social marketing

Pinterest In A Nutshell

Pinterest-Comic

Pinterest In A Nutshell

Just like Facebook and Twitter before it, Pinterest is garnering a ton of attention from individuals and businesses alike.

So what is Pinterest? It is essentially a site that allows you to pin images of your likes, dislikes, interests etc. to an online “board”. The images can be linked directly to various websites as well.

Users can “re-pin” other users pins from one online board to another, thus sharing the content and website links quickly and efficiently.

This clever little comic we found online illustrates it quite nicely.

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The Ongoing Yelp! Controversy

Yelp-Reviews

The social media site “Yelp” has undergone a great deal of controversy lately and has been looked upon rather negatively by many business owners.

“Yelp!” – for the uninformed – is a crowd-funded social platform setup to share customer reviews of various businesses. Perks of being well rated on Yelp! include a nifty little “People Love Us On Yelp!” sticker.

people-love-us-on-yelp

The concept is good. A central site that consumers can visit to find out more about the businesses around them. However there has been a tide of backlash from businesses and users that include numerous reports of abuse by Yelp!. These reports include:

  1. Extorting businesses for advertising dollars in order to keep positive reviews of their business at the front and negative reviews in the back (in fact these accusations have been the topic of at least two federal-class action lawsuits).
  2. Employing “shills” to flood their site with fake reviews of various businesses.
  3. Harassment by Yelp! sales associates trying to land ad sales.

Taken from the Cityseed blog: “…[A recent] Reddit thread was inundated with over 1,500 comments. These comments came from people who come at Yelp from different angles. There’s the shop owner who says that Yelp filtered out all their positive reviews, the Yelper who had their reviews deleted for no apparent reason, and the former consultant who worked for an online reputation management company that regularly worked with disgruntled small businesses.”

Reddit-Yelp

A recent thread on Reddit was littered with negative comments about Yelp!

Negative reviews of Yelp! appeared on multiple Reddit threads.

Negative reviews of Yelp! appeared on multiple Reddit threads.

Comment from a former consultant who worked for an online reputation management company that regularly worked with disgruntled small businesses.

Comment from a former consultant who worked for an online reputation management company that regularly worked with disgruntled small businesses.

Reddit is not the only social media site to host negative reviews of Yelp!

Reddit is not the only social media site to host negative reviews of Yelp!

The backlash has not been restricted to Social Media platforms however with multiple businesses boycotting and adding signage to show their disgust with Yelp! and it is gaining momentum. Some businesses are prominently displaying “People Hate Us On Yelp!” stickers – a direct jab at Yelp!’s promotional stickers.

Yelp-Sucks

A website has even cropped up to broadcast the many of Yelp!’s alleged wrongs: Yelp-Sucks.com which reports many of the social site’s more questionable actions. Most recently Yelp! has been accused of:

  1. Allowing competitors to write negative reviews.
  2. Filtering legitimate reviews.
  3. “Hundreds” of businesses getting phone calls to advertise with Yelp! and upon refusing, seeing their positive reviews disappear.
  4. Not answering the phone to respond to user’s concerns.

Taken from Yelp-Sucks.com: “try to imagine a company that won’t answer the phone. [They wont] remove a review that says, “I went in because of the cute outfit in the window and the sales girls was so rude” when the business is run out of a house, with no storefront! Clearly a competitor, a mistake, but Yelp doesn’t have the bandwidth or the commitment to deal with such trivial things as a fake/defamatory review that hurts a businesses bottom line. In essence, Yelp will make it easier for competitors to destroy the competition because there is no way to determine who bought what. All a competitor need do is buy reviews and have them posted”

Craigslist Ad looking for active yelpers to write reviews.

Craigslist Ad looking for active yelpers to write reviews.

In a recent court case in San Diego, CA, A judged awarded the McMillan Law Group (MLG) in their case against Yelp! MLG stated that they had been coerced into entering into an advertising contract with the internet giant who promised results. The judge in the case ruled that:

  1. The contract was void due to fraud in the inducement, and duress,
  2. That Yelp had failed to provide any of the promised services, and
  3. That the contract itself was a contract of adhesion.

The judge also added that “this is like the mafia going door to door extorting protection money from small businesses.” (Taken from McMillanLawGroup.com)

bai thong thai

Small businesses are attempting to fight back against Yelp!’s alleged behavior.

The fact is that Yelp! is a cool concept, but has lost a great deal of legitimacy. Their brand is not trusted within the industry right now and it would appear there is more than enough evidence to support why.

Yelp! is no stranger to controversy in 2010 Yelp! made two changes to their system order to address similar mounting concerns.

Taken from a 2010 article by the Los Angeles Times: “The website will no longer let advertisers post their favorite review at the top of the page, and it will give users access to posts previously hidden. The moves address complaints from businesses.”

It would appear however that the issue is still very much alive as a recent article by (again) the Los Angeles Times cites identical issues happening once again to businesses all over North America.

Do you, or have you ever used Yelp? What have your experiences been?

Yelp-Reviews

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Five Social Media Misconceptions

Social-Media-Marketing

Social media policies can be crippling.

1) Social Media Requires Policing And A Policy.

Ok let’s cut through the red tape and the bureaucracy because Social media policies wind up wasting time and stalling out efforts. Attempting to police every single thing published within a single channel is nearly impossible and one stands to lose more trying to get approval to reply, then just replying promptly.

It’s impossible to prepare for every possible scenario on social media. What is more, with social media speed is of the essence. One must respond quickly at every opportunity. If one has to run every reply through a chain of command, or get approval via policy, then they risk losing out. Social media is lightening quick and dialogue on it must reflect that.

The best bet is to put simple guidelines for social media publication in place, rather than a full fledged policy. Make sure that those representing your brand on social media have good judgement and then entrust them to represent you properly.

A few examples of good guidelines are as follows:

  • Use your common sense.
  • Beware of privacy issues.
  • Play nice, and be honest.
  • Allow publications to fun, while still relevant & respectful.
  • Encourage conversation & discourse.
  • Consider asking your representatives to add their initials to posts.
  • Maintain a distinction between posts for your brand and personal posts by your reps.

 2) Social Media Is 100% Free.

Marketing-Content

Image Source: techpost.ug

This can be a common misconception. Yes there is almost never a cost to sign up to a social network however the natural evolution of your social media profiles will require time & resources, which as we know requires “moola moola”. True social media marketing success requires an investment of time. It requires consistent updates and posts, content creation, publication, searching and dialogue with other users.

Do not make the mistake of assuming social media is quick and easy. If you want any real success via these channels, then you need to maintain, update and use them properly. All of these things take time and time requires money.

It doesn’t end there either. Once you have a social media plan in place and the cogs are turning, the next step is marketing analytics. The only way to see if you are truly making any progress on social media is to measure the ROI. This as well, requires time, people and software.

There is no question that social media pays however it must be looked at as an investment and not simply a free ride.

Small-Business-Marketing

Social media is the fishing line and your website is the boat.

3) Social Media Alone Is Enough.

FALSE! False, false, false! Social media is a wonderful tool but it DOES NOT REPLACE other marketing strategies. Social media is simply an additional channel. It complements other parts of your strategy but it cannot stand alone.

If marketing is “fishing for leads”. Then consider social media to be the fishing line. It works great to hook potential customers, but you still need somewhere to reel them in to. A “boat” as it were. You must have a landing page, somewhere for those followers to go to find the information they need. You cannot convert social media followers to potential sales leads without a landing page(s).

Simply put you cannot attract followers in social media without good content. That content must come from somewhere, a blog, a website etc. You cannot convert followers into sales leads without landing pages (blog, website etc.) that provide necessary information and “can’t-refuse” offers.

Long story short: Get a website or other form of landing page (no Facebook does not count).

4. Social Media Cannot Be Measured.Marketing-Analytics

Everything can be measured. In fact one of the founding principles within every successful industry segment is “measurement”. Whether dealing with marketing, production, distribution or other, without measurement there is no way to determine the success of an endeavor and no way to determine whether to continue or not.

Social media is the same. As with every other marketing tool, social media can be measured.

So how do you measure? There are many ways, the first and primary step should be to set a goal and gauge your progress.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Seek to engage existing consumers and gauge the number of successful conversations.
  2. Create an offer only available on social media, then measure how many people attempt to cash it in within your business.
  3. Seek to gain new leads & set a quantity to reach by a specific date.
  4. Seek to increase the reach overall of your content. Measure using software and analytics tools built into that specific social media platform.
  5. Seek to support Customer Service by reducing the need for support calls. Measure how many calls are coming in and then compare as your social media profiles begin to take flight. Monitor to see if the average number of calls per month decrease over time.

Whatever you determine to be your goal, there is a way to measure it and that measurement is crucial.

social-media-followers

500 or 5000 followers. It doesn’t matter if none of them convert into leads.

5) Your Number of Followers Is The Most Important Metric.

A high number of followers can certainly be indication of doing something right. However followers don’t generate income. They are not sales, they do not pay your bills and they will not guarantee your business survival.

Also to be considered, is that every social media platform has a high number of “spam” profiles, essentially dummy profiles that follow you simply to be followed back. There is zero value in these profiles as they cannot be converted to leads.

Instead what you must consider, is what is most important to your business. Generating massive numbers of followers should not be a top priority. Rather you should focus on thoroughly engaging a smaller number of followers in order to transform them into leads and eventually into sales.

Okanagan-Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Five MORE Social Media Tips To IGNORE

Social-Media-Marketing

“There is no such thing as a social media ‘guru’, nor a ‘maven’ nor a ‘ninja’ nor any of the other silly terms people are using. There are those who understand social media as a tool for marketing, those who *think* they understand and those who do not.” – Transition Marketing

In our previous post on March 14, 2013 (HERE) we took a slightly different tact on the traditional social media propaganda by REFUTING several of the dominant social media “tips” presently in circulation. In today’s post we will continue with a thorough examination of FIVE MORE TERRIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS.

Employee-Social-Media-Gagging1) Avoid Allowing Your Employees on Social Media.

This is a ridiculous and asinine request. For one, attempting to police this is a tremendous waste of time. Even if you block Social Media on their work computers, they have smart phones. The resources, time and ill-will that this breeds isn’t worth it. Try to block or regulate their cell phone usage at work, they will still visit those sites on their breaks and at home. Forbid any use of your brand or business name by your employees and they will simply create fake profiles.

All you do by creating an iron-fisted regime is breed sore feelings, hurt office morale and damage work relationships. You send a clear message that you don’t trust them, create a hostile office environment and what is worse, you turn your back on an incredible asset.

Your employees are your company. They ARE your brand. This is not just a cliché corporate catch-phrase. It is a solid truth about the world we now live in. Social Media has changed the face of branding. Every consumer, every employee, every individual now has the option and the power to share their experiences with thousands and even millions. Businesses cannot muzzle the voice of the general public and there has been a significant shift in the way that businesses now market themselves (More on that HERE)

Your employees (just like your customers) have a voice and a reach that can further spread your brand and marketing message, for good or for ill. One way or the other your employees will talk about your business. To fight the lost battle of “policing” their voices, instead so rather than trying to encourage them is folly. Instead give them guidelines for good use and encourage them to share positive stories and experiences.

Allow them to be “Brand Advocates” and put their voices to use.

2) Ignore Negative Feedback On Social Media.

Oops, someone has gone and said something bad about your brand. There is no going back now, it exists and it is plastered on the internet. Whether it reaches dozens or thousands there is no going back once it has been posted.

Many brands are encouraged to ignore negative comments, to not risk entering a hostile conversation to avoid it. However by not responding to angry comments online you are allowing it to simply sit and fester and worst-case scenario it could quickly take on a life of its own.

Mistakes happen so when you make them, admit to them. People are far more gracious when one owns up, apologizes and tried to make things better. Attempting to ignore, avoid or argue them will tarnish your brand. Admit mistakes when necessary and then detail how you will address them.

Our go-to method when negativity strikes, is to address the comment immediately and take that conversation offline.

For example, if someone tweets negatively about you, ask them to DM, email or call you with the specifics. Then work with them to resolve the issue outside of the public’s eye. Once a resolution has been reached, take it back to the mainstream and tweet the resolution back to them as an affirmation.

The public doesn’t need to know every detail, just that is was addressed and made right.

3) Address EVERY Negative Comment.Dont-Avoid-Comments

This may seem like we are suddenly contradicting ourselves, however there are certain negative comments that exist for no other reason then to get a rise out of you. Known as “trolling“, the concept of provoking reaction through negative or even shocking content has unfortunately become quite a popular online. This is more specific to big business and well established brands, however it pertains to all of us.

Beware of those who are simply trying to further their own agenda’s and gain visibility by pushing you for responses to their comments. On social media, as in life, there is a time to talk and a time to walk away. Learn to discern the trolls from those consumers with real concerns.

4) Delete Negative Comments or Disable Comments Entirely.

Social Media is about conversations, about sharing and discussing. Disabling comments runs contrary to this entire premise.

People are going to share experiences with or without your Facebook page. They have their own page, their own profile and their own audience. By ALLOWING them to post their thoughts and feedback on YOUR page you can monitor and address the feedback. If you’re smart you may even learn a few things to change your business for the better.

Responding to customers, involving them and discussing with them is in fact what social media is all about. Simply posting content over and over, without ever establishing customer relationships is a dated practice meant for television, billboards and radio. Online “Marketing 2.0” is all about creating consumer advocates through online discussions via social media.

As for deleting comments, do so and you will have created a consumer enemy for life. Nothing will infuriate a consumer-with-a-voice more, than attempting (poorly) to silence them. They will simply find other avenues and lambaste you even worse!

Delete-Posts

5) When Making A Mistake, Deleting The Post Will Fix It.

This is absolutely horse-feathers and rubbish. Let us reiterate, once a comment has been made and posted, it will not cease to exist. Whether you posted it or a consumer did it is there.

“Love and life may pass, but Facebook posts are forever”.

There is no way to completely erase a post and no way to stop viewers from screen-shotting it and sharing it with the world. Think about what you say before you say it. And admit to any mistakes you make (apologize when necessary).

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

It’s The Small Things – Our LinkedIn Award.

LinkedIn Social Media Award

We don’t normally toot our own horn, however this award caught us off guard and we are still a little excited!

Our Social Media Manager was recently awarded as being within the top 10% for profile views on LinkedIn.

With 200 million unique users, 10% is still quite a few people, it is a small success nonetheless!

…and successes should be celebrated and shared!

The Infographic below displays a rough idea of LinkedIn’s users.

LinkedIn Infographic

Three MORE Social Media Marketing Avenues For Small Business

Three MORE Social Marketing Avenues For Small Business.

In our first post we discussed three of the primary avenues for small businesses to get involved with social media marketing. We outlined Facebook, Twitter and Blogging and explained the pro’s involved in leveraging them for inexpensive brand exposure.

Today we will be continuing with that theme as we dive into yet another three avenues that can provide excellent marketing coverage for small business.

1. LinkedIn.

When discussing LinkedIn one of the most common descriptions we have heard for it is “Facebook for Professionals”. LinkedIn is an online social network designed distinctly for business professionals. Profiles consist of resumes, cover letters, references and so forth. It is an excellent place to showcase yourself as a professional.

LinkedIn also hosts a bevy of job opportunities, easily searched based on industry, category, background etc. Many businesses use LinkedIn to post job openings and to head hunt top-notch talent. It currently plays host to over 50 million users in 50 different countries.

More than that, LinkedIn also offers “Business Pages”. A tool that, much like Facebook, allows businesses to operate pages centered around their brand. LinkedIn is quickly growing and has been marked as one of the top places to generate sales leads.

We discuss more on LinkedIn here: LinkedIn Dominates Rivals For Lead Generation

Cold: Sign-on and generate a personal LinkedIn profile. As with an Social Media platform, it is important to understand the tools and resources available. Take a look at how connections with other individuals are established, explore some of the job postings, and check to see what your competitors are doing – do they have a business page?

LinkedIn hosts’ “Groups”. These groups consist of business professionals from similar backgrounds. There are groups for Graphic Designers, Social Media Marketers, Salesmen, Mechanics… just about anything. These groups can be a good place to start, try joining one or two and getting a feel for how it all operates. This is where to begin developing connections.

  • Note that there are often multiple groups for the various categories. Some of these groups have little or no activity. LinkedIn will display the “Activity Level” for each group, allowing you to see before joining. 
  • LinkedIn is good about policing spam, but it is not unusual to see users abusing these groups by posting redundant or spam links – don’t worry, these are easy to weed out and the users don’t last long.

Medium: As you get comfortable with LinkedIn, start working with more of the tools. Use the search option to find other professionals, or potential clients and begin inviting them to connect via LinkedIn. Remember DO NOT SPAM people, but be genuine in your intent for connecting.

For example, when we seek to connect with a potential client we will communicate something to this effect: “Hi there ________ we are a small business marketing group here in the Okanagan, and we are looking to establish connections with business professionals like yourself, would you be interested?”

Note that there is no cheesy sales pitch, just a polite explanation of who we are and what we are doing. We will often do some research on the individual or business first and include a reference to their specific industry or background – this helps to breed familiarity.

LinkedIn is a great intermediary spot to connect with people. There is little risk and less obligation when connecting – this offers an advantage, as people are more willing to connect.

For this reason it can make sense to use LinkedIn as a place to locate and generate first impressions with potential clients and businesses.  Once you have found these potential leads and generated some awareness and recognition of who you are, you can begin to generate actual leads. Visit their place of business, invite them to an event – whatever sales tactics you use, you now have a target, a direction and a doorway to potential sales.

Get out and build those connections.

Warm: LinkedIn offers a diverse array of tools that often go missed by typical users. Encourage your customers, clients or vendors to provide an online “recommendation” on your profile. These recommendations can quickly set you apart from other professionals and competitors. It is all about reputation after all.

Get more active with the various groups available and explore starting your own. The more active you are within the online communities the more buzz will be generated around you.

  1. Join in group conversations and make yourself known.
  2. Answer questions and share educated opinions.
  3. Start establishing yourself as a leader on specific topics within these groups.
  4. Begin your own conversations and invite others to pitch in their two cents.

Long term it may make good sense to create a business page for your brand. These take a high level of resources to maintain and succeed in, but the end results can prove well worth the while.

Above all, and as with all Social Marketing, remember that you are a voice of your brand as a whole. Ensure consistent and measured communications – never misrepresent your brand!

2. Connecting With Other Blogs.

Time is valuable. It is the one thing we all run short on. As such it may seem backwards to take that time and spend it on other people’s blogs. However consider this: Every time you offer an insightful comment or share with others, you are promoting yourself and your brand to them. This establishes recognition (visibility) and credibility.

Remember, people are not going to flock to you – you need to go to them. Getting involved on THEIR blogs and profiles is a one of the primary means of doing this.

Cold: Find 3 -4 blogs that are relevant to you and your business. The best way of doing this, is to use the “Reader” option on your particular blog site. The “Reader” option will allow you to search the site’s database of blogs for specific terms. Another option is to explore specific terms via Google as the best blogs SHOULD always be near the top of their lists.

When determining which blogs make sense consider the following:

  1. Is the blog highly active? When was the last post? What amount of time is lapsing between posts? Look for high activity bloggers.
  2. Is the content relevant to what you, yourself will be sharing? Even if the blog states it is about one thing, that does not mean the content will match.
  3. What type of audience does that blog currently have? (Most blogs will display how many followers are currently subscribed). The higher the number of followers, the larger the audience that will see your comments.
  4. Are they generating a lot of comments already? If so, feel free to also comment on existing these comments.

Now that you have a handful of blogs to follow, get involved. Share educated opinions and participate in the conversations. One surefire way to generate interest, is to include personal experience, stories or case studies.

Medium: Use these interactions to develop relationships with the various authors. Since beginning our blog, we have established some great relations with PR, Marketing and Branding folks all over the globe. These relationships span other profiles as well. Many of the bloggers we have gotten involved with, have connected with us on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Warm: Developing these relationships as well as brand credibility and trust brings other perks as well. Once you are comfortable with the various authors consider asking them to allow you to guest post on their profile.

Guest posts are a common occurrence with many blogs. This positions you as a trusted source and places you in front of an expanded audience.

Make sure to communicate and agree on a topic ahead of time. Expect to provide a draft of your article well in advance, with time built-in for their review.

In return consider offering them a similar opportunity. Allow them to guest post on your blog. This provides them with the same perks and is a great way to draw further attention to your own efforts.

Remember it is all about reputation, it may take some time to develop any sort of renown, but keep at it and the perks shall come.

3. Comments and Conversations About Your Company.

It is important to note one thing: “Whether you are on social media or not, people already there and they are talking about your brand”

“It is becoming apparent to many brands, how important it actually is to maintain a presence on Social Media, if not to promote, then to monitor.” – Ben Erickson

Like it or not, your business and brand will be discussed on Social Media, can you afford to not be a part of those conversations?

Cold: Establish a presence on the main Social Media sites. Twitter and Facebook are two great places to begin. Familiarize yourself with the built-in tools available for tracking and monitoring. Both of these platforms (and many others out there) provide easy to use tools and searches to track what is being said about what.

  • Facebook now provides a real-time search engine. The search box located on the top right hand corner of any Facebook page. To start, search for your company’s name to see who is talking about you. Facebook is already planning integration with “Bing” which long-term will allow you to search for Facebook updates directly from the Bing search engine.
  • Twitter currently allows users to search for real-time results on just about anything (if you do not have a profile with Twitter, you can visit their homepage). As with Facebook, try searching your business name to see what pops up. You may also want to search words and terms that are relevant to your brand or business.

Additionally, Bing catalogues Tweets and Google has plans to roll out something similar.

Once you have a bead on the conversations taking place, make sure to join them where necessary. Don’t shy away from discussions and above all be honest. The worst thing that can happen to a brand on Social Media channels, is for them to lose their reputation as being truthful and reliable.

For an example of Social Media catastrophes resulting from questionable conduct visit either of these posts on the Chick-Fil-A fiasco:

Medium: Begin understanding the outside resources available for monitoring and tracking.

  1. Programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Seesmic all come with built-in search, catalogue and monitoring tools. These systems not only track Twitter, but can be used for Facebook and LinkedIn also,
  2. Google Alerts is another option. Google Alerts updates you free of charge, via email anytime results you wish to track, have been “Googled”.  You may wish to track competitors names, your business name and/or specific search terms related to your industry. Anytime Google adds something to its index that mentions any of the terms being tracked, you will receive an email advising, and providing a link to that content. Google Alerts can be set up for blogs, websites, videos, images, updates or groups searches.
  3. Google Analytics (or similar programs) are the next step. Keep tabs on the results in your web analytics in order to measure your impact. We ourselves like the free Google Analytics tool. This free tool provides detailed and insightful information pertaining to your website traffic, meta-tags, search terms etc. It is a great way to gauge SEO and measure your online marketing impact. Google Analytics also allows you to attach specific tracking tags to your various online marketing campaigns. This is crucial to getting an accurate measurement of your marketing results.

Once again, the purpose for monitoring is to get involved in the discussions. Once you have ascertained who is saying what, get your voice into the mix.

Hootsuite Display Screen

Warm: As you gain experience you may want to consider consolidating your various monitoring strategies into one. Several applications exist for this purpose.

  • truVOICE provides excellent keyword monitoring for social media platforms.
  • Radian6 collects information from Social Media sites, dissects it, and provides easy to understand metrics related to your brand.

These just scrape the top of the proverbial iceberg, and many other programs exist to measure, monitor and record.

Monitoring of course is simply the means of accurately determining who to engage, on what topics and when. You cannot be everywhere at once. It will take some time to determine which conversations to tackle, but as you negotiate the various Social Media sites it will become easier to do.

Experience and time will hone the edges of your communications. The key is to remember that you speak for something bigger than yourself, you speak for a brand (even if that brand is JUST YOURSELF 🙂 ).

Brand Representation on Social Media.

These are all no more than tools to enable you to broadcast, communicate and position your brand before the masses. In order to succeed with these tools, there is a dire need to understand the big picture involved in BRANDING.

We have discussed branding a few times in the past and you can view our thoughts, and those of others we respect, on the following links:

The key to remember, is that regardless of how many profiles you choose to use for your brand, they all need to be CONSISTENT.

In other words, no matter where your brand can be seen or heard, the audience should see and hear the same thing.

Your Twitter presence should match your Facebook presence, which should match your Website, which should match your Business Cards, which should match your Brochures, which should match you Office Space…. and so on.

Branding Consistency pertains to both:

  • Aesthetics (how your profiles look)
  • Communications (what your profiles say)

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF CONSISTENCY TO BRANDING! (Yes this is all caps, yes we are shouting – this is important).

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.

Hootsuite Conversations – Beta Testing

Hootsuite recently introduced the Beta version of its new Conversation tools. The Conversations tool is the newest addition to the already formidable Hootsuite array. A Social Media interaction platform developed by our fellow Canadian Ryan Holmes. Below we share their formal statement and description of the new Conversations software (pulled directly from Hootsuite site):

Hootsuite Conversations:

“New HootSuite Conversations allows teams and organizations to communicate internally without leaving the HootSuite dashboard. Invite anyone to chat within teams or to the entire company, push messages from social networks to conversations within HootSuite and discuss, like, retweet, even broadcast further to members’ own social networks.”

Hootsuite introduces its own messaging system, intended to enable quick communication and sharing between Hootsuite users.

Simplify Communications:

With HootSuite Conversations you can converse with anyone you work with, collaborate with, and share messaging with, easily and intuitively with the in-dash tool. Bring everyone together, get out of your inbox and eliminate time consuming email threads.

*Plus! Enjoy the option to pop out the conversation window so you can stay on top of communications while in other workspaces on your desktop*

The Hootsuite Conversations interface is meant to allow more efficient sharing of current Social Media developments and conversations.

Internal Conversations & External Engagement

Send social messages to internal conversations for teams to discuss and share. Teams can then discuss response strategies, communicate approved messaging and encourage others to broadcast across their own social networks by replying, retweeting, or posting to other social networks.

HootSuite Conversations allows you to add anyone to your conversation – Free.

Collaborate With Everyone

HootSuite Conversations allows you to add anyone to your conversation – free – in order to discuss social messages and receive approved messaging. Communicate with your team, department or entire organization, without leaving the HootSuite dashboard. Adding collaborators is also easy as HootSuite Conversations allows you to import contacts from gmail, and recognizes your colleagues online.

What Transition Marketing Services Has To Say:

Hootsuite Conversations is similar in many aspects to other messenger services in existence, with the exception that it allows direct sharing of conversations, comments, posts etc. to others within your team. The addition of this tool may take some getting used to, but its seamless connectivity with the existing Hootsuite platform is sure to win it some fans.

Hootsuite is a terrific platform. It is easy to use, budget friendly and provides the tools necessary for businesses big or small, to monitor their Social Media efforts. We ourselves use it and, with very few exceptions, recommend it to our clients.

The new Conversations tool is in Beta, which means there will be a few bugs left to iron out, but overall we like what we see.  If you are not already familiar with Hootsuite, we recommend taking it for a whirl. See how it connects with your Social Platforms, monitor the feeds and test posting from it. If you like it, check out the Conversations tool, and let us know what you think!

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.