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CEOs Need Help With Social Media and Personal Branding

Something told me when I set up Delightful Communications that I was onto something with helping CEOs with social media and personal branding.

During my 12 years in digital marketing and my 9 year career in the entertainment business, one thing I’ve observed is just how badly some CEOs and senior business leaders conduct themselves online and onstage.

Okay, so “badly” is probably too strong a word, so let’s say they leave a lot of opportunity begging as they and their PR teams miss many chances to really cement a positive image in the minds of their own staff, their customers AND their potential customers.

Only last week, eMarketer talked about some Weber Shandwick research into the subject.

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Is your CEO ready for the digital stage? (Photo: CODYody)

This is what they concluded:

“Having some kind of CEO presence on social channels is becoming an almost necessary part of doing business—whether for brand image or company transparency. Eight out of 10 employees deemed it important to communicating with customers and investors. On the flip side, almost half of respondents said CEOs who did not engage on social channels risked becoming out of touch with their customers—an indication that, over time, not engaging on social media will be considered a liability more than a choice.”

We’re living in an age where digital feedback via social channels is rife and marketing and PR teams get that.

What their not doing well is promoting one of their best and most public assets in an intelligent way.

Next week I’m talking about Digital Evangelism at SearchFest in Portland, and I’ll be touching on the need for companies to have a face, a human face that customers can identify with and look for positive signals from and engage with.

Digital and social media content across a myriad of devices has educated a much more savvy public as to what is PR spin and inauthenticity on the part of a CEO.

They can smell it a mile off, and they will react badly if they get a whiff.

What companies need to do is formulate a strategy around their leaders’ personal brand and open them out a little to the world.

Some CEOs are not that gregarious, really busy running the business, and just not that into broadcasting their every thought and that’s OK.

But they all have a story to tell, and they all have a duty to respond in some way in an authentic and honest manner to feedback whether good or bad.

In 2013, that’s the sort of behaviour that gets your brand liked. That’s the sort of behaviour that get’s your brand talked about in a positive and endearing fashion.

In a world where one Tweet can go more viral than anything ever before and say so much in a photo about that leader and his feelings & values, doesn’t it make sense that your business at least try and create a positive digital platform for your CEOs personal brand and that of the company?

If you or your company leader is in need of a personal branding strategy please Contact Me…….before your competitor does!

If you agree with this post or have a comment please share it and say your piece below!

EXCITED! – 5 Alternatives to the Most Overused Word in Press Releases

Really? You’re so enthusiastic and eager to tell the world about your news that you can’t spend 30 seconds trying to think of an alternative word to adequately and originally convey your emotions?

Welcome to one of my PR Pet Peeves!

 

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A quick search for the phrase “excited to announce” on Google throws up 138,000,000 references. They even helpfully try and complete your query because so many people are using that adjective in their press release copy.

This is lazy writing.

3 Ways to Enhance Your Personal Brand at Work (CCs All Millennials!)

In a hilarious post last week, Brian Morrissey from Digiday, wrote about what advertising agency execs feel about their younger charges in an article entitled:  WTF Millennials: Managing Agencies’ Newest Generation. It was called out and quoted by many in the industry press and caused much debate on Twitter.

Hilarious because of the quotes Brian managed to solicit from various sources, and because he gave millennials a chance to answer back where many of them seemed to agree with what had been written about them the day before.

Whatever generation you were born in, the impression you give people in the workplace has never been more important. A business doesn’t owe you a living whatever age you are, and rather like companies trying to survive head and shoulders above others in an increasingly crowded digital world, the same goes for your personal brand in the office.

My Personal Branding Services largely help people with their online persona and how to behave positively and effectively through social media, but having read these articles, I couldn’t help but want to jot down my thoughts on how to leaving an enduring impression in the physical workplace.

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Millennium Bridge in London (Flickr)

How To Present Yourself with True Confidence and Sincerity

It’s January and many of us will be embarking on new resolutions that we hope we’ll still be keeping by the end of the month.

Some maybe health and fitness related, some maybe career-driven and some will be a combination of both.

Although many of us focus on the physical health of our bodies at this time of year, it pays to have a think about the mental or attitudinal aspects of where we want to be in the next 365 days and how we are going to get there from a cerebral point of view. It’s all very well losing 10 lbs. or cutting down on caffeine, but physical health needs to go hand in hand with some mental limbering up as well.

When it comes to that new job, promotion or next round of VC funding you’ve promised yourself, personal branding and how you present yourself online (or off it) has never been more important to think about, especially in this age of ubiquitous social media.

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Photo by artwork_rebel on flickr

Online Personal Branding Tips & Examples

Whether you’re looking for a new job, you have a public-facing role in the role you’re in right now, or you’re just simply curious what Personal Branding is all about, then this post should add value to whatever you know already.image

Where are Your Digital Footprints Taking You?

As I’ve written in the Delightful Personal Branding blurb on this site, the proliferation of the web and social media means having an optimized presence online is crucial for a number of reasons:

  • I’ve been told by people “in the know” at search engines that searches for names represent 60% of search queries. Now I’m pretty sure they meant brand searches, because most people use Google and Bing as navigation aids as well as looking for stuff, but people names are going to make up a significant proportion of that massive number and that means YOU are going to be among them!
  • If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, and your name isn’t as common as “John Smith”, then the chances are you’re going to rank very highly via these social media sites because those networks are very authoritative with the search engines. If that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense to make sure they present you and your brand in the best light possible?
  • Somewhere down the line, you might want run for office or have a family and how are voters or your kids going to feel if your online persona is littered with compromising photographs, factual errors, missing data or, even worse, NOTHING can be found out about you at all!

Making sure that you have a tidy house online says a lot about you:

  • It shows how serious you are about people getting a good first impression when they look you up.
  • It helps people find the right sort of information about you and puts you in control of your personal brand.
  • And it shows you actually care what people can discover about you online, and acting like you care adds positive fuel to your fire.

Now you might be thinking: “Who are these people that are looking for me online?”

Well here are a few scenarios:

  • Job recruiters and headhunters – whether you have applied for a job or not.
  • People in your company that want to know more about you.
  • People in other companies that want to know more about you – they may be competition or potential work partners.
  • Ex-flames!
  • Potential new flames!
  • Long-lost relatives.
  • The nice lady you always chat too at the supermarket checkout.
  • On and on and on…..

Now having an effective, orderly and clean online presence is fine, but in order to maintain it you need to learn to conduct yourself in a manner that shows your interested and interesting.

This might mean:

  • Regularly checking and updating your various profiles to make sure they are accurate and current.
  • Having a no swearing policy – what would Aunt Mary from Outer Mongolia think?! – unless of course you’re a rock star and that sort of thing is cool (man)!
  • Keeping abreast of social networks’ privacy policies and security features, so you know the minute they change how to hide certain content or add new permission measures you can act swiftly.
  • Simply adding a bit more flesh to your posts and updates so they are not so thin and cryptic and anyone can instantly see what you’re about – hopefully in a positive way.

Personal Branding is not something you get right overnight. It takes discipline and nurturing to start cultivating an online persona that starts paying dividends.

The good news is that it can be done, and over the next few months I’ll be updating the Delightful Blog and adding links to this post that will give you some ideas, tips and examples of how you can look good online so people like you, you give a great impression to potential employers, and you leave a digital legacy that you can be proud of.

Thanks for reading,

@MelCarson

Here are more posts on Personal Branding from this blog:

3 Ways to Enhance Your Personal Brand at Work (CCs All Millennials!)

How To Present Yourself with True Confidence and Sincerity

If you’ve found this post useful, please share it using the button over to the right!

Photo Credit: M Pratter

Ann Summers vs John Lewis Christmas Ads Send “Vibrations” Through Advertising Industry

So last year I couldn’t help but shed a tear at the John Lewis Christmas ad they put out.

It was going to be my daughter’s first Christmas and I got a little sentimental and maybe a little homesick too.

Fast forward to this year and they’ve not done a great job drawing some quite fierce criticism.

Now the very agile team at Ann Summers, who sell all sorts of fruity bedroom wear and sex toys, have leapt on the opportunity to provide their own “twist” on the John Lewis ad that had me crying into my keyboard with laughter.

Maybe I have a silly sense of humor but this tickled me….umm….pink!

Just in case Google pull it, here’s the final shot:

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I remember when British Airways were having trouble with their strike and Ann Summers hijacked their brand term on Google AdWords, ads started appearing like the below:

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You have to admire their balls!

Have a great weekend,

Mel

SES Chicago and Social Media Beyond Engagement #SESCHI

One of my favourite TV shows is The Good Wife, so my trip next week to Chicago will be doubly thrilling!

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I’ll be there to speak at SES Chicago and represent Majestic SEO along with my friend Dixon Jones.

My session will be on Social Media Beyond Engagement and you can read all about that in an interview I did with the team last week.

Can’t wait to check out the evening scene too as I have never been to “The Windy City”.

Just hope we don’t bump into Kalinda.

She’s a little scary!

Cheers,

Mel

Talking Big Data and Tools for PR Week US Virtual Event

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Those fabulous people at PR Week in the US have kindly asked me to speak on a panel at their virtual event tomorrow on: Navigating the Maze of Data Collection

Here’s the blurb:

The avenues through which you can glean data from consumers are endless. Numerous tools exist to measure how people interact with your website. For shared channels, free tools offer insight and analysis into how communities react to your content. Traditional tactics such as focus groups and surveys still have a place in the data-collection playbook. Then there are products that talk back, location-based data, and so much more.

PRWeek’s Gideon Fidelzeid moderates a discussion with leading experts from agencies, corporations, and measurement companies on identifying the best sources of data for your particular brand or program.
Panelists include Mel Carson, former Microsoft Digital Evangelist & founder of
Delightful Communications, Nils Mork-Ulnes, VP of insights and analytics at Beyond, and Frank Strong, PR director at Vocus.

I’m really grateful to Steve Barrett for giving me this opportunity to rub shoulders with PR industry luminaries and veterans less than a month after Delightful launched.

Let’s hope I do him (and me) proud!

The date is October 25th and the time of my session is 1.40pm EST – please register here!

If you know anyone who might be interested in a lively discussion on big data and tools, then please share this post using the social media buttons.

See you there….virtually!

Mel

Online Brand Management Strategies and Twitter Customer Service – Speaking at Pubcon 2012

Vegas Baby!

On my way to Las Vegas next week for the fabulous conference that is Pubcon run by the equally fabulous Brett Tabke and co.

I’ll be there with Dixon Jones representing Majestic SEO (see my latest post for them on removing Google penalties)  and I’ll be speaking on back to back panels on Thursday on Online Brand Management Studies and Twitter Customer Service Strategies.

I’ve not been for a few years, so really looking forward to getting back into that scene and catching up with old friends and colleagues!

If you’re going, come and visit the Majestic SEO stand and see our new fancy video!

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