How To Use Twitter For Publicity Purposes

11 Apr

new_twitter_logoThe second most popular social network, behind Facebook, is the micro-blogging website Twitter, according to eBizMBA. For some companies it’s growing in popularity among young people faster than Facebook. As a matter of fact, many believe Facebook has now hit the ceiling in the United States while Twitter still has room to grow. This is why it’s the social network to look for publicity.

#Hashtags 

#Hashtags can be started by literally any #Twitter user, however the ones that gain the most popularity are most often businesses, celebrity and world event related. This is because those garner a large follower base and are able to keep lots of people disseminating the #hashtag. When enough people to do so, the #hashtag usually ends up in the trending topics section visible to all #Twitter users on their home page of the site. 

Sponsored Tweets 

Companies are now able to pay money to have sponsored tweets. These tweets go into the stream of news feeds of a lot of people regardless if they do or do not follow your account. This in turn may lead to more followers for your account, which is sure to put your message in front of more eyes than before. Your publicity just might increase with the paid option. 

Media Reporting 

Some of the best publicity on Twitter comes from the media reporting on the things tweeted throughout the site, especially when something unusual gets tweeted. You can believe the blogs and major media outlets will pick up on it. That’s earned media and that is a win. Hopefully it’s positive and that’s good news for the company.

Contact us for more tips on how to use Twitter for publicity purposes.  

Remember the Little Things with Brand Development

3 Apr

 

Silver Miniature Poodle By Belinda (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Silver Miniature Poodle By Belinda (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know brand development is more than just a logo and a tagline? It is a persona you create for your business and it is extremely important to your success. And as the world changes and your business adapts to those changes then so should your brand. Let us take a moment to explain what should be considered in brand development.

Where do you start? How do you define yourself?  It is vital to start with market research. There is a timeless question asked in a focus group sessions. If I were a (fill in the blank), what kind of (fill in the blank) would I be? In this case, ask yourself, if I were a dog what kind of dog would I be? A Rottweiler who fights to get business, a Poodle who is beautiful and attracts business through its visual appeal, or a Beagle who is fun-loving and friendly and pulls in customers just because they are nice.

Once you have your persona defined then it has to be reflected in everything that you do. And we mean everything.

More obvious examples of brand development:

  • Logo
  • Letterhead
  • Website
  • Advertisements
  • Signs
  • Print Marketing Materials
  • Phone App
  • Social Media Pages
  • Trade Show Booth

Less obvious examples of brand development:

  • How your phones are answered
  • On hold message or music
  • How your staff speaks with the customers
  • Email signature
  • Physical space from where you do business

And one more that really isn’t considered very often is how your delivery drivers, if you have them, drive and treat others when they are out on the road. Stay alert; and if the world creates new ways to market or gain business exposure, then your brand development should adapt to those changes.

So don’t forget the little things with brand development; remember everything you do and say should be a reflection of the Rottweiler, Poodle, or Beagle that your business has become.

If you have questions or want some assistance with your company’s persona the please contact us.

How To Properly Use Reputation Management

24 Mar

women said woman listeningThe online world cares about image. It is the sole focus of a lot of what the Internet is all about after all. Those who manage their image and reputation well are most likely to receive repeat business. Those who allow reputation management to get away from them may see a steady decline into irrelevance. 

Using Outsourced Reputation Management 

Many people want to do their own reputation management online when they first hear of the concept. They think there is no reason they should not be able to handle it. After all, it is just their own image they are trying to preserve. However, an article on the subject on Forbes.com, Michael Fertik, owner of Reputation.com stated:

“The best analogy that I can think of is anti-virus software for your computer. There are probably only 25 guys on the planet who can do good anti-virus protection on their own because it requires deep technical expertise. We have dozens of engineers who work on each of our products, which are designed expressly to fix or enhance your digital reputation and profile. That said, there are certain things that you should do on your own, like have a thoughtful, well-curated LinkedIn profile. And you should have a Twitter handle that is your name, not something like “ILovePizza,” unless your job is in pizza.” 

Well said.

Caution But Not Too Much 

Obviously, avoiding mistakes is a major part of reputation management. That being said, it is not a good idea to completely box yourself off from the entire Internet and never really try anything. You need to be marketing and at the same time avoiding major mistakes. It is a careful balance that has to be struck, but it is possible. 

Sell Yourself, Sell Your Product 

If you are able to sell yourself and your reputation to people online then you are probably in good shape to sell whatever product you need to as well. You just want to make sure that the image you are providing is a good one. No one wants to buy from someone they do not trust or have confidence in. 

Contact us today to get information on how you can get started with reputation management. 

Event Consultation Experts explains Venue Questions

14 Mar

Money Time Buttons Show Prosperity Or IncomeFor most, venue and ambiance are the first things to attract you to a space for your event and many locations meet these basic requirements and are similar in cost. However, you have to dig deeper to find what those expenses cover and whether a venue is right for your needs.

Expenses

To ensure you stay on budget, ask what the base price includes. Some venues give you only the space. Everything else is extra. Others include amenities such as tables and chairs, basic lighting and multimedia equipment, drapes, and parking. If your event is outdoors, it is necessary to know you can be charged for the basics like electricity and water. Or you might be required to provide your own. Some offer a staff for free while others require one or more site staff for which you will pay extra.

Time

Another item to consider is time management. For locations that charge by the day, how many hours are included and when does the times start and end? An event lasting three or four hours may need two hours of setup and at least an hour or more for breakdown. Full rates may only apply to the hours the event is held if the venue offers hourly rental. Charges for setup and breakdown can range from a far reduced rate to full price.

Staff

A day-of-the-event coördinator can take care of all the little details to make certain your event runs smoothly as well as manage setup and tear-down. Even if you’re having the venue handle everything, you still want to follow-up and have several on location meetings and walk through(s). Even with a coördinator, you need to be on top of things.  Most venues include at least one coördinator with your space. Find out how many are coming, their schedules, and responsibilities. Venues may also require security guards depending on the size of the crowd and whether you serve alcohol.

Meals

What about food and drink? Hotels and restaurants usually need to only use their Food & Beverage departments. This may not only be a matter of profit because any food on their premises reflects on their standards. Also ask, if the venue supplies the meals, is there an added cost for plates, silverware, and serving utensils? Linens come at a price. How many servers, and bussers will be working? And remember servers are tipped separately from all charges should they be allowed to accept tips.

Insurance

It is also a good idea to carry liability insurance and to ask if coverage is included, or is it an extra cost? It can take care of material damage should a guest break or steal decorations belonging to the venue, cover injuries like a person tripping down a flight of stairs, slipping on a spilled drink, or falling on the dance floor. Some venues may carry a basic amount or only need it if you’re serving alcohol. Keep in mind, even though many caterers and event planners have their own coverage, which can cut the need for you to spend on insurance, it is best to be covered.

If you would like more information, please contact us, your event consultation experts.

Consistent Brand Messaging When Building Your Personal Brand

3 Mar

hair styleBuilding a powerful personal brand starts with you. How you present yourself publicly and online strongly affects how your brand is interpreted by the masses. Because your personal brand is a reflection of who you are personally, you must be aware, the totality of your actions will determine your brand.

Nurturing Your Brand Through Authenticity

Your brand is your legacy. Once you establish what you want your brand message to be, you must own it. How you present yourself to the world will define your brand culture – make it memorable. Your actions, expertise, and emotional connection to your brand will define how it is viewed. Offer something valuable only you can provide to the public; live it, and you will garner true authenticity.

Build Character – Online and Off

In the digital age, your online presence with social media has become your touchstone. This is where you engage those interested in your brand. Make sure the design of your online outlets closely aligns with your character and brand message. Whether you have a design team or one person working on creative, make sure there is an understanding of your brand’s uniqueness, your character is clearly interpreted, and don’t forget, a picture is worth a thousand words and this is your moment to shine. It will aid in your social media marketing campaign.

Consistent Brand Messaging

Current and potential clients want consistency. They want to know you will deliver each time with the same or better results. Your clients want to trust you, they want to count on you to be the answer. Consistency in your communications gives clients something to rely on. If you deliver strong and consistent communications, your clients will become evangelists of your brand. 

For more information on how you can build a powerful personal brand, contact the professionals at TwoGirlsConsulting LLC. We understand your physical and digital image must exude your brand. Enticing and consistent communication of your personal brand relies on a carefully crafted strategy. At 2GC, your image is everything.

 

The Landscape of SMS Marketing

13 Feb

Communication web icons,  flat buttonsShort-message service (SMS) refers to what is commonly known as text messaging. These messages can be sent cell phone to cell phone, or from Web-based services to cell phones. When it comes to marketing, SMS marketing is a growing trend that is still being explored and understood. Here are some of the highlights of the landscape.

A variety of industries are using SMS marketing in their strategies. This includes leisure (venue based), recruitment, retailers, software, marketing, financial services, beauty and hair salons, fast food, education, estate agencies, legal and dental and health offices, and travel agents. The industries at the top of this list use SMS marketing more frequently than those at the end, but you can see the wide variety of applications for SMS marketing.

The popularity of SMS marketing is built on the popularity of mobile devices, which grow in numbers every year. Recent statistics show that nearly 90 percent of the world’s population has a mobile device, which means around 6 billion people can be reached through SMS. Mobile marketing budgets are increasing to meet this area of opportunity. In the United States, mobile ad revenue is expected to exceed $20 billion annually by the year 2015. More than 60 percent of businesses are considering mobile marketing more than traditional methods.

SMS marketing helps reach mobile device users who do not use their device to connect to the internet — or about 76 percent of all mobile users. The number of SMS messages sent in 2013 approached 10 trillion, and more than 45 percent of mobile device users report being aware of mobile advertising. Application to Person (A2P) messaging is whenever businesses contact customers, and A2P messaging is predicted to surpass person-to-person messaging by 2016. 

For more about these statistics and the landscape of SMS marketing, click here for a graphic from socialmediadd.com. SMS offers a great window into the lives of customers, regardless of their online activity, and the future shows potential for increased growth in SMS marketing. For more information about how to use SMS marketing for your business, contact us today!

How to Communicate Your Vision Strategy

4 Feb

New VisionWhen two parties come together there are occasionally creative differences that must be resolved to move forward. It is important to be able to explain your vision to your client while also listening to their ideas for the vision and end results. 

Any good conversation, work-related or not, includes healthy amounts of listening, asking questions, and seeking to understand the other perspective. There may be times your client’s vision is the right one for the job. But there may be times you need to tactfully steer your client in another direction.

When there are differences of opinion, it is good to focus on something you can both agree on — namely, the mission, vision, and goals of your client. Ideally, both you and your client will be pursuing their business success, whether that is selling products, running events, or connecting with consumers. Once this ground is reestablished, it is up to you to clearly communicate the vision based on your experience in the field, creative genius, etc. 

 It helps to remember to stay professional and offer your client  reasons why your design ideas are strong and likely successful. You have the experience they need, and when you can clearly communicate your ideas you give your clients every reason to trust you with their hopes and dreams. Remember, business is not personal and a client simply might not like your designs for no clear reason. 

As Steve Jobs once said, “[they] don’t know what they want until you show them.” So your job is to show your clients what they want in a professional and tactful way.

Contact us for more tips about corporate communication or other questions.

The Core Concepts of Effective Reputation Management

10 Jan

Night and the moon“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln.

Do you have the good reputation that you deserve? Bad publicity has always been a challenge, even to the good guys. In these days of social media that can instantly harm you there is a need for a sophisticated response strategy. Make sure people are aware of your character, and not looking at someone else’s shadow.

Reputation management can have many forms, and can require several different roles. In a large organization, the role would be filled by a full-time strategic communication advisor; but even then, the key employee may need consultation depending on the situation.

Perhaps the defining characteristic of effective reputation management is good judgment. Maintaining a good reputation involves planning your organizational structure so that you have a smooth flow of information as well as confronting specific issues as they appear in the business environment and in the media.

Any confusion caused by incorrect reporting must be addressed with authority in a timely manner.  Any roadblocks to communication within your organization must be located and eliminated.

Whether it is for a hospital board, an African nation, the U.S. Department of Defense, a corporate public relations department, or a small business operating a marketing strategy, a reputation management strategist coordinates clarifying your position. This important advisor will also assist in the formation and adjustment of policy.   

The higher your authority, and the broader the scope of your endeavors, the more important it is that you are in position to be able to manage the public perception of your efforts. An effective reputation management strategy is much more than “spin.” The creation and implementation of good policy needs dedicated attention and support in the unpredictable climate of popular opinion.

The Possible Roles involved in reputation advisement:

  • As an educator, the advisor communicates with employees and associates to make them better conduits for a policy that has been decided upon.  In order to avoid inconsistency of services or product, all people involved in implementing your service should be schooled in the philosophy of your business or social mission. This involves coordination with human resources and training of department heads as well as direct presentation to large groups.

  • As a publicist, the advisor has editing, writing and speaking skills to distribute information through appropriate networks, whether through existing corporate newsletters and email systems, or media outlets. The publicist is familiar with social media and monitors interaction on strategic sites. The publicist can produce content, as well as inform others on proper responses to online forums.  The publicist has a close relationship with any formal spokesperson or media relations department for a large organization, acting as a liaison between management, media, and policy formation.

  • As an analyst, the advisor suggests what information should be given to a particular group, be it employees, associates, or volunteers. The analyst assists in the timing and proper media for press releases. The analyst provides support and assembles research opportunities when adjustment of policy is necessary.

  • As a researcher, the advisor is aware of trends in the social fabric regarding your endeavors. The researcher is aware of meaningful published work, and, if necessary, attends relevant summits and discussions by experts in the field. The researcher evaluates new ideas and innovations, making recommendations to you for discussion and review of policy.

  • As a coordinator, the advisor makes certain that internal and external policy is consistent with your goals, and develops measuring techniques to monitor progress in accurately portraying your efforts to the public. The coordinator will be aware of budget compliance, and will be able to provide recommendations for necessary adjustments, whether in policy or implementation of existing policy.  

Give us a call, and clarify your position.

 Contact us

4 Important Email Marketing Strategies

6 Jan

e-mail vector iconEmail newsletters are an important part of any marketing campaign, particularly as people spend increasing amounts of time online. E-newsletters go directly to customers’ inbox, giving them an advantage over other forms of social media. Like other digital media, e-newsletters are inexpensive to produce and send to customers. And fortunately, there are some simple tips for writing an email-newsletter that customers will be likely to read!

1) Start with a captivating subject line. Many readers use an email subject line to determine whether they will open the email, and it is crucial that your e-newsletter stand out among the many other emails a customer receives. Including the word ‘you’ gives the email a personal touch. Make your subject line timely and short, to catch the reader’s eye. 

2) Use visual means to convey your message. Video sites, like YouTube, and applications, like Vine, are rapidly rising in popularity. Often, readers are more likely to watch a short video than they are to read lines of text. Capitalize on this tendency by creating video (or even photo) content for your readers, whether your intent is to engage the customer, sell products, or tell a story.

3) Entice customers with a special offer. Including a special offer in your e-newsletter is one of the best ways to retain customers and keep them interested in future promotions. You will strengthen brand loyalty when you help customers feel as if they are important to your business. (They are!)

4) Utilize other forms of social media. Include social media links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in your e-newsletter, as these digital marketing tools go hand in hand. A great way to involve customers and increase your market exposure is by rewarding customers when they share your e-newsletter (or other content) on social media. 

With these tips, you can improve your email newsletters to make the most of the opportunity you have to communicate with your customers. For the best ways to include email in your marketing strategy, contact us today!

Brand Development through Relationship Marketing

29 Dec

beautiful woman shoppingRelationship Marketing is an important part of brand development, focused on the long-term benefit of customer retention. This strategy places an emphasis on building customer relationships. In the modern age, marketing has evolved to include many technology-based methods, including email, video, and social media. There are benefits and challenges to relationship marketing across these various means, although it could be argued that connecting with customers has never been easier than it is today.

Relationship marketing is of particular importance when there is a competitive market for customers. When faced with many choices for the product or service they desire, customers seek to make a connect with a brand or company. That connection will fuel their consumer decisions in the future, and is often built on unique features of a brand. Some customers may gravitate to popular, well-know brands; others may gravitate to local, niche brands.

Relationship marketing usually features a combination of customer retention and customer satisfaction. Customer retention focuses on repeated transactions between customers and companies, building long-term relationships. Repeat customers are often less price sensitive and less inclined to switch companies. Because long-term customers are familiar with goods and processes, these relationships are cheaper to maintain when compared with the cost of attracting new customers.

An added benefit of customer retention is the likelihood that long-term customers will bring additional revenue to companies by word of mouth. Ensuring customer satisfaction, by building customer relationships with many positive associations to a specific product or brand, gives a worthwhile return on investment. Knowing the specific interests and desires of customers is done by accessing names, addresses, demographic information, buying history, and many other variables available with today’s analytic technology.

For help implementing relationship marketing as a brand development strategy, contact us today!

 

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