Four #BrandBuilding Tips

I took a step back recently to take a look at social media and was amazed at how much things have changed over the past year.  Some of the sure fire strategies that we knew would work to build our brand twelve months ago are no longer relevant.

brand building

So what do you need to know to make some adjustments to your branding strategy?

  1. Your audience wants to be engaged.  This may seem obvious but it is not how we started using social media.  Initially, it was all about educating and sharing information but now people want to engage, they want to feel connected to your brand, they want you to talk back to them, to give them opportunities to do something.  Believe it or not, people want to help spread the word about your brand when its relevant to them (focus on the last part – make it relevant to them).
  2. Relationships matter!  By now you should have established the foundation for your brand – your website, Twitter, Facebook, etc – so what’s next?  Your audience wants to see what other people are saying to you and about you.  Yes, they are watching your interactions with others.  If you are not responsive to your community, that sends the signal that you are disconnected.  Some of the most popular posts on this site are posts that I have written about other people.  We are no longer content with only seeing what a person has to say about themselves on their site, we are now branching out our investigations to see what others are saying.  Does this mean that you have to thank every person that comments on your Facebook or retweets a post? NO! But, you should monitor comments and if someone has a question or is requesting additional information, make sure you are providing it.  If someone writes a post about you, subscribe to the comments so that you can monitor the reactions.  I am constantly amazed at the number of people who have no control over their brand and miss the opportunity to establish a connection with their audience.
  3. Hashtags!  Everyone is doing it but is it working?  Here’s one key tip – don’t write posts filled with hashtags.  No one can read it and most people ignore it.  Hashtags are not the message but are used as search tools.  Therefore, you should find a consistent hashtag that is relevant to your brand so that you can essentially teach people how to find information about your brand.  It also provides a clue to let people know what your brand is all about.  I have nothing against #TagForLikes or any of those but what message does that send to your audience?  Would it be more effective to use #Marketing, #Photography or something that like-minded individuals are interested in?  One may increase the quantity of your network but the other may increase the quality of your network.
  4. Don’t just talk about it, be about it… Images and videos are gaining in popularity in social media.  People want to see if you are living the life you are talking about.  That doesn’t mean posting pictures of yourself in luxury brands, unless that’s your niche, but they want to SEE if you are really having the impact that you talk about.  Not only are brands sharing pictures and videos of how they want you to use their product/service but there is an increase in them sharing how real customers are using it.  Makes total sense… its cheaper for them to share your content than to pay an actor to create content.  SBOs with limited marketing budgets should be happy to see this trend evolving.  Encourage your customers to share how they use your product/service and post their testimonials.

Do you have any #BrandBuilding Tips or Questions?  Feel free to share below…

 

Twitter Chat Etiquette and #FF (Follow Friday) My Favorite TweetChats

Twitter Chats are a great way to engage with like-minded individuals and brands on social media.  

You may wonder why I am so excited about this… As much as I love being on Twitter, it can be difficult for me to really get to know the people in my network because there are thousands of them all speaking at once.  I also don’t have a lot of time to sit down and tweet up a conversation on a regular basis.  

Hosting and participating in Twitter chats is an opportunity for me to set aside time to have a chat/convo about a specific topic with other people who are also interested in that topic.  Much like how I used the Answers feature on LinkedIn, it is also a great way to show your expertise in an area.  Rather than telling people about what you know, you can demonstrate your knowledge in a relevant way.

Like most social conversations, there is a code of etiquette:

  1. Stick with the topic. It is annoying to the participants as well as the hosts when you get off topic using the chat hashtag. If you want to have a side conversation with someone in the chat, remove the hashtag.
  2. Follow the flow of the chat. If you arrive twenty or thirty minutes late, don’t start answering Q1. Jump into the conversation and start conversating in the flow. Not doing so is the equivalent of going to a cocktail party, walking up to a group of people and beginning your conversation with something they were talking about at the beginning of the hour. People are more likely to ignore what you are saying because they are trying to follow the real time conversation.  If you want to go back after the chat and respond to previous questions, feel free.  People often network after chats have ended and use it as an opportunity to further develop relationships.
  3. You don’t have to comment on every question. Only comment on the questions that you feel you can make a valuable contribution toward. You will gain more followers and credibility by offering insight versus general commentary.

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Side note: you will probably lose followers by participating in twitter chats because you may congest some people’s twitter stream with information that they may deem unnecessary. However, you will gain followers from the chat who are more likely to engage with you because you have established a common interest and credibility. Don’t get caught up playing the numbers game and worrying about your follower count.

Now for the fun part… My favorite twitter chats!

I participate in these chats on a regular basis because the moderators do a great job sharing the content of the participants, they chose interesting topics and the tweople participating in the chats have demonstrated knowledge of a variety of subjects so I look forward to their insight.

  • #L21Success – hosted by @TheLoop21 on Tuesdays at noon (CST), a variety of topics for entrepreneurs as well as conversations about current events and socially relevant issues 
  • #BrandChat – hosted by @BrandChat for #Brandidos on Wednesdays at 10am  (CST), questions are posted prior to each chat with a target on high level branding for corporations and organizations, great for those starting out and wanting to connect with experienced marketers as well as for those with experience to network and demonstrate their knowledge
  • #SoloPR – hosted by @SolorPR on Wednesday at noon (CST), an excellent forum and resource for those interested and involved in Public Relations, if you have PR questions, the groups continues to chat with the hashtag throughout the week
  • #SBCchat – hosted by @SixBrownChicks on Wednesdays at noon (CST), connect with women from everywhere to talk about everything! I am constantly amazed at how out of the box some of the chats are while not becoming overtly sexual or vulgar yet allowing women a forum to express real thoughts about real issues

What’s your favorite TweetChat?  Leave in the comments along with the host and time/date…

LaKesha’s Lunch with @Faydra_Deon ~ Mastering the Art of Self Promotion

There is a fine line between bragging and effectively self promoting your personal brand. My lunch guest this week, All-Things-Web Consultant Faydra Deon, will join us to discuss how she has built her brand and techniques that she uses to build her network.  You can see by all of the sites that she manages and classes that she teaches (see below) that Faydra knows something about something when it comes to social media.

Listen live on Wednesday, November 16 at 12p CST/ 1p EST or call 646.929.2031 to listen from your phone

Don’t forget to follow the show, leave us a comment or question and tweet us during the show @LaKeshaWomack @Faydra_Deon using #LWBTR

Meet Faydra…

Faydra Deon was using the Internet before most of her family and friends even knew about the world wide web (yes, the Internet and the Web are two different things). She has been a webmaster and web designer/developer for over 20 years; six of which were as a soldier in the U.S. Army. For the past four years, Faydra has been a computer applications trainer in the Washington, DC area, training others to use (X)HTML, CSS, XML, Javascript, AJAX, PHP/MySQL and Adobe applications, like Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Photoshop, to design/develop websites for personal, business and government use. Faydra uses social media on a daily basis and also teaches social media classes, which include “Social Media Overview,” “Marketing with Social Media,” and “WordPress for Blogs.”

http://faydra.com

http://twitter.com/faydra_deon

http://facebook.com/faydradeon

http://youtube.com/user/faydradeon

Also visit…


10 Blogs That I Love To Read

I often feel guilty when composing lists because I know that someone will be left off that I really wanted to include but just didn’t remember at the time.

At one time, I was doing a Blog of the Week and it was fun but like most good things in life – hard to maintain.  This week I considered doing another but then started to think about a few others that I would want to include which would take me through the end of the year.  Obviously, I don’t have the patience for that type of thing *lol* so I decided to share ten of the many blogs that I love to read.

  • BlaQ Daisy – Daisy, as I call her in my mind because I am not sure if that is her real name, writes from her heart about relationships and the interpretations that those experiences have on our lives.  I am particularly intrigued by her posts because she often makes the connection of how our childhood experiences create the people that we are today. @BlaQDaisy
  • For Colored Gurls – Jamie Fleming-Dixon hosts a personal empowerment blog.  Sounds interesting and cool.  However, she does it by profiling women are doing fabulous and fun stuff in their lives and following her (and her blog) helps me to expand my network with like-minded professionals.  I also love that she recognizes almost every holiday known to man and posts a quote of the day that usually gives me a positive affirmation to reflect on for the day. @forcoloredgurls
  • Just Faydra Deon – I feel special because out of all of the thousands of connections that Faydra has, I think I know her better than most *or that’s the way blogging should make you feel* Anyway, I like checking in on Faydra’s blog because it’s the place where I can go to really see what’s going on with her and to get a glimpse into the random thoughts on her mind.  Like talking to a best friend without talking to them.  Strange.  I know.  @fayda_deon
  • Mind of a Diva – I love reading Jen’s  blog because she is truly one of the most positive people that I know.  I am sure she has her ish to deal with but she’s the person that always has a kind word for someone whether she knows them or not.  Her blog is filled with savvy advice that is  helping to redefine our definition of diva while providing helpful career advice to young ladies. @jendiva1
  • Minus the Bars – I’m about to reveal something very private so don’t tell anyone but I enjoy reading Don’s blog because he writes about some things that I think but could never imagine posting on my site.  He encourages me to free myself but I’m not ready.  Until then… I will continue to live vicariously through his posts. @minusthebars
  • Rachel Maddow – yall know that I can hardly get my fix of political news but sometimes it can get a little stale, especially after watching the same stories get recycled over the course of eight hours.  Enter Rachel, she has a quick wit and uncanny ability to Connect the Dots and provide timely and relevant “additional” information about the surface stories that get reported. @maddow
  • The Dogg Blogg – Mark not only does great visual branding but he’s also a great guy.  I love reading his blog because I learn a lot about the business of creating a brand through graphics.  A lot of people think that a logo is just a pretty picture or designing a website is just buying a url but Mark understands the complexity of matching the owners personality with a clean and cohesive image… @doggdaze
  • T. Lamont Speaks – Being a single Christian trying to date is hard.  Dating is hard but add that Christian element and sometimes you want to pull your hair out.  T. Lamont has a blog that is inspiring to me because he writes about a lot of things that I think about but from the male perspective. @tlamontspeaks
  • Up For Discussion – Nothing is off-limits and everything is up for discussion… with a motto like that, how can you not visit this site on a regular basis… One of my favorites is the “Random 7 with…” I was featured one week and so have a few of my blog/twitter friends. I have also met some really cool people by reading their answers to these random seven questions that range from sexual to leaving a legacy for your family. @up4dsn
  • Young Writer’s Block – I am sure that one day you will get tired of hearing me say that the Young Writer’s Block is where I found inspiration to take my blog to the next level but hopefully today is not that day.  I love this blog because it isn’t like most blogs written by one or two people but it features a collection of blogs written by different people with different perspectives on issues that face many young adults. @yngwritersblock

Is he/she really in to you? Let’s ask Tim Ervin @theweekendpass

We’ve all been there… You know what I’m talking about, you believe the words that are coming out of a person’s mouth despite the actions that are right before your face.  Once the situation (nope, it wasn’t really a relationship) dissolves, you look back and can see all of the signs that he/she wasn’t ever really in to you.  You wanted make things work so bad, for whatever reason, and you chose to overlook the red flags and the elephant in the room staring you in the face.

Join my guest, Tim Ervin, and I as we discuss the signs that will help you to figure out if the man/woman in your life is really feeling you the way you think they are.  Make sure you tune in to this show because I will be making a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT at the end of the show.

How do you know? What are the signs that he/she isn’t really in to you? We want to know what you think… join us tonight on Blog Talk Radio (March 29, 2011 at 10pm CST).

Here’s how you can participate – share your comments and questions via

  • Twitter – @LaKeshaWomack – during the show (between 945p and 1020p CST)
  • Call in to the show (646.929.2031) and request to speak with Tim and LaKesha
  • Email me prior to the show – contact@LaKeshaWomack.com

About Tim Ervin….

Founder, The Weekend Pass

For more than three years Timothy C. Ervin has been keeping the River Region informed that “There is always something to do in Montgomery”.   In 2008, Ervin founded The Weekend Pass — an e-newsletter, website and magazine that features weekly information entertainment events, concerts, plays, live performances and much more. Simply, it’s strictly to let you know what’s going on in Montgomery.  In 2010, Ervin was named one of theUltimate 50 by Montgomery Spotlight Magazine and named one of Spotlight Alabama Magazine’s Power 40 Under 40.

Ervin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications / Public Relations from Alabama State University and has more than 20 years of media relations, marketing, communications and writing experience.  He is currently employed as a media relations specialist for ASU and in that capacity he developed a magazine series celebrating the 25th Year of ASUToday Magazine.  The five part series profiled 25 Outstanding Alumni in Education; Medicine; Government, Military and Law; Business; and Arts and Entertainment.  The series was awarded the 2010 Award of Excellence for Publications by the Public Relations Council of Alabama and the 2010 Lantern Award by the Southern Public Relations Federation.

He also created and maintains the Hornet Happenings: Weekly Buzz, an e-newsletter which is distributed to more than 8,000 alumni, students, media, faculty, staff and friends of ASU – the first of its kind for the university.

Get your weekend pass for the River Region…

http://www.theweekendpass.com/

The Weekend Pass on Facebook

Follow The Weekend Pass on Twitter

What are the dangers of sexting?

It seems like every time you turn around, there is a new video or new pictures of some celebrity being posted in the media.

As much as we may want to deny it, celebrities aren’t the only ones sexting (yes, that is sending sexy texts) in our society.  However, if we know the implications of posting these racy photos and videos in cyberspace what makes people still do it?  And why do they deny it once the photos/videos have been leaked?

Join social media all-star, Joseph “JJ” James and I as we discuss various relationship issues including sex, lies and videos.

I know you have something to say, so join us on Blog Talk Radio, tonight (March 15, 2011 at 10pm) for a lively discussion.

Here’s how you can participate – share your comments and questions via

  • Twitter – @LaKeshaWomack – during the show (between 945p and 1020p CST)
  • Call in to the show (646.929.2031) and request to speak with JJ and LaKesha
  • Email me prior to the show – contact@LaKeshaWomack.com

 

Log on to listen online http://blogtalkradio.com/lakeshawomack or call 646.929.2031 and listen from your phone.

Meet JJ…

 

Check him out as he’s goes in on daily Twitter trending topics without holding anything back – http://twitter.com/#!/JDubDaKing

 

Become his friend on Facebook (ladies, check out the photo album eyecandy.com) – http://facebook.com/JosephJJJames