5 Mistakes to Avoid on Social Media if You Value Your Reputation

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Reputation

The Internet has now been around long enough that former teenagers who are in the job market are sometimes seeing the affects that poor choices made in the past can wreak on the present. Teachers, lawyers, politicians are also not immune to the far reaching implications of having made poor choices publically can have on them. As a small business owner, you’re in the same boat. It’s important to use social media carefully to enhance your business reputation.

 

Not Keeping Personal & Business Separate

 

This is getting more difficult as the days of being anonymous on the net are over. Today, everyone is known via Google, and you have to sign in via Google or Facebook or other methods thereby verifying your identity in order to participate in online discussions.  But, it’s important that you keep your personal life and business life as separate as possible. If you use the Internet to market your business, you’re probably going to have to limit your online personal life to a select group of people as well as a select social network such as Facebook.

 

Over sharing on Social Media

 

Everyone doesn’t need to know every detail about your life. Is it really smart to share pictures of yourself in your underwear, even to your husband or boyfriend? You never know when you will get hacked and that private information is out there for the world to see. In addition, while you want to be a real person to your audience they really don’t need to know the intimate details of your menstrual cycle or hormone fluctuations or bathroom habits of your children. Naturally, this depends on your niche, but for the most part, don’t over share, it’s not attractive.

 

Not Being Consistent

 

One way to manage your online reputation is to keep your brand consistent across all accounts. Use similar or the same headshots, use the same logos, and banners, the same colors and the same information about yourself and your business. By inadvertently leaving something out you might accidentally confuse someone or make them think you’re being less than honest. Even if it’s an accident, you don’t know how others will view it. Double check to make sure that everything you say and do backs up who you want to represent yourself as online.

 

Not Researching Yourself

 

You can use a variety of tools for monitoring your online reputation such as Google Alerts, Reputation.com, and others will help you manage your online presence so that you are the one dictating what people know rather than others dictating it for you. You can find out what’s being said about your brand, your name, and your products or even similar products and services so that you can stay ahead of the buzz and even create the buzz.

 

Not Updating Privacy Settings

Most social media accounts offer some privacy options. A great way to manage your privacy on

Facebook is to set up a closed and private group for your friends and family that you trust so that nothing can be searched or discovered that is personal or embarrassing. Facebook also offers other privacy options like the ability to approve images you’re tagged in. Use these options to get the most out of social media and protect yourself and your business from misunderstandings.

 

Every day there is something in the news about someone who said something taken out of context or said in jest that gets someone into a lot of trouble to where they lose jobs, clients, and even an entire business. Don’t become a statistic.

 

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Social Media Networks Are Not Created Equal: How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Brand

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Which Social Media Networks Should You Use?

As business owners, it’s important to be aware that not all social media networks are equal. Each network has its own audience, and the content you want to share on one may not be as relevant as it is on another. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram, it’s important that you’re sending your loyal and potential customers the right message and providing them with the information they actually want. So, how does your brand choose the best social network? Here, we outline how to choose the best social networking platform for you.

Goals

Approaching social media with a specific goal in mind can assist businesses in determining which platform is best for their needs. Whether it’s generating more sales or leads or managing reputation, each network can serve a different purpose for your business. For example, you may find that Facebook works best at raising brand awareness, Twitter assists with reputation management and LinkedIn may fulfill lead generation. Basing your decision off the needs of your campaign will make it much easier to determine which social networks are best equipped to get the job done.

Demographics

Before you decide to utilize a particular social network, be familiar with who is using the network. We hear many social media success stories from businesses, however, that doesn’t mean that the network they are using will be right for you. A vital part of content success is learning the types of individuals that engage on each particular network. Your Facebook demographic may be very different from those of your Twitter followers. Therefore, the content that is posted should not be the same.

Analytics

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Google Analytics is an excellent tool to determine the reach of your content on various networks.  Google Analytics lets you look at social media referrals within the traffic tab, which provides an itemization of the number of visits driven from each network. As you click on each network, you can review which pieces of content were shared and drove visits from the network to your brand’s website.

Competition

All good marketers know that gathering data on your competition can be an invaluable asset to any online marketing campaign. In no way do you want to become a copycat, but, by following their networks, you can see what is working and not working in your particular market.

If You Are Who You Say You Are: 4 Useful Online Verification Tools

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Use these tools to prevent from getting Manti Te’o-d in business

A few weeks ago, the world was introduced to the term “catfishing” due to an internet hoax involving Notre Dame football player Manti Teo’s pseudo relationship with a 22-year old woman, who he thought  died of cancer last year. While “catfishing” normally takes place in a personal relationship many businesses have defrauded individuals online as well. The Internet presents a lot of potential revenue opportunities—and a lot of risks.

Knowing that you are dealing with a real individual and/or company minimizes these risks while protecting businesses from both fraud and identity theft. While many websites, and even emails, are designed to look professional and secure, there are often indicative signs that can help you identify ones you want to avoid. Take precaution by using these reliable verification tools online:

BizId

BizId is a service provided by global credit information group Experian. BizId provides reliable commercial information and reduces approval time in order to stay competitive. Through a single transaction, BizId searches multiple databases to authenticate a business and up to two business owners while helping meet compliance requirements.

ZoomInfo

Job-centric search engine ZoomInfo aggregates people and company information in one location.  Their information listings on people, harvested from across the web, include people’s employment history and current job title and whether or not they’re seeking employment. Should you get too many search results for a person’s name, filter them by geographic location.

Google

You can’t talk finding information online without mentioning the big G. For well-known brands and individuals, you will get great results by just typing the name into Google’s search bar, but for civilians, common names or names with double meanings, a few advanced Google techniques can help narrow down the field of results.

  • Enclose the name of the person you’re searching for in quotations when you enter the name into the search box (i.e. “John Doe”).
  • Include other relevant words, like the person’s profession, employer, location, or screen name (i.e. lawyer or Washington, DC.)
  • If the person you’re searching for is likely to appear on a particular web site; search only that site using the site: URL operator (like site: sociallyahead.com “John Doe”).
  • To search people by appearance, look for them on Google Images to get a quick visual—especially useful for those with common names, or to determine the gender of a person you’re meeting for the first time.

LinkedIn

Over 200 million professionals around the world use LinkedIn. You can quickly review their profiles, which will include educational background information and work history, as well as their connections. When reviewing, you should see if you have any similar connections. If so, reach out and request a recommendation on this person. If you do not have connections, LinkedIn offers a paid service called Reference Search.

How to Visualize Your Brand With Instagram!

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The photo-sharing app recently rolled out web profiles. See how you can use the new addition to your advantage

Today there is so much content on the Internet and you only have seconds to catch someone’s eye.  In fact, brands are still trying to figure out the best ways to standout from the crowd. When devising your social media strategy, you should consider that visual images garner more than just attention, they drive engagement.

Enter Instagram, a rapidly growing social network acquired by Facebook in April of this year.  Instagram currently has over 100 million users. It provides a visually engaging way to display your brand to clients and influencers through a series of pictures. The company recently announced the roll out of web-profile pages, taking Instagram from a purely mobile application to a photo-sharing, web-based network. The move will give brands a public URL so they can promote and engage with limited restrictions.

Here, we look at the various ways brands can use Instagram to grow their business:

All-Access Pass

The best thing you can do for your business on Instagram is show people why they should get to know your brand. Instagram is more than just a social media tool; it is an opportunity. Gather your team and conduct a brainstorming session. During the conference, think of creative scenarios where photographs and images can highlight your product and/or service, employees, events or even the office.

Taylor Swift shares her Starbucks Message with Instagram Fans!

Empower your Audience

Get the most out of Instagram by crowdsourcing content. Request customers upload and tag your brand when utilizing your product or service. This will not only initiate engagement between your company and your target audience, but also expose your brand to its tribes.

Popular #hashtag for outdoor enthusiasts!

Tag It

A hashtag, a topic with a hash symbol (#) preceding it, is used to categorize messages. It adds metadata to your tweet. Just like its social media cousin Twitter, Instagrammers are avid users of hashtags and they are exceptionally important for searching on the platform.  Incorporate relevant hashtags— and relevant Twitter or Instagram handles—into your uploads as a means to market content to a wider audience.

Add Icons and Widgets

Direct customers to your corporate Instagram profile by adding a “Follow me on Instagram” link or icon to your corporate website, email signature, social media profiles or consumer outreach.

Backstage at New York Fashion Week

Share Insider Tips

People love when they are privy to insider information. With that being said, why not employ Instagram to highlight new, exclusive offerings associated with your product or service? Give visual systematic instructions on best practices or provide customers with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your product.

Contest are a great way to connect with fans!

Run a contest

Online contests allow prospects and clients to get more involved with your brand, as well as increases communication. The great thing about running a contest is you will also build up a beautiful collection of images that your brand can later use. It’s a win-win situation!

We hope this article helped you to discover new ways to utilize this platform. Don’t forget to share with your networks!

Do you know what Google knows?

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Google has launched a new ‘Account Activity’ dashboard that allows people to review their online activity. This tool requires users to sign up and upon doing so it will keep a log of user activity performed on all Google’s products. In a blog post, Google explained that this tool will provide users with a password-protected monthly report of their activity.

As Google is quoted, “Knowing more about your own account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account. For example, if you notice sign-ins from countries where you haven’t been or devices you’ve never owned, you can change your password immediately and sign up for the extra level of security provided by 2-step verification.”

With this tool, users can know the number of emails they have been sending and receiving and with whom. Their search queries as well as the time they spend logged in from different devices. The dashboard has Gmail, Latitude and search but more services- notable Google+ will be incorporated soon.

Why this is worrying the search industry?

Google may convince users to sign up for all its platforms and allow the search giant to use the social data for search and maps, but this will not benefit webmasters and search professionals at all.

Google has now started encrypting search data (keywords) of the users that are logged in. This means no referral data for SEOs or webmasters, except advertisers. This move by the search giant has been opposed strongly by the search community. Recently, Firefox also announced its plan to switch to Google Secure Search by default further dimming the chances of the webmasters and SEOs to access referral data.

How will the SEO industry be affected by this?

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