Using Social Marketing Management Techniques to Influence Brand Image

In a competitive world where news now travels extremely rapidly, maintaining a positive image of a brand is more important than ever – and much more difficult to do. This presents a challenge for all the aspects of social marketing – management, moderation and campaign direction.Digital media, fast communication and social networking have changed the landscape for advertising beyond all recognition. Even the most far-seeing science fiction writers did not imagine the explosive growth of the internet, and the ability of the public to comment upon current events and the behaviour of large corporations. Stories spread incredibly rapidly – a mere mention of a celebrity or topic currently in the news will trigger searches to find out what is going on. As always, bad news travels the fastest, and very few can resist the opportunity to have a good laugh at the expense of a corporation.Studies show that the number of people that trust advertising is falling every year, and each new brand problem or scandal worsens the situation. It will take some time for the British supermarkets to recover from the horse-meat scandal, although the country’s small local butchers are reaping the benefits.With trust in advertising becoming increasingly difficult, how can brands improve their image and build new markets? One answer is to open and maintain communication channels with current and potential customers. This is where an efficient social marketing management strategy is essential.The social presence of a company needs to be up to date, honest, identifiable and influential. This last parameter is the most important. The challenge for the social marketing management team can be summarised as ‘how can I influence a community where I have no control over what is posted?’ Ways to do this include:¬∑ Find and influence the right people¬∑ Moderate the conversation¬∑ Act quickly to solve problemsFind the InfluencersIn the offline world, becoming an approved supplier for a big organisation is one of the main ways to gain a large amount of business. That means gaining the approval of the person who influences the purchasing decisions. For brands marketing directly to consumers online, the same analogy applies – if someone influential likes and uses your product, there will be a high chance that others will follow suit. These ‘influencers’ are the people to target.Finding the influencers means not only locating the right people, but also being in the right places. Technorati’s latest survey of the social network landscape consulted about 6000 people who are regarded as ‘influencers’. The report shows that consumers see blogs as a very important part of their purchasing decisions, second only to the brand sites themselves. However Technorati also found that only ten per cent of the average digital marketing spending is allocated to social networks, with more than half of that used on a Facebook presence. So it appears from the report that marketing funding is not being directed to the influential blogosphere.There are also analytical methods of finding the influencers. For example, algorithms have been run on Twitter to track followers and re-tweets, especially when there is a hot topic of the day. Some interesting results have come to light from these studies, showing that many of the most popular people on Twitter are not always the most influential. While celebrities may have the highest number of followers, they may not actually be exerting the most influence.Moderate the ConversationMonitoring and moderating what is said about and to the brand remains the cornerstone of social marketing. Management of the conversation, responding to the public and appearing to be honest and approachable are all simple maxims that can make all the difference to how a brand is perceived.The detailed techniques of content moderation vary between the sites used. It is important to achieve a balance between managing the content and stifling the debate. At the least, open forums and sites should be protected against spammers, obscene postings and other forms of inappropriate content. Beyond that, it will be necessary to decide whether the site should be moderated pro-actively (all postings approved in advance) or reactively (postings only checked when flagged as inappropriate). This decision is also affected by the budget available.Act Quickly To Solve Problems – and continue to actRecent events provide a good example of how an apparently perfect campaign can suddenly hit controversy, for completely unforeseen reasons. The brand managers at Nike may be rueing the day that they chose the slogan ‘I am the bullet in the chamber’ for their campaign featuring Oscar Pistorius, the athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend with a gun. The advertisements were swiftly removed as the story broke, but they remain featured on news stories about their removal. In some ways these news stories give the advertisements more coverage than the campaign itself.This shows that removing inappropriate content is no longer sufficient, especially when it is virtually impossible to delete something from the internet once it is has been posted. In these situations, it is vitally important for a brand to make pro-active statements and to be honest about what is happening. This is the best approach to reassure customers that the company is not trying to cover up unfortunate events, and to retain a feeling of transparency and integrity.Some days after the event, Nike have now taken further action to suspend their sponsorship contract with Pistorius, but have also stated that they are monitoring the situation and believe that he should be afforded ‘due process’. It is not their role to examine and assess what has happened, and this statement shows that they understand that. The fact that they did not immediately suspend the contract also gives the feeling that they are thinking before reacting. This considered response shows them in a good light and may even bring in more business.While quick reaction is important, careful postings are even more important to avoid inflaming the situation. ‘Careless talk costs lives’ said the World War II slogan. This could be adapted now to read ‘careless posting costs sales’. While it may appear possible to remove unwanted postings or content, this is not always the case. As noted above, information now propagates so rapidly that any unfortunate comments could be taking on a life of their own in minutes or less.It can be seen that influencing the image of the brand is more of an art than a science, although there are many tools available to help. Frustratingly for marketers, it is true that the most successful marketing campaigns are driven by the consumers. The role of social marketing management is to help find the key to these successful campaigns, and then to manage them once they are up and running.

How to Get Great Results With the Best Local Leads For Direct Sales Network Marketing Recruiting

Being able to effectively recruit new people to your local team is often a roadblock for most marketers. Recruiting becomes even more difficult when you do not have a steady stream of interested prospects. But you know this and you understand that you need a steady stream of good local leads.There is another problem. The problem is local leads are not as accessible as with standard opportunity seeker leads. With standard opportunity seeker leads, you can buy lists from multiple sources. Online you can find dozens of good sources for such leads.However, in building a local team, you need the best local leads for your recruitment efforts. Now there are some companies that offer local leads in addition to their standard opportunity seeker leads, but the unfortunate challenge is such leads are normally focused on a specific area code and are not as plentiful from these companies as their national lists. Plus, local leads purchased from such sources may not be as local as you want or need them to be.Due to such challenges, many marketers fail to get into the necessary action because they do not have enough quality prospects to contact, interview, and recruit, which results in failure to build a team.There are many pieces to the puzzle of recruiting a successful direct selling organization (includes MLM, network marketing, affiliate networks, etc.). Your actions will determine your success and your own action in consistently interviewing and sponsoring new people to your team will be critical to your long-term success and residual income.The fact is you can create a steady flow of the best local leads for your recruiting efforts and it is not as hard as you may think. But you must be consistent in your actions and be proactive in your approach to attract prospects to you. This can be done either online or offline, or a combination of both. I recommend using online technology to leverage your time, money, and effort, but keep a balance in your efforts with both online and offline methods to generate your local leads using both 5 point and 2+ a day strategies.Online technologies have really opened the doors of leverage for those in direct sales to build large sales organizations. You can use the technologies of email, auto responders, websites, and even instant messaging to leverage your communication efforts. Since communicating through the Internet is a lot different than communicating face to face, and may even seem easier, don’t be fooled to think that you can effectively build a sustainable growing organization without talking with people.The core to effective recruitment is one-on-one communication. One-on-one communication gives you the opportunity to understand your prospect’s specific wants and needs, so you can offer a solution (your opportunity) in a way that meets their needs. Although there are technological tools that can create an interactive environment with prospects, statistics prove that people prefer a more high-touch interaction, meaning a live interactive conversation with a real person. The technologies only supplement your telephone efforts and should not replace it.The best local leads are the leads you generate. These are the best because the prospect will have responded to your ad or marketing message and will be contacted by you. This is far better than a generic list of opportunity seekers. Although a generic list of leads can help supplement your efforts as you develop your marketing and increase the flow of your self generated leads.To generate a steady flow of local leads, you will need to set up a basic system consisting of a website tied to an autoresponder follow-up system.
This does not need to be fancy, but it does need to present your opportunity in a professional manner. Basically, through your 5 point marketing strategy, you will market your opportunity through a balance of offline and online methods that point your prospect to a preliminary application on your website.The preliminary application will provide basic information that creates curiosity and a sense of urgency for the prospect to complete the application. The application provides you with basic information about your prospect and in exchange for that information; you provide further information (ie. an e-book download, CD, DVD, or any other collateral informational piece). This allows the exchange of information in a no-risk non-obligatory way.When your prospect completes the application form, they are automatically entered into your autoresponder follow-up system where you send a series of letters. The letter series further informs your prospect of who you are and what you do. You will receive their initial application, where you can then mail their collateral information piece. If you have a downloadable e-book or report, you can automate that part of the process as well, so the prospect can immediately access the information.In addition, you become proactive by picking up the phone and contacting your prospect. This is where you gain the greatest advantage in your marketing. Think about your own purchases or requests online. How many people have called you? The fact is very few people get proactive because they believe the prospect will know what to do next or they even believe the prospect will come to them when they are ready.By showing an initiative to reach out to your prospect by picking up the telephone and calling them, you gain a powerful competitive advantage over your competition. But there are a few things you must do and a few things you must not do in order to get the greatest return on your investment of time and effort.I recommend a 4-step simple process for recruitment, where you qualify and interview the prospect. The interview is not a focus on your company or opportunity, rather the interview is a focus on the prospect and to determine if you can work together or not.Here are some tips for improving your local recruiting efforts, so you get better results:1. Be honest and open with your potential recruits.2. Don’t try and make it sound like the direct sales company that you represent is the only company out there that is profitable. Let your prospect know the honest facts about the potential of your opportunity.3. Be enthusiastic; yet don’t focus on the hype. Be natural in your excitement and you will build credibility and trust.4. Make sure to make yourself available to your online potential recruits whether it is through email, chat rooms, instant messages or phone. Nothing would be worse then to have wonderful conversations through email with a potential sponsor and then never hear from them again or find it difficult to connect.5. Do NOT knock other companies. You want to present yourself in a professional manner and that is not going to happen if you make statements to your prospect like “You won’t make any money at all with Company X” or “Company Y has such lousy products and the commissions are horrible.”6. Don’t be pushy, but do be effectively aggressive. For instance, if someone is looking for a company that offers nutritional non-aging products, don’t push them into uncomfortable discussions about joining your legal services company. The key to effective aggression (which is important in closing) is to ask questions that help you understand your prospect’s wants and needs.Regardless of what company you represent, you can become effective in recruiting. In fact, you can even easily learn how to sponsor 5+ people each and every month in your local market. The secret is to have a plan and to work that plan. Use an online system to help sort and sift through prospects, so you are spending your priority prospecting time talking only to and interviewing interested prospects.

Even Beginners Can Make Use of Non Directional Trading Strategies

Directional trading strategies are much simpler and easier to carry out than non directional trading strategies. This is the reason more traders make use of the former especially if you are just a beginner who may be a little apprehensive in making use of complex approaches and strategies. However, with a slow economy like what we have now, the use of non directional trading strategies is more ideal and less risky. Even beginners can earn money using it.

There is no doubt that the non directional trading strategies are highly sophisticated. However, even those who are new in this trade can earn big profits as long as they can make use of good timing. The biggest attraction of this type of trading is its low risk factor. With the opposite type, the directional trading strategies, trading relies on the predictions of the market movement within a certain time frame. It is believed that market moves in one direction. The truth however is that forex market is moving in a non directional mode and predictions therefore are futile, even dangerous, if it could lead to big losses.

For beginners who intend to use this kind of approach when trading currencies, it can easily be done by trading forex options. This is because options can give the trader the right to either buy or sell currencies at a certain strike price from the seller or buyer, as the case may be. After a certain agreed upon time, called the expiry date, the trader may choose to effect the deal if he finds the transaction worthy.

Timothy Stevens is a Forex Options Trader who owns [] – He has helped hundreds of people on Trading Forex with Options.