Category Archives: Perception

How to become an Influencer

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular, but not all influencers can be considered equal. In most cases celebrity influencers don’t have as much influence over your consumer decisions as you think. A new wave of influencers are equally important. Micro-influencers – like you and me, are just as likely to influence our peers as celebrities.

So how easy is it to become an influencer?  Here are my top tips for becoming recognised as a credible voice in your industry.

Be a consistent  influencer across platforms:.

Whether Facebook or YouTube, Twitter or Instagram, have a consistent voice. Influencers talk about the same topics, use the same hashtag, post similar pictures. You will start to become recognised for your knowledge in that topic. Whether it is icing cakes, fixing phones, or top-notch welding, the same message reinforces that you are the go-to person for that topic.

Use the same hashtags:

You will be able to use analytics tools to measure the success of a particular hashtag, or campaign across all platforms that you use if you use the same hashtag across Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for example.  You will then be able to get a fuller picture of your breadth reach as an influencer you see your hashtag propagate.

Focus on a few credible platforms.

Try to stick to two or three main channels to broadcast. People will tend to follow influencers across two or three platforms. If Instagram and YouTube are the channels of choice, then make sure you add quality content to them on a regular basis. Frantic bursts of activity followed by long periods of silence don’t tend to work well with media followers.

Influencers use followers and fans to deliver their message for them:

92 percent of people trust word of mouth recommendations  so make sure that your existing followers get fabulous content that they would be happy to propagate further to their network.

Be  an authentic influencer:

Authenticity is a really important part of the news we want to receive from our influencer connections. Facebook has recognised this for a long time, and has honed its algorithm to make sure that you get the news that is most relevant to  what you want to see in your life.

Avoid the single point of failure:

Try not to rely on one channel to get the word out. Google stopped focusing on Hangouts, Facebook has throttled organic reach for brands, and there is no longer any guarantee what your fans will see. Try to spread your message across different channels, so that if your message fails to deliver on one site, then it might get through on another

Get your followers to a place that you own.

Point people to your own blog, your own newsletter, encourage signups on your own site. Then if your chosen site disappears, restricts visibility of your posts or goes behind a paywall, then you have a list of loyal followers that you can move to another platform.

Keep at it. over time, your fans will come. If they like what they see, they will stay…

10 tips to avoid the Monday morning blues

imageIt is often hard to get going on a Monday morning. The commute might have been hell with over running road works or delays on your train.  You might be tired, have a hangover, or you might have had the best weekend ever and are suffering from post weekend blues.

But don’t take it our on your colleagues at work. Try these 10 tips to make Mondays better for yourself, and your colleagues:

  • Listen to energising music on the way in to work. Choose music that lifts your spirits and makes you feel great. Don’t turn the volume up too high if you’re in a train though. You may ruin someone else’s day
  • Wave and smile thanks to others.  if someone lets you in at a traffic queue, smile and wave your appreciation.  Even if you don’t feel like it, smile. You will lift your own spirits with your fake smile, as well as others.
  • Be positive.  Say a cheery good morning to folks as you go into the office.  Ask how they are. If someone asks how you are, don’t just say ok.  Try to think of something cheery to say in response. You might lift their spirits too
  • Ignore negativity.  Don’t let someone else’s bad day become your own. Remember, it is not your problem. Stay cheery and ignore the grumps.
  • Do your most productive tasks first. You’ll do them quicker and the day’s jobs will seem less onerous.  Do the jobs you like and you will be in a better mood to do the jobs you don’t like.
  • Remember why you are there.  You work to achieve your financial goals, security, to go on better holidays, to change the world in some way or to help people out.  Whatever your drive is, do it with gusto and remember, your work helps you achieve what you really want from life.
  • Don’t work too long at work.  Working all hours of the day or night tires you out and makes you miserable. You’re home life will suffer and your productivity will go down.  Work can get along just fine without you. You are not indispensible.
  • Keep things in perspective. A problem at work is not your problem entirely, no matter how much a grumpy boss tries to tell you it is.
  • Remember it is your job, not your life. Try to keep a balance between the two and don’t let work get you down.
  • Enjoy yourself. the day will go faster and it will be Tuesday before you know it!

Credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Are we the same person online and offline?

Heck no.

image

I craft my online words to create an impression of me that I want you to see.  I want you to believe that I truly am the person in my tweets, my blog posts, my Facebook and LinkedIn profile.  But is is the real me?

I’m sure I’m a much nicer person online than I am offline.  I’m always cheerful online, helpful, friendly and kind.  I try to write warm witty and wise blog posts – with the emphasis on the warm.  I don’t want you to know when I’m having a bad day.

I don’t want you to know when I’m feeling vulnerable, scared, sad, lonely, insecure or down.  I want you to see ability,  stability, confidence, employability, hireability.

But is it healthy?

Forbes splits this ‘split personality’ behaviour straight down the middle.  Some women are truly authentic online,  such as Penelope Trunk who pours out her life on her blog.   Others are less authentic online. I probably fall into this camp.  I try to use Paretos 80:20 rule for my online activities.  I’m 80% authentic – keeping the 20% for face to face conversations with offline friends.

Some keep their professional lives totally separate from their personal musings on Facebook.  One of my good friends uses Facebook entirely for the business connections it brings her.  She knows she needs to have a Facebook profile, but she doesn’t update it at all, and yet she has thousands of Facebook Friends.

Some use Facebook to keep in touch with colleagues, some with close friends and family.  I’m still connected to lots of my ex Microsoft colleagues on Facebook.  some are friends, some mere acquaintances.  I mix my Facebook conversation from professional to personal musings.  My Facebook Page however, gets only the business relatedor book related updates. My Facebook profile gets the more honest updates.

But event these updates aren’t truly ‘authentic’

The updates are a nicer, better version of me  — the me, I’d like you to see.  The me, perhaps I’d truly like to be.

But are we sharing too much?

Perhaps we don’t want to know what our friends are reading using the frictionless sharing feature on Facebook.  Are we oversharing or peeking into private lives?  Some people think that they are chatting to just one friend when they post updates on Facebook and are not careful what they post.

Perhaps I’ll stick to outpourings of angst, anger and ire when I’m offline.  Where no one can hear my miserable ranting, emotional outbursts and weeping.

Would it make me a better person online if I shared more? Or would reading these ramblings only serve to reduce your opinion of me – or anyone else that overshares their life?

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: misteraitch

 

5 levers for sustainable businesses–and for sustainable living

When we talk about having a sustainability in business, we often forget that sustainability in business is linked to sustainability in the home and sustainability across everything we do.  Unilever are trying to get everyone to behave in a more sustainable way with their simple video called 5 levers for change. 

Unilever produce things that we use every day. Their raw materials, manufacturing process and distribution only accounts for 31% of the total impact of their business. 68% accounts for the way that people use the products.  Unilever feel that they if they inspire their people to use their products in more sustainable ways, then the impact on the planet will be less.  Consumers will be able to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce disease by using appropriate products in a sustainable way, changing the way we behave

 

Their five levers are:

  1. Make it understood – so that people know what to do, and why its a good thing to do it
  2. Make it easy – people follow the path of least resistance, so make the new behaviour easy
  3. Make it desirable – so that people want to do it, and make it fit with how people want to be thought of and how they like others to think of them
  4. Make it rewarding – people need feedback and need to be sure that it’s rewarding and worthwhile
  5. Make it a habit – it takes time for a new behaviour to become a habit and remind them of the habit so that they do the right one

 

In identifying the behaviour that needs to change – and the behaviour to change it to, will enable cultural change across the business.  Speak to your workforce and find out what is stopping them from doing the more sustainable thing.  This is one step towards getting them to start behaving differently and implementing easy and workable processes that can get them to stick to the new behaviour.  Its a simple concept, and something that can work in any sized business.  From moving towards a paperless process, to encouraging healthy options at lunch we can encourage people to contribute to a sustainable, healthy way of life. 

With 2 billion people across the globe using their products every day, Unilever certainly have the clout to influence sustainable behaviour  – and change the bad habits that businesses and all of us have.

I hope they succeed…

 

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Bank of America gets its online branding strategy wrong

Bank of America have a Google + brand page.

So that’s good right?  You can search for them and find them on Google+

image 

Unfortunately, it appears that they have been brandjacked by pranksters or users intending to cause harm.  Only a few days after Google announced that Pages were being made available for brands, companies such as this are being impersonated. Ed Bott  over at ZDNet, discovered their fake page earlier today – and it still hasn’t been removed as these screenshots of the page show.

image

The Google plus page for the brand has been created by someone who obviously isn’t the Bank of America.  rather it’s owned by someone who has created the page, populated it with images of senior members of the bank.  The About page introduction states:

image

I think the biggest issue at the moment is that Bank of America don’t seem to have taken any steps to remove the page.  Not enough people have clicked on the link and reported the page as impersonating the real Bank of America brand.  Representatives from the Bank haven’t contacted Google directly to have the page taken down.

So why is a reactive online branding strategy wrong?

As part of the online strategy at the bank, they should have ensured that they have created profiles on all social media sites.  If they are not currently using these sites, the brand page should be in place and be there as a placeholder until the outbound communications strategy was in place.  The bank already has an active set of Twitter accounts which are updated regularly.  They have a Facebook page – of sorts -  that has gathered thousands of fans.  Other brands would love to have that many Facebook fans, with no investment in Facebook and no activity from the brand itself.

But Bank of America seem to prefer not to communicate using all social media channels.  It seems like all online marketing, relationship marketing and brand perception are delivered using more traditional mechanisms.  But in order to stop malicious users impersonating you, it’s important that you claim all of your online personas to stop others getting there first.

Brand perception changes at the speed of a mouse click. 

Through their inaction and delay in getting the page removed Bank of America haven’t done themselves any favours.  I now wonder if they have the same sluggish response to their customer issues and service requests.

Be being reactive, then now appear to be inactive.  Not a good place to be in our real time web world…

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Blowing my own trumpet

***edited link***

(in case you hadn’t heard of the phrase in the title there’s an explanation here..)

…Well I thought I’d have a little bit of self promotion here, but I’m feeling really chuffed about this, so thought I’d share it

I made it into Mary Jo Foleys list of top 10 Microsoft bloggers this year.  I’ve never met Mary Jo at all as she usually goes to US based events, and I’m over here in the UK.   Mary Jo writes for Microsoft Watch and is a key commentator on Microsoft.  But she does think I work in the Exchange team which must be a little bit worrying for the guys in over in Redmond :-).   So Mary Jo I certainly owe you some wine when I finally get to meet you to say thank you for really brightening up my day…