Category

Marketing

Invisible Employees: How Bringing People into the Light Helps Build Business

By | Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

It shouldn’t be news that people do business with people they like, but it seems as if we need to point that out to business owners periodically. Since that’s true, and it should be a generally acknowledged truth, it’s mystifying why companies often still make their employees online-anonymous.

What do I mean by online-anonymous? I see company blogs where each post is authored by “Admin” which must have been the world’s most popular baby name from 1960 till about 1990, given how many “Admins” there are out there. People — readers, business prospects, business partners, members, customers, etc. — want to know whose voice it is they’re hearing! They want to know who the authors are of the content they’re consuming — always. Better yet if they can SEE the person who is writing/tweeting, etc.

Better still is the opportunity to contact or connect with the person behind the company account. Let your readers or online visitors know where to find your people online — or off — by e-mail or phone, on LinkedIn, etc.

What worries you? I’ve heard from company managers that they don’t allow their employees to have an online presence that identifies them as a member of the company for the following reasons (with my parenthetical responses):

  1. They don’t want recruiters or other companies to steal their valuable people away (My response: be a better employer and you won’t have to worry about that.)
  2. They are embarrassed about their employees and don’t think they’ll represent the company appropriately (Two things: reconsider your hires/weed out, and train/put in place a social media policy to protect you and the employees and make it clear what your expectations are in this realm. Your employees ARE representing you, whether you like it or not.)
  3. They’re afraid of being contacted by too many people. (Huh? OK, I guess I understand if you’re attracting a lot of people who are not the right audience, but if that’s the case, then it’s your communications strategy that’s off, or maybe you’re just trying to go out of business?)
  4. Turnover is high, and it’s such a pain to keep removing people or replacing them online. (Hmmm. If turnover is so high, it’s possible your business challenges go much deeper than your online presence. Even if an employee leaves the organization, you don’t have to remove the fact that they ever were associated with your business. In fact, that looks a little fishy to the outside observer. Unless they were a really bad seed, let that person be part of the incredible history that tells the story of your company. You don’t have any control over what that person does online and it’s likely their LinkedIn profile is going to show their employment with you regardless.)

I invite you all in 2015 to introduce us to the people who make up your business. Let’s see their shining faces and get to know their names. I’m far more likely to remember a person than the company name and I’m definitely more interested in interacting with a human than a faceless logo. Aren’t you?

 

Do You Want to Build a … Reputation?

By | Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media | No Comments

So many companies set up their marketing and social media efforts as an afterthought. They might engage an intern or an already-overloaded employee to manage these efforts, resulting in a bunch of one-off posts, releases, or ads. The whole thing comes across as half-assed.

If you want to build a brand and establish a reputation, the effort needs to be strategic. It should be thoughtful, consistent, and well-managed. There should be an internal point person (who doesn’t consider the tasks unwanted chores foisted upon them).

If the person in your company assigned to marketing and social media isn’t a marketing person trained and well-versed in social strategy, you have the wrong person in that seat. If that person isn’t passionate about establishing and growing your brand’s reputation, again: wrong person, wrong seat.

It’s easy to build a reputation if you’re following a strategic plan for doing so, and touch that plan every single day. It takes time, of course, but nothing compared to the time it takes to undo a reputation gone awry.

Marketing and Social Media: Not at all about Self-Promotion

By | Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

I think it’s a common misconception: companies eschew marketing themselves because they disdain self-promotion. I’ve definitely been in meetings where clients have shied away from what they thought would be “tooting their own horn.”

That’s not at all what marketing or social media engagement should be. NOT AT ALL.

Instead, teach us something. Opine. Shed light. Tell the backstory. Illustrate a point. Give us your take on a national or international brand. Let us get to know you and what you like to do.

Be authentic. Share a lesson learned. Sing a song. Make us laugh.

But really, there’s no need for self-promotion in marketing.

The Spirit of Non-Collaboration Among Marketers is Totally Out of Style

By | Marketing, Media | No Comments

I’m not often at the cutting edge of what’s in style. But last weekend, I saw a pretty trendy young gal wearing some acid-washed, high-waisted shorts and I recoiled. I was told by my friends that this is definitely “in” but once again, I’ll be letting a trend pass me by. I did that one, back in 1985. I don’t need to do it again.

Other than fashion, some trends go out of style and just never really come back in. One is the spirit of collaboration. Around the same time acid wash was popular, and for a good ten years afterward, it was common in PR, marketing, and advertising practices to guard your Rolodex. Nobody collaborated. Everything was competitive. Now, though, the field is so broad, that there are real specialists everywhere. It’s MUCH more common to build a team of specialists, even if that means firms coming together to serve a single client.

My firm doesn’t specialize in advertising, design, web development, or media buying. But we collaborate often and successfully with partners who are really GOOD at those disciplines. For the client’s money, they get better service and expertise.

It’s interesting to me how some old guard firms are still hanging on to the acid-wash philosophy of competition instead of growing one another’s business through referrals, coming together to serve larger, more interesting accounts, and providing the best skilled expertise to meet the clients’ needs.

So 1985, and really never coming back in style.

A Rewarding Moment — Getting Mad Props on a Client’s Facebook Page

By | Communications, Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

We work with the team at The C’ville Market; we help them with branding, their social media presence, their marketing, and their public relations. We love getting to know them and helping share their stories with customers and with the community at large.

Today we had a gratifying moment because a customer commented on the Facebook page the following:

Dear C’ville Market. You are doing such an incredible job with your postings. I look forward almost every day to see if you have a sale, a recipe, info on your staff and insight into what’s happening around town. Just want to say Thank You! Your effort keeps me shopping there.

Facebook comment

 

That’s just the kind of reaction we were hoping for! If you’d like to see what The C’ville Market is doing online, you can follow their blog, http://cvillemarket.com/blog/ be a fan on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cvillemarket  or watch what they do on Twitter https://twitter.com/cvillemarket