and social media marketing. She has previously worked on institutional communication, media planning, advertising campaign strategy and market analysis projects.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
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.