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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.

                          

 

New Year = Time for a revamp!

29 Dec

Your New Year Business Resolution – 5 things to do in 2016

How was 2015 for you and your small business?

January heralds a new start to a new year and that means it is an opportunity to do something to revamp your small business.

Here are 5 things you could do that on the back of what you have achieved in 2015 could bring some benefits in 2016

Update your website

Your website is your window to the world.  Giving your website an update is essential every new year. Making sure your 2016 products, services and prices are up to date is vital.  Changing a few images and bringing some freshness into the website really can make a difference. Then updating the content and ensuring your keywords are in place and just having fresh copy really lift your website and allow your business to lift off further from where you left it in 2015.

Revamp your Social Media

Along with your website your social media is important. Many companies forget that their social media also needs refreshing; a fresh image and some fresh wording describing your business just add some polish.  In 2016 make a concerted effort to use social media more, maybe spend a little time reading up and then putting an effective social media plan in place.

Re Brand

Your brand defines you. If your small business has been around while or even if it has only been operating a short time taking a look at your brand in line with your updated website (see point 5) and making a concerted effort to use social media more really is worthwhile.  A re-branding sounds hard work and sounds painful but having the right brand that conveys the right message about your business could just mean the difference between growing or standing still in 2016.

Plan your year ahead

Failing to plan is planning to fail and a new year is the perfect time to plan the next 12 months for your small business.  Whether you are a one man band or a small team, putting your goals, objectives and milestones down in writing in a formal plan gives your small business direction that is measurable. With a well-planned year and regular updates to the plan throughout the year your business is under control for the next 12 months the right strategic decisions can be made.

Get advice from someone outside your business

For many small businesses hiring a consultant seems like a crazy idea because the money can be spent better elsewhere. Yes this is true but there are plenty of people and organisations such as friends, accountants, chambers of commerce and banks who will give you valuable business advice on a variety of topics that can truly help your business for little or no charge. Nearly everyone knows someone that may be a specialist in marketing, social media, websites, planning or even trading overseas – take a look at your circle of friends, family and business associates and ask someone if they can help you. If you don’t ask you don’t get and you will be amazed at how many people will want to see you a success and who would feel proud to help you be that success.

2016 is going to be an awesome year ahead, these 5 simple tips could make it even more awesome and most of them will cost every little and each will bring outstanding returns on your investment.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses, charities, performers and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.

                          

Rocoja

The Language of Social Media

20 Sep

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 Asus Laptop & get on-line 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/clientèle 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 or individual 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, Charities and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.

                          

Rocoja

Twitter for Business – What do I do with it

7 Sep

CrashYou’ve made yourself a Twitter for your business. Now What?

Here’s my top tips!

  1. Make your name as close to your business name as possible. (Be easily identifiable)
  2. Don’t be tempted to automate anything. (It looks lazy – Click Here)
  3. Don’t randomly follow everyone. With Business Twitter it is important to get a balance correct.
  4. Make your profile stand out. Brand to your colours etc..
  5. Realise No one has to share anything you tweet, so say thank-you if it happens.
  6. Make sure your other Social Media & most importantly your Website is connected to your Twitter profile.
  7. Make sure you have a Klout account, get connecting & keep an eye on your score.
  8. Try not to use all 140 characters. Leave space so a Re-tweet will still make sense.
  9. Don’t post hard sales / pushy tweets – no one wants to see them in their timeline. Be “nice”.
  10. Share other peoples content. Its polite!

For more info & indeed help

Info@Rocoja.co.uk

                          

Reasons for good Social Media Etiquette

22 Aug

My thoughts for anyone using Social media as a way to display your knowledge, prowess, goods or services online (Which let’s be frank, should be almost everyone now as Social Media is THE way to build relationships and brands for the 21st century).

Ignore user experience and interaction at your peril.
I say this so often when giving advice to the charities and SME’s I work with. People get a very small snapshot of you on-line, make their experience a pleasant one. Yes you can tell them about yourself and the work you do, but try not to be “superior” or condescending in your output. Not everyone has the in-depth knowledge of your industry that has made you the professional you are.

Particularly, pay careful attention to your posts about fellow industry colleagues / competitors or just other businesses in general. (Be they professional or personal posts) as everyone, no matter what we do, are always first and foremost consumers.

Social M MistakeWe have all grown to expect nothing short of a delightful experience from our online interactions… Whether it’s looking for a cafe locally, booking a cab, searching a hashtag or just browsing through Twitter, we want it to be simple, easy and painless.

My own personal experience has this past week been very difficult, the posts I have been party to from a group of “professionals” in an industry which already has a horrible reputation, has been eye-wateringly painful to see.

Most shocking was that these were posts from professionals who are upon investigation, extremely well educated and seem to a have a great track record in their professions.  They seem to have an on-line vigilante group (their words on a tweet) that policies their industry and “takes out” (again verbatim) anyone they perceive to be a threat in any way. This is without any investigation by a government or regulatory body, nor any actual criminal charges in any shape or form.. BUT cross their path at your peril (actually from what I witnessed, many in their industry don’t have much chance avoiding them as they seem to spend endless hours trolling the internet for victims of their vigilantism) because your feed on Twitter and I should imagine elsewhere online (I haven’t checked) is obliterated by uninvestigated (by authorities) accusations and personal jibes.

I have been party, purely because one of these “professionals” sought me out though, I am assuming, my LinkedIn connection to one of the small businesses they were attacking this past week.

Did I get a phone call? A tweet? A message? An email? Carrier pigeon? To tell me they believed an acquaintance of mine may be not as professional as they feel they are?

Sadly no. The professionals in this industry believe that by posting a totally unrelated industry, small business details online and accusing the director of being a “little lady” “earning lots of money” “with a silly surname” is totally acceptable.

This obviously hit a nerve with me and even still 4 days later – these “Professionals” are referring to me online, despite my doing the right thing on day one. I made contact with the governing body of their industry to offer any and all support to any investigations they may be carrying out (which incidentally were none and they were not happy at what they had witnessed online). On day 2 I made contact with 2 of the people tweeting – one of whom engaged with me and I am now totally convinced they believe their tactics online are helpful for their industry; however anyone else watching, myself and all my followers included, feel it has just underlined the “Bullyboy” “Couldn’t care less” attitude that is the perception of this particular industry.

Overall it has just reaffirmed everything that Social Media is about – it gets information out super-quick, it gets your name known and a brand (if you pitch it right) out to the world. However your actions/words are there for eternity.

My advice –

  1. Everyone is a potential consumer – treat everyone with dignity. Don’t disengage a whole faction of the populace, just because they may not fit in with what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Consumers are not children – technology has enabled consumers to take care of more complicated matters on their own. Instead of relying on experts and hours of research. However we all would like advice every now and then, THAT’S your role, help and advice and build trust. Don’t badger and condescend. You will lose credibility.
  3. Compliance and the law are key – Building customer trust is essential, after all there are more than just one of you (by you I mean service/product providers in your field of expertise). Your customers will want to know that their privacy and security is paramount. Seeing you online naming other businesses/contacts negatively without any forethought makes consumers uneasy and rightly so. Their thoughts will be “what will they say if I take my business elsewhere”? “What will they say about me if I skip a payment”?
  4. Know when to admit a wrong – consumers can question businesses online immediately now. A quickly drafted placating phrase used to be enough, now people need to feel valued. So admit if you are wrong and show online what steps you are taking to amend a situation.

Personally I think the “vigilantes” I encountered this week will believe themselves to be beyond reproach. That’s ok, I can honestly say my business is my passion and I do it because I love it, not for financial gain. This is usually the crux of many issues of trolling / twitter shaming. Money (Either that or I’ve said no to a date at some point).

But in all seriousness. YOU are out there – every time you post. Make sure the YOU that is seen, is professional and trustworthy. downloadt

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

                          

Cyber Bullying – A change of demographic – gone away or did it just get OLDER?

20 Aug

After a few days of witnessing an eye watering display of online bullying, I felt the need to write a paragraph or two in support of other small businesses who may be suffering this new phenomenon.

Bullying statistics have shown that cyberbullying is a serious problem among teens and can take many forms.

Below are the most common complained about forms of cyberbullying (by adolescents)

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumours online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet

It has been proven to lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide as, sadly once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.

Many Cyber bullies admit to feeling superior and even worse, some do not even realise what they are doing is harmful or hurtful. They may not think about the effects their behaviour has.

The worst effect has been shown to be suicide amongst teens / children who have been victim to this behaviour.

So why is Rocoja posting about Cyberbullying?

I have witnessed over 2 days this week one of the worst cases of cyberbullying I have ever seen. If it had been children or young adults on Twitter for all to see, it would’ve been easy to deal with. A quick phone call to the police and a quick “report” to Twitter & hopefully Job-done. BUT this was instigated & whipped to fever pitch by a group of supposedly “professional” adults.

My involvement? Why did I see it…? I have helped a small business this month, I have set up a Twitter account for them & they proudly have a whole 50 followers (achieved in 2 weeks).

However let’s be clear, this is not a thriving conglomerate, contributing to world collapse. This is a small business in a niche industry starting out on Social Media.

On Wednesday, out of no-where, a group of professionals in the same business arena as the SME began to take screenshots of their new website, picking at grammar & wording.

They began to post it on Twitter with quotes such as

“You Are NOT regulated” – Which is correct & the business never purported to be.

“Young Director – Rolls eyes” – How is age relevant?

“This company is enticing people to them” – Well yes, that’s what all companies do.

“Are they even legal, Shouldn’t they be authorised or something” – ????

“Dick Turpin Outfit” – ???

“Shut down now” -????

“Post your qualifications” -???

All of which is designed to engender mistrust & angst.

I responded (to help the company out, as I was appalled) maintaining a pleasant and professional manner, asking the obviously concerned writers to contact the company Director to discuss any issues – I also asked for advice on what exactly the perpetrators had an issue with. Which was declined.

Overall on Wednesday there were over 120 Tweets naming the small business & adding in phrases designed to engender mistrust from anyone who could see this.

Also the 6-7 Tweeters were copying in the regulatory body for their profession & were even saying things like “SME X is being investigated” etc. etc.

Overall, Wednesday was a very sad day….. But it finished & I went to bed after my physio session feeling exhausted just from re-reading the whole thing, in case there was anything the SME could’ve done differently..

This morning, I popped on my computer, but I am faced with more abuse… some of which is aimed at ME personally.

Somehow these “professionals” have found my personal Linked in profile & felt they have a right to name me & post my profile online again with tweets worded to engender mistrust.

Gems such as

“Bless her – she’s earned her money today” – Condescending & very wrong.

“I’ve trawled LinkedIn & I can see her Flower name & Football expertise????” – Condescending & rude.

“This “lovely” looks after their Twitter” (and Posted my personal profile) – Totally uncalled for.

“Where does she stand on this – is she Dupe or Accomplice” – To what?????

Now I’m a big brave girl, I’ve been through the wars (Not a story I share so don’t ask) and no one scares me. However rudeness and people being unsupportive & downright bullying makes my blood boil.

Again the regulatory body for their profession was copied in on the tweets aimed at “Twitter shaming” & cyber-bullying me personally.  Again the inference was the SME & myself are now under some sort of investigation thanks to these Superhero Twitter Battle-forces of good & righteousness……

So, me being me, I meet this head on & picked up the telephone – something these “professionals” seem to be unable to do as all the keyboard warrioring has obviously affected that ability!

I call their regulatory body & speak to the department running their Twitter.

I speak immediately to a very professional lady.

SHOCK – NO this body of true professionals HAS NOT engaged with any of the Super-Hero Battle Forces & indeed has been watching these events in a very saddened state as their industry already has an awful reputation & to see so called professionals rip into a SME without a thought of a kind word of advice or helping hand has just underlined everything that’s wrong with it.

She also stated that at NO point in the 2 days of Tweets have they replied, mentioned, engaged at all with any of it – as it is so unprofessional & indeed the naming & mickey taking of my personal details was a very low low!

This regulatory body cannot stop being tagged in Tweets but has assured me they have taken a very dim view of what’s been happening & if I wanted to take it further, they have taken copies of the whole engagement.

As I stated when this started (on behalf of the SME) the gang of 6-7 could have contacted the governing body & raised a complaint if they had real misgivings, or they could have issued advice to a new business on social media, helpfully assisting the UK economy by amending grammar & wording instead of completely trashing their industry by belittling not only a new business but a disabled woman who runs a charity from her home.

I deliberately haven’t mentioned any of the people involved as

  1. It’s so low & unprofessional I cannot bring myself to do it.
  2. I’m doing a massive Charity event in 3 weeks for the Armed Forces and I know some of the Twitter Super-Hero gang were ex-military & I am sure my friends in the forces would be very vocal if they think I’ve been upset.
  3. At least 2 of the perpetrators were women & I am so very upset by this fact alone, as we need more women in senior positions in industry & business. BUT all the while some ladies feel the only way they can look better is by taking the micky out of another female’s name I despair that we will ever be treated as anything more than a joke in the workplace.

Bullying is never right – not at home, not at school & most definitely not online.

Just because the screen offers you protection from being seen, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to trawl and troll.

Its also extremely worrying that the bunch I have jokingly labelled the “Super-Hero Twitter Battle Force” are actually Tweeting  (and I quote verbatim) “This is the future. A small band of Twitter vigilantes taking down unregulated scammers”.

It would also appear from that, they have appointed themselves judge, jury & executioners on small businesses encroaching on their “twitter turf”. I know this not only from my own rather horrible experience, but because a very quick peek into their timelines shows myriads of such viciously worded tweets – all judging & lambasting other businesses & individuals.

Such gems as (again all verbatim) – “If I get a sidearm & licence to kill, I’m in!”; “implies the possibility of competition. I feel no such insecurity”; “Quiet in the cheap seats. The Royal Air Force has it covered old man”; we are “The Terminators!” &  “He does exist. This is the man 👍🏽👍🏽” (the last one is particularly businesslike as it accompanies a picture of portly naked gentleman, which Im assuming the 5 people in the Twitter gangare inferring is the owner of the small business they are annihilating online for sport.

This experience has worried me that far from addressing the issues of online bullies, we have just pushed it further up the age range / business ladder.

Prove me wrong?

Next time you see a small business starting out and you are not happy with something they say or do & you are up the ladder further than them, don’t kick them off – reach down & help them.

Hand_Up2

Can you? Are you that person?

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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