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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