Tag Archives: Online Brand

Job seekers: 5 tips to protect your online brand

imageYou are at home. You are browsing the web looking for your next role. You are online anyway, so you turn to your social media platforms to update your status.

After all, you now have time to focus on your friends.

But beware of oversharing. You might want to maintain a certain persona online whilst being different offline.

The 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide shows that almost 40% of respondents’ companies check out potential employees’ profiles on social media sites.

The report also says that a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person.

“The fact that one in five applicants disqualify themselves from an interview because of content in the social media sphere is a warning to job seekers and a true indicator of the digital reality we now live in,” said Mads Christensen, Network Director at Eurocom Worldwide.

There are some hard and fast rules for keeping the right items private.

Your Facebook Profile image is Public. Facebook says that ‘Your name, gender, username, and user ID (account number), along with your profile picture, cover photo, and networks (if you choose to add these) are available to anyone’. Make sure that the image is suitable.

Facebook Public Status updates change the default setting. If you choose Public for a post, your next post will also be Public unless you change this audience when you post.

Don’t Friend colleagues – or your boss.  70 per cent of young professionals on the Cisco Connected World tech report have friended people at their company. This could lead to disciplinary action if you share something you shouldn’t.

Keep your work and personal profiles separate. If you have two Twitter profiles, make sure you never talk about work on your personal profile. Direct any potential employers to your professional profile

Control your syndication settings. Beware of linking Facebook and Twitter together, or using a tool to update LinkedIn. Control what you post, where you post, when you post.

Try to give a positive impression on your online profile, so that when recruiters look for candidates, you are online, active and have a strong positive brand.  There is no need to stay silent if you manage your online activities carefully.

If in doubt – don’t post…

Image Credit: Alex E. Proimos

 

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.

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LinkedIn users love groups and people they may know

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Here are some interesting facts about LinkedIn uncovered and made into an infographic by Wayne Breitbarth.  He surveyed 300 people in the US over a month and came up with a great infographic…

 

-90.9% of those surveyed use the free version of LinkedIn

– 51.6% of respondents had 200 or less contacts whilst 5.1% of participants had over 1000 connections on LinkedIn

-48.1% of profiles are incomplete – so they are missing out on being found in search results and taking advantage of some of LinkedIn’s advanced features

54.7% of respondents were members of 10 or more groups

– 10.5% of people were spending more than 8 hours a week on LinkedIn.

How much time do you invest in LinkedIn?

76.9% found it helpful for research about companies and people

– 68.6% commented that it was helpful to reconnect with people

– 49.7% stated that it helped them build new relationships with people who may influence new customers

– 44.5% said it helped them be more effective in face to face networking

– and 38.3% said LinkedIn helped them uncover potential opportunities.

Favourite Features?

79% love Groups

– 70.6% searching for people

– 66.6% people you may know suggestions

In todays turbulent job market, we move roles regularly. LinkedIn keeps you in contact with the person – no matter how many new work email addresses and mobile phone numbers they happen to have.  For this, as well as being able to keep in touch with connections through sharing and status updates are what makes it an imperative business tool for the professional worker.  It’s much more than an online repository for your CV.  Its now a vital business tool to keep you connected.

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.

Credit: TheSeafarer

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+

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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.

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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:

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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.

So who is looking at your online profile?

We know that 90% of recruiters check your online profile before getting in touch with you.  But what are the reasons they don’t get in touch.. ?  I found an interesting infographic over on Forbes (courtesy of the Reppler blog) which show the reasons why candidates get hired – and the reasons why they don’t

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So it’s heartening to now that you can get hired by presenting a great image online, not lying, being creative, honest and not posting inappropriate content or photos.  It’s good to see that posting confidential information abut an employer is also a reason not to get hired..

…So if you do have content on your profiles that you’d rather not share:

Secure the parts of your profile that you want to keep totally private

Make sure you understand tagged photos and settings to un tag yourself from Facebook

Make sure that positive messages and images of you reach the right audience

Keep the confidential stuff confidential.  Don’t leak

Don’t blog / tweet / comment when angry / drunk

Don’t be a victim of bad judgement

Common sense really.  Ask yourself the question, would you hire you based on what you saw online?

If not… change the way you communicate…

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.

 

Wiffiti: Are you brave enough to screen your brand feed?

There are lots of tools that allow you to capture a Twitter feed, or set of keywords and have them updated in real time but I particularly like this one for its ease of use.  It’s called Wiffiti and it updates your screen in real time. 

You choose which words you’d like it to search for.  This can be names, hashtags, people, whatever.  Then you

 

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Here’s the wiffiti screen  i created above, updating in real time from Twitter

Add up to 5 tags, customise the background with your logo, preview and publish your screen.  Then sit back and watch the screen refresh…

It’s great for conferences when you want to get interaction from the audience, questions and commentary.  Its great for confident brands to display brand sentiment.  You can get interaction via text, or via hash tag.Imagine a screen like this in the reception area of your favourite brand?  Would they dare to do it?…

Are you confident enough about your brand to show it in your office reception??

Eileen is a social media consultant 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.

How to get your audience to trust your brand

I like this infographic from Mark Smiciklas in Canada.  The path to trust should really resonate with brands who want to really engage with their customers.  Honesty, candour and transparency should be primary brand values from every company.  Carrying out your business business ethically and honourably should be at the heart of what you do.  Your employees should be your brand advocates who live your brand values.  only then can the voice of your engagement resonate with your customers

If your business already has these values at their core, then their interactions with their community and customers will be rewarding and will bring them better business results and interaction over time. Companies that delay, deflect and defend, are arrogant, and lack humility won’t perform as well as their competitors.

These are values that we should all share – in our personal interactions as well as our online actions.  Its a shame that for some companies, chasing their business goals, makes them lose sight of what is really important to them.  Their customers.

Infographic from social media explorer

Eileen Brown is a social media consultant 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.

Self promotion: Advertising your online brand

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Is your offline behaviour the same as your online behaviour?  Do you suffer fools gladly online or do you click away?  Do you suffer fools gladly in a face to face environment?

Do you tolerate their behaviour or do you tell them what you think of them in no uncertain terms?  Are you aggressive online?  Are you aggressive offline?  Do you behave differently? 

It’s strange how our the way our perception changes  when we’re online.  We seem to be less tolerant.  Our face to face conversations are handled more gently than when we’re interacting online.  Online we’re only a mouse click  away from the delete button.

Behaviour that often comes across as pushy when we’re interacting face to face, can often work very well in the world of online marketing and branding.  The reverse can be true also.  There are badly written ads and web pages which quickly turn us away from the site we’re visiting.

Imagine this. 

You meet someone at an event.  He’s a salesman.  He’s sells double glazing or something similar and he wants you to buy his product.  He’s at a networking event and he wants to sell you his double glazed windows or loft insulation – or whatever. 

You don’t want his product – and you try to tell him that.  But he won’t listen.  He persists in trying to sell, until eventually you try to get rid of him.  you might even become quite rude to him – or you try to extricate yourself from the conversation.

Now think about how this happens in the online world.

You visit a website offering you the latest  FREE course with FREE SOFTWARE!!  download it and it’s FREE FOREVER, that’s FOREVER!!!

You get the picture Smile

Maddening isn’t it?  And the web site isn’t compelling enough for you to return again.

Of course, after spending just a few seconds on these sites you close the web page.  And that’s when your troubles seem to start.  These web pages have placed cookies on your machine.  Now every time you go to a web page that is served with ads, you’re now bombarded with requests to download the software, you’re exhorted to view the video, you’re begged to book your place on the webinar, you’re asked to pay for the remainder of the free ebook.  The messages seem to be unending.  Unending that is,  until you delete your Internet cookies from your browser.

These online brand popups are just like those annoying salesmen that just won’t go away.

So how do you promote your online brand without turning into one of these salesmen?  Online Panda has a great post with tips for self promotion that works really well in face to face situations.  Here are their top 10 ideas for personal self promotion:

Be excited

Help someone else

Listen more

Don’t act like the world owes you something

Don’t hope for the best

Introduce 2 people

Create the worlds greatest widget

Realise that it’s about value not experience

Stop sprinting, start walking

In the online world, I have 10 more tips I’d like to share:

Create the brand you want: Its difficult, but not impossible to rebrand yourself.  Create a good online brand in the first place.  Make sure you’ve done all of your brand planning beforehand.  How do you want to be known?  What 3 words would you like people to think about when they describe you?  Techy?  Geek?  Expert? Social? Brave? Enterprising?  Ask a few of your close friends to describe your brand in 3 words and use these words in your online profiles.  Over time, others will start to use these words when they talk about you

Manage your brand.  Think about the 4 spheres of personal branding and create your own bullets for your brand

Propagate to accumulate: If you aren’t getting the traction you need on one online tool, then use another one.  use several to get your brand seeded onto other online properties

Communicate: Tell the story you want to tell. make your brand compelling enough for your audience to return to your online presence

Conversions are important: Make your physical contacts into online contacts by using a little bit of good manners

Be amazing: You might just go viral and in a good way. Or you might end up wishing you hadn’t posted that emotional video about how much you love cats"!

Use tools: There are lots of online tools around that let you know how visible you are.  Even Google alerts will tell you that you’re getting noticed somewhere on the web.  Use them to check how well you’re doing and what your presence is online

Be an influencer:  Influencers are authentic, they are believers in their product and they are passionate and personable.  People believe in them.  They will believe in you.

Feed your brand: Like any profile you need to keep your brand active with lots of activity and interaction.  Creating a profile and not keeping it fresh will not bring anyone new to your network. 

It’s easy to damage your brand: Make consistency a part of your online life.  If you’re having a bad day, don’t EVER display this online.  Your brand could suffer as a result.  Don’t ‘snap’ at that disparaging comment or hateful tweet.  Be brand aware at all times.  Follow these tips which were stuck to my monitor when I started blogging in 2004 and they’re still relevant today

And I make no apologies for repeating this quote again. 

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.  To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Tom Peters: August 31st 1997

This quote is still valid today, and it encapsulates what we should aspire to when we’re trying to improve the brand of Me.inc.

 

Image Credit: Flickr

 

Eileen is a social media consultant 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.