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Fostering Your Brand’s Voice
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What You Need to Know About Twitter Hashtags Infographic

What You Need to Know About Twitter Hashtags Infographic | Online-Communities |
Hashtags are a fantastic way for brands to connect with their target audience and participate in conversations about common interests.

Did you know that only 24% of tweets contain hashtags?
Meanwhile, hashtags are a fantastic way for brands to connect with their target audience and participate in conversations about common interests.

Check out this Infographic and start adding targeted hashtags to your branding strategy!

By Lori Taylor  

maxOz's comment, July 26, 2012 8:15 AM
Marty xxx
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How To Join The Social Media Elite

How To Join The Social Media Elite | Online-Communities |


Chief executives of the world’s leading companies do not take social media seriously, according to recent research. Just over 70% (352) of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on any social media networks, a report that looks specifically at the social media efforts of Fortune 500 companies found.

Do CEOs actually use social media?

After searching for every FORTUNE 500™ CEO on each of the major social networks, we got our answers. The Infographic captures just a few of the findings from our 2012 FORTUNE 500™ Social CEO Index. To see the full report, click here.

Those who do have a presence, rarely use it. The report measured Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Wikipedia, Pinterest and Blogs.

The dismissive attitude of leaders to participating in social media will damage the sales and profits of the companies they lead, says public relations and social media specialist, Catriona Pollard, CEO of CP Communications.

“CEOs are not with the times,” says Pollard, who regularly trains leaders in how to use social media. “Their customers and staff already know social media is critical and the majority of their staff and customers are on social media. They are not engaging with staff, customers, and suppliers, and they are missing out on this competitive advantage.”

Why not?

Lack of time is the reason most quoted by leaders in explaining their lack of social media nous.

They also believe, wrongly, that social media is the domain of Gen Ys. “The majority of people on Twitter are over 35 and LinkedIn is a social network entirely for professionals,” says Pollard.

“CEOs’ perception of social media – that it is a place for kids to upload their drunk photos – is wrong.”

Does it matter?

Pollard, who has 4,500 Twitter followers, all with their own followers, says social media is a tool with unprecedented power. “When I tweet, my corporate message is going out to thousands of people. As companies, we have never had that access before. An ad might reach them, but there is no engagement with that. And engagement leads to sales.”

Pollard refers to a 2012 Report by branding company, Brandfog, that revealed:

  • 81% of respondent believe social CEOs are better leaders
  • 77% want to buy more from a company led by a social CEO
  • 82% believe social CEOs are more trustworthy
  • 78% want to work for a social CEO
  • 93% believe social CEOs are better equipped for crisis management
  • 94% believe social CEOs enhance the company’s brand

Leaders will make social media blunders if they do not understand what they are dealing with. “CEOs of mid-sized to large companies need to understand the power of the platform, so that when their team comes to them to say we should have LinkedIn ads, or start a group, they will understand what they are talking about,” Pollard says.

Leaders prefer LinkedIn … but they don’t use it.

LinkedIn is the best-used social media site by Fortune 500 CEOs, with 129 (25.9%) having LinkedIn profiles, compared to 63 million (20.2%) of the American population.

But it’s downhill from there: 24% do not keep the information current; 41% have 10 or fewer connections; 28% have one or no connections at all.

How to join the social media elite

Pollard‘s recommended steps for social media in general, and LinkedIn in particular, are:

  1. Change your attitude – from fearful to open and interested. Think: this is a powerful communications tool that gives me a competitive advantage
  2. Pick the social media platform that excites you most. If LinkedIn excites you, go in and have a look. If you are a chatty person, try Twitter.
  3. Dedicate time to it. For the first month, go in for an hour on Sunday (while the kids are in the backyard) and discover it. That is how social media works. Do not try to create connections.
  4. Do some online tutorials – LinkedIn has good ones – or take a course.
  5. Import all your email contacts into LinkedIn for instant connections.
  6. Join some groups that are within your passions, interest and industry. Look at the discussions. Start to participate.
  7. Set a strategy – a small, achievable one – such as spending 10 minutes a day to update your LinkedIn status, and three times a week sharing a helpful link.
  8. Look after your own contribution to social media before trying to govern the company-wide approach, at least until you get to know it.

By Kath Walters


FORTUNE 500™ Social CEO Index.

2012 Report Brandfog

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One Size Fits None

One Size Fits None | Online-Communities |

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole,” an HBS professor named Theodore Levitt famously told his students.

“Don’t sell one-size-fits-none products,” he said. “Instead, find the job your customer is hiring your product to do”.


To illustrate the “jobs-to-be-done” method of marketing, Professor Christensen told the story of milkshake development (which he also described in this fascinating HBR article)


"Job-defined markets are generally much larger than product category–defined markets.


Marketers who are stuck in the mental trap that equates market size with product categories don’t understand whom they are competing against from the customer’s point of view.”

In the pursuit of new products and new features, there is value in understanding the “jobs-to-be-done”.


Too often, marketers get wrapped up in the features and functions of their products, rather than solving the actual problems of the consumer. That leads to a lot of one-upmanship versus competition and over-bundled products that don’t handle any one feature particularly well.

Marketers also tend to average out all of the feedback from consumers, ending up with one-size-fits-none products.


By Tom Fishburne


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Stand By Your Brand: Cultivating Experience To Foster Brand Advocacy

Stand By Your Brand: Cultivating Experience To Foster Brand Advocacy | Online-Communities |

Much like raising a child, customer relationships require constant care.


To establish and foster one-to-one relationships, it's critical for companies to listen carefully to what customers are saying and follow up with relevant responses and offers.


"Conversation is essentially half listening. If someone is always doing all the talking, things get boring and you start to tune them out," said Flora Caputo, vice president and executive creative director of Jacobs Agency . "Part of being relevant means figuring out where your customers are and engaging with them there."


With numerous opportunities to make emotional connections with customers—a characteristic central to building advocacy—companies often find themselves fighting the tide of negative sentiment that can be created by bloggers and reviewers in an effort to convey the right message to their customers.


One way to connect more effectively with advocates is by extracting and analyzing social sentiment that's shared by customers and influencers. These insights can help decision-makers to better understand advocates and then act on this information to help strengthen relationships with them.

"Listen to your audience and understand their behaviors better than they do," said Megan Marks, vice president of sales and marketing at Relevvant. "Use the social platform as a way to listen and extract insight so you can move to the next level."


While many business leaders view social media as a stepping stone for building online and offline brand advocates, Craig Davis, founder and CEO of Relevvant, notes how many brands are also building an army of advocates via mobile.

Before brand advocates can begin to  embrace all the channels available, companies must first make sure to connect the dots between their social, mobile, and traditional strategies, cross-promoting online and offline initiatives to help make customers aware of their options. 


Regardless of the channels companies use, they must make sure they continue listening to and acting on customer feedback as part of a continuous cycle of delivering customer experience improvements.


By Anna Papachristos --


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Picture Of A Facebook Friend

Picture Of A Facebook Friend | Online-Communities |

The Pew Research Center's detailed look at how we behave online and what we look like as Facebook 'friends'.

Did you know the average number of Facebook friends is 229?

With 229 Facebook friends per user, it would only take 2 degrees of separation for the average Facebook user to reach 156,569 other Facebook users.

There are also some interesting differences between both genders and age groups. For instance, women average 21 status updates per month, while men only average 6.

As the use of social networks continues to grow, it's interesting to look at how we behave when we use them, and how that behavior differs by group.


By Carousel30 --


The Pew Research Center Source:

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What Is A Brand Advocate?

What Is A Brand Advocate? | Online-Communities |


The most desired yet often times most elusive type of customer that any marketer wants is a true brand advocate.

It’s that person is someone that is not simply acquired. They are an earned and genuine fan. Of course, that’s the way it really should be since buying someone or paying them isn’t advocacy. That’s just promotion and flimsy promotion at that.

Social Media Agency, Zuberance, recently did a Report -Three-Surprising-Facts-About-Brand-Advocates - which looks at what they refer to as three surprising things about brand advocates. Enjoy.


By Frank Reed --




Three-Surprising-Facts-About-Brand-Advocates : [PDF]

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The Difference Between A Logo And Your Brand [and why it matters to your business]

The Difference Between A Logo And Your Brand [and why it matters to your business] | Online-Communities |

It can be easy to confuse a brand with a logo when starting out as an online entrepreneur – or, more accurately, it can be easy to assume that your logo IS your brand, when this is far from the truth.


Your brand is the essence of your business, or a particular facet of your business. 

Your marketing is the vehicle you use to communicate your brand to your customers, by speaking the language of the values, intentions, and passion that are at the core of the work you’re doing.


Your logo is the visualization of your brand, and is a significant, integral part of your marketing. 

For nearly every business, the logo will be used in as many of the marketing platforms as possible: in business cards, stationery, invoices, email marketing, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter backgrounds, t-shirts, branded sticky notes, billboards, direct mail, and so on.

In order to have a really great logo, you have to start with a really great brand.

A logo without a brand to back it up is just a pretty picture, and a fairly unmemorable one at that.


How does your logo speak about your brand?

What does your business look like from your customer’s point of view?


Try these exercises to dig deeper into your brand and what it represents to your customers.

The What/Who/Why/Why exercise: 

  • What does your business offer? Get specific and granular.
  • Who is it for? Who wants what you’re offering? These are your target market, the customers you should be speaking to.
  • Why do they want it? What problem does it solve for them, and how does it change things for them, significantly or otherwise?
  • Why do you offer it? What makes you qualified to do this work?

The feedback exercise:

  • In your work with clients, how do they describe what you do for them? In their own words, what are they saying to their friends and colleagues?
  • After purchasing your product or service, what feedback do you get? If they love what they got, do they say so? When they want more, do they come back to you?


These two exercises give you an idea, from your own perspective and from the perspective of your actual customers, of what the true message of your brand is.


If you don’t like what you’re hearing, or if you can’t quite get clear enough to have a big-picture way of describing your brand, it may be time to take a step back and refocus your business on what really matters.


Building a business from your core values is one of the most exhausting, frustrating, and deeply rewarding thing you ever do – and it’s worth it to give this work your all.


By Rhiannon Llewellyn  --


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The Future Of Public Relations

The Future Of Public Relations | Online-Communities |

As Public Relations evolves into PR 2.0, it’s clear that the PR practice of the future will be very different to that of today. We can see the changes taking place right before our eyes: the media landscape is shifting, audiences are fragmenting, bloggers and social contacts are becoming more trustworthy than mainstream media….

And the smart PR professional is already adapting: producing rather than just distributing content, “narrowcasting” specific messages to smaller audiences, and communicating with influencers rather than media professionals.

But in what other ways will Public Relations change? What will PR look like in the year 2050?

By Pickanews UK -- 


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The 9 "Be's" Of Personal Branding

The 9 "Be's" Of Personal Branding | Online-Communities |

Your Personal Branding Strategy

There is power behind personal branding, so practice these nine “Be’s”

#Be Likeable

Wouldn’t you just love it people were all warm and fuzzy about your brand like they are for a brand like Apple? Having great likeability can go a long way and help build new relationships that could lead to revenue and increased brand loyalty.

#Be Consistent

Are you being consistent in your business practices? You should be, and that includes your online presence. Post on your social networks on a more consistent basis, so your target audience will learn to expect fresh content from you regularly. This will also increase the chance of brand exposure to others.

#Be Passionate

Being passionate is a must. Having passion shows itself in your products or services, and gives a level of quality and satisfaction. Passion or lack thereof shows in everything you do.

#Be Different

Do not be different JUST to be different. Be different because you have a unique product or service you offer, or you are have unique qualities that shine. Find your niche, and make it a point to become well known in it. It is crowded out here, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest. Give people a reason to choose you over your competitor.

#Be Memorable

Make yourself memorable! You want to leave a lasting memory. What is the first thing you think of when you think of your favorite brand? In personal branding have this question in the back of your mind when you are creating your branding strategy.

#Be Interactive

Are you promoting interaction with your business? Use promotions and giveaways to get your audience to interact with your business and brand.

#Be Creative

Create interesting and fresh logos, art, and fonts to make you and your business pop.

#Be Engaged

Are you mixing and mingling with the people?  Are you engaging on social networks? Engagement now is more important than ever. People do not just want to be bombarded with product information. They want to know that you care about them. Show them by engaging with them.

#Be Personable

You are human right? Time and time again I see entrepreneurs hiding behind pictures and logos. People want to interact with a human, not a faceless entity.

Personal branding will help your business go a long way. Follow these 9 Be’s, and you are on your way to being a rock star.


By Tony Taylor -


maxOz's comment, June 28, 2012 10:11 AM
Thanks Rui and Jesus for sharing xxx
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Are You Sharing Too Much Online?

Are You Sharing Too Much Online? | Online-Communities |

As social media's usage has risen, so has people's willingness to share personal information via that medium.

People share so much information now that one study said that 90% of adults think people share too much information online.

But what type of potentially dangerous information is being shared and why do people share this information in the first place?

Many social media users simply don’t understand their privacy options — or the privacy policy they agreed to when they signed up for a particular service. (This is certainly a candidate for simplifying legal jargon) Facebook is notorious for its complex and confusing privacy controls, for instance.

Furthermore, many social media users don’t understand their right to privacy, either.

So much sharing happens by default online; it’s difficult for many to remember what the point of privacy is, or why it should be protected. There are many great arguments for openness and transparency — and not just from the businesses that benefit from each user’s shared information.


Then there are issues with personal information and identity fraud. Where does it stop? How do we benefit from the use of social media, without being overwhelmed by the pitfalls?

Check out this Infographic to learn the answers to those questions and more.


By Michael Lemaire -


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How To Build Brand Advocates Using Social Media

How To Build Brand Advocates Using Social Media | Online-Communities |

Social Media is now a major part of most businesses’ marketing plans.

It drives so much traffic, builds brand awareness and even creates sales.

An often neglected side of social media is that it is a great way to build promoters and brand advocates.

Think about finding, encouraging and rewarding about 20 or more brand advocates for your business is like hiring a small army of PR people for pennies on the dollar.

It could truly be the difference between obscurity and fame for you.

Neil Patel shows you the steps you need to take in order to create and cultivate these brand advocates.

Step #1: Identify potential brand advocates

The secret is to key in on who is sharing your content. You can do this by using some of these tools:


Step #2: Gaining rapport with your brand advocates

Once you’ve identified a dozen or so key people who are promoting your stuff, it’s now time to turn up the heat and keep them on board.

Here are a few ideas to keeping these promoters engaged:

  • Comment 
  • Reply 
  • Share
  • Email 
  • Promoter of the week


Step #3: Find out what motivates them

Here’s a surprising statistic for you: brand advocates are 83% more likely to share information than your average user. In fact, more than half of these brand advocates look at sharing as relaxation.

But if you look at some of the other response on that chart you’ll see other things that motivate them. For example:

  • Entertained 
  • Solve problems
  • Get information 
  • Learn how to do things 


Step #4: Make it easy to share your content

Your next step is to make that great content easy to share.

  • Making social sharing buttons very visible ­ 
  • Ask brand advocates to share content 
  • Use Tribber This site gathers like minded bloggers together in a tribe, providing these benefits:
    • Automatic social sharing
    • Increase reach of your content
    • More high-quality visits to your site


Step #5: Give your brand advocates freedom

Never make your brand advocates feel like they are forced to praise you. Give them plenty of freedom to talk about you and your brand any way they like. In fact, encourage them to be brutal, and invite tough feedback.

Giving advocates that sort of freedom will only encourage them even more.

Here’s how to support that kind of freedom:

  • Ask 
  • Tell 
  • Reward 


By Neil Patel -


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Facebook vs. Google+: A Guide To Brand Pages - #Infographic

Facebook vs. Google+: A Guide To Brand Pages - #Infographic | Online-Communities |

When Google+ was released on June 28, 2011, one question was at the forefront of every social media aficionado’s mind: has Facebook finally met its match?

 But as the social networking service approaches its first birthday with 170 million-plus users, it seems that the question merits more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. And through countless arguments as to whether Google+ is or is not a “Ghost Town,” one thing has become apparent: these two social network giants have amassed very different followings.

When it comes to personally connecting with old friends and scattered family members, Facebook is still the reigning champion

But comparison of the two networks in January uncovered an interesting trend that still appears to hold true: many business pages (and particularly those that relate to technology) are thriving on Google+ – in some cases even more so than on their corresponding Facebook pages. Google+ seems to have attracted a smaller but highly tech-savvy crowd, and the conversation reflects as much.

So what do you need to know as a B2B marketer?

While Google+ doesn’t have (and may never have) the numbers that Facebook has in terms of users and engagement, the type of engagement that occurs in the Google+ setting may actually make it a choice outlet for your marketing messages.

The following Infographic, highlights some of the key differences between Google+ and Facebook pages and sharing a few tips on formulating a marketing strategy for each.


By Molly Hoffmeister


maxOz's comment, June 21, 2012 11:38 AM
Thank You Rui for sharing, all the best Michele
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"Brand Laddering" Cartoon

"Brand Laddering" Cartoon | Online-Communities |

Brand Laddering is one of the most common marketing tools.

To drive growth and loyalty, marketers frequently work to elevate benefits of the brand from technical to functional to emotional.

But there’s a risk of over-reaching, particularly when brands aim for abstract emotional benefits, not really supported by the product story. 

Tapping the right emotional benefit can transform how people think about a brand, and create distance from commodity knock-offs.

But the right emotional benefit has to be supported by the products.

By Tom Fishburne -


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8 Ways To Use The Power Of Pinterest And SlideShare To Grow Your Business

8 Ways To Use The Power Of Pinterest And SlideShare To Grow Your Business | Online-Communities |


With the recent integration of Pinterest into the SlideShare platform, it’s even easier to collaboratively use the two social media platforms to get your message out to the world.


But how can you use these two powerful tools together to get the absolute best bang for your marketing buck?


Here are 8 ideas by Beth Hayden  to get you thinking about creative ways to use Pinterest and SlideShare together:


1. Practice content curation. One of the most effective ways to use Pinterest is to establish yourself as a trusted expert in your field, and the best way to do this is by becoming a content curator on your topic. Hand-pick the best blog posts, web pages, images and presentations and pin them to your Pinterest boards.


You can pin presentations to your existing boards on your topic, or create dedicated pinboards that only include SlideShare decks.

2. Book more speaking engagements by pinning sample presentations from speeches, talks, panels, trainings and keynotes. You probably already put your presentations up on SlideShare as soon as you’re done with a speech. Why not create a Pinterest board dedicated to your very best SlideShare decks?


You could even take this idea one step further (as architect, educator and marketer Mark Johnson, FAIA did and create an entire Pinterest resume — complete with links to your very best presentations on SlideShare!)


3. Use Pinterest to distribute and publicize your SlideShare presentations. Pinterest currently drives more referral traffic to websites and blogs than Twitter, Linkedin or YouTube. Why not leverage that referral traffic potential to drive visitors to your SlideShare channel? All you need to do is pin your newest presentations to your Pinterest boards, just like you would Tweet them or share them on Facebook or LinkedIn!


4. Use SlideShare to distribute and publicize your Pinterest content. 

People are hankering for new and interesting ways to use Pinterest for marketing their message.


5. Drive people to your mailing list offers. 

Your Pinterest followers will want to go to your website and sign up for your list. This is a great way of building your email list without being overly sales-y or pushy.


6. Create collaborative boards for conferences. When you’re speaking at conferences and events, pin your SlideShare presentations from the events


7. Use Pinterest to help you find your presentation voice and personality. 

Pinterest can also be a phenomenal source of inspiration to help you develop your personal speaking style.


8. Create a dedicated board that tells the story of your business, how your company was founded, and what your values are.

Pinterest and SlideShare – So Happy Together

With the newest collaboration tools between Pinterest and SlideShare, we’re about to see an explosion of creative, unique ways to use the two tools collaboratively to grow our businesses and get our messages out to the world.


By Beth Hayden


Download Beth's Pinterest Marketing Guide here

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3 Social Media Tips Saving Your Business Hours Of Frustration

3 Social Media Tips Saving Your Business Hours Of Frustration | Online-Communities |

The first goal is getting people's attention.

But there's too much noise today. And it's only getting worse.


Your potential customers have thousands of things to pay attention to.


And their Twitter Stream or Facebook News Feed is already full of other alternatives to your product or service.


The problem is that companies want to rush in to the tools and tactics of social media, without giving much thought to their overall strategy.

And the result is that they look, sound, and feel just like everyone else.


They're lost in a sea of mediocrity.


So the key to social media is to stand out.


If you want to see return on your efforts, then you need to separate yourself from the competition.


3 social media tips you can use:


Tip #1. Define Who You Are

The first step to any marketing strategy is to define who you are.

But not some wishy-washy "mission statement". Think deeper.


Really flesh out your principles and priorities.


Don't sell commoditized products/services, are virtually indistinguishable from the next competitor, and don't have a clear vision of who their target audience is.


The first step to positioning is by believing in something.

Companies today want to "market" to everyone, and are afraid of taking a stand one way or another. But when you try to appeal to everyone, you really appeal to no one.

Instead, you need to "market" to those people who share your worldview.

These people aren't just casual consumers, but your raging fans.


Start with your strengths:

  1. What does your company/brand really stand for?
  2. Who do you (specifically) serve?
  3. What is the unique solution you provide?
  4. What specific qualities does your company embody?
  5. Why does your company even exist (besides to turn a profit)?
  6. Why are your products/services better than everyone else?


Tip #2. Position Yourself

How will you be different from all the competition? If you don't come up with a unique positioning, then you'll be forgotten. You'll get traffic, but it will bounce and never return again.

One way to define who you are, is by defining who you aren't.


Tip #3. Do Less

Finally, do less.

When you don't have a lot of time, energy or money, then you need to focus where you invest to make a bigger impact.

Where do you start?

a. Focus on the essential: Your website, your blog, and email marketing.

You own each of these channels (including all the data or content you're creating), and they're proven to be the most profitable channels. So start there. If your website is sub-par, your blog's content isn't engaging, or your email marketing is nonexistent, then start here first!

b. Focus on the highest ROI activities: 

Now figure out where you're receiving "uncommon" results.

Maybe your style of creating content resonates with people and you see a lot of engagement.

Or maybe your Facebook page sends a ton of traffic back to your website.


Whatever the case, you should be able to identify one or two initiatives that are really giving you a lot of return.

There's absolutely no reason you need to prioritize more than two social networks.


Pinterest for your business might be a waste of time.

Because most companies (outside of the Fortune 500) don't have enough time, money or staff to make the returns worth the cost. They will eat up a lot of your time and energy, without giving you the returns you need.

And your goal is to stand out, not fit in.

So instead of spreading yourself too thin (like every other business), go deeper and create a more rich, fulfilling experience for your customers.


By Brad Smith



maxOz's comment, July 24, 2012 8:02 PM
Nice to have you back!!! xxx
Alessio Manca's comment, July 25, 2012 4:43 AM
"+1" or "+K" or "+1" Like choose whatever you prefer: THANK YOU! :)))
maxOz's comment, July 25, 2012 5:31 AM
Alessio , YOU ARE SO SWEET!!!
I Want to Thank YOU for being so Wonderful and what ever you feel you want to do xxx
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Top Ten Online Branding Guidelines

Top Ten Online Branding Guidelines | Online-Communities |

The web has evolved into the most important marketing medium in history.

However, many organizations continue to place less importance on the expansion and curation of their brands online.

 Online branding should be just as well conceived as any other communication or marketing initiative. Regardless of how small or large an organization is, traditional website and social media branding should be paramount to any communications initiative. Successfully expanding a brand online takes time, creativity, and patience. Attention should be focused not only on increasing brand recognition, but also on building a community through interactivity.

An organizations’s online branding initiatives should be focused on creating destinations that consumers, audience members, and supporters will regularly visit. Your online branding should be accessible and engaging on every level.

To assist with the process, NJI Media has created a set of directions that serves as best practices when expanding a brand online.

1. Know Your Audience

Ask yourself: where is the audience and what are they talking about? Finding your people and meet them there. Avoid experimenting with a platform that your audience will not use.

2. Message Accordingly

Each platform requires a different format and message, so know how to post properly and be sure to use site-specific content.

3. Consistency Counts

Keep posts and information up to date and consistent. Setting and meeting expectations is the quickest way to engage an audience.

4. Be True to the Brand

Brands are recognized by design and tone. Keep the brand design consistent on every platform, and use the brand’s voice to make relevant comments.

5. Make it Easy

The quickest way to prevent sharing is by frustrating followers. Content and sharing options need to be user-friendly.

6. Practice Patience

This is a long-term strategy: not everything will go viral. However, the content that does gain traction will make your efforts worthwhile.

7. Join the Conversation

Build your social karma by being helpful and adding value to the community. Answer comments, reply to consumers, and highlight experts on various digital platforms – this is a two-way conversation.

8. Measure

Take the time to track your efforts and response. Remember that clicks translate to sales; making analytics a key part of the process is the only way to know if you efforts are working.

9. Refine

Use those analytics to adjust your strategy and make changes. Like anything else, there are good and bad fits. Take the time to find what works best for the brand.

10. Rinse and Repeat

With these steps in place, you will be well on your way to a solid, cohesive online brand.

By NJI Media --


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Online Community Plan - How To Write One For Your Business

Online Community Plan - How To Write One For Your Business | Online-Communities |

If you plan on building an online community you must have a plan.  This is not a strategy, but a community plan. The list below will help you develop your plan and improve the growth and experience of your community. 

You can use this plan for your social communities, blogging, email marketing, and just about anywhere else online.

RecommendationCreate an online community plan and then segment each category with their own responsibilities

Include the following elements into the development of your community plan:

1.  Who runs the community.   Every team, business, or community needs a leader. Choose one person who will have ultimate control of managing the online community.  

2.  Build community persona.  You need to build the community personas with your community manager so everyone on the team has a clear understanding of who you are targeting to join.  You will want to include as much information as possible like demographics, habits and attitudes, vehicle types they drive, education levels, average annual income, marital status, number of kids, etc. 

3. Early targets.   Now that you have community personas you can start to target them.  This is very simple as you want to target 20-50 people that fall into your persona descriptions to join immediately.  

4.  Why should they join?  Just like any other sales process, you need to be prepared to explain why these people should join your new online community. Do you have a value proposition to offer them?  Is joining your community going to increase their stature in the off-line community?  Give them increased visibility or fame?  Your value proposition needs to be written as you develop your community personas so you are prepared to answer these questions.

5. Retaining new members.  Once you have recruited a new member to the community what is your plan to get them engaged and to retain them?  You need a clearly defined process to get new members engaged immediately or they will lose interest.  Start by assigning a dedicated member to mentor each new member that joins the community.  The mentor program should last about 3 weeks and provide the opportunity to engage, ask questions, recommendations, etc all within the community to get the new member engaged.

6.  Community happenings.  What is the purpose of being in the community?  Answer this question and then set a short-term and long-term plan of the activities that your community will take part in. It is very difficult to get your community members to engage if they don't why they are there and what is coming next.

7.  How will you grow the community?  Is your community going to be exclusive and only accept direct invites or are you wanting to grow a massive community?  This needs to be determined and documented so you and the members have a clear vision of how to or not to promote the community for growth.

8.  Platform selection.  This is a big one! When you choose you will need to explain why.  The platform will greatly depend on the type of community you are building, but typically starts with forums, mailing lists, newsgroups, etc.

9. Content creation.  You must have a content calendar and plan for content creation at least 4-6 weeks out when you launch.  Try to stay at least 30 days ahead of publishing. You will need to assign responsibilities for management, creation, editing, and publishing of the content for the community.

10.  Value.  How are you measuring the value of the community for you as the founder and for the members? Ask the members what metrics matter to them and include them in your analytics.  Have a plan in place for how you will handle both positive and negative metrics.

Your community plan must be very detailed and specific if you want it to work.  Think of this as a small business plan which is totally different than writing an online strategy.  Having a community plan in place prior to launch will make managing the community a lot easier and help with growth as new members will see the value in joining.



Plan for Content Creation --

The Social Media TuneUp --

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User Activity - Popular Social Networking Sites

User Activity - Popular Social Networking Sites | Online-Communities |

This Infographic, "User Activity Comparison Of Popular Social Networking Sites" by Go-Gulf,compares the latest user statistics of popular NETWORKING SITES...

Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

By Go-Gulf --


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Beyond The Big 3: Strategies For Brands To Dominate Pinterest And LinkedIn

Beyond The Big 3: Strategies For Brands To Dominate Pinterest And LinkedIn | Online-Communities |


In  Awareness'  latest  white paper, Beyond the Big 3: Five Killer Strategies to Dominate LinkedIn and Pinterest, building on concepts shared in Five Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media’s Big 3: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and serves as a best practice guide for marketers.


This Infographic will share some of the best tips from Beyond the Big 3 to get you started.


By Mike Lewis --




Beyond the Big 3: Five Killer Strategies to Dominate LinkedIn and Pinterest - [PDF]

Five Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media’s Big 3: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube - [PDF]

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Social Media Crisis Checklist «

Social Media Crisis Checklist « | Online-Communities |

Social media crises situations are like a blow beneath the belt – it may seem small and trivial at first, but the aftereffects are usually deceptively painful. And when crises happen, most people and companies are often at a loss about what to do.

Based Jamiq's experience managing and monitoring social media crises for clients across Asia, they have come up with a simple Social Media Crisis Checklist for brands to better manage their crisis situations.

This checklist is designed especially for PR users, but it will fit well with anyone managing a crisis online.

The next time you find yourself or your client in a crisis, don’t panic, just follow these steps one at a time.

For printing and distribution, Download Here:

By JamiQ --


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Scoring Klout: The Inside Scoop On The Web's Hottest Measure Of Social Influence #Infographic

Scoring Klout: The Inside Scoop On The Web's Hottest Measure Of Social Influence #Infographic | Online-Communities |
Klout is a company that assigns a numerical value to how influential you are online.

Some critics have bashed Klout for a shaky score methodology, and The New Yorker called its social ranking premise downright evil. But the fact remains that if someone’s claiming to measure your popularity, you’re going to want to check it out – and try to increase it. Learn more about the krazy world of online Klout in this Infographic.

By OnlineDegrees - 


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Small Business Owners: Top 50 Twitter Influencers Worth Following

Small Business Owners: Top 50 Twitter Influencers Worth Following | Online-Communities |

Last June, D&B Credibility published a list of  The Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter that went crazy viral (moremoremoremore…) and with 195 subscribers to the twitter list, it’s clear that business owners are interested in filtering through the noise in order to connect with the right people and get the most out of Twitter.

A year later, “The List” has been updated!


For a full overview of our methodology, check out last year’s most influential list.   However, some changes have been made this year that are worth describing in a bit more detail:

  • A Larger base.  Thanks to last year’s research, 270 influential people were identified within the small business space and were able to iterate from that base.
  • More selective influencers.  The larger base meant that we had a much larger group of “selective followers” to use in determining who is influential within the small business space.
  • Weighted by influence.  That someone could have based on their level of influence.  If it sounds like a bit of recursive logic, that’s because it is.  

 Some things worth noting about this list:

  • Peer Rank is simply a 1 to 50 list of where people fall based on the algorithms
  • YOY Change is difference between where they are this year and where they ranked last year.  For simplicity, we only show a difference if they ranked within the top 100 last year.
  • Peer Rank Score is the actual score that someone received after being run through our algorithms.

Hopefully this helps small business owners get more out of Twitter by helping them to focus on the people who are successfully engaging with others within the small business community.

Comparison to other Influence Metrics

The common question we get asked is how does this list compare to Klout.  Klout does a great job looking at a person’s “global” influence, but in general we find it’s not a useful tool to understand the influence someone has within a community.

The closest that Klout gets is through their concept of “topics,” D&B Credibility algorithms are designed to be limited to influencers within a specific niche…in this case, it’s the small business community.    For that reason, you’ll find this list is much more relevant if you’re looking to connect with the most influential people within the small business community.


Without further ado, here is the 2012 list:


The Top 50 Most Influential Small Business People On Twitter [Source]

If you're interested in following some (or many) of these people, it's probably easiest to do it from the Twitter List that D & B created:  @dandb/smallbiz-most-influential/members]

By D&B Credibility

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8 Shocking New Social Media Facts

8 Shocking New Social Media Facts | Online-Communities |

Mark Schaefer together with co-collaborators - Jay BaerJason Falls and Tom Webster of Edison Research – reveal some interesting facts from the new Social Habit Project / Study


Here are eight fantastic facts from the Social Habit’s latest study:

1. 7% of Americans have never heard of Facebook

How can seven out of 100 people you see each day have no clue about Facebook? This is one mind-blowing fact.

2. 80% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 use this one product

Can you name any other branded product in the world that is used by 80% of the young people in the United States?

3. Facebook acquired one new user in the U.S. every second for three years

Check out this growth rate between 2009 and 2012. Over three years, Facebook acquired about 3,805 new users per hour. That equates to almost exactly one new user per second — and that’s just in the U.S.

4. 74 million Americans are passive aggressive

If these numbers are to believed — and they are — 74 million Americans are at least somewhat concerned about privacy issues on Facebook. That is one significant gaggle of people.

5. Look to your left. Look to your right.

One of you is a social media stalker.So how many social media users are active on the network but NEVER post? If you guessed about one-third it’s only because you looked at this graph first.

6. Foursquare still sucks

Boresquare”  is not delivering enough value to its users.

7. Companies are rapidly figuring out social media

Brands are delivering more value so that people WANT to follow them. It’s pretty amazing validation that the money being spent on social media is at least having some impact on customer connections.

8. Content marketing is for real

Here’s another good news chart for marketers. A significant number of people are coming to our social media sites because they like the content, not just because they are getting a coupon.

See the whole report: The Social Habit.- [PDF] 

By Mark Schaefer -


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20 Ways To Make Your Service Business More Pinnable

20 Ways To Make Your Service Business More Pinnable | Online-Communities |

Not everyone has a business that includes products that we can turn into beautiful repinnable images. Some of us are service providers —without physical products. 

Our products are the services, expertise, and content we provide.

These are ‘products’ you likely can’t take a photo of.

You can still use Pinterest to pin things your clients will love and engage with fans, but you also need to include content on your site that people can pin. The images people take from your website will determine how it’s visually represented on Pinterest, so it’s important to give people images you can be proud of.

Another reason it’s important is to take advantage of one of the huge benefits of Pinterest — the traffic it can bring to your site.


So what images can you include on your site for people to pin on Pinterest if you don’t have product images?


Karen Gunton’s 20 Tips:

  1. A graphic with a quote, saying, or inspirational message.
  2. A graphic with your blog post headline or ‘take home message.’
  3. An Infographic that contains useful information, interesting facts, or a visual ‘how to.’
  4. A short list of your top three helpful tips or suggestions.
  5. Before & after photos that show the result of your service or expertise. PRO TIP: Stack them under each other rather than side by side.
  6. Images of you, your team, your office, your inspiration or motivation (people like to know the face of the business).
  7. A humorous image such as a comic or meme.
  8. A photo or scan of an illustration, scrapbook page, doodle pad, brainstorm, or sketch.
  9. A mindmap or flowchart.
  10. Pictures of local places or things of interest (especially if you have a local business & want to find local clients). Example: your favorite local restaurant or hiking trail.
  11. Photos from your day or your life, as it relates to your expertise/service/niche.
  12. A snapshot of a headline from the newspaper, a magazine, or something on TV that relates to your industry, along with your commentary.
  13. Images relating to complementary products & services (if you like this product you are going to love my service).
  14. Photos/text graphics that show your process or the steps clients take when working with you.
  15. A photo of a satisfied client along with a snippet of their testimonial.
  16. A graphic showing the social proof of your business (the number of people you have helped, the number of hours or dollars you have saved people).
  17. A graphic with a commonly asked question or a common problem that you solve.
  18. A list of your steps or instructions (with the meat of the information in a post so that people click through).
  19. ‘Call to action’ graphics that fit with your logo & brand (for example to sign up to your newsletter or read your FAQs page – be sure to include ‘what’s in it for clients’ to make it enticing).
  20. A video of you describing how you help people or answering a question – offer some tips for free to encourage pinning!

Using images that will entice people to click and read more (visit your site). Consider what images will be popular with your target market. And don’t give everything away in your image. Instead give people a reason to click through and read your blog post or visit your site.


By Karen Gunton -


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How To Get More Likes, Comments And Shares On Facebook

How To Get More Likes, Comments And Shares On Facebook | Online-Communities |


In preparation for Hubspot’s attempt to break last year’s Guinness World record for largest webinar ever–July 12th’s Science of Inbound Marketing Dan Zarella has been collecting piles and piles of new marketing data.

One area of focus was Facebook.

Collecting data on more than 1.3 million posts published on the top 10,000 pages to put together this Infographic to help you get more likes, comments and shares on your Facebook posts.


By Dan Zarella -


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