Legitimacy and Social Media: Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

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Legitimacy and Social Media: Using Social Media to Build Your Brand A talk given by Rob Murray at SMArts London, London Ontario, Canada, Nov 27th, 2010.

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<ul><li><p>Hi everyone - I'm Rob Murray. Thank you coming to discuss with me some social media goodness.</p><p>I'm going to be talking with you about Legitimacy and Social Media: Using Social Media to Build Your Brand. *Most of you in this room probably have NO friggin' clue of who I am, aside from any colleagues of mine.</p><p>I am a graphic designer and marketing consultant to two of the leading information security companies in the world: MAD Security and The Hacker Academy. </p><p>I handle all the day-to-day marketing and graphics duties, as well as plan future marketing endeavours. Throw in a little government inside sales, and that's pretty much me in a nutshell.*Now, this isn't going to be a discussion on using social media as direct marketing, or "shout marketing". It's going to be a discussion on about using social media to enhance the legitimacy and value of your brand.*Some quick stats; taken from a Harvard Business Review, titled The New Conversation: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action, July 2010.2100 companies participated in this survey and report.</p><p>75% of companies surveyed said they did not know where their most valuable customers were talking about them.</p><p>31% do not measure effectiveness of social media</p><p>23% are using social media analytic tools</p><p>7% are able to integrate social media into their marketing activities</p><p>Only 12% said they were maximizing the use of Social Media in their marketing projects.</p><p>*Lots of Social MediaBlogs, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc - list goes on.*For the purposes of this talk, I'm going to focus on Blogs as a content funnel, and Twitter and Facebook as mass delivery vehicles. (diagram)*Before we get into the nitty gritty, I'll get the simple part out of the way:</p><p>What not to do? DO NOTHING!</p><p>Problem with social media in most current use cases is that we've distilled their application down to minute insignificant facts about our opinions and/or existence.*"Just rented some movies. Popcorn = Yum!" </p><p>While I don't argue that popcorn = yum, the statement doesnt have very much "value outside that of the individual.*We have to change how we think about and use social media: From Pointlessness to Purposeful</p><p>How do we do that? We fill it with valuable content.*Get a blog - doesn't matter what "kind"; I recommend WordPress, only because it's what I use. </p><p>If you have a really expensive stand-alone site? Integrate a blog or get a blog that's easily connected to your site.</p><p>Now that you have a blog - this will be where you inject all of your "valuable content". What's that? It's your expertise. CreationsOpinionsInterviewsStudiesKnowledgeTutorialsWhatever</p><p>Your professional blog isn't a journal - again, it's not just filled with pointless ramblings.</p><p> By filling your blog with quality, worthwhile content - you create a REASON to be paid attention to - you gain VALUE as an identity. This also increases your perceived expertise and skill. Now, if you're actually filling the blog with things you are ACTUALLY good at, then your expertise will be noticed almost immediately. Essentially with the blog, your goal is to show off your proficiency, in whatever that may be. </p><p>It is EXTREMELY hard work - pick a schedule of "adding content" to your blog - once a week, couple days a week, whateverstick to it. Your "value" as an identity is only as good as how consistently the content is released, and it's quality.</p><p>*conferences, industry knowledge and information, personal knowledge and research, resources, etc. Anything that the COMMUNITY would find valuable.*As I said - I'm going to use Twitter and Facebook as my example delivery media. Other social media can be integrated with minor tweaks, but same thought process.</p><p>Now, I know - I get it - most people are probably thinking "how the HECK am I going to find the time to manage a blog, a Facebook, and a friggin' Twitter account?</p><p>Well, it's actually quite easy, with some free tools:</p><p>Feedburner (feedburner.google.com) - distills your RSS feed from a blog (or any other source) into a form that social media management programs/services can interpret. Totally free service from Google.</p><p>Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) - Hootsuite allows you to manage your rss feeds, and feed them automatically to your social media outlet(s) of your choice. You can also use Hootsuite to post to ALL or selected social media outlets of your choice. Hootsuite is free for up to 2 RSS feeds (in this case, the feed to your Facebook and the feed to your Twitter).</p><p>Essentially, you set up Feedburner to feed Hootsuite your blog posts, Hootsuite then posts to your Facebook and Twitter automatically.</p><p>Blog Feedburner Hootsuite Facebook/Twitter back to Blog to Website back to Blog. I call it a sort of feedback loop youre leading your target audience to portals that are always within your scope, while adding brand recognition. Keeping them in this loop also allows for a comfortable, open dialogue to open with your audience, where participation is encouraged.*Now</p><p>Why Should I Use Social Media In Such a Way?*LegitimacyBy using social media to provide your target audience with valuable, expertise driven content, you create legitimacy in your brand.You increase the legitimacy by then delivering it across multiple social media platforms: the more you're seen, the more you're perceived as legitimate.</p><p>"Sales"Legitimacy + valuable content = trust and loyalty = VALUE of your brand. By giving "back", by providing your expertise, you are paid back in increased business, attention, and profitability. The great thing about delivery via social media is the profound "connectivity".*Who wouldn't want THAT sales funneland you don't even have to work hard for it. </p><p>This type of funnel is BUILT into social media in most cases. </p><p>You are ACTIVELY being advertised by association, even when you're not actively advertising.*There is a secondary benefit - Expertise.</p><p>By developing content that has value, and showcases your proficiencies, then you will gain the perception of being the "expert". </p><p>Now, if you're really doing all of this right - then you're probably going out to LEARN more so you have MORE to provide as content - so in the end, you're also BECOMING more experienced, as you display your experience. It's almost recursive.*And this all works on any level you want to apply it to. </p><p>At MAD/THA - we apply this to our business, to showcase our proficiency. Part of this is showcasing how proficient our guys are. How do we do that? We apply the same system to each employee: they all have Facebook, they all have Twitter, they all have Blogs. And they use them. </p><p>It's what has allowed us to become multi-million dollar contract companies to government agencies like DoD, US Army, NASA and corporations like Googlewith not many more than 12 people on the team; and that's including 6 paid interns.*It works. And it's actually fun to do. But it takes a LOT of hard work, dedicationand most importantlya PASSION for what you do.*So - make some friendsit's what social networking was invented for.</p><p>and Contribute.</p><p>Thank you.*</p></li></ul>

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