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Branding Matters

Branding Matters

Tips For The Best Brand Exposure on Social Media

As business owners, entrepreneurs or active bloggers we all want to find the best way to get the most exposure for our brand when using social media. When wrapped up in the day-to-day, it can be very easy to skip a step when promoting the latest blog, video or press release.

Here are a few steps you don’t want to skip to make sure your brand gets the most visibility on your social media channels.

1.) Share From Your Facebook Page – When you want to share your latest content, first share on your brand’s Facebook Page, then on your own personal Facebook wall. Use a URL shortener and add a short message to your post. Keep your information short and to the point. You don’t want to risk losing the attention of your audience. If you are mentioning another brand, tag them in the post to get their attention. Chances are high that they will share your content with their Facebook community extending your brand’s reach even further.

#LatinaGeeks on Facebook

Once you share on your Facebook Page, use the share link to post content from your brand to your personal wall. When you do this, you will share a link to your brand Page in your post. This is #1 way to extend your brand on Facebook and the most commonly missed step I’ve seen when promoting a brand.

#LatinaGeeks on Facebook

2.) Do Not Use Social Share Buttons on Your Website – The social share buttons are meant for your audience in hopes that they will share your content, not for your own use. Of course there are always exceptions. For example, using the LinkedIn button to post to LinkedIn will help save time when sharing your content, but when sharing to Facebook it’s recommended you follow instructions mentioned above.

#LatinaGeeks on Facebook

3.) Retweet From Your Brand – Similar steps when sharing to Facebook apply when sharing to Twitter. Always post to your brand’s Twitter account first and then retweet to your personal account. You will share a link to your brand’s Twitter account giving it more visibility and it will help grow your community.

#LatinaGeeks on Twitter

4) Share Photos Using Your Brand’s Instagram Account – When using Instagram, you are able to easily share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and a couple of other social networks. It’s a great opportunity to share your brand’s culture in one click of a button. It’s important to remember to post from your brand’s Instagram account. This is especially important when sharing to Facebook; it will help keep the look and message of your brand consistant and prevent access to your personal photos.

What tips will you put into play for your brand? Share in the comment section below!

 

 

Described as the “go-to girl in branding”, a self-professed social media addict and early adopter of technology, Tanya Salcido is skilled in the ways of digital branding, strategic online communications, blogger/influencer outreach and creating successful marketing plans. Tanya has a particular passion and flair for digital marketing for the Latino market. Her work in this area includes event organizing with an online Latino social media organization, published pieces in Hispanic Network Magazine, Professional Woman’s Multicultural Magazine and co-founding #LatinaGeeks, an online community that aims to empower and inspire Latin women by spreading knowledge of entrepreneurship, social media and technology.

 

4 Points to Creating a Living Brand

Successful brands are those that continually adapt to changes in the marketplace. They behave more like a living, breathing organism rather than an rigid, structured organization. It’s necessary to be able to grow and roll with the punches as they present themselves.

While it’s important to have consistency within a brand, it’s as equally important to let the brand breathe and make mistakes — in other words, let the brand be human. Do you find yourself posting the same type of messages on your brand’s social media? Guess what … it’s fine to mix up the messaging. Your community wants to connect with your brand and the best way to accomplish this is to be human. Allow your messaging on social media to range from informative to humorous to educating about products or services. Despite these obvious inconsistencies, your colleagues and community will still recognize your brand; they will begin to recognize the different moods of your brand and they will be able to identify with it.

A living brand is a collaboration of everyone in your company — each person has a role. From the person in sales to administrative staff, each touch point is part of the brand’s script that will lead to the customer’s experience, so make sure it’s excellent. Customers relive their experiences online, so it’s important to educate your team on your brand’s values and polish the script. When people’s experience matches reviews they read online, their loyalty and trust for the brand increases.

Here are a few points to remember:

 

1) Living brands allow their personalities to grow – When outward actions of a company align with its inward culture, the brand’s authenticity shines.

2) Humanize the brand – Brands that do not project some level of humanity create a sense of doubt with customers. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

3) Don’t be afraid to be inconsistant - As long as your brand does not abandon its defining attributes, it’s acceptable to be inconsistant. Showing different moods with draw in your community.

4) Provide the ultimate experience – Train your team on the brand’s values and goals to guarantee your script (or message) will have a positive reaction online.

How have you created a living brand? Leave them in the comments section and be sure to connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

November 24th: Celebrate Small Business Saturday

 

[reposted with permission]

Help Small Businesses Stay in Business

 

Shop and promote small businesses in your community on Small Business Saturday, Saturday, November 24th, 2012.  Small Business Saturday is nestled in there between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the holiday shopping season opens and it’s an opportunity to recognize that our local small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Dedicated to helping small businesses and their communities, the concept came about 3 years ago with the help of American Express. By shopping and buying from local, independently owned small businesses, you’re helping create jobs, boost the economy and preserve local neighborhoods.

 

How do you get involved?

 

As a consumer:

 

- Visit ShopSmall.com to find out where to Shop Small near you.
- Get your friends and family involved and excited at ShopSmall.com.
- “Like” the Small Business Saturday page on Facebook.
– Visit the
5 Best OC Spots to Shop for shopping ideas 

On the ShopSmall.com page, you can find out how to get a $25 America Express credit statement by following the details on this site.  Go check it out!

 

As a small business owner:

 

- Visit ShopSmall.com to help you.  Look at the details for Small Business Owners in the FAQ section.
- They provide some complimentary marketing assets and in-store signage.
- Rally around this event with other small businesses in your area.

This is a great event to help promote your local communities.  Plan to do your part by checking out the resources above and shopping on Saturday, November 24th, 2012.

 

[Thank you WH & Associates for allowing me to repost information from your blog.]

Celebrate Small Business Week: Attend a Local Event in Costa Mesa

In honor of Small Business Week, I’d like to share an Orange County event taking place at the Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa on May 23. Local Southern California’s Duct Tape Marketing Consultants Kelly Weppler Hernandez and Phil Lauterjung will host the live streaming event from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

John Jantsch, the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, and a leading proponent of small business, will present  “5 Ways to Use Online Tools to Drive More Sales” in a live webinar. John’s presentation will include discussion on the following:

  1. Online Calls to Action – Ways you can use your website to get people to act offline.
  2. O2O Advertising – How to use online advertising to drive people to your offline business.
  3. Networked Networking – How to use online tools and networks to make traditional networking more effective.
  4. Local Social Groups – How to create and facilitate local interest groups using online tools.
  5. Online and On the Go – How to take advantage of mobile and use it to drive on-the-go folks to your business.

 


[A message from John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing]

Can’t see the video?  Click here to view on YouTube.

There will be opportunities for networking before and after the main event, and special surprises, including a ten-week Marketing Catalyst, Duct Tape Marketing-New and Revised, The Referral Engine, and much more.

As a bonus to the social media savvy, Kelly Weppler Hernandez will offer (1) complimentary ticket to her Summer School for Small Business Program to the person who is the most active on Twitter using the hastag #smbizoc. Her Summer School for Small Business Program is divided into 5 classes ranging from topics, such as Generating Leads, Creating a Client Experience and Creating a Marketing Routine. The winner may select (1) class of choice and will be contacted via social media.

 

Event details:

 

Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Time: 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Location: Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa, 3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, Phone: (714) 338-2130

Register for the event here: http://smallbusinessweek.eventbrite.com

Event hastag: #smbizoc

Continental Breakfast is included.


 

Knott’s Berry Farm Uses Social Media to Build Brand Awareness

We all have our favorite memories from when we were young. Some sentiments may include visiting a favorite amusement park and if you were like me, you visited Knott’s Berry Farm multiple times throughout the year. To this day, Knott’s carries the same historical touch that gives you the sense of being transported into the times of the old west.

While the look of the Knott’s park remains the same, they have been very busy behind the scenes actively applying social media to their marketing plan. They recently opened their doors for a private event, Knott’s Photo Walk, as a way of expanding their brand awareness online. A select group of professional photographers and social media practitioners were given the opportunity to explore the park before hours. During the private event, attendees separated into groups and toured seasonal decor behind the scenes, visited the bakery and sampled boysenberry pies, took a ride on the train and/or learned about the history of Knott’s. The small group of people captured their day with smart phones and shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few.

Previous social media-driven events have had a reach in the millions, said Joel Tanner, Co-Founder and Principal at Gigasavvy. “Social media is a great way to reach out to people. It’s natural, not harsh advertising. It’s not pushy.” Joel went on to say, ” You are just reminding people that there is something great here. And the reality is if people didn’t like it, they are not going to share it, so it’s very authentic and true to form.” GigaSavvy, an Orange County based marketing firm, has successfully helped Knott’s build their brand online using social media. Since June of 2011, the Knott’s Facebook fan base has increased from 30k to 170k and is still rising in numbers.

Joel explained, “A lot of brands are scared to engage and personify their brand, because it’s real time and real time is scary for most companies. The reality is in today’s world, not just social, but the entire company has to be real time. If someone is criticizing you or praising you, you want to be able to respond right away. Whether it is a fan or unhappy person, if you respond right away and show them love you can turn them around. You will likely turn them into your best brand ambassador. It’s about customer service. Everything about social, is customer service.”

You can enjoy photos from the private event by clicking here or take a look at a few below. I was able to interview Knott’s Historian, Eric Lynxwiler and he shared the most common misconception about Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott's Berry Farm - #knottsphotos

Sights from the Knotts Berry Farm private event.

Knott's Berry Farm - #knottsphotos

Behind the scenes at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott’s is currently working on events that are open to the public. To learn more about an upcoming Mother’s Day Brunch, visit their website at Knotts.com.

Connect with Joel and his team at GigaSavvy.com or 877-728-8901. You can also catch them online on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips on Using Facebook’s Timeline for the Best Brand Exposure

Facebook recently rolled out timeline for brands, and it’s important to know what this means in order to maximize your brand’s presence. Have you converted your page yet? Have you been wondering how your brand can benefit the most out  from the new layout? One benefit is that when someone visits your new timeline business page, he/she will now have a more personalized experience. Visitors are now able to see how their personal Facebook friends have interacted with your business page. So, if a visitor tags your page in one of their posts, those with whom they originally shared will see these stories highlighted on your business page’s timeline. This is an opportunity for brands to tell a more engaging and authentic story.

Here are some key points I’ve collected from MashableHubSpot and Facebook on how to get the best exposure for your brand.

Cover Photos – Be sure to take advantage of the top image area by adding an image that is 851 x 315 pixels.  According to Facebook’s policies, the image may NOT contain:

• Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
• Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s “About” section
• References to user interface elements, such as “Like” or “Share,” or any other Facebook site features
• Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
• False, deceptive or misleading content, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property

Visual Content - There will now be more emphasis on visual content, such as photos and videos. Take advantage of this new real estate. Visual content will  increase brand engagement on your page: According to an internal Facebook study, “posts including a photo album or picture can generate 2X more engagement than other post types.” Because images will now appear larger and be more prominent, make a point of posting your best-possible visual content or making the content you already create more visual; Think photos, charts, infographics, and other content visualizations.

Existing Landing Tabs – The ability to specify a landing page is no longer an option. This is a major downfall for brands, although your existing tabs are still available and are now located under the cover photo. You can link to each page (i.e. if you have a custom page for a promotion), and once you click on a tab, there is navigation to select other options from a drop-down. You are able to manage three of the tabs ( or “Views” as Facebook now calls them). Click the down arrow to the right of the displayed tabs (the number next to the arrow is how many tabs you have). See image below.


designactionstudios-facebook

 

You can change the “Custom Tab Image” for all tabs except the “Photos”  and “Likes” tabs. Creating a branded image of 111 x 74 pixels is another way to enforce your company’s image.

Click: Admin Panel > Manage > Edit Page > Apps;

Click “Edit Settings”;

Next to “Custom Tab Image” click “Change”.

Pin New Featured Promotions - Business page administrators can now pin content to the top of their pages for seven days at a time. You will be able to anchor updates about featured promotions, such as marketing offers, at the top of your page, making them much more visible to visitors. Pinned stories appear right below the compose box for status updates. You can update your anchor pin every seven days. To pin a story, simply hover over it, click on the pencil icon in the top right corner, and choose “Pin to Top.”

As page owners, you will have until the end of March to develop ways to promote your new visual content for your page. You can certainly preview your page before it goes live. When you are ready to publish, simply hit the “Publish Now” button.

For more tips on building your brand exposure, visit my blog and connect with me on LinkedIn.

The Seven Stages of Client Engagement, Part 2

Here we are in the last post of my blog series on creating the ultimate client experience in 2012, and I think you’re going to find it especially enlightening and helpful for building your business. Before reading on, if you happened to miss the other posts and you’d like to get caught up on my exploration with  marketing strategist Kelly Weppler Hernandez of Weppler, Hernandez & Associates of the Marketing Hourglass™ and the seven stages of the buying cycle, just click here and here.

Now that we’ve talked about the first four stages of the sales cycle, we’re ready to take a look at the last three.

  1. Know
  2. Like
  3. Trust
  4. Try
  5. Buy
  6. Repeat
  7. Refer

Congratulations! You’ve moved someone into the Buy phase of the sales cycle; a prospect has become a client. To continue to build on that ultimate client experience when they first come on board, Kelly recommends wowing new clients with a new client kit that sets the expectations of what’s going to happen in this new-found relationship of yours. Convey to them:

- What they need to deliver to you
– What and when you’re going to deliver to them
– When payments are due
– A list of any alternate contacts within your company

Most importantly, make them feel wanted and valuable and thank them for coming on board and entering your world.

Once a client buys from you, you want them to Repeat that purchase. But, we’ve all been in that dreaded situation where you do a project for someone or sell them something and then they just go away. You end up feeling like someone who went on an amazing first date and never hears from that potential suitor ever again. “What went wrong?” you ask. Kelly explains that you have to look for opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell your clients while they’re still engaged. Don’t wait until the project is over to let your clients know that this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Finally, you reach the seventh stage of the buying cycle – Refer. Kelly points out that this is one part of the cycle that businesses often forget about and, although it’s the last stage in the cycle, the seeds for it should be planted long before you reach project completion. She suggests making referrals part of your sales process and telling clients upfront, ‘If you’re happy with me, part of doing business with me is telling other people about me.’ So, when is the best time to ask for that referral? Kelly recommends asking for the referral just after you’ve delivered to the client and they’re happy with your work, and she points out that most people are happy to give referrals, they just never get asked for one. So, start asking!

And there you have it – the ultimate client experience is complete. So, get out there and start creating memorable experiences for your prospects and clients!

What have you done or what are you planning to do to create the ultimate client experience? Please leave your comments below and connect with me for further conversation on LinkedIn. You can also catch more marketing and branding updates on my blog.

The Seven Stages of Client Engagement, Part 1

So, have you traded in your funnel for an hourglass yet? IN MY LAST BLOG POST, I shared some insights from a recent conversation I had with marketing strategist Kelly Weppler Hernandez of Weppler, Hernandez & Associates, and how ditching the tired old marketing funnel for the forward-thinking Marketing Hourglass™ is the first step in creating an experience for your clients instead of just selling to them.

The next step in creating the ultimate client experience is identifying opportunities to shine and do something out of the ordinary in every stage of the buying cycle:

1. Know
2. Like
3. Trust
4. Try
5. Buy
6. Repeat
7. Refer

The Know phase is when people first discover you; they hear about you from someone else (more on that a little later), they read an article that you wrote or they see your big glossy advertisement in a trade publication. Since you never really know when or through what channel people will have their first glimpse of you, always put your best foot forward in these efforts. Kelly advises that you, “Be interesting, different, dynamic and unexpected,” so people more than just check you out – they start to Like you.

(Continue reading)

How to Create the Ultimate Client Experience in 2012

Whether you’re an advocate of New Year’s resolutions or you don’t believe the hype, the start of a new year really is the perfect time to think about what you want to accomplish in the months ahead and what you’re going to do to make this year better than the last. In that spirit, it’s time to stop just thinking about how you’re going sell to your clients and start thinking about how you’re going to create the ultimate client experience for them in 2012 and beyond.

If you went to the websites of four or five of your competitors, you would probably notice that when it comes down to it, you all are saying pretty much the same thing. In the mind of a potential customer, if you all say the same thing, you all do the same thing. So, you end up getting evaluated on price alone because you’re not setting yourself apart. And that’s a situation that few (if any) of us like to be in because it doesn’t let our true colors and strengths shine through.

According to marketing strategist Kelly Weppler Hernandez of WEPPLER, HERNANDEZ & ASSOCIATES, whom I had the pleasure of chatting with recently, the best way to differentiate yourself and your business is by creating an experience. This experience starts when someone first hears your name, sees your ad or reads their cousin’s post about you on Facebook, and it carries through the seven stages of the buying cycle:

1. Know
2. Like
3. Trust
4. Try
5. Buy
6. Repeat
7. Refer

(continue reading)

Last Minute Holiday Marketing Tips

 

MarketingHere are a few last minute marketing tips during the holidays. Some may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many business owners overlook the following ideas.

 

1. Thank your Clients and Customers

Always show your gratitude to your current customers for their business. You might be surprised at how few business owners actually take the time to do this.

 

2. Provide e-Gift Certificates

Many businesses have gift certificates available this holiday season.  Creating an e-mail version of the certificate with a unique redemption code will allow buyers to shop right up until gift giving time. This can also be easily be added to a Facebook business page (and other social networks) or your website.

 

3. Don’t Forget to use Email – Properly

Keep the e-mail short, sweet and with direct links to your promotional offers rather than the home page. It’s makes the process easier for your customers. Also, be festive in your design — It is the holidays after all!

 

4. Personalize Advertising to Reflect the Holiday Season

This helps customers realize that the holidays are meaningful to a small business and this might influence their decision to visit a particular establishment in order to spend money on gifts.

 

5. Social Network with a Holiday Flare

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, or any other social networking website, be sure to add a holiday touch to your pages. This could be done in a variety of ways from adding certain holiday-related pictures and/or announcing your holiday promotions. Find subtle ways to turn your social networking into a social network page with a touch of holiday marketing. There is still time!


6. Get Ready for the Resolution Crowd

Immediately following the holidays, the New Year’s resolution season kicks in. If you are a B2B service provider, there are companies that are still planning their marketing/business strategies for 2012 — they may need you. People and businesses are looking to the beginning of the year as a great time to make big changes in their lives.  Don’t wait until the holiday season is over to start marketing your brand.