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 the Experts Generate Direct Sales Leads – Qualified Leads for Free

When it comes to generating direct sales leads & qualified leads for free, every MLM distributor wants to know how. Understanding business sales leads, how to find leads and how to attract free MLM leads like the pros are three key ingredients. I will explain each of these concepts in this article, and show how you can leverage them to create your own stream of free network marketing leads.

The Importance of Business Sales Leads

Business sales leads are the backbone of any business organization. Specifically home based business leads generation is the lifeblood of a growing organization. Without business opportunity leads, regardless of the source, the business will die. The central problem facing most direct sales distributors is “Where am I going to get network marketing leads that are of the highest quality?”

Of course, in this e-commerce environment in which we live, online lead generation is the solution. You can easily capture a few hundred highly targeted prospects each week this way. But where do you find that or develop the skill set to generate high quality leads? The simple answer is through network marketing training. That’s not always easy but in the next paragraph I’ll share some insight into what that training should entail.

How to Find Leads

The most obvious way of finding prospects for many years has been through lead generation services. In this day and age there is absolutely no need to pay anyone for leads especially those that everyone else is using. One very well noted MLM company reports its average distributor pays over $1,200 per month on leads! That’s absurd; wastes good money; and doesn’t generate leads of the highest quality.

Quite honestly I have found article marketing to be the most effective means to address the challenge of “how to build traffic.” But not just any traffic. I’m talking about very focused traffic that is specifically looking for your product and is ready to buy.

Let me explain how to get free traffic through article marketing. People are searching the internet for solutions to their problems. Much like you did in finding this article. So the author’s mission is to introduce a viable solution to a problem through valuable content. If you succeed in doing that in the limitations of a short article, the reader will click on your link for additional valuable information and, hopefully, the rest of the solution to their problem. So understanding this let’s see how it’s done.

How to Attract Free MLM Leads Like the Pros

Although I have slanted this article for direct sales or MLM lead generation, it applies to any nature of sales. After all what business doesn’t want free sales leads? “Marketing online free” is an oft searched term on the Internet. Thus it is obvious people what to know how. So we write an article, the easiest way of attracting readers, for that subject or search term explaining three or four relevant points. All you need to do is pay a small fee for a domain name and hosting service that uses WordPress and you’re in business. You can literally begin attracting multi-level marketing leads within a few hours of reading this article.

Generating direct sales leads & qualified leads for free is easy and it’s fun! Most people understand the importance of business sales leads but don’t know how to find them so they go out and pay enormous sums of money for a few stale overused names. Why? That’s no way to find leads. You can begin attracting very well qualified leads today or at the very least within just a couple of days by writing meaningful articles that address people’s problems.

Marketing Offline to Grow Your Online Business

Whether you are an Internet marketer or generalist, turning prospects into buyers is a top priority. Many marketers are continually testing the success of various media and integrated campaigns. One of the most frequently asked questions is the effectiveness of “off-line marketing” as it related to driving traffic and conversions on your website of landing page.

With so many difference across products, services, industries, and price points, its hard to develop a simple yes or no answer when considering whether or not direct mail will drive online traffic for you. The key is to develop a compelling direct mail piece, choosing the right list, and creating an offer that resonates with your target market. Also, consider the following:

1. Package planning is essential for making your mail a success. Before you begin, plan your direct mail package. Will it include a letter, sell sheet, coupon, and business reply envelope? Perhaps you’ll be using a postcard. How big? How small? What creative direction will you take?

2. Effective envelope creative motivates consumers to open your piece. Your offer is no good unless it is seen by your target market. Spend a lot of time on your envelope, giving consumers a reason to open it and learn more about your offer. Create a swipe file of other direct marketing pieces you’ve personally received and opened. What was it about these offers that compelled you to take the next step?

3. Alternative formats can help you qualify for lower postage rates. Manage your budget carefully as large mail campaigns can have a high cost and negatively impact your ROI. One great avenue for lowering costs and increasing response rates is by experimenting with alternative direct mail formats. Learn more at the USPS website.

4. Value-added postcards can help mail get attention. To avoid the issues associated with unopened mail, test a postcard or two. Although much simpler than a direct mail promotion using an envelope and multiple response mechanisms, post cards can be great for driving people online at a low cost. Be sure to have a compelling reason for them to visit your website and a method for tracking results. Defining specific URLs to consumers, to help them locate a special offer, is a great way to track activity.

5. Crate a clear call to action. Too often direct marketers create a compelling piece, even a great offer, but make it difficult for prospects to answer. Overcome this issue by providing prospects with multiple ordering methods. These various methods can include the ability to order online, call a toll free number, and fax an order form. Consider the pros and cons of various ordering methods, and when you do, keep the consumer in mind. You want your buyers to have a positive experience so they order from you again and again.

So perhaps you’re still wondering if direct mail can help you achieve your online goals. Begin with a simple goal that is easily defined and measurable. Choose a preferred direct mail technique and test it. You may find that the best way to find consumers online is to drive them with your direct marketing campaign!