Tag Archives: branding

(Just) 10 reasons your brand can no longer “opt-out” of social media

social-media

Image sourced from http://www.http:ownernation.us by VistaPrint

  1. The long lead times of traditional corporate communications and marketing no longer work in our always-on dynamic world. Real-time conversation now fuels new and existing B2C and B2B customers.
  2. An active, brand-relevant online presence enables customers to trust you.
  3. “Marketing today is not about what a company says about itself. It’s about what its customers say about the company” – and customers are now saying this on social media.
  4. Customer service is now social. Happy customers become brand evangelists who drive revenues. Want an example? See KLM.
  5. Your audience works, lives, and plays on their smartphones, fish where the fish are! One-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide use social platforms in their travel planning, and the hospitality vertical realises an average of an 11% conversion rate. The Economist made a studied investment last year in social media, and enjoyed a 31% increase in its subscription rate year-over-year.
  6. Social media as an SEO ranking signal is increasing in importance. 93% of online experiences begin through a search engine and SEO-based inbound leads (generated from online management) have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
  7. Use social media to educate about new properties, rebranding efforts, and renovations and in doing so, hotels are selling out months before re-opening.
  8. Content marketing and executive branding objectives offered through social media establish thought leadership in months rather than the years required by traditional public relations efforts.
  9. Brand storytelling is now a necessity, not a luxury. Social media presence boosts brand recognition, marketing, and recruiting, while creating a richer customer experience. Treating employees as valued stakeholders aids in retention, cuts down on hiring and training costs and also creates a huge pool of brand ambassadors.
  10. If 90 year-old Queen Elizabeth II recognises the value of proactively managing her online reputation why haven’t you? Every CEO needs to get serious about the management of their professional reputation and that of their company to ensure that s/he controls the content. Managing your reputation online is a critical part of any integrated global marketing strategy and social media provides you with a fast, effective way to do this.

 

Commarglo-Logo

Visit @Commarglo to learn more about leveraging social media for your brand.

Advertisements

Sitting on the #socialmediamarketing sidelines

Every day I witness epic #fails related to the use of social media to market brands, failures to achieve increased sales, to shift perception, to communicate effectively and it is so very frustrating.

sidelines 2Right now I am sitting on the social media marketing sidelines, and to a larger extent the whole strategic planning for the brands involved. Efforts that, oh gosh I wish I was driving – and not being in the driver’s seat is giving me the same level of nausea I get whenever I am a passenger. And, mind you, this is not about my ego and or desiring to stand in the spotlight because every MarComm professional knows that our place is in the background making things happen. But still.

socrates-knowing-that-you-know-nothingOn more than one occasion in every professional communications person’s lifetime can be heard a refrain similar to ‘I’m sorry. “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I should have listened to you.’ Ultimately ‘decision makers’ who always seem to think they know best because, well, they are in charge, who undermine the expressed goals of their business strategies based solely upon ego rather than knowledge and there’s absolutely nothing to be done about it. Being right is no consolation. It doesn’t matter what the vertical is. It doesn’t matter who didn’t listen and whose advice was ignored. When the net result realises something far less than what could have been strategically planned for, and was tactically possible to deploy, the underlying reason for the shortfall is either about ego and/or competency.

spartans2

Photo credit: standard.co.uk

A short while ago London witnessed the most perfect deployment of advance marketing in my recent memory – and yes, it went viral. Funny how washboard abs on a man wearing leather briefs and gladiator sandals will attract attention, get people talking, ENGAGE with the brand. And that is the point of marketing, isn’t it?

Through a friend I heard recently that his point of contact (a marketing person) bemoaned the fact that the owner of her company held disdain for the expenditures associated with marketing and communications, he just couldn’t find value in these activities. As I listened I thought the same thing I have for 30 years, this isn’t ‘if you build it, he will come’. Today (as ever) word of mouth fostered by strategic communications is what drives revenue. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it is an activity so in-your-face that people gasp out-loud, and often times it is (rather mundane) variations on thoughtfully developed core messaging – but it is always about positioning, brand alignment, and amplification which garners engagement. Simple? Right? Ah, not so much so. Because the other critical piece of this is while a marketing and communications professional knows that they are not an engineer or a doctor for some reason other professionals all think they can “do” our jobs as well as we do.

On another note my business partner Ken Herron and I are the #IstraKT team competing in the #ShareIstria campaign being run by the Istrian Tourist Board for a €10,000 prize (and yes, bragging rights). The only analytics that actually count for us (or any of the teams) are those generated during our respective week of the contest (in our case this is the last week of the campaign starting in Rovinj, Croatia 25 – 31 July). Of course we’d be delighted for you to follow our adventures under the hashtag #IstraKT (on Twitter, Instagram, G+, Facebook, Periscope and our blogs) on Twitter we are @kenherron @teresafritschi and our new business is @commarglo. We haven’t begun to deploy the various components of our plan. For now our efforts are only pre-marketing ones. That is not so say we haven’t netted results – we have, impressive results by anyone’s standards.

The following represents ONLY engagements realised to date (not actual Tweets, not delivery to accounts, not impressions, not blog posts read, Pinterest shared, no Facebook Shares or Likes – well you get the idea) from 24 April 2015, when we entered to qualify as contestants in the ShareIstria contest, to 11AM on 11 July 2015 and were pulled from analytics.twitter.com for each of our accounts.

9815 @KenHerron
4015 @TeresaFritschi
435   @commarglo  (after years of discussing it we finally decided to make our business relationship ‘formal’ and legally incorporate on 29 June)

It should be noted I am not the metrics geek of our team, but we have earned FourteenThousandTwoHundredSixtyFive engagements under the #ShareIstria hashtag for our three accounts on Twitter in SeventyEightDays.

Remember this ‘us’ not fully deployed, this is us sitting on the social media marketing sidelines, queued and waiting for our turn to engage. Let’s assume that the conversion rate of these ka-chingengagements is 2% – meaning that eventually 285.3 people (not factoring in traveling companions) will actually visit Istria, Croatia as a result of our pre-marketing efforts. There, according to Lonely Planet, they will spend on average €316.82 per day (sorry, our messages aren’t targeting the backpacker market segment) and let’s “just” consider our time as the average visit – 7 days – thus adding (at minimum) over €633,000.00 to Istria’s tourism revenues. I feel really good about that.

In the meantime pull your own numbers. Not close to these? Challenge your social media agency or internal team to do better for you and your business and 90 days to up their results. Not happy after that? You know how to find us – @commarglo.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

AllThatINeedbizcardartfront

Fear. Less. Giving a F*ck, and not. Shift. Your. Thinking.

I have written lightly about ‘living exponentially’ in my blog post about Walter Mitty – but this post is planningsomething different. Despite there being plenty of perfectly rational things in my life to be concerned about, however naïve or ridiculous of me it might be, I am not a worrier. I really don’t possess fears. I have this un-erring belief that everything will be ‘just fine’. I have friends that I drive absolutely bonkers over this attitude of mine. Why aren’t you worried? What’s your plan? Plan. Plan. Plan. You aren’t REALLY going to write that, are you?? You aren’t really go to send that email are you? Let go of it. I most certainly am, primarily because I care. There are far worse things.

And, like my girlfriend Mary who has experienced much of the same, there are always going to be people who want to ‘fix me’ ‘help me’ or somehow ‘rescue me’ and I am having none of it (neither, thankfully, is she). I dedicate this blog post to Mary, and her journey of self, because we can’t walk in anyone else’s shoes and everything we carry with us is about reconciling our pasts so that our souls can accomplish their objectives for living in this lifetime. I only ask that Light and Love surround her and keep her safe.fear 2

I dislike high places. I have an inner ear ‘thing’ from damage caused by repeated ear infections as a child that gives me a wicked case of vertigo but I am not necessarily afraid of heights. So much of the lens in which we are viewed by the world around us, by our colleagues and our friends, and very often how we view ourselves, is a powerful catalyst for our continued behaviours – whatever they might be. A refrain of my life was repeated (yet again) fairly recently. It’s a huge compliment to be told that someone perceives you as being fearless, and that because of their perception of you they are pushing away the boundaries of their fears, to fear ‘less’; three people expressed the same in a matter of two days. Respect for danger, preparation to face it squarely, has absolutely nothing to do with fear or worry. Fear is a choice. Worry is a choice.

We all have things that we have cognition of but that we (largely) keep hidden; fear of offending, fear Harrellof failure, fear of others thinking us foolish, fear of dangerous situations. These fears are not necessarily bad things but they can be debilitating things. Fear is always having a monkey on your back. Fear keeps us from fully living.

I function best from the realms of authenticity and love. That expressed, I vividly recall my father saying “I don’t care if you like me, as long as you respect me” (generally directed as dinner table conversation about people not in the room). Close friends can attest that as a result of my having been bullied from the 3rd grade onward by boys with the names of Joe and Victor (amongst others) I have honed my fathers’ attitude to I don’t much care if you like me or respect me, please just leave me alone and, if you can’t for some inexplicable reason respect polite boundaries, I assure you that you will simply ‘cease to exist’ (I have found that indifference is the greatest survival skill ever learned). Which is why in reading Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck yesterday I was like, well “Hell Yes!”

Now, most of you who know me in real life know that while I might “think it” and “act it” and “truly don’t” I also VERY RARELY actually use the word. Which is what made my Croatian-American friend Bruce’s “Croatians using Jokerthe word…” tutorial back in late January very funny to me. Evidently if a Croatian says IN CROATIAN F*ck You (or was it ‘off’?) it is actually 100x more offensive than the English use of noun, verb, adjective, expletive F*ck You. Who knew???!! So, TO EVERY ONE I LOVE, and the things I passionately care about (and you witness by not just my words but by my actions) it’s true, it’s true, it’s true – I do not give a F*ck if some unknown dweeb is challenged by my attitude to let it all fall where it should, and TO HELP IT GET THERE faster if need be. Because quite frankly my choosing to care, my giving a F*ck is one of the things I am most proud of about me. So when something is totally F*cked up expect me to do glovesomething and say something and take no prisoners in the process (though it might be a iron fist in a lovely velvet glove making it nearly impossible to distinguish what is actually happening). If that makes you uncomfortable then it is patently clear you will never be worthy of my respect or my giving a F*ck about you or your indifferent little life. I challenge you to CARE about stuff, about life, passionately. No regrets. No ‘what’s in for me’. Don’t try to control everything, or anything – it’s impossible to do so – but show up for life. Truly. Caring about what the wrong people think, SMH. And for someone that is deeply rooted in creating branding and identities this might seem contrary but it seems more reckless to me to be fearful of opinions and perceptions of the great unwashed masses rather than functioning from a position of authenticity and integrity.

Mr. Manson is spot on. Don’t “give your F*cks away” to the wrong people and situations. Don’t worry about the inconsequential – will whatever it is matter tomorrow or the next day? Fear is an extension of giving a F*ck about the wrong things. Shift. Your. Thinking.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

AllThatINeedbizcardartfront

Beautiful

To have someone b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l write of you, thank you Nancy Lyn Cotter,  “…for having an eye and heart that embraces beauty within and without…” is no small thing. 

I think it was my girlfriend Jennifer (or maybe it was a social media connection ‘met’ through her) who first offered this incredible piece of music by The Cinematic Orchestra (Arrival of the Birds and Transformation).  In any case, (as I recall), it was in conjunction with one of her thoughtfully curated social media posts utilizing the first minute of the composition supporting the Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia commercial with Emily DiDonato who artfully conveys the heady sensuality envisioned by Neel Majumder to ‘brand’ the fragrance and directed by the acclaimed and ridiculously talented Fabien Baron – but it is the extended version by The Cinematic Orchestra which has found resonance with me and the newest chapter of my life (I encourage you to go back and open the first link and play this while reading my post).

Image

As sitting on my desk, the polychromed ceiling of the cathedral at Maulbronn – sterling silver over ruby glass frame

Yes, taken laying on the ground beneath the Arc de Triomphe!

What is beautiful? Everyone’s definition will vary based upon nurture and nature, exposure and experience, arbitrary ‘taste’ (which may or may not have evolved passed our youthful innocence and appreciation) and, most especially, the contents of the soul.  For I have found beauty (laying backwards over a pew) in the ceilings of the 12th century Cistercian monastery at Maulbronn, (laying on the ground) under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris witness to the masterful application of the gifts of talent applied to the theme of ‘glory’ diff-lighthouse-wave– as well as the majesty of a raging sea against a man-made beacon, the Phare du Four in Bretagne France (photo by Jean Guichard) by example.

‘Beautiful’ is also the resonance within us – the height of self-compassion and love that pulls toward us, and into us, (like a gorgeous piece of music that ‘tunes’ us) people who are either hungry for such nurturance or those who have journeyed far enough on their own to find the essence of our being so compelling as to become ‘more’ in our midst.  We are more beautiful when, whether in the love based in friendship or in romance, the common denominator is not about material wealth, not about what someone can do for you or your career, not filling a deep abyss, longing or ill-defined ‘need’ but presented in the fullness of our being where we are fully in at-one-ment before them. The place of such surety and comfort that regardless of how ‘evolved’ we might believe ourselves to be we strive to be ‘that much more’ because anything less would be a betrayal of the purest element of our existence.

There is not an Excel spreadsheet to define monetary value found ‘here’.  The value is only the beating of hearts, the catch of our breath at experiencing wonder, the synchronicity of thought, a purpose to develop a harmony lush as birdsong in pre-dawn light, the swell of an orchestra, the crash of the seas, or the dazzling wonder found in an ink coloured sky full of stars and thus mirrored in the eyes of lovers.

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

My book is available at Barnes & Noble, Lulu and Amazon

My book is available at Barnes & Noble, Lulu and Amazon!

#WOOT!

Okay, the truth is I have a vague sense that #WOOT! is an exclamation of supreme online happiness but its use in this instance is completely relevant. I am going to #shoutout a remarkable personal branding social media achievement today – pay attention dear readers as everything I write below has consequences for B2B and B2C engagement as well.

I met my never-laid-eyes-on friend Ken over a phone call two years ago. We had the distinction of having both served as the Chief Marketing Officer for start-up social SaaS firm (I inherited the role from him, he was a co-founder of the company).  We are marketing and communications professionals of very different ilk but have enormous respect for the others’ skills, experience and achievements. Last night, by any social media metrics or conventional communications standards, he hit a pretty remarkable milestone – 60,000 followers on Twitter. Let me repeat, Ken has SIXTY -THOUSAND followers on a global basis on Twitter! 
ImageImagine, no real ‘product’ to sell (though besides being a C-level executive he also writes a weekly tech column, shares the microphone on Wednesday afternoons for a widely listened to Internet radio program and is an expert contributor on emerging social media technologies in books and other media outlets) yet possessing global reach and numbers enviable to any corporate entity.  What is his ‘personal brand’ that attracts so many to include and engage with him during their own online presence? That is it – he is many things to many people, but he is always INCLUSIVE!

He sends out THANK YOU tweets to everyone who replies to him, mentions him, and retweets him EVERY SINGLE MORNING.  He tweets during social media ‘rush hours’ (tied to United States’ eastern time zone even though he makes his home in California). He actively follows other tweeps who post about marketing and communications (putting them in manageable lists to keep track of them and their tweets) and adds to their social media influence by re-tweeting their best content. (“Best” content being highly subjective here as he has tweeted pictures of my various home baked good treats with the hashtag #FoodPorn.) He also recognises that just because Twitter allows for 140 characters that, like any messaging that is going to resonate with its constituent audience(s), the shorter the better, so he stays UNDER 120 characters which also encourages retweets.   These are baseline best practices for Twitter but the ideas behind them are universal in their application in creating cohesive, engaging, successful communications. 

I mention this (at all) because far too many companies are stepping into the realm of social media in hiring dedicated staff assuming digital nativity (a.k.a., youth!) infers competence.  Familiarity with a technology platform does not make anyone a skilled user of it – in creating resonance and amplification communications will always require heightened craft and strategic vision; this also why outsourcing online engagement is a very bad idea if you are intent on protecting the integrity of corporate identity, employer branding and internal morale.

What’s more, regardless of how big your brand may be, remember former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famous words “all politics is local” applies to all relationships.  If your brand is global, understand that localisation is still as important to embrace in social media as it (still) is in the creation of press releases, collateral material and websites.  “Just because” English is the dominant language for business does not mean that a brand can ignore their Asian, European, African or South American audiences. The flattening of our world demands more of the old adage ‘treat others as you would be treated’ so use their languages as part of your social media communications.

My TweetSo #WOOT! to Ken and all communicators everywhere whose responsibilities carry the weight of social media engagement and embrace Raymond Chandler’s words: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

AllThatINeedbizcardartfront

To order my book, click here.