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The Importance of Good Branding

21 Feb

When we think of “branding” we think that a brand is the design, sign, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies you / your product or service.  It will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s that which is brought to mind when a company name / product is mentioned or thought of and likewise It’s what you will use to identify your services / products uniquely.

However, your brand is not just the logo on the bottom of your email, it is your full on image and consequentially how you are perceived by others and the message that your business spreads.

So, to make life easier for yourself (and your target audience) it is essential that you keep the brand simple and clear. This is paramount, whoever you are; a sole trader, a singer, an event organiser, a web designer or even an accountant. The consistency of a brand is what delivers your key messaging, allows buyers to warm to you and encourages loyalty. By keeping your branding consistent you are building up trust with your target audience.

The main piece of advice Rocoja would give you is keep your brand colours the same throughout all marketing; you want someone to see a flyer or poster advertising your band, shop or business and recognise that it is your business as it is consistent. This should even carry through to your logo.

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The same goes for a visitor to your website following your link through to a social media platform, the brand, message, colours and logo need to follow through from your website to your social media presence.

A good brand should not over promise (don’t over complicate it) and should match the business it is representing. For example, if you are an accountant don’t have a cartoon style dog as your logo as this will confuse your ‘professional’ message that you want your target audience to see. Likewise, a singer /performer should really steer clear of “slang terms” and imagery as these go in and out of fashion extremely quickly.

Good branding not only needs to be relevant to your business but it needs to be relevant to your target audience too, if you sell bargain handbags at the market then an over the top foil business card with embossed writing will not fit with what you do; the same if you are a top class singer, you wouldn’t want a boring grey business card that just lists your information. A good brand will relate to you and your business, while being attractive to your target audience.

Get this right in the first place and your message will be carried out for you, thanks to your target audience trusting your branding.

The potential from the right image is great, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

Why Bands & Singers should use Social Media

3 Feb

The internet has opened up endless possibilities and opportunities for promotion of individuals creativity, from painters to comedians and that is one of the main reasons bands and singers should use social media to promote new material, especially if it is being released commercially. This means creating a buzz, well in advance of the actual release date!

Rocoja Marketing Performer

Of course it may seem daunting, especially when you realise how much you can actually let your creativity flow, but social media gives you a chance to explore and experiment, try what works and see what doesn’t work.

If you were a singer or band in the 1970s or even in the 1980s you wouldn’t have needed to consider the internet, either to promote your songs, worry about “memes” or to release new material but now we are in the 21st century; cultures and expectations have changed and you need to use social media to promote yourself because it is what is expected. The music industry has changed beyond recognition with people becoming famous (& rich) purely from uploading 1 song on YouTube (Andie Case & Jason Derulo Car on Youtube).

Everyone is using at least one form of social media these day, it could be Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram and if you don’t use it it’s pretty much like you don’t exist. Social media is a fantastic marketing platform which is one of the reasons bands and singers really need to be using it.
Promoting new material via social media can be really easy, but most importantly you want to make sure you don’t make it a full on sales platform as that can be boring for your audience and you will lose your connections. Instead you need to aim for 80% of posts being conversational and funny with 20% of your updates being promotional.
The balance between keeping your social media promotional and conversational is tricky and yes you can do this yourself, but we would always say get some professional help. Some of the worst mistakes involve posts with spelling / grammar errors, no tags or back-links and over indulgent self-promoting. These can be really off-putting & that can affect sales / downloads & airtime!

So here are some quick tips from Rocoja

  • Copy anything you are going to post into a Word Doc before posting & run a Grammar & Spell check before posting it!
  • When you’re recording the new material why not share short video clips, show the gang eating lunch and maybe some back stage pictures too. These are all ‘conversational updates’ but they’re promoting your new material without being obvious about it and it’s updates like this that can work really well.
  • If you’re doing a tour before the release of the new material you can tweet about the different place you are but get the potential fans / consumers involved too, share photos you take on the day and get them to do the same.
  • Tell your fans where you are going on the promotional tour and where they can see you. If worded right this isn’t obvious it’s a promotional update, instead you’re letting fans know what’s going on and where they can see you, as a friendly update.
  • Make sure you insert back links to your download sites
  • Make sure you tag in friends in the industry, who may RT / Share your status’s & don’t be “me me me” Make sure you are sharing & RT’ing other peoples updates too.
  • DON’T buy followers of fans – Fake followers on any platform act in a negative way, sometimes even causing the accounts to be sanctioned by Twitter / Facebook /Instagram. Also your true fans will feel cheated.

The potential from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

 

Mobile Geddon – Google Algorithm change

21 Apr

This month, Google is implementing a major update to its algorithm that will change the order in which websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone.

The algorithm will start favouring mobile-friendly websites i.e: those that have been optimised to look better & react better on Mobile devices, utilising effect such as larger text & resized images etc.

Google will now be ranking them higher in searches with a “mobile-friendly” note on them.

Rocoja Mobile friendly

Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will not be ranked as high as they usually were.

This has happened as more & more people are utilising mobile devices to access online content – that includes, shopping & service providers. Therefore Google wants to ensure the user still has a pleasurable experience & only wants the sites that are easy to use ranked highly..

These changes were announced at the beginning of the year, giving businesses ample opportunity to get cracking on updating their sites, making the changes that are necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from results lists.

However many small businesses may be adversely affected purely because they do not have a “webmaster” or a company managing their site & the algorithm change may have bypassed the MD’s / owners completely..

This is where the new buzzword “Mobile-geddon” has come from, as it may have a catastrophic effect on businesses that haven’t caught up with these changes.

I think the businesses most at risk will be the smaller ones, who rely on specific area searches – for instance a member of the public searching for a restaurant in their area, will now NOT see a local restaurant if it hasn’t updated its site & made the changes Google requested.

MobilegeddonOverall Google is making the user experience key. It’s no good if they point them to your site & they cannot actually see it as it hasn’t been optimized for mobile viewing, so here in lies the reason for Mobile-geddon.

If YOU are worried by this or need a fast, effective & reasonably priced solution for your website please contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

www.Rocoja.co.uk

                          

3) Quick Tips for your Social Media campaigns

19 Mar

You need a good Social Media strategy nowadays.

Social media business

With Consultants like us, creating great content for our clients; small businesses are now, more than ever needing to ensure their Social Media is relevant & engaging;

And while I will still maintain, employing a professional is a much better (& safer) option, here is some help for all you “go it aloners” out there.

 

1)         Pick Your platforms carefully – not every business needs to be on every social media platform.Logos

Some businesses should be on visually rich sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, while others  are more suited to the text only “quick-info” style of Twitter. You MUST understand your audience, do some research, have a look at what they are interacting with, before making the plunge, as a badly managed Social Media account can be detrimental to how prospective clients / customers perceive you.

 

2)        Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! aka – Avoid the hard sell!

The main thing I try to explain to my small businesses is that Social Media is not about selling.  Your followers & friends will not thank you for appearing in their timeline extolling the virtues of your business, time after time & they will “switch -off”. I know we are all proud of our business & want to shout it from the rooftops BUT your Twitter / Facebook is probably not the best place to do that over & over again. A little bit of self-promo is ok once in a while, but try to make your overall strategy about enhancing your followers experience, encouraging them to share out the information you are bringing to them. remember although you see a screen when you post your content, the recipients are human & want to be spoken to as such.

3)         Dont think its a free for all online!

This is by no means a “free” marketing tool. In fact Social media is expensive! Just ask those people or companies who have been sued or have been ruined because Tweets sent were deemed to be offensive. Some famous examples of a Social Media storm have included – Courtney Love , Marlon Wayans , US HighSchool & these cases. Be careful what you post, make sure you are being truthful.

Social Media

Some other great blogs around this subject are here:-

Is Bigger always Better?       Social Media – DIY?       The 4 Platforms I love!

Social media language.        Should I Auto It?

 

Or contact us for some advice

www.Rocoja.co.uk

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

The language of Social Media

9 Mar

Personally, building a Social Media business means I spend as much time on my computer as many of my friends spend “at Work” in a “Proper Job”.

In fact I spend much more time now, as now instead of reaching for a milky drink when Insomnia hits at 3am, I reach for my trusty Toshiba Laptop & get online to see what’s happening & if I (or any of my clients) should be a part of it.

You see – social media NEVER sleeps… Luckily neither do I (OK, I do, but just 3 /4 hours a night).

I think my family & friends are probably a bit tired of hearing how passionate I am about Twitter, Pinterest & social media in general, however it’s very different to someone coming home from a day’s work, effervescing about the flowers in their shop, or the lovely people that came into their retail outlet. It’s different because is so hard to quantify what my job involves.

In plain terms, I write articles & blog posts, I tweet, I post updates, write reviews, in fact lately I’ve branched out into more of a “PR” role for some of my clients.

Social Media

But overall It’s  very difficult to explain how those things above translate to building a brand/clientele to someone who doesn’t understand social media yet. (Something I can help you understand if you wish).

Social media is vital for business development, marketing, customer service & building a brand!

So, I work as a “Social media consultant” – well at least that’s what the insurance company who insures me categorises it as. In my eyes I am an additional service to small businesses who want to utilise word of mouth to build their business; but have accepted that word of mouth has changed forever to “tweet & update”!

To that end I have become bi-lingual, I have to translate between two worlds — that of the social media culture and that of the people have little to no experience with it. This is exciting & frustrating at the same time, but extremely rewarding when a client gets to see their customer base increase & they themselves can understand how it’s finally happened.

This is why the Bi-lingual part of my role is so important.

My clients may be in unfamiliar territory when it comes to marketing per-se, let alone social media marketing. They may be uncomfortable with change & unable to ratify the making of on-line relationships to finding & retaining new business. Many of my clients are used to the tried & trusted way of building relationships, Trade shows, Networking meetings, Door-knocking, Telesales etc. The new language of social media is very foreign & it’s a massive bonus to be able to translate it into an easily understandable language.

Introducing social media to a small business brings me the challenge of getting people to imagine the possibilities of something they’ve never experienced & I love it.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

Small Business & Social Media

4 Dec Rocoja Limited

Small business social media

It used to be that a website was enough on-line presence for a company, but now as people’s lives are more stressful & busy, customers are turning to places such as Twitter & Facebook for recommendations of services they need.

This is partly due to the advent of very complex “Smart-phones” which enable the accessing of social media on the move, but also many people (potential & existing customers) on-line feel they are well within their rights to be very honest when recommending a service. Therefore, prospective users of services feel they can source valuable & honest recommendations.

Businesses that haven’t yet grasped how important this avenue of communication is are sadly falling behind, or worse, becoming prey to large swish Media Agencies who promise many things & charge a hell of a lot!

Also the world of conventional advertising is becoming more aggressive to cope with this shift, which has led to more cold calls & more inventive sales techniques from the traditional outlets such as Magazines/TV & Radio. They have felt the shift & are desperately trying to recoup their losses; again this is something a Social Media naive small business may fall foul of.

However one of the ways that people (potential customers) want to feel valued & connected is through communication & feeling personally valued..

When a person visits a business’s website that has lots of relevant information and complete product and contact information, this of course gives the “what” they are seeking, BUT they can get that from a thousand other websites also. Yes, of course this part of on-line marketing should never be overlooked but it should never be the only part of your on-line presence.

Now it is not just about having a website but about a business’s overall presence on the web.

To complete your presence you need to establish a connection and familiarity with people that makes them feel as if they are a part of your world & important to you.

Social Media really is very important & can have a massive effect if used correctly.

Facebook Rocoja     Rocoja Google +     Rocoja linked in      Stumble upon     Twitter Rocoja

I am a small business myself & totally appreciate the challenges small businesses face;

I work on trust, hence why I send honest advice & recommendations, including realistic expectations of results to my prospective clients, also fully detailing what they can expect from me. How I will build that “family” of prospective clients/suppliers/sales avenues/networks.

Of course, they could use this & put my recommendations into practice themselves, or indeed take the plan to another company. However I am hopeful that in this current economic climate, Small Businesses will appreciate my passion for what I do & realise this will be transposed onto their business should I be involved.

We – the small business owner/director/manager are the backbone of the UK & I truly believe are the way we will rise from this recession.

We should support each other.

So with this in mind, choose the avenue you take when it comes to social media wisely.

Bigger is not always Better!

If you would like some help from a fellow small business person.

Where the initial review of your social media / marketing strategy is free.

&

Where social media marketing packages start from just £7 per week.

Please contact www.Rocoja.co.uk via the buttons above or the details below.

Kind regards

Rocoja

Rocoja Limited 

On a side note, if you get a chance, please take a look at my Charity project  

www.CelebFC.co.uk 

Celeb FC

Celeb FC

Social Media & the Workplace

13 Sep

I’ve been involved with Social Media since it first ever appeared & long before Rocoja Limited – I could see the benefit of social media,  much to the chagrin of some of my employers;

This came to light quite prominently, when I attended board meetings aimed at trying to devise a way to eradicate the horrible “Bebo”, “MySpace” & other such like forums that were emerging & causing time to be used by staff.

Social-Media

I was seen as the Middle Manager Rebel, The one who wanted the staff to be “lazy”, “chatty”, not focused…. Which of course was NOT what I wanted. I saw the potential to harness this time for a greater purpose – which lets be honest, was going to be used, via extra “toilet breaks” etc, anyway.

I wanted to allow staff to post, as long as the posts were contained to their own, entitled scheduled breaks, I also felt we could utilise these moments, which could be enhanced with co-inciding positive things happening at work..

I also wanted adverts to be placed where these employees were dwelling online, as I saw that if this was the case, surely the demographics we were aiming at, were there too?

However one particular employer didnt see this at all & we parted ways after all internet access was blocked for staff & all use of mobile / smartphones was banned – it was considered the easiest way to ensure the staff were focused..

 

fb-faiilThis back-fired galactically as many employees took longer & longer breaks & some left the employ, citing “draconian” rules… Indeed the company didnt realise the potential of the online forums & social media hangouts until it was too late & 80% of the workforce were laid off.

NO I dont lay the folding of this company firmly at the doorstep of the stupid internet policy, BUT it had a huge impact!

Nowadays  we all know the benefit of Social Media cannot be understated & the benefit of positive use by employees MUST NOT be undervalued.

I firmly believe the relationships between employers & employees can be positivey enhanced by using social media in the right way

Lets look at some stats –

  • Over 75% of your employees use social media to connect with fellow employees.
  • Over 60% will say that it can enhance their working day.
  • Over a third use Social Media to improve their skills / work environment & most of this is done on their own volition.

However – those are positives – lets also look at what small business is doing to capture this hugely untapped resource..

  • Almost half of the businesses I speak to do nothing to encourage positive use of Social media to enhance the business,
  • With around 75% of them having no training at all in any of the usual social media outlets.
  • Many small businesses (& some larger who havent quite grasped this yet) still see this forum as a negative.

Its almost the end of 2014 &  surely we all know that social networks are an integral part of many peoples’ daily life now,  with the number of social media users around the world rising sharply over the last decade.

Consumers are ahead of the suppliers in some cases when it comes to small businesses on Social Media – So a clear branding is extremely important, a clear ethic across that brand & a concise, metered approach to your own social media advertising is imperative.

MY advice – Get some help

We know from campaigns run over the last few years, companies with successful social initiatives use outside agencies.

In contrast, those with ineffective social programs usually go it alone.
Leave it to a professional, so you can get on with running your business.. Its a lot cheaper than you think!

WELL – it should be! Read this ->  Bigger isn’t always Better

 

Please read my other blogs for some more tips & hints.

I hope the above helps.

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Why can’t I DIY it?

14 May

I’ve been asked this question a LOT by the small businesses who seek out my help.

I create a social media presence for my clients, branding it & marketing them in a way that gets the best from the platforms we choose to use in relation to the business/ sole trader I am helping.. It’s not a One-size fits all routine & is certainly not an easy thing to do. BUT on first impressions, I can see why some people would assume, it’s just “messing about with Facebook” .

So below is a quick “help” guide to see if you could / should be handling your own marketing..

  1. Do you have Social Media or Marketing experience?

(This may seem a silly question, as you would expect someone to have experience in something they were going to undertake, especially if its something as fundamental to the life & success of their business as marketing is;  However many many directors/owners have no experience in this area & fall straight away at the first hurdle).

2.  Do you have time to learn a whole new Job role?

– Below is the “Job description” from an advert placed this week in a publication for a “Social media marketer”.

We are looking for a competent & able person to optimise, maintain, monitor and lead the platforms and any marketing strategies carried out in them: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Pinterest, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Google+, Flickr, etc.

– Content creation and management: content marketing.

– Interaction with users: community engagement.

– Social commerce: leads, calls to action and conversions in social media.

– Monitoring: online media, information sources and social channels.

– Measurements and follow-up: determining the ROI of the work carried out, justifying the quality of the actions taken and, of course, the results thereof.

– Fan building: based on achieving specific ROI objectives.

– Contests and campaigns: creative input, development, starting up and monitoring.

– Qualitative aspects: Sentiment reports, strengths, scope, virality, passion and effects for the brand online.

– SEO: website, blog and social platform (social search) optimisation, aimed at improving search results.

– Keyword optimisation and improvement in new SEO/SEM opportunities

– Email marketing: development, creative input, running, results and campaigns.

– Database: creation, management and maintenance of the database, making it larger and more streamlined.

– Website: content optimisation and stimulation, improvements within the website structure: functionality, usability, navigation by users. Developing and launching a mobile version. Promoting, marketing and communicating all the website’s contents. Measurements, monitoring and follow-up of results.

– Coordination and management of press and communication tasks: contents, interviews, website news, exclusive acts, etc.

– Video-marketing: optimisation, search, keywords, sponsored videos, marketing.

– e-Commerce: creation and generation of online sales opportunities.

– Reports: online sales, online positioning, online reputation, online results.

– Community: leading online communities, brand representation in different forums and communities.

– Online branding: searching, identifying and improving all brand-related aspects in social media.

– Adviser: playing a brand consulting/advising role with regard to the online environment: opportunities, threats, new initiatives, development of digital identity and online presence, identification of potential business and new digital transactions.

Other ad-hoc duties as & when required.

(What do you think)?

  3. Research time

Finding & engaging clients is key to the growth of any online platform, this is luckily a smaller arena when you work for small businesses as less is often,  more – a more targeted approach with the focus on quality rather than quantity is key here. However, you need to be very comfortable with engaging the audience you are seeking. this can be by demographic / geographic or another key factor.

The 3 points above are the most key factors to consider when thinking about a DIY campaign.

If you can do this & still run/grow your business, then fantastic!!!

However for the sake of a few pounds a month, I highly recommend engaging the services of a professional.

This doesn’t mean, get online & find the biggest flashiest website, with promises of hundreds of followers & clicks etc in a few days for extortionate sums..

This means look at a social media company who understands small businesses, look for references, look for recommendations & of course look at costs.

Rocoja is happy to provide free analysis & to quote to help small businesses.

We are trusted amongst the small business community in Surrey & South London, with costs starting at just £30 per month.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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3 Tricks I’ve learned over the years

15 Apr

During my extensive & eclectic career, I have attended many “sales” training courses, along with motivational & managerial courses,How to be the best courses & lots more all packaged up as “career enhancing”.

Training

Through the last quarter century I have come to realise that a few tiny tricks help far more than some ofthe “essential” tools I was given at the above seminars..

Today I will share 3 with you.

Trick 1:-  If you work in telesales, or customer services & are hooked up to a phone all day, put a Mirror on your desk. Whenever you are on a call, make an effort to look at yourself & smile… Sounds weird, but people can hear the smile at the other end of the phone line & it can lift a boring/tense conversation up.

Trick 2:- If you work in a customer facing environment, maybe at a Bar area, Serving bench. Install a large mirror on the wall behind you. Customers who approach you will then see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chances of them behaving irrationally or getting angry lowers significantly.

Trick 3:- Fake it till you make it; confidence is more important than knowledge in many scenarios. Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role: I’ve come across many people who employed this strategy & eventually they became exactly the person they were “faking” at being. So fake your confidence, whilst all the while improving your ability.

My most valuable lesson learned was to be around positive people, in work, at home, in life in general.

self

You are an individual, let that shine through & maybe give yourself permission to use the tricks above to help make life a little easier.

As with all my blogs – Please please let me know if you find any of this helpful.

Thank you

Karin

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Email me here – Info@Rocoja.co.uk

Facebook – Rocoja Limited

Twitter – @RocojaSurrey

g+ – Rocoja Limited

 

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