Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SEO and Reputation: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Reputation management, once solely a PR term, is now the widely used practice of controlling one's own online listings and driving down negative or unwanted results in Google.



How do you know if you need to build or repair your online reputation? First do a search of your name, company name, product(s)/service(s), maybe some top employees and usernames. You'll want the most accurate results not influenced by your own personalized search history. Start by logging out of the account for the search engine, or if searching in Google, disable personalized search results.
 Sometimes all it takes are a few bad reviews, a spiteful competitor, or a misinformed blogger to tarnish your image. Don't let others set the stage and control your brand. Here are a few SEO tactics for managing your reputation online.


Social Media


Register social profiles and be as active in your accounts as possible. Fill out the profiles completely. Use tags, images, videos, and links wherever applicable. 
Focus on the following Networks:

 • Twitter
 • LinkedIn
 • Facebook
 • Youtube
 • Flickr

Content Consistency


You'll want to do the same for local listing directories, and there are quite a few. Brockett Creative Group offers it's own Powerlisting service that uploads your company profile information on leading directories, maps and applications.


If you or your business appears regularly in the press, create a stock bio that you can distribute to the media. Include links to your relevant pages. For example:

It's all about Art and Science at BCG. For more than a decade, we have delivered impressive results to our clients through unique and powerful branding, advertising, online marketing, and social media management campaigns, and a dedication to provide the very best in web services and applications, like the tSpark Content Management System.  


Remember, Reputation Management and monitoring isn't static. You may enjoy favorable results today but that doesn't mean it will remain the same tomorrow. Your search results can change based on recent news, social media posts, or other SEO factors. Building and keeping a positive online rep is a continuous process that you should remain involved in.


For help with your reputation management or more information on Powerlistings, contact Matt or Kari at marketing@brockettcreative.com or 315.797.5088.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Overcome your Fear of Commitment: Retainers



There are many common misconceptions and concerns about entering into a retainer relationship with an agency. But we’re here to tell you the benefits of a retainer and how to overcome your fear of this beneficial business marriage. Could this be you?

“I’m in love with my agency, they do wonderful work and I’m already seeing ROI  (my customer base is already expanding!) but they recommend we commit to a year-long retainer. That seems like a long time. Does that mean I lose my freedom and right to customize or make adjustments to my marketing plan? How will I trust that my agency will keep their end of the bargain and that I won’t overpay for services? Sometimes I worry that my agency is just looking out for itself. I really do love them, but when my project manager hints at a long-term future together, I freeze. Help!”

Signed Jittery Corp

Dear Jittery,


Your worries are completely normal when it comes to protecting and growing your business. Rest assured, your agency has your very best interest at heart and there are many benefits to joining into a retainer.

Here are all of the positive aspects of the retainer:


There is an opportunity to build a stronger relationship


There is a reason you chose your agency in the first place, and your agency cares about you and your future. As you enjoy success, so does your agency.

A more hands-on campaign experience


Your agency can dedicate appropriate hours, strategies, and assets to fit your specific needsleading to better collaboration between you both. There is also more focus on business goals rather than individual tasks.

Security


There is comfort in knowing what to expect and budget for. You'll know what your marketing cost will be for the year.

Trust


Open communication means you can contact the agency anytime knowing you won’t be billed a consultation fee.

So take heart, Jittery, there is no reason to fear the retainer commitment. It sounds as though you and your agency are on your way to a beautiful relationship.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top 10 Grammar Rules

Brockett Creative Group's Top 10 Grammer Rules

You don’t need a Master’s Degree in English to convey your brand message or publish a social media post. It’s true that most online conversations are informal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t heed the rules of grammar.  Nothing will tarnish your professional image faster than a misspelled word or misplaced quotation mark.

Here are the top 10 grammar mistakes you should avoid:

 

#10 Fewer vs Less

Simply, if you can count it, use “fewer.” If you can’t, use “less.”
  • Matt has published fewer blog entries this month.
  • Kari has less incentive to finish her tasks until the first cup of coffee.
  •  


#9 Improper Apostrophe Use

Use an apostrophe when writing a contraction (Can’t - Cannot; Don’t- Do Not; Wouldn’t- Would Not)  or showing possession (This is Brockett’s Blog).



#8 Complement vs Compliment

Complement- Something that adds to or supplements something

Compliment-Something nice you say to or about someone. Brockett Creative Group has the best clients in the world.



#7 Then or Than?

Here’s an easy way to remember this rule: Use “than” whenever you are comparing, use “then” for everything else.



#6 Who, Which, or That?

"Who" (or "whom") refers to persons. "Which" refers to animals or things, never to persons. "That" can refer to either persons or things.
  • The copywriter who was hungry.
  • The dog which bit the mailman.
  • The car that goes to the car show.
  •  


#5 Anyone vs Any one

"Anyone" means "any person," not a specific person. It could refer to multiple people simultaneously. Anyone can read this blog.

As two words, "any one" refers to a single person.
  • Anyone can learn how to use tSpark’s CMS. But a single-user account can only be managed  by any one user at a time.



#4 Affect vs Effect

Affect is a verb.  Effect is a noun.
  • Your ability to communicate correctly will positively affect your business growth.
  • The effect of poor grammar on a business’ reputation is evident.



#3 Their, They’re, There

  • Are you talking about more than one person and something they possess? Their!
  • Are you talking about a place? There is my cup of coffee!
  • Are you saying ‘they are?’ Use the contraction- they’re.



#2 It’s for Its

"Its" is a possessive pronoun that is gender neutral. The word "its" is used to describe something that is connected to an animal or an inanimate object.
“It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.”
  • It’s my desire to have another cup of coffee.

 BCG tip: If you can’t remember this rule and unsure of which to use; substitute ‘it has’ or ‘it is’ in the sentence.

  • Brockett Creative Group publishes it is blog posts every week.
That doesn’t work, so obviously it’s “its!”




#1 Quotations

As a rule, punctuation should always go inside quotation marks, even inside single quotes.
  • "It's a good idea to read the weekly BCG blog," her boss suggested.
This applies unless there is a question outside of the quoted material.
  • Do you agree with the saying, "The early bird gets the worm"?
Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. Note that the period goes inside all quote marks.
  • He said, "Kari said, 'Poor Grammar is bad for first impressions.'" 
 


If some of these rules are hard to remember, fortunately there are some great websites and online grammar check tools you can refer to in a pinch.

Grammar Girl
Ginger Grammar Check
Spell Check Plus is great as an on the fly spell-check tool, but doesn't seem to work as well for grammar.

For any assistance with copy writing or content development, the Brockett Creative team is here to help. Also, if there are any grammatical errors in this blog, it's because this copywriter is low on coffee.

marketing@brockettcreative.com
#BCGroup
315.797.5088

Monday, May 12, 2014

"Secrets" of Social Media Revealed- Part Three: LinkedIn

Part Three: LinkedIn

A couple of weeks ago, Brockett Creative attended Secrets to Success on Social Media in 2014, the “worlds largest webinar” #WLW14 hosted by Hubspot and featuring spokespeople from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

So far we’ve summarized these so-called secrets from Twitter and Facebook. Now we’ll take a closer look at tips as outlined by LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network.


There are 161 million professionals worldwide who have connected with LinkedIn since its launch in 2003. According to company stats, every second that number grows by two more memberships.


Members on LinkedIn look for jobs and job-related content. On the network users can search for jobs, join work-related groups, and submit job applications. It is also a prime platform for marketing your business as a trusted brand.

But how can you improve your LinkedIn experience? Scott Engelman of LinkedIn had this to say:

Valuable Content (Sensing a trend here?)


When posting as, or on behalf of your company, share professionally-relevant content to your followers. If it’s original, that’s great. If you’re sharing, that’s fine, as long as what you’re sharing is of value.

Use strong imagery, professional in tone, but new.

See what resonates best, and continue to share similar content.

Spend wisely


Use sponsored updates to amplify your message. Start with your highest organic reach and expand on that.

Create targeted audiences for sponsored updates



Think Responsively


Don’t forget about users who are using tablets or mobile applications when sharing.

For more on gettting the most out of LinkedIn: http://smallbusiness.linkedin.com

The big secret revealed?


Ultimately, the biggest takeaway from this webinar? Three simple rules that can be applied to all three very different social media networks.
  1. Content is key for getting the most out of Social Media
  2. Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.
  3. Be experimental

The Experts. Follow them on Twitter:

Jed Clevenger, Facebook @jtcinsf
Russ Laraway, Twitter @russlaraway
Scott Engleman, LinkedIn @scottjengelman
Dan Zarella, HubSpot @danzarella

Your local experts,


Brockett Creative Group @BCGroup
marketing@brockettcreative.com
315.797.5088

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Secrets" of Social Media Revealed- Part Two: Facebook

Secrets of Social Media Revealed- Part Two: Facebook

Last week we did a recap of Hubspot’s giant webinar featuring the “Secrets” of Social Media, focusing on tips for Twitter.

We’ll take a look at some of what Facebook’s guru had to say about best practices when it comes to building your brand ala Zuckerberg.

Choose wisely

Facebook is the “800-pound gorilla of the social media space.” The network has more than 1 billion active users around the world; and just about everyone is on Facebook, teens to retirees. Hubspot suggests, and I agree, that if a marketer had to pick only one social media channel to maintain a presence, it’d have to be Facebook.

Ads are second to Organic Engagement
. Although the targeting functionality of Facebook's advertising platform is powerful, like Twitter, paid advertising should be a distant second in the marketing priority list.

Target correctly

Put your brand’s best “face” forward (pun intended) to the social world. The content you share and the interactions you entice define how well you ’ll do.

Remember to use imagery whenever possible. Facebook reports that photo posts perform the best, followed by status, video, and link posts, in that order.

When crafting content, or targeting through promoted posts or Ads, remember to keep your reach right down the middle. Don’t target too broad of an audience or too narrow of a niche.

Conversely, when it comes to post length, the middle ground is exactly where you DON’T want to be, experts say. Posts between about 100 and 350 characters performed the worst. Go short and concise with an image; or if it’s content heavy, make it count.

Timing is everything

Recent analysis published by Hubspot found that content posted on Saturday and Sunday tends to get more likes than content posted during the business week. That doesn’t mean publish all of your posts over the weekend, but spread it out a bit and experiment!

To beg or not to beg

Should you ask people to like a post, a page, or help you reach that 1,000 page-like milestone? Facebook says, simply, no.

What's new?

Facebook tackles privacy at the F8 conference, April 30, 2014

Next up...LinkedIn

We’ll wrap up our recap of the “Secrets” Behind Social Media Today webinar with a look at LinkedIn.

Until then, have a question, we’re here, marketing@brockettcreative.com or call 315.797.5088.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Secrets" of Social Media Revealed - Part One: Twitter

On Wednesday April 23, Hubspot, the inbound marketing and sales company, hosted an exclusive, live webinar with social media big guns, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

While The Secrets Behind Social Media Today webinar was widely popular, (self proclaimed as the world's largest webinar) it was more of a rehashing of social media best practices than a huge reveal of the industry's top held secrets.

In any event, if you weren't in attendance, the Brockett Creative Group marketing team was there, and we break it down for you.

And, because each social media platform is different. We are going to delve into each one at a time.

Let’s take a look at what Twitter’s Russ Laraway outlines as the keys to success.

 

Look good.

Pay attention to your profile. Make sure your bio is reflective of your company's brand. Give people a compelling reason to follow you.
Use appealing images, logos and photos. Be sure to know your audience and that they're mobile. Seventy five percent of Twitter followers are on mobile.

 

Keep them coming back for more.

Give audiences what they want. Nearly 40% of Twitter followers look for new products; 39% seek support; and 21% are looking for information.  The key is relevancy. People join Twitter to connect with their interests. Make it easy for them to find their interests and keep it, well, interesting.

Laraway cited Buzzstream (@buzzstream) as one good example of a company doing well for themselves on Twitter.

 

Content is (still) king.

Revise your content strategy using the 80/20 rule. At least 80% of your messages should be valuable content—something informative or helpful to your followers. Twitter recommends to use an appealing image or Vine video. Only 20% should be sales pitchy.

Images—Twitter has found that followers engage twice as much with a brand when there are attractive images attached. Use relevant images around trending topics. Pair an image with an offer, for example.

Twitter's content restraint (140 characters) are no excuse for lazy copy. Be creative. Pack a punch. Laraway also spoke of direct messages. Make sure they are compelling, with a strong call to action and no hashtags.

Screenshot 2014-04-24 14.11.42.png

That brings us to hashtags. Hashtags are used to create instant connections with other users. Use the correctly. Treat them as part of one giant conversation. Build on relevant, trending hashtags to increase twitter engagement.

 

Consistency, consistency, consistency.

If you aren’t posting with some regularity, why should anyone continue follow you?  The recommended Tweet frequency might be more than Facebook or Linkedin for example, but experiment and find what builds the most engagement.  Find your groove and maintain it.

 

Pay for Engagement? Not as a first rule.

Twitter says first aim to achieve engagement organically. Ads should be an extension of that.

 

What's new?

Check out the latest on the new Twitter redesign now live. 

 

To Summarize

So info from the world’s biggest webinar certainly wasn’t earth shattering, but still a good reminder of social media best practices. There were some good nuggets of information and a few key tips revealed that Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin all agree are crucial to online success. What are they? Stay tuned for that and more in our blog series. Next week, we’ll discuss Facebook.

Have a burning question on social media marketing in the meantime? Drop us a line, marketing@brockettcreative.com or call 315.797.5088.