Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Social media branding: Four things to keep in mind

By: Angela Raleigh, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Most brands today have some type of a social media presence, but just having a presence isn’t enough. It’s important for companies to communicate with their followers on a regular basis. There are many things you can do to keep your social media brand alive. Here are four things to keep in mind when marketing your brand:

  1. Be original and true to your expertise. Social media platforms provide brands with numerous ways to share information. From creating posts, sharing links, videos, photos to polls and ads there are many options for your brand to be creative in how you reach your target audience and share your expertise. When used correctly, simple messaging has a huge impact. Consider using photos and videos as they are highly shareable.
  2. Be catchy. People engage in social media for a variety of reasons including connecting with family and friends, following brands they value and being able to express their opinions. If your company only posts information about the products you sell or the services you offer, you may not get the engagement you are hoping for. Instead, when posting content about your brand you want to have a mix of information that is about your industry, fun facts and useful information that will appeal to your audience and lastly some information about your business. 
  3.  Be engaging. One of the key ways to engage your target audience in social media is to keep asking questions and encouraging them to share information or comment on posts that your brand shares. Engagement will help spur conversation. Don’t forget to actively engage and respond to questions that your target audience asks you. 
  4.  Be reliable. If you want your brand to be seen as a reliable source of information, you will need to consistently post information to your social media pages. Your target audience will most likely visit your page again and again if you consistently post new content on a regular basis. Keep it fresh, informative and fun.

Social media accounts are easy to set up, but they do take time to manage and truly grow your brand. What has worked for your brand? How do you stay engaged?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Grammar never stopped being important

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services

Scanning through the latest tweets the other day, one of them jumped out at me. It was from CareerBuilder and retweeted by someone I follow. It said simply…“Grammar NEVER stopped being important.” My thoughts immediately jumped to a sign we have posted in the office…

The CareerBuilder tweet was linked to a web story…“Grammar lessons all job seekers should know.” As I read through the piece, I couldn’t help but think that proper grammar and punctuation are important for everyone as they try to communicate using the written word, whether it’s in print, email or a social media platform.   

I do a lot of proofreading in my job and have become pretty good at it. That carries over to my everyday life as I quickly notice the typos and grammar miscues in newspapers and on TV. Of course, those mistakes are few compared to what I see in social media.    

So the CareerBuilder article jumped out at me with its four basic rules:

  • Know your homophones (your/you’re, there/their/they’re, to/too/two)
  • Use apostrophes properly (an apostrophe is used to indicate the possessive, not to indicate the plural form of a singular noun)
  • Keep tenses consistent
  • Proofread and then proofread again

On that fourth bullet point, I’d actually say proofread, then have someone else proofread your copy.  

In today’s world of instant communication, here’s a vote to slow down a bit and be sure you’re using the proper grammar and punctuation to send your message. 

What do you think? Do you scream when people use there when it should have been their? 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Getting the Word Out

By: Kristen Paquet, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Whether you are new to social media or a seasoned pro, growing your online audience is a job that is never done. The goal is to build a base that is truly interested in your brand and will therefore, engage with you. So how can you build such an audience?

First of all, you need to create awareness so people know you are out there. Things like adding your social media accounts your company website and email signature are simple and easy to do. Make sure company employees know about these accounts and encourage them to follow and share with others. Include your social media accounts in boiler plates of news releases and company newsletters as well.

Another component of creating an audience is making sure you are engaging in conversation. Your audience won’t grow if you don’t talk to the one you currently have. If your community is posting and asking questions, but you fail to respond, they will find what they need somewhere else – and fast.

You can also purchase advertising on Facebook and Twitter accounts to help boost your fans and followers, but budgets don’t always allow for that. Not to mention that you will still need to have a content plan in place so you can keep those new people once they ‘like’ you.

Even if you put all of the above in place, there is still one element that is important to social media growth: time. You can’t expect huge growth overnight. Even major brands like Coke and Best Buy, who have huge audiences, saw their online community grow over time. And they are still growing every day.   

It takes time and patience to build an online community that is actively interested in your brand. Ideally, if you are developing and posting the right kind of content over time, you will see an increase. After all, the audience numbers don’t really matter… it’s how engaged and invested your audience is in your brand that really makes the difference.

What have you done to help grow your online audience? Any tips to share?