May 9, 2013

Don’t overlook LinkedIn in building your new business

LInkedInSS

9 ways to leverage the power of LinkedIn

Guest post by Cara Aley

caraaleyThe right digital marketing strategy is important for every new business. Many new business owners focus their efforts mostly on Facebook and Twitter and overlook how useful LinkedIn can be in the launch and building of awareness for their businesses.

Below you’ll find multiple ways in which you can use this powerful networking website to help successfully promote your new business.

Create a profile for better SEO

Create profile

1LinkedIn is one of the more search engine optimized websites. Simply creating a profile on LinkedIn for your business will ensure that it is pretty quickly one of the first links people will see when they search for your business (this is good for both SEO and reputation management, pushing other links down further in search results).

In creating your profile on LinkedIn, you can provide a company description, a separate product description page, and other links (including one to your website). Use keywords in your company and product descriptions to ensure SEO opportunities. Continue reading

February 14, 2013

Why you should cross-post by hand

SM.biz Facebook

Why manually handling cross-posts keeps content in top form

Chris AbrahamWriting once and sharing many times is very compelling as is the sort of evergreen content that you can share repeatedly. There are exceptions, of course, but you should think twice about automatically sharing everything. Why? Well, cross-posting tools don’t make your cross-posts look as good as they could.

In this new world of Flipbook, Pinterest, and the new Google+, you need to make sure everything looks right: the correct photo or image (Facebook and Google+ allow you to cycle through the photos to find the perfect illustration), the correct post title (sometimes Facebook grabs an ugly title and you’re allowed to edit the title copy — though you cannot do that with G+), and the correct post description (both Google+ and Facebook allow you to delete or remove the description copy, though Facebook allows you to even edit the description copy.) Continue reading

August 15, 2012

For online reputation, the best defense is a good offense

You can’t ignore the power that search holds for your business

Chris AbrahamIf you’re a serious business person whose business isn’t digital, you’re probably too busy making money to fool around on social media. Social media’s stupid, right? Just baby pictures, workout check-ins, adorable kittens and the self-indulgent ramblings of under-employed folks too far to either the left or the right to amount to much.

Just because you’re old-fashioned doesn’t mean what you’re doing isn’t working.

Big business has adopted many of the tools of the digital age, but it hasn’t gone native — because it doesn’t need to. Big money doesn’t need digital to do big business. It’s just cream — an additional channel for additional revenue.

There’s a lot of business being done and a lot of money being made using ’50s-era technology: phone calls, meetings, conference calls, lunches, dinners and hours at the club or the golf course. The Internet has not usurped the traditional, it has merely enriched it; however, there’s also no barrier to entry so this party isn’t exclusive but it’s super-saturated with powerful influencers and new media gods. So, please beware. Continue reading

August 2, 2012

How to take control of your online reputation

Chris AbrahamI have spent years blogging forth everything I know about online brand promotion in the form of social media marketing and digital PR.

Now, I will be focusing primarily on online brand protection in the form of online reputation management and online privacy protection. As some of you may know, I recently onboarded as Team Lead, Special Projects, over at Reputation.com. While 20% of my practice at my last agency included ORM, 100% of my world at Reputation.com is focused on defending the reputations of individuals and businesses from the mad proliferation of online databases rife with intimate personal details and search engines chock full of the spore of what trolls and haters have left behind. Continue reading

June 14, 2012

Brands: How to cut your exposure to Facebook business risk

Will Facebook stick to its core competency or be waylaid?

This is third of a three-part series on Facebook as an investment. Also see:
Facebook’s biggest barrier to enormous wealth? Trust
Facebook will remain king, but social pure plays will fade

Christopher RollysonMany brands are boosting their investments in social business platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest with every passing quarter, but CMOs are too often focused on next quarter’s numbers. They fail to insulate themselves against platforms’ business risks. Facebook’s IPO will likely cause the company to change its behavior in surprising ways, and without warning, by changing its policies and features. Here, I’ll address how brand executives can insulate themselves from Facebook’s — or any platform’s — fortunes by moving to make their relationships and networks portable.

Seeing beyond the platform

Pure play firms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have defined language, behavior, features and the very concepts of digital “social networks,” but they are quite expendable when brands manage their investments appropriately. However, brand leaders need to follow the digital ecosystem closely and be ready to adjust quickly.

Here are some principles for avoiding surprises. Specific action steps follow.

Assume pure plays’ gradual obsolescence

Watch the ecosystem’s major players, and the interactions among them, but the trend will be specialist sites maximizing value from “social networking” and fading dominance of pure plays. The latter will continue to exist, but they will not maximize value because they are designed for “socializing” (which people can’t resist), not doing things. Moreover, I use “ecosystem” intentionally because it indicates a pervasive, real-time network that increasingly interoperates. Because it’s digital, it’s more dynamic than any human market we’ve ever experienced. Here are brief comments on some of the players:

Buying RIM won’t help Facebook enough to warrant the distraction — not even close.

Facebook is so entrenched globally that it may remain the dominant general social network for many years. However, there is a big caveat. Facebook’s management team looks like it’s losing focus due to the IPO and too much time with Wall Street bankers. It’s “using the money it raised” for M&A, purportedly considering entering the hardware market (buying RIM). If Facebook’s management team and core competencies included M&A (like, say, Cisco), I would be confident. But they don’t. If Facebook buys RIM, I would seriously question Facebook’s medium-term relevance and long-term survival. Making phones will not help Facebook sell more mobile advertising. Not even Apple’s best-in-class iPhones will likely display much advertising due to user backlash. The device wouldn’t help Facebook enough to warrant the distraction — not even close. Continue reading

June 13, 2012

Facebook will remain king, but social pure plays will fade


Facebook collage by Jennifer Daniel

Look for the rise of sites with deep social features

This is second of a three-part series on Facebook as an investment. Also see:
Facebook’s biggest barrier to enormous wealth? Trust
Brands: How to cut your exposure to Facebook business risk

Christopher RollysonFacebook will remain the dominant popular social network in many markets for many years, and it won’t have to worry about being “displaced” by another social network the way that it displaced MySpace. In the near term, this lack of competition will give the company some breathing room, but a more daunting threat awaits: the waning of social network pure plays’ influence by 2017. Nonetheless, the fate of pure plays should be top of mind for serious Facebook investors: to produce the fabulous returns that current investors expect, Facebook will have to move far beyond adverts.

In part one of this series, I argued that Facebook had a significant trust gap with users that would inhibit its ability to monetize its most unique and valuable assets, and that the trust gap was recently compounded by its “IPO irregularities.” Below I’ll take a different tack and analyze the investment prospects of Facebook the platform.

Social networks’ disappointing investment results

Pure play social networks (Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn) have not lived up to investors’ ROI aspirations, despite the fact that people (‘users”) have loved the networks and lavished mind-boggling amounts of time on them. The Web 1.0 logic behind investor expectations held that the more time people spent on the sites, the more ads they would see and the more they would click. #fail

In retrospect, it is understandable that pure plays’ management and investors didn’t appreciate social networks’ social context. It turns out that very few people understand the intricacies of “sociality,” much less how to wire it into a value proposition or a business ROI. Continue reading