The power of the hashtag!

The power of the hashtag!

#worldcup #breakingnews #placestoeatinlondon
Only a few years ago you would be forgiven for only knowing the “hashtag” as the key you pressed after entering a series of numbers on your phone when calling a customer helpline but since the rise and rise of social networks the importance of hashtags to businesses has evolved significantly.
When we consider the popularity of social networks today it is difficult to consider a marketing plan where social media marketing is not a key component! Through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the more visual networks of Instagram and Pinterest , Reputations are built, established, promoted and in some cases damaged and lost based purely on your network presence and interaction from source and the end user.

Let us look at the figures!
Facebook is used daily by over 665 million people, during early 2014 revenue from advertising was on the increase and continues to see daily interaction rates via mobile channels growing*. When we think about Twitter it is incredible to imagine that some statistics have demonstrated that 21% of the population of the world have an account with over 288 million active monthly users ** Google + is widely considered the “upcoming” network with huge potential to influence search engine presence through authoritative blogging and posting and a current growth rate of around 33%, if you are serious about making your online presence known, this is a network to consider investing your time and efforts in developing. ***. For businesses looking to build and develop a professional reputation the recommended social network is LinkedIn, although growth is nowhere near the rate of other networks the niche market means there is greater targeting potential and with over 200 million users, this is still an area for businesses to maintain a professional presence.
Now consider traditional “Above the line” and “below the line” marketing – For one printed page advert in a glossy magazine or perhaps a daily newspaper you could be looking in the region of a multiple thousand pound spend without targeting and an unknown exposure. And of course the premium advertising slots on television – mid way through the X Factor or similar – although your brand or product would be in front of a significant audience the impact on your marketing budget would be immense and how do you measure the return on investment?
When we look at all this background, it is clearly apparent – promotion and marketing through social media should feature in the marketing strategy of every business serious about their online presence. Simple attention to content, building loyalty with your users and keeping abreast of trends can increase your presence in so many cost effective ways. For example – any business with a savvy strategy will jump on the World Cup bandwagon – a simple post wishing the team good luck or a related promotion tagged with #WC2014 will put your post before the eyes of anyone searching on those terms!
Of course, this can lead to potential risks. Your online presence is essentially public property – clients, end users and even competitors can post on your sites and interact with your accounts – but how you manage your accounts and interactions can make huge inroads into establishing your brand reputation.
Take the DKNY brand (#DKNY)– a photographer in the USA realised that the brand were using photos he had taken in a display without permission – via social medial he spread a post throughout the networks in a rapid time asking for a donation to the local YMCA in place of compensation. DKNY immediately responded with a sincere apology and a $25,000 donation to the YMCA. Followed by an acknowledgement from the photographer that the mistake was honest, this quick and well planned response from DKNY diffused a potential social media crisis and restored brand trust. ****
For any business, management of your online reputation is essential and in the case of social media, and review sites it can be difficult to know the best way to respond to negatively and best utilise your resources. If you need guidance and professional assistance in building and maintaining your online profile and reputation, working with a Business Development Manager will help ensure you are always ahead of the game. For professional and strategic online reputation management contact Ramesh Summan at i-Credo.com, his extensive online experience and expertise will help your company maintain a reputation your clients will be proud to be associated with.

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*Guardian Social media statistics April 2014
** Kissmetrics May 2014 / *** Google media April 2014/***BBC media news

There is no such thing as bad publicity – or is there?

There is no such thing as bad publicity ….Or is there?

When it comes to the internet and the power of the search engine there is no longer any anonymity in the world. “Keyboard crusaders” can make or break a business that is under scrutiny and the reputation of a product, brand or individual is heavily reliant on a positive portrayal throughout cyberspace.

For the majority of consumers today the first port of call when looking for information on just about any topic is to type the words or phrase into a search engine.  Within seconds you have at your fingertips an array of official websites, forums, reviews and resellers – information is readily available and easily accessible not only from your PC but your smart phone or tablet while you are sat on a train or on a tea break at work.  Just as how we access information is changing, the same is true for the type of information we want. Whether you are searching for somewhere for a special meal out or a holiday abroad, chances are you will bypass the official site to find real reviews of real places you are considering visiting.

As consumers become more technologically savvy , with that comes an understanding that how a company market a product, service or brand  to the end user can be streets apart from the real life consumer experience – hence the popularity of sites such as Trip Advisor or Urban Spoon.  When looking for a holiday cottage for a week in Cornwall – no company wants to tell you they rank at the lowest possible rating on Trip Advisor but with 2000+ reviews resulting in a 5 star rating you would be reassured with confidence that you are booking somewhere that will really meet expectations.  Great reviews mean great business. It’s not rocket science! But it is also not easy to achieve!

Consider the recent case of sickly sweet but incredibly moreish Lotus Biskoff spread – a Belgian product made of crushed biscuits in a spread which can be used on cakes, toast, desserts or just about anything. This product has received no paid advertising or marketing support in the UK but was subject to a review thread on popular Mum’s site “Mumsnet” described as addictive and highly rated by members of the site.  Within a matter of weeks Sainsbury’s sales rocketed by over 529% while Waitrose could not restock fast enough!  A very clear demonstration of the power of positive reviews!

As a business, management of your online reputation is essential – knowing who is talking about you and your products or services, what they are saying and how to react is the key to building a successful and positive online presence. Of course, this is not an easy task to undertake but why not enlist the help of a professional Business Development Manager to help work with you to gain control of your online reputation. Ramesh Summan at i-Credo.com is able to help build your profile and help reduce damage from any negative reviews through responsive management and strategic communications.

When considering your online strategy and reputation just remember the old proverb from Oscar Wilde

“ The only thing worse than being talked about it not being talked about”