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Branding Tip: Create Your Gravatar!

What in the world is a gravatar?! A gravatar is an image that appears beside your name when you comment on blog posts, web forums, etc.  It’s a custom avatar that follows you all around the web.

Why should you care? Because those generic animated pics do not look professional! Your company, hence brand, will appear far more polished when your pic appears with your username next to your post.

Why is a gravatar important, as it relates to your brand?

Your gravatar is a part of your brand identity. Just like your social media username, it will follow you all over the web. When you comment on articles/blog posts that have this feature enabled, your pic, or gravatar, will show up next to your comment. I don’t know about you, but I like having my face next to my blog comments, and not those kooky animated pics. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cute, but those animated images do absolutely NOTHING for your business from a marketing perspective.

If you have not created your gravatar, I’m about to add something to your to-do list: take 10 minutes, go to http://en.gravatar.com/ and set up an account to create your personal gravatar. The best gravatar is a headshot photo, so please do not hide behind a logo. You’ll be glad you completed this simple marketing task for your business. A little effort goes a long way toward establishing your brand identity.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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Why Use Social Media As A Marketing Tool?

I read an article this week that made my jaw drop! It talked about how 64% of small businesses don’t think social media is important. What?! If this is the case, this means these business aren’t incorporating social media into their marketing strategy. My only caveat: there was a small sampling of business owners, and stats can always be misconstrued. However, these stats are alarming, sample size and industry aside, so I was compelled to discuss.

I could write a thesis on the value of social media but neither of use has time for that. I will give you a some answers to help bridge the social media divide, from the perspective of a person who started a marketing career before the age of the internet and social media, back when we used phone books, land lines, and unannounced drop-ins to prospect for clients. <I see you looking at my pic trying to guess my age>

So what’s wrong with this notion that social media is not important? Understand the correlation between “traditional” marketing and social media as a marketing tool:

  • Small businesses look for inexpensive ways to communicate their products to the public. If you have time to market your business, you have the resources you need to use social media. You can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc. and shell out $0 monetary costs. Don’t believe me? Ask me and I’ll show you.
  • Small businesses thrive on word of mouth marketing. Social media is the most organic form of word of mouth marketing there is. The whole point of social media is to build your street credibility through word of mouth. That’s why you can message, repost, retweet, comment and share, it’s all about communication, no physical boundaries required!
  • When you run a business and marketing is not your strength, you usually hire someone for marketing, correct? This marketing person usually teaches you some tips and tricks you can use on a daily basis, and then they build the bigger marketing plans and strategies. So why are you not using your hired marketing person to understand social media?
  • Your brand is your image. It doesn’t matter what you think of your image, it matters what your clients think of your image. What does your brand, your image, look like when it’s stuck in the twentieth century? I’ll let you ponder that for a moment.

So why am I disturbed by the statistics of small business owners who refuse to adopt current marketing practices? Because they are missing out on a huge opportunity to catapult their businesses to the next level. Because small businesses provide a big chunk of the private sector jobs in this country. Because I recognize that small businesses are the life blood of our economy. This is no secret! Thus it is very important, not only to me but to us, for small businesses to stay strong, adapt to a changing business climate, and rebuild our country.

Know a small business that’s falling by the wayside because of their inability to adapt new, broader means of communication to grow their business? I will almost bet it’s because they don’t understand the value of using social media. I just have one favor to ask of you: email this post to your fellow business owners that have this notion, since they’re probably not regularly using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. so they won’t see it online. Or better yet, print this post and drop it in snail mail if you can actually find a postage stamp.

If you or someone you know fits in the 64% category, I implore you to join us on the other side. How? Call me. I happen to be a Strategic Marketing Consultant who finds value in social media.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

Got Klout? Use It For Marketing

So by now you’re familiar with Klout. If not, take one step back and read my previous post on getting started with Klout, and this post will make more sense.

Whether you like it or not, Klout is being used to develop your online profile, so stay ahead of the curve and use it to your advantage! But do you know to incorporate Klout into your marketing strategy! Here’s 4 quick tips to get you started:

  1. If you’ve already registered at Klout, you know you have a Klout Style. You can use this to get a pretty good idea of what you’re chatting about online. Suppose you don’t have Klout in a category that’s your specialty/niche – checking your Klout influence can help you determine what you need to be chatting/sharing on the social networks to develop your overall Klout profile. Even though it’s relatively new, I’ve already heard talk of people checking Klout scores as part of their hiring process. So don’t go calling yourself an expert these days if you don’t have some easily found stats to back up your claim – someone just might do a social background check on you and give preference to someone with more Klout!
  2. Much like many social media platforms, you can use the search usernames to find people who share similar interests or prospective clients. With Klout you can get a summary of topics they post about. Suppose you follow someone on Twitter but not Facebook (or vice versa), you may want to connect with them on other platforms as well, thus expanding your reach and exposure. You can also use this for competitor analysis couldn’t you? For example, I could check the Klout score of my competitor and see how our profiles compare. As I stated in the first tip, people are already comparing Klout scores for hiring purposes whether you agree with it or not.
  3. #Kloutchat is an interesting tweetchat centered around using Klout. This as excellent marketing research tool to use to learn how other companies are leveraging Klout. You can learn new ideas and adapt them to your own company. I’ve learned quiet a bit just lurking around #Kloutchat.
  4. Learn how you influence your followers. Use your Klout Score Analysis to find out why you’re influential. Are your followers retweeting your posts? Are you starting discussions? Are you creating calls to action? Understanding the reasons and methods you’re using to gain influence can help you refine your social media strategy to build your brand. You can figure out what’s working for you and what you need to improve upon.

Klout has other tools you can incorporate into your strategy, and since it’s relatively new there are constant improvements. I can’t say whether Klout is right or wrong. But as a marketer I must learn to navigate social media platforms and figure out how to best utilize them for myself and my clients. If you want to maintain control of your brand, you must learn the tools people are using to make decisions about your brand, and Klout happens to be one of those tools. Any platform that gives a quantifiable measure of your online profile will certainly cause a stir. Whether you think Klout is good, bad, or you’re indifferent, understand Klout and make it work for you!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

A Beginner’s Guide to Klout

Klout is one of the latest social media platforms quickly gaining in popularity, and it’s useful to determine your online influence. It assigns a numerical score to your sphere of influence and compiles a neat profile of your online persona, including which topics you’re influential about, who influences you, etc. Here’s why Klout is important: you’re on Klout if you’re using social media, even if you never registered at klout.com.  So why not understand your score, range and circle of influence and be in control of it! Manage your Klout score and use it to build your brand!

Since Klout is relatively new for many people, here’s 5 quick tips to help you understand Klout. Consider this your Klout 101:

  1. You have Klout in different categories, it just depends on your online conversations. These categories can change depending on what you’ve been online chatting about. For the most part my topics have been pretty accurate. I must admit, every now and then a strange category creeps in – my profile shows me having Klout about the Pittsburgh Penguins – huh?!
  2. You can show your appreciation and give influential people some Klout, also known as +K. Haven’t you seen those tweets/Facebook posts that say something like “I just gave so and so +K on social media…”  – now you what they’re talking about. Ever wondered how to do this? On klout.com, go to the ‘Friends’ tab, then perform a search for a person’s username. Where it lists their “influential about”, click “see all” and you’ll view all the categories. Form here you can click a topic to give a +K. Then you can brag about it as a post on Twitter or Facebook, so it’s super easy to let that person know you gave them Klout. Here’s a screenshot to get you started with +K (don’ want you to get lost):
  3. You may give Klout (+K) 5 times a day. Most of us do not do this 5 times everyday, but a +K shout out is always nice and appreciated. I try to give +K a few times a week.
  4. Klout helps you understand your circle of influence. Your profile includes users who influence you, and you can manually add to this list. You can also see who you influence, which is always interesting. Wouldn’t you like to get a picture of your online circle of influence?
  5. You can earn perks for having Klout – I just received a free Spotify account!

As of the date of this post, you can compile a Klout score based on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare. However, be on the lookout because they will be incorporating additional platforms like Google+, YouTube, and Facebook Fan Pages in the near future.

Now that you’ve learned the Klout basics, there’s no excuse for you not to register! Then visit http://corp.klout.com/kscore to understand the parameters used so you can better understand your Klout profile.

Of course I do have a couple of tips on how to incorporate Klout into your overall marketing strategy, particularly as it relates to your social media activity. But you’ll have to tune in to my next post to find out more!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

3 Quick Tips for Marketing With Paper.li

We’ve introduced paper.li and what it’s useful for. Now I want to dig a bit deeper and suggest 3 simple ways you can use your paper.li newspaper as a marketing tool.   

1. Promote people you follow. I’ve notice people will often retweet my paper.li tweets when they’re mentioned in the “today’s top stories via” tweet, and I do the same. It’s a nice way to give a mention, and it lets people know you’re paying attention to their tweets. Who wouldn’t like that?

2. Provide a content source that directly relates to your industry, thereby demonstrating your understanding of the power players in your industry. For example, I’m in marketing – a rather extensive industry. So instead of creating a “Marketing Daily”, I created a niche paper called Social Media Minds that’s a compilation of the social media managers and marketers I follow. I follow them, they get to see me, and we build an online rapport. It’s that simple. Next I just might create a paper.li entitled “Brand Builders” or something along those lines, based on a list of branding experts, yet another niche within the marketing industry. Be creative and apply this concept to your own industry!

3. Show your personality. Who says it has to be all business? If the whole point of our revolutionized marketing industry is predicated on building relationships, why not show off your personality a bit? You can do this by creating specific lists that interest you  on a personal level (think cars, sports, music, etc.) or by simply giving your paper.li a funky name. There are millions of Twitter users, you can certainly find people who tweet about things you like. Your image/personality/uniqueness can shine through your paper.li, putting you one step closer to your goal of unique branding.

Bonus: You just might look like you’re on the ball with social media when you incorporate different platforms and apps into your profile. Definitely a professional win-win wouldn’t you say?

Is paper.li for everyone? I don’t think so – I’ve read various articles about people who dislike paper.li, who think users are too lazy to create original content blah blah blah… However, as with any new concept, you can think about your industry, your interests, and decide if paper.li works for you. I’ve learned to mix personal and professional interests on Twitter and paper.li is an easy way to catch the highlights in my Twitter stream. Quite frankly, it doesn’t have to be that deep, but it should be fun. Hence the term “social” media.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

Quick Tip: Stay In The Know With Paper.li

Do you publish a paper.li newspaper? If not, do you subscribe to someone else’s paper.li? If you’re scratching your head wondering what I’m talking about, a paper.li is a free service that basically takes links from the people you follow on Twitter and organizes the links into a virtual newspaper.  You can create your own paper.li based on a list, hashtag, a user, or a custom setting with advanced features.  Once you choose your source, you can name your paper and set it to generate daily or weekly and receive the latest editions via email. Just like a newspaper, there are sections for Headlines, Business, Arts & Entertainment, etc. and popular hashtags.

So go ahead and create your own paper.li newspaper or subscribe to one you like. I’m sure you follow someone who has a paper.li you’ll find interesting (hint hint). I particularly like paper.li because it keeps me in the know when I don’t have time to “check in” with Twitter often. I can read a newspaper and stay up-to-date on the day’s topics. I currently publish 3 newspapers, feel free to read and/or subscribe to stay in the know!

  1. The Miss Kemya Daily is a myriad of interesting tweets from people I follow
  2. The Social Media Minds Daily is a collection of tweets from great social media guru’s I follow
  3. The Cool Atlantans Daily has all kinds of goodies from my Atlanta and surrounding-area tweeps. Of course I have to stay in touch locally!

Just another quick tip to manage your social media activities. Stay tuned, I’ll be exploring ways to use paper.li as a marketing tool…

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

Learning Across the Globe From Your Comfy Chair

If there’s a subject you’re interested in,  you more than likely do a quick search online to find out details, right? You can apply the same principle to your ongoing business education. With so many social media platforms launching on a regular basis, you can easily stay abreast of hot topics in your industry from your comfy chair. Here’s 4 quick methods you can use to stay current with your industry’s trending topics:

  • Virtual trade shows – This concept is gaining in popularity, and it’s a great way to hear industry-related speakers and topics in one place without the travel expense.
  • Online events, such as webinars, tweetchats, and facebook chats.  I attend at least a couple of these weekly to keep current on trending topics and stay in touch with colleagues and competitors. Did you know many webinar hosts will provide a recording of their webinar if you pre-register?
  • LinkedIn Groups – there is a wealth of industry specific information being shared right now on LinkedIn. Become a member of relevant LinkedIn groups, subscribe to receive updates, and participate in the discussions.
  • Read websites/blogs that relate to your field and subscribe to their RSS Feed. It’s like building an online textbook one article at a time.

Making It Work:  Add these events and activities to your calendar the same as you would if they were in person. 

Did you notice there are no physical boundaries with any of the above mentioned methods? One hour I might be chatting with someone in Australia, the next hour I’m watching a presentation in Canada. Don’t limit yourself or your business!  Just because you’re already established or done with school doesn’t mean the learning is over. Join global conversations, stay current, and ensure your piece of the profit. You can literally get an international education from the comfort of your home.
Ciao,
Miss Kemya
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